Virgin Atlantic & Virgin Group have today, Monday 20 August 2018, announced they are to launch a new group loyalty programme in 2019.
At present, Virgin Group and Virgin Atlantic have separate loyalty programmes. Virgin Group operates Virgin Red which issues points for customers of numerous Virgin branded businesses. The rewards are relatively modest, such as free WiFi on Virgin Trains. Virgin Atlantic also operates its own frequent flyer programme Virgin Flying Club.
In 2019, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Group will launch a new, and as yet unnamed, programme. It will adopt Virgin Flying Club miles as its currency.
The New Programme
Details of the new programme are scant at the moment. Virgin Atlantic has provided a brief update for its Flying Club members.
Members of the British Airways Executive Club can earn double Avios on up to eight flights booked and flown between now and Sunday 31 December 2017.
In order to qualify you must pre-register at ba.com before booking any flights.
The offer applies to all British Airways operated flights from the U.K. as well as flights booked under a BA code and operated by American Airlines, Finnair, and Iberia between Europe, Norway, Switzerland and North America, Mexico and Puerto Rico. It also applies to services operated by BA subsidiary OpenSkies from Paris Orly and Newark and flights operated by BA franchise partner SUNAIR of Scandinavia.
It does not apply to flights operated by other BA franchises such as Comair in South Africa, nor flights operated by other IAG airlines, Oneworld alliance partners or other BA codeshare partners.
The offer is not open to members of the Executive Club in the USA, Canada, Mexico and South Africa.
If you are not a member of the Executive Club you can sign up at ba.com
BA has made another move to curry favour from members of its Executive Club programme.
Hot on the heels of news that some members have been granted free renewal of their Executive Club cards, BA has announced that it has released an additional 10,000 reward seats in its Club World long-haul business class for Christmas 2017.
After British Airways’ worst week in nearly ten years, the airline has begun to take steps to repair the damage to its brand and restore relationships with its frequent flyers.
The airline has e-mailed members of its Executive Club frequent flyer programme who were caught up in last week’s disruption to advise that their current Executive Club card status (e.g. Bronze, Silver or Gold) will be renewed automatically for the next two years.
This means that these members of the Executuve Club do not need to earn the requisite number of tier points to renew their current status level.
This is not the first time BA has done this. It has previously either offered or entertained requests for automatic renewal when there has been severe disruption at London Heathrow or when there has been a downturn in the economy.
It’s nearly five years since the parent company of British Airways, International Airlines Group, acquired bmi British Midland from Lufthansa.
The bmi name was long disappeared from London Heathrow. Its regional arm bmi regional is still flying having been acquired by independent investors.
However, bmi’s frequent flyer programme Diamond Club has remained in operation.
Whilst it hasn’t been possible earn Diamond Club miles from flights, it was possible to earn miles through Diamond Club credit cards issued by MBNA Ltd until 30 September of this year.
Any remaining miles in all Diamond Club accounts will expire in perpetuity on Wednesday 30 November 2016.
However, it is possible to transfer any remaining miles in your account on a 1:1 basis to Avios in a British Airways Executive Club frequent flyer account. This must be done before 30 November 2016.
In order to do this you will need to be able to access your Diamond Club account online (to retrieve your membership number and miles balance) and have an active British Airways Executive Club account.
BA has a dedicated tool on its website called Combine My Avios. You can use this to transfer however many Diamond Club miles you have to your Executive Club account.
A transfer of miles should only take a few minutes to do and should then appear in your Executive Club account shortly afterwards.
The narrowing of the gap between the traditional “full service” network airlines and low cost carriers continues as easyJet has today announced it is to launch its first frequent flyer programme “Flight Club” across Europe in 2016.
Details are scant at the moment, but at first glance it does not appear to be a traditional miles-accrual based programme.
Instead, Flight Club, offers a defined set of benefits based on eligibility criteria.
Passengers will be invited to join Flight Club based on a minimum number of easyJet flights taken in a 12 month period and/or minimum spend.
In return, passengers will receive benefits such as fee-free ticket & name changes, special offers and access to a dedicated contact team.
There’s no news of any other airline or hotel partners yet. This programme will also run in parallel to easyJet Plus.
Two years ago, British Airways introduced “Hand Baggage Only” fares on its short-haul route network. As their name suggests, passengers purchasing these fares have to pay a separate fee if they wish to check in a bag into the hold of the aircraft.
BA has long claimed that these fares have been a success. They enable the airline to keep headline fares low when competing against low cost carriers (who have the advantage of generating considerable ancillary revenues from pasengers).
In a somewhat surprising move, BA has today announced that Silver and Gold Executive club cardholders will no longer be able to choose a seat free of charge at the time of booking when booking a hand baggage only fare from Thursday 26 March 2015.
The changes are quite significant and will impact on members depending what level they are in the Executive Club, what cabins they fly on BA and, for the first time, what type of ticket is purchased.
There are some definite negatives and some positives may emerge in time. It is also important to emphasise that they only apply to bookings made after 28 April 2015, so there is a three month window to make bookings in advance of the changes.