Getting enough miles on Virgin Atlantic to fly from London to South Africa

Virgin Atlantic offers flights from London to either Johannesburg or Cape Town for the following amounts of Flying Club miles:

25,000 Flying Club miles each way in Economy

37,500 Flying Club miles each way in Premium Economy

50,000 Flying Club miles each way in Upper Class

Round-trips cost twice as many miles as one-way, of course.

Now that you know how many miles you’ll need, you have to earn them somehow. Fortunately, there are many ways to do so. First, of course, you’ll need to join Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club frequent flyer program, which you can do on their web site, www.virgin-atlantic.com.

Once you’re a Flying Club member, you’ll earn 1 Flying Club mile for each mile you fly on Virgin Atlantic. If you fly in the more expensive Premium Economy or Upper Class cabins, you will earn a higher number of miles – typically 1.5 miles for each mile flown in Premium Economy, and 2 miles for each mile flown in Upper Class. You will also earn Tier Points for each flight, based on how far you fly and in which cabin. Earning 15 Tier Points will make you a Silver member, after which you receive 25% bonus miles, and earning 40 will make you a Gold member, after which you receive 50% bonus miles.

You can also earn miles by flying on Virgin’s partner airlines – Air China, Air Jamaica, Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways, US Airways, BMI, Caribbean Star, Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, Gulf Air, Hawaiian Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines and South African Airways. Tier Points are also earned on some of these partner airlines.

You can also earn Flying Club miles by renting cars from Avis, Dollar, Hertz, and (in Barbados) Stoutes, by using an American Express or Diners Club card, by converting points from hotel programs, or by doing business with certain countries with which Virgin has a partnership.

Since most of Virgin’s flights are long-distance, miles do add up quickly. If you fly between London and Cape Town regularly in economy class, and buy your tickets on a Virgin Atlantic credit card, every two paid trips you take will earn you enough miles for a free one!

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