Get Virgin Atlantic Silver status with one short-haul return!

When we wrote about the Flying Blue programme, we mentioned its partnership with Virgin Atlantic and a trick for you to get Virgin Atlantic status very quickly. Let me elaborate on it today.

To start with, check out Flying Club’s earning chart on Air France (it’s the same for KLM).

Note that the title says VS marketed flights, which is untrue as you should earn these miles and tier points on AF/KLM marketed flights too.

The sweet spot can’t be more obvious: for a discounted business class ticket (I or Z) over 600 miles, you earn 100 tier points. Remember that you need 400 points for VS Silver and 1,000 points for VS Gold, which are equivalent to 4 legs and 10 legs respectively.

To put it into perspective, 100 tier points is what you earn on a Virgin Atlantic discounted business class ticket (Z) too. It’s crazy that flying from London to San Francisco gives you the same points with from Paris to Rome!

Unfortunately, departing from UK the only “long” route is Aberdeen to Paris, which is exactly 600 miles, and one can only hope that it falls into the higher category!

I suggest using Google Flights to get inspiration for destinations, and KLM’s website to do flight search as the interface is better than Air France’s in my opinion.

I found the following itinerary:

Both ABZ-CDG and CDG-MAD are more than 600 miles, however:

  • ABZ-CDG is operated by Air France’s subsidiary HOP, but VS’s page confirms it’s also qualifying
  • The HOP legs are C class and the Air France legs are, hmm, unshown (says only Cabin Business)

So the two HOP legs alone will earn you 400 tier points, which grants you Silver Status immediately. If the two AF legs are also C class, then the entire trip earns a total of 800 tier points, which is 80% of VS Gold done.

This is obviously much easier than earning Flying Blue status with AF/KLM, or earning Flying Club status with Virgin Atlantic.

The only catch is, of course, that Virgin Atlantic’s status doesn’t get you very far. You can basically ignore its Silver as it doesn’t give you anything meaningful beyond free seat selection, priority check-in and boarding.

It may make sense to reach Gold though. The benefits are substantial when you fly VS: free exit row selection, extra luggage, Clubhouse and arrival lounges access, to name a few. Even better, many of these benefits also apply when you fly with:

  • Delta
  • Air France
  • KLM
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Virgin Australia
  • Air New Zealand

If you do fly with these airlines regularly, it may be worth doing a few mileage runs to hit VS’s Gold status! After all, it is probably much easier than reaching elite status with any of these airlines themselves.

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