Members of Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club may have seen an email on Monday the 20th, setting out Virgin’s intention to create a new company, Virgin Group Loyalty Company (VGLC), that will launch a Virgin-wide loyalty programme to reward customer loyalty across Virgin branded companies. The new loyalty programme plans to launch in 2019. More information about the move can be found on the Virgin Atlantic website (here*).
In a move similar to that of Avios, VGLC, will own and manage the new Virgin loyalty programme which will use Flying Club miles as it currency. Virgin Atlantic will retain control over tier points and tier benefits, as well as how many miles you earn from a flight and how many miles you need for a flight redemption. Virgin Red will also be integrated into the new loyalty programme.
Like Avios, consumers will be able to have a miles-earning loyalty account with VGLC without having to join the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club (Avios allowed you to have an avios.com account without joining the BA Executive Club).
Although it will be possible to join both the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and the new VGLC programme using separate accounts, existing Flying Club members will be able to log in to the VGLC website using their Flying Club log-in details and earn and spend from their Flying Club balance.
Interestingly Andrew Swaffield has been announced as the CEO of the new company. Since he was previously Chief Executive of Avios, overseeing its creation, the new company appears to be in good hands.
All-in-all, this is an interesting development for both Virgin Atlantic and the Virgin brand, and will no-doubt increase the earning and redemption opportunities for Flying Club miles. Combined with the excellent credit card that was launched earlier this year, and the ability to redeem Flying Club miles on a range of airline partners, this latest announcement will help to ensure that Virgin’s loyalty scheme remains competitive with Avios. If you are not currently collecting Virgin miles you may wish to think about whether now is the time to start.
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