With Virgin Atlantic now part of the global SkyTeam Alliance, its Flying Club program is even more lucrative than before. Along with all of Virgin Atlantic’s existing partners, points bookings are now possible across most of SkyTeam. For instance, you can use Flying Club to book Vietnam Airlines flights from Australia – and there’s plenty of availability.

By late 2023, all SkyTeam airlines will be bookable using Virgin Points. That’s the currency of Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. Despite the similar name, they’re not to be confused with Virgin Australia’s Velocity Points. Flying Club ‘Virgin Points’ are separate to Virgin Australia ‘Velocity Points’, and you can’t transfer points between the two programs.

But if you have a credit card attached to American Express Membership Rewards (MR), you can convert MR points directly into Virgin Points with Flying Club. Yes, this means that Membership Rewards now has a direct SkyTeam transfer partner.

You can also now earn Virgin Points when travelling across SkyTeam. You’ll find those earn rates on the Virgin Atlantic website. As expected, earn rates vary depending on the airline flown, cabin class and flight distance. Better yet, Virgin Points never expire – so you can spend them as quickly or sporadically as you like.

But once you’ve amassed a nice little pile of Virgin Points, what are your options when it comes to SkyTeam flights? I’m delighted you asked!

A quick Flying Club recap: SkyTeam’s Air France, Delta and KLM

Prior to joining SkyTeam, Virgin Atlantic already held partnerships with Air France, Delta and KLM. This made it possible to earn and spend Virgin Points with these SkyTeam airlines, via Flying Club.

While Virgin Atlantic is now a SkyTeam member itself, these arrangements remain unchanged. This means there’s been no increase in the number of Virgin Points needed to book flights with these existing partners.

For example, a one-way Economy Class flight on Delta from Sydney to Los Angeles still costs 45,000 Virgin Points. In Delta One (Business Class), the rate remains at 165,000 Virgin Points, one-way.

US domestic flights operated by Delta begin at 7,500 Virgin Points in Economy Class and 17,500 Virgin Points in the premium cabin (Delta First Class or Delta One), one-way.

Flying Club’s redemption rates on SkyTeam’s Air France and KLM are more attractive. In fact, they significantly trump the number of Qantas Points needed to book many comparable flights. (Qantas is a member of the rival oneworld Alliance, but maintains its own partnerships with Air France and KLM).

Here are a couple of these sweet spots, and how they compare to booking the same flights using Qantas Points.

Economy Class
(Flying Club)
Business Class
(Flying Club)
Economy Class
(Qantas FF)
Business Class
(Qantas FF)
Short European flights e.g.
London-Paris (Air France)
London-Amsterdam (KLM)
4,000-4,500 Virgin Points8,000-9,000 Virgin Points10,000 Qantas Points20,000 Qantas Points
Asia to Europe e.g.
Singapore-Paris (Air France)
Singapore-Amsterdam (KLM)
21,000-31,000 Virgin Points112,000-122,000 Virgin Points45,000 Qantas Points104,500 Qantas Points
Flying Club uses off-peak/peak pricing with Air France and KLM, thus the ranges given.

As you’ll see, Flying Club requires fewer Virgin Points for a short-haul Business Class ticket compared to the number of Qantas Points needed for Economy! Qantas Points are the better pick for Business Class flights between Asia and Europe though, when booking with Air France and KLM.

Taxes, fees and charges are payable on all redemptions.

Flying Club’s new SkyTeam redemption table

Aside from Air France, Delta and KLM, Virgin Atlantic takes a simpler approach to all other SkyTeam reward bookings. That’s because a single redemption chart covers all of the recent SkyTeam additions to the Flying Club portfolio. This includes:

  • Aerolíneas Argentinas
  • AeroMexico
  • AirEuropa
  • China Airlines
  • Czech Airlines
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Kenya Airways
  • Korean Air
  • Middle East Airlines (MEA)
  • Saudia
  • Vietnam Airlines
  • XiamenAir

Just note, Flying Club redemptions on AeroMexico, China Airlines, Garuda Indonesia and Saudia will all be ‘live shortly’. Nonetheless, here’s Flying Club’s consolidated SkyTeam reward chart:

Flight distance (one way)Economy ClassPremium Economy Class*Business Class
Up to 500 miles5,500 Points9,000 Points14,500 Points
501-1,000 miles7,000 Points12,500 Points15,500 Points
1,001-1,500 miles10,000 Points16,000 Points21,500 Points
1,501-2,250 miles11,500 Points22,000 Points35,000 Points
2,251-3,000 miles15,500 Points26,500 Points40,000 Points
3,001-4,000 miles20,500 Points37,500 Points60,000 Points
4,001-5,000 miles25,500 Points47,500 Points75,000 Points
5,001-6,000 miles31,000 Points57,500 Points85,000 Points
6,001-7,000 miles37,000 Points70,000 Points100,000 Points
7,001-12,000 miles50,000 Points95,000 Points140,000 Points
*Only available on Aerolíneas Argentinas (within Argentina and within South America), China Airlines and Vietnam Airlines.

It’s not possible to book First Class on any of these SkyTeam partner airlines using Virgin Points from Flying Club. Only Business Class, Economy – and where available, Premium Economy – are bookable using Virgin Points.

Meanwhile, Flying Club members won’t be able to earn or spend points on SkyTeam’s China Eastern until July 2023. The same is true for spending points on ITA Airways, which won’t come online until ‘later in 2023’. Virgin Points can now be earned on paid ITA Airways flights, though. Redemption rates on these two airlines are yet to be confirmed.

Using Flying Club to book SkyTeam flights from Australia

The chart above is particularly handy for calculating the number of Virgin Points you’d need to book most SkyTeam flights via Flying Club. But if you’re trying to cut through the numbers and discover what this all means for Aussie travellers, fear not! We’ve got your back.

While this isn’t a comprehensive list of all SkyTeam routes and destinations in Australia, here’s a look at how many Virgin Points you can expect to spend via Flying Club.

AirlineRouteEconomy ClassPremium Economy ClassBusiness Class
China AirlinesBrisbane to Auckland10,000 Points16,000 Points21,500 Points
China AirlinesSydney, Melbourne or Brisbane to Taipei25,500 Points47,500 Points75,000 Points
Garuda IndonesiaSydney or Melbourne to Denpasar (Bali)15,500 PointsN/A40,000 Points
Garuda IndonesiaSydney or Melbourne to Jakarta20,500 PointsN/A60,000 Points
Korean AirBrisbane to Seoul25,500 PointsN/A75,000 Points
Korean AirSydney to Seoul31,000 PointsN/A85,000 Points
Vietnam AirlinesSydney or Melbourne to Ho Chi Minh City
Sydney to Hanoi
25,500 Points47,500 Points75,000 Points
XiamenAirSydney or Melbourne to Fuzhou
Sydney or Melbourne to Xiamen
25,500 PointsN/A75,000 Points

Most of these redemption rates are rather ‘standard’ – neither lucrative nor poor. Although there’s still a sweet spot to call out: China Airlines to Taipei.

These same flights to Taipei can be booked using Qantas Points, but the rates are more advantageous in Economy and Premium Economy via Flying Club. Comparatively, Qantas charges 30,200 Qantas Points for Economy (versus 25,500 Virgin Points), and 59,000 Qantas Points for Premium Economy (compared to 47,500 Virgin Points).

The rates for China Airlines’ Brisbane-Auckland flights are also attractive, although reward seats are extremely scarce on this route. Given Air New Zealand is also a Flying Club partner, that’d be an easier option.

Summing up

Now that Virgin Atlantic is a SkyTeam member, Flying Club is significantly more powerful than before. But we must admit, Flying Club was already quite good.

Despite the SkyTeam move, the program retains its numerous Star Alliance partners. This makes it possible to also earn and spend Virgin Points on a broader collection of carriers. Namely, Air New Zealand, ANA, SAS, Singapore Airlines and South African Airways. (That said, Flying Club has just increased the redemption rates on ANA, without prior notice).

Outside of the global alliances, Virgin Atlantic also retains Virgin Australia as a partner. The same is true of Hawaiian Airlines, IndiGo and LATAM Airlines. That provides a lot of flexibility when it’s time to spend your hard-earned Virgin Points.

Once those few SkyTeam stragglers are brought online, Flying Club will count 28 active airline partners – Virgin Atlantic included. Given you can transfer Amex Membership Rewards points to Flying Club, and buy them too, the prospect of earning Virgin Points with Virgin Atlantic just got a whole lot sweeter.

When it comes time to book, some flights will be bookable online – such as with Air France, Delta and KLM. For other partners, you may need to call +44 344 209 2722. As that’s a UK-based number, international rates may apply, depending on what’s covered by your phone plan.

Also read: The Ultimate Guide to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Feature image courtesy of Virgin Atlantic and SkyTeam.

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How to earn and redeem Virgin Points on SkyTeam was last modified: March 12th, 2023 by Chris Chamberlin