NEWS: Virgin Atlantic status match offer for BA Executive Club, even for Bronze – is it worth it?

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Virgin Atlantic is bringing back its popular status match scheme for 2021. I did this a few years ago, even though I knew I would be unlikely to fly very often with Virgin and most of the Gold benefits I would not use. So why did I do it and should you consider it? Read on to find out….

For each member booking, Virgin Atlantic will provide a Flying Club status match for Bronze – Gold British Airways Executive Club members, opening up a world of upgrades, lounge access, and rewards.

The fact that you can get a match from Bronze to Silver is useful. Here is the full list of matches:

  • British Airways Executive Club Bronze members can earn Flying Club Silver status with any Premium or Upper Class booking.
  • British Airways Executive Club Silver members can become Flying Club Silver status with a ticket booked in any cabin.
  • British Airways Executive Club Gold members will receive Flying Club Gold status with a ticket booked in any cabin – a step up from the airline’s current status match programme, which requires Gold Card members to book flights in either Premium or Upper Class.

The offer is available for a limited time only, from today until 28th February 2021.  In order to receive the benefits, you simply need to visit https://virg.in/statusmatch and provide proof of their current British Airways status and a booking reference for their upcoming Virgin Atlantic flight. The initiative is available for any new bookings, along with any bookings made before the sale period started.

TIP: If you can, you are best off leaving it until closer to the 28 February deadline to apply since you will get 12 months from when you are awarded the status. You should get your new status within 30 days of applying. 

Siobhan Fitzpatrick, Chief Digital and Marketing Officer at Virgin Atlantic, commented;

“I’m delighted that by simply buying a ticket, we are making our Virgin Atlantic Flying Club benefits accessible to even more passengers.  I have no doubt customers will be thrilled by the vast array of advantages it provides, both in the air and on the ground, such as priority boarding and access to our award-winning Clubhouses.

“We’re committed to rewarding those who choose to fly with Virgin Atlantic and want all of our customers to make the most of their experience when travelling with us. I’d urge everyone to keep an eye on our latest Flying Club updates where there’s set to be some exciting changes, including a pair of Clubhouse vouchers for our Silver members, later this year.”

If you’re not a member of British Airways Executive Club, Virgin Atlantic will continue to run its status match program for other airline rewards schemes.  More information on the program can be found at https://flywith.virginatlantic.com/gb/en/contact-forms.html?webform=status-match 

Virgin has generally been doing better deals than British Airways in the sales but their flexibility policy is not as good. So a lot depends on what your priorities are if you are thinking of booking a flight with Virgin instead of BA to take advantage of the promo. 

 

Is it worth doing?

Virgin Clubhouse heathrow review

Virgin Clubhouse Heathrow

If you fly Upper Class or business class only, then you may look at the benefits and feel there is little point in signing up. Let’s have a look at what you get first.

Silver

  • 30% bonus miles on Virgin Atlantic paid flights,
  • Anytime standard seat assignment for you in any cabin, including Economy Light
  • Premium Economy check-in,
  • 2,000 free miles for renewing Silver.
  • Priority baggage whenever you travel

Gold

  • 60% more miles on paid Virgin flights,
  • access to Virgin’s Clubhouse for the member + one guest when flying Delta or Virgin
  • access to Revivals arrival lounge at London Heathrow,
  • Anytime seat assignment for you and your companions in any cabin, including Economy Light
  • complimentary exit row seats when booking ‘Economy Classic’,
  • one additional piece of checked luggage
  • Upper Class check-in and priority boarding
  • the ability to set up a Household Account to take advantage of the miles earned by up to 9 family members
  • 2,000 free miles for your birthday
  • gift silver to a friend or family member 
  • Clubhouse passes for you to keep or share when you earn 1,500 Tier Points within your membership year
  • Complimentary companion ticket upon yearly renewal of Gold tier

Unlike BA, silver does not give you lounge access but Flying Club Silver members will receive a pair of Clubhouse lounge passes when Terminal 3 reopens at Heathrow. Given that most people are unlikely to be doing many long haul flights this year, that may be enough. 

However, there are several airlines that are linked to the Flying Club where you can get additional benefits. The reason I joined was that I was flying Singapore Airlines to New Zealand so it meant I got many more miles than I would have done as a basic Red member. Sadly they no longer offer the extra miles bonus. But it also made more sense than crediting to Singapore, since I rarely use Star Alliance airlines and with the addition of Air France and KLM, it made more sense to have Virgin as my other frequent flyer scheme. 

Here are some of the extras you can get with different airlines:

Delta

Gold

  • Priority check-in and boarding
  • Access to any Delta Sky Club so long as you have a transatlantic sector to or from the UK on the same day within the same itinerary.
  • Flying Club Gold members receive complimentary access to DL Comfort+ (based upon availability and eligibility of booking class^) at the gate prior to departure for all regions of travel
  • 30% extra miles for Silver, 60% for Gold

Singapore Airlines

Gold

As a Gold member, you’ll also get some extra benefits when you fly with Singapore Airlines, whichever cabin you’re in:
  • An extra piece of hold luggage up to 20kg.
  • Business Class check-in
  • Priority baggage
  • Priority boarding
  • Enjoy Singapore Airlines’ SilverKris Lounges in the following airports worldwide: 

Adelaide, Bangkok, Brisbane, Delhi, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpar, London Heathrow, Manila, Melbourne, Perth, San Francisco, Sydney and Taipei

  • In Singapore, First/Business Class you’re are also invited to relax in the SilverKris Lounges in Terminal 1 and 2. Economy Flying Club Gold travellers are invited to the KrisFlyer Gold Lounges in Terminals 2 and 3.
  • Flying Club members must present a physical card to gain access to partner lounges

 

Air New Zealand

As a Gold member, when you travel on Codeshare flights operated by Air New Zealand, whichever cabin you fly you get these extras:

  • An extra piece of baggage
  • Business Class check in
  • Relax in the Air New Zealand lounges Sydney, Rarotonga, Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Melbourne, Wellington and Queenstown*
  • Priority baggage
  • Flying Club members must present a physical card to gain access to partner lounges

*must be booked through Virgin Atlantic and be travelling on a VS flight number.

 

Air France/KLM

air france B787

Silver

  • Priority check in, bag drop and boarding whichever cabin you fly
  • 30% extra miles for Silver

Gold

  • Priority check in, bag drop, security and priority boarding, regardless of the cabin you’re flying
  • Take one extra piece of hold luggage on top of the brand allowance, as well as priority baggage handling
  • Priority transfer desk
  • Air France/KLM lounge access or access to a partner lounge for you and one guest. Find out which airport lounges you can access.
  • 60% extra miles for Gold

My view is that if you have a Virgin flight booked or plan to book one by 28 February, there is little to lose by joining. With the benefits available on a range of other airlines, they could come in handy as travel starts to return. The extra miles/points are also handy including 2000 for Golds on their birthday!

You can find the Virgin/BA status match here.