AwardWallet receives compensation from advertising partners for links on the blog. Terms Apply to the offers listed on this page. The opinions expressed here are our own and have not been reviewed, provided, or approved by any bank advertiser. Here's our complete list of Advertisers.
If you like to plan, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club has got your back. The airline has updated its Standard and Peak Rewards calendar, adding dates well into 2024. In addition, Virgin Atlantic also took the opportunity to announce new intra-Caribbean award charts. Although, as you shall see later, many questions remain about the availability of these flights.
New Virgin Atlantic Standard and Peak Dates
Virgin Atlantic added dates in 2024 to both its Standard Rewards and Peak Rewards. The new standard Rewards dates added to the schedule are:
- January 4 through March 21, 2024.
- April 16 through June 15, 2024.
However, when it comes to Peak Reward dates, Virgin has added some in late 2023 and blocked out dates through September 2024. Peak Reward dates are as follows:
- December 9 through December 31, 2023.
- January 1 through January 3, 2024.
- March 22 through April 15, 2024.
- June 16 through September 6, 2024.
Undoubtedly, having all of June 16 through September 6, 2024 pricing at Peak reward rates is a big disappointment. The range writes off any chance of securing excellent value Standard Rewards for the whole summer season.
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Intra-Caribbean Awards
Virgin Atlantic added intra-Caribbean awards to its chart with their own peak and Standard Reward tables and dates. However, everything isn't what it seems to be with these new exciting intra-Caribbean.
Caribbean Standard and Peak Reward Calendar
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club has also released intra-Caribbean rewards calendar for dates through September 2024. Unsurprisingly, peak dates and prime travel times cover most of the holiday season. Fortunately, comparing the dates side-by-side, you can see a few gaps during the summer months where you can book your flights at the lower Standard Reward rates.
Caribbean Standard and Peak Reward Pricing
The pricing for the intra-Caribbean rewards is relatively low and can provide excellent value, considering most of these are very short flights. All Standard Reward routes are priced the same for the same class of travel:
- Economy class rewards are priced at 4,500 points round trip for all routes.
- Premium economy class rewards are priced at 5,300 points round trip for all routes.
- Upper Class rewards are priced at 8,500 points round trip for all routes.
Peak Rewards are a step up in pricing, but not by much. In most cases, the increase from standard to peak is less than one thousand points. Peak Rewards will price as follows:
- Economy class rewards are priced at 5,000 points round trip for all routes.
- Premium economy class rewards are priced at 6,300 points round trip for all routes.
- Upper Class rewards are priced at 9,000 points round trip for all routes.
Virgin Intra-Caribbean Route Enigma
Announcing new intra-Caribbean rewards with excellent pricing is fantastic news. However, it's frustrating that this was done without adding the ability to actually book these flights.
For example, trying to book a Virgin Atlantic flight between Barbados and Grenada is impossible. When searching for one of these awards, I get a message on the Virgin Atlantic website telling you that they operate two weekly flights to Grenada with a 1-hour stopover in Barbados.
However, attempts to book the flight from Barbados to Grenada failed for dates through summer and fall. Virgin Atlantic showed no ability to book this flight with points only or a simple cash payment. Instead, I always get the same error from the Virgin website.
Is it possible that Virgin has sold out every single seat to Grenada through the summer and fall? Yes, but extremely unlikely. What is far more likely is that Virgin has jumped the gun announcing the rates for this kind of award. More than likely, Virgin is still waiting for regulatory approval for what is essentially a fifth freedom intra-Caribbean route.
The same situation is replayed on the Bahamas to Jamaica route. A quick search shows Virgin operating a service from November 4, 2023. The route is from London to Montego Bay, Jamaica, with a 1-hour touchdown in the Bahamas.
However, trying to book the leg from the Bahamas to Jamaica is impossible using either cash or points. So, the million-dollar question when it comes to Virgin’s intra-Caribbean awards is ”who will you fly with?” This is the case since none of the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club partners operate direct intra-Caribbean flights, and you can’t book these flights with Virgin Atlantic for cash or points — at least at the time of writing.
Virgin Atlantic announcing its Peak and Standard Reward dates well into 2024 is welcome news. Announcing dates that far ahead allows members to plan their travels and possibly tweak their itineraries to get the most out of their points. On the other hand, announcing an intra-Caribbean award chart when you can't book these flights for cash or points seems a bit premature.
Seeing how these charts work in real life will be intriguing. This is especially true if Virgin continues with its award space generosity and provides plenty of options on these intra-Caribbean flights.
The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.