Part two in the series considering which airline offers the best UK airline rewards loyalty program examines which offers the best air miles rewards flights.
The first part considered the route choices and can be found here:
We will consider in this post how many air miles you might need with each of British Airways and Virgin Atlantic for some popular destinations around the world. We have already established that British Airways offers a more extensive route network, but that doesn’t mean you should simply rule out Virgin Flying Miles.
There may be occasions when you will be happy to focus on Virgin Flying Miles because they may offer the best air miles rewards flights. Also, they offer long-haul routes directly from Manchester.
Note, all costs are for off peak travel. The cost shown is simply the amount of air miles. Taxes and fees will still be due. These vary by flight and for long haul are typically between £300 – £400 for economy and around £600 for business and first.
|Destination||British Airways Economy||Virgin Atlantic Economy||British Airways Club World||Virgin Atlantic Upper Class|
|London – Las Vegas||32,500||30,000||125,000||135,000|
|London – New York||26,000||20,000||100,000||95,000|
|London – Hong Kong||39,000||25,000||150,000||115,000|
|London – Orlando||32,500||25,000||125,000||95,000|
|London – San Francisco||32,500||30,000||125,000||135,000|
|London – Barbados||32,500||20,000||125,000||115,000|
|London – Delhi||32,500||20,000||125,000||75,000|
As you can see, Virgin air miles rewards flights cost less than redemptions via British Airways. However this assumes you do not have a companion voucher which can make all the difference.
The British Airways Platinum Credit Card allows you to earn a companion voucher which you can redeem in any class. Even though I have no tier status in the British Airways executive club, I can use this voucher to fly Club or First. I pay taxes for two but only AVIOS for one. That now means that two people can fly for the same amount of AVIOS shown above. This now makes British Airways look much more attractive.
Although Virgin Atlantic offer a companion ticket, it only allows you to redeem for economy class unless you have tier status.
If you want to fly Upper Class in Virgin you will not be able to use a companion ticket unless you have top tier status. This means that to fly Virgin Upper Class you will need to double the Flying Club Miles for two people. For British Airways AVIOS, two people fly for the same amount of AVIOS as one which reduces the cost significantly.
The British Airways companion voucher is a valuable tool in your arsenal.
Winner of the best air miles rewards flights
The winner of the best air miles rewards flights is therefore Virgin Atlantic if you do not have a companion voucher. If you are able to spend enough on credit cards to earn a British Airways companion ticket, than hands down British Airways wins.
What matters most however is how easy it is to earn Airmiles with the two airlines. That’s coming up next week so don’t hesitate to sign up for the newsletter if you don’t want to miss out.
If you are just starting out, and keen to discover the best ways to earn air miles, check out the Best U.K airmiles credit cards credit cards post.