Virgin Atlantic announced some major network changes today that will mean more opportunities for Delta flyers to give the popular Virgin product a try…and earn or burn SkyMiles while doing so.
Here’s what’s coming our way in 2015:
>A year-round daily roundtrip between London Heathrow and Detroit
>A new daily nonstop between Atlanta and Manchester
>An additional summertime nonstop between London and Atlanta and San Francisco
>Additional frequencies on the busy routes between London and New York JFK and Los Angeles
>An additional daily flight between London and Miami
Flights are not yet loaded and bookable, but soon the added capacity will mean more award seats for Delta SkyMiles members.
Virgin’s nonstops between Atlanta and Heathrow (announced last May) begin on October 26 using Airbus A330s.
Virgin has also announced that it will build a new Clubhouse airport lounge at LAX.
It’s aging fleet of Airbus A340s will soon be replaced with 16 new Boeing 787 Dreamliners– the first of which will be deployed 0n Boston-London in October.
In order to bulk up in the U.S., Virgin is withdrawing from several markets elsewhere– it will cease flying from London to Tokyo, Mumbai, Vancouver, and Cape Town.
Related: Virgin Atlantic to fly to Atlanta!
Here’s a look at Virgin Atlantic’s new long haul network in the U.S. including the new flights which come on board in 2015:
- Las Vegas/ Manchester
- Las Vegas/Glasgow
- Los Angeles/Heathrow
- New York (JFK)/Heathrow
- New York (Newark)/Heathrow
- San Francisco/Heathrow
- Washington DC/Heathrow
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For now, Delta flyers can earn SkyMiles (including MQMs) or burn SkyMiles for Virgin Atlantic flights– when you book flights on Delta.com, Virgin flights are shown as options. However, it’s still uncertain when or if Delta Medallions will be able to use miles or Global Upgrade certificates for upgrades. Delta SkyMiles Gold Medallion (and higher) members get dedicated check in, priority security, boarding and baggage when flying Virgin Atlantic.
In the past, Virgin’s Upper Class business class product and over-the-top lounges far exceeded anything Delta could offer. But since Delta has been upping its game lately, the product and service gap is narrowing. In what situations would you choose Virgin over Delta… or vice versa? Please leave your comments below.
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