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DonRocks

Virgin America vis-a-vis Virgin Atlantic

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I joined Virgin America's frequent flier program today, but I don't seem to be a member of the "Virgin Atlantic Flying Club."

Would someone please let me know if these are one-and-the-same, or two separate programs? (Or, for that matter, two separate airlines?) I assumed they were the same thing, but maybe one's a subsidiary of the other, or something like that.

Do you need to register for both programs?

(And in case you're wondering why I ask, the Chase Sapphire Reserve Visa allows cardholders to transfer points to the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, which I don't seem to be a member of, despite joining the Virgin America program.)

You all have allowed this community to become a pretty awesome frequent-flyer and credit card-point resource - thepointsguy.com is great, but you can't control what he writes; here, we have the power of experienced travelers, and the kindness of people who care about others - it's a great combo.

(In case you haven't been able to tell - as I'm growing older, and Matt's away at school, I'm starting to develop a healthy dose of wanderlust, despite my injury - I refuse to let it keep me down. Or, at least I'm trying.)

Thanks in advance,
Rocks

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Okay, I'll answer my own question for the benefit of others:

Virgin America and Virgin Atlantic are - it appears - two different companies operating under the same umbrella.

Virginia America's loyalty program is called "Elevate."

Virgin Atlantic's loyalty program is called "Flying Club."

I joined Elevate, and then tried to sign into Flying club unsuccessfully with my Elevate number.

So I then joined Flying Club, using the same email, and got a separate membership number - in other words, they're two separate programs.

However, there is clearly some overlap, as they "partner" with one another - for example, here's Virgin America's page showing that they partner with Virgin Atlantic:

Screenshot 2016-10-23 at 10.38.47.png

My ultimate goal here is to transfer some Visa points over to Virgin America, but the Chase Sapphire Reserve Visa appears to partner with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club; not Virgin America Elevate. Now, my task is to see if there's some roundabout way to transfer my Visa points to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, and use those to get a flight on Virgin America.

I don't know if I can do this yet, and I'm not going to make the transfer until I'm sure I can - I'll keep you posted. But, for now, I can at least tell you that these are two separate programs, each with their own separate membership.

---

Okay, there's something very fundamental that I didn't realize before: I thought "Virgin America" was The Big Company, and "Virgin Atlantic" was a smaller, east-coast subsidiary; it's just the opposite: Virgin Atlantic is the larger, international airline (i.e., it crosses the Atlantic - duh!), and Virgin America flies within the domestic United States - if you go from one U.S. city to another, you'll be on Virgin America; if you go from one U.S. city to somewhere across the Atlantic Ocean, you'll be on Virgin Atlantic. *Now* I understand.

---

Incidentally, I tried to "see how far I could go" when it came to transferring points to my (newly created) accounts for both Virgin Atlantic and British Airways (I joined Virgin Atlantic on their own website, but I joined British Airways through the Chase Visa website) - in both cases, I got the exact same message as a response:

Screenshot 2016-10-23 at 10.47.36.png

This could be because they're brand new accounts, and they don't allow the very first transaction to be a points transfer - I don't know.

---

Question: Do people benefit from this type of information, or am I sitting here talking to myself? I'm happy to share my experiences if they help people, but *only* if they help people. Would someone please let me know? We could, and perhaps should, have a separate "Air Travel" subforum as part of the "Intrepid Traveler" forum, but only if people will participate and benefit from it - I think it could be very helpful because people can share actual experiences with actual issues (think about the Global Entry thread, for example). I also think we should have a separate "Credit Cards" forum somewhere - there was enormous interest in that Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa thread, but there were also about five different topics discussed in that thread - they could easily be broken out and better-organized if they had their own forum (The question is: where? Credit Cards are used for everything; not just travel.)

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On 10/23/2016 at 10:42 AM, DonRocks said:

Question: Do people benefit from this type of information, or am I sitting here talking to myself? I'm happy to share my experiences if they help people, but *only* if they help people. Would someone please let me know? We could, and perhaps should, have a separate "Air Travel" subforum as part of the "Intrepid Traveler" forum, but only if people will participate and benefit from it - I think it could be very helpful because people can share actual experiences with actual issues (think about the Global Entry thread, for example). I also think we should have a separate "Credit Cards" forum somewhere - there was enormous interest in that Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa thread, but there were also about five different topics discussed in that thread - they could easily be broken out and better-organized if they had their own forum (The question is: where? Credit Cards are used for everything; not just travel.)

I tend to get my information from FlyerTalk and travel blogs first, but am also much more inclined to post and help folks out on this board.

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2 hours ago, silentbob said:

I tend to get my information from FlyerTalk and travel blogs first, but am also much more inclined to post and help folks out on this board.

Totally Agree.

Don, you may be able to transfer your points to Virgin America by transferring your Chase points to a hotel program, then transferring those points through to Elevate. Haven't ever done it though, and would be wary of any transfer fees...

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