Virgin Atlantic Partners

Blog reader Walter was asking me about Star Alliance programs to accrue miles on flights from HKG to LHR. Specifically he wanted to stop using CX Marco Polo and switch to UA Mileage Plus since he also flys to GUM, and UA is the only non-stop carrier.

BA and CX are the two major carriers to London and both part of OneWorld. VS also runs daily flights and has numerous partners. NZ (*A) only has 5 flights a week (none Monday or Thursday.)

Looking at the name, you would think Virgin Atlantic doesn’t fly to HKG, but they do, and a good alternative to get to London vs BA or CX. However, not being part of a global alliance, I wanted to investigate if you can accrue and redeem miles for VS and UA.

Plenty of Star Alliance airlines that partner with Virgin.

  • Air China
  • Air New Zealand
  • ANA
  • SAS
  • Singapore Airlines
  • South African Airways
  • US Airways

United Airlines used to be a partner, but since the merger of CO and UA this has ceased.

Effective February 12, 2012 our OnePass and codeshare partnership with Virgin Atlantic terminated. Please refer to the Requesting a credit to your MileagePlus account for information regarding obtaining missing mileage credit. OnePass reward reservations for travel on Virgin Atlantic ticketed on/before February 12, 2012 are valid for one year from the date ticketed.

Travelers are used to collecting 100% of the miles on U.S. carrier flights for deeply discounted economy tickets, while non-international carriers often give 50% or 25% mileage credit. Due to the need to fly UA, I will only look at the programs which provide 100% mileage credit for paid economy tickets.

Only Singapore Airlines, South African, and US Air allow 100% mileage accrual for paid economy class.

These three airlines also provide the same mileage accrual for VS economy tickets.

Economy classB, L, M, R, U, Y100%
Economy classE, N, O, Q, V, X50%

Of these three, U.S. Airways is the most generous when it comes to their redemptions, *A award chart. They also have EXTREMELY lax rules when it comes to stopovers, connections, and routing for awards as well.

HKG to Europe: 60K miles
HKG to North America: 60K miles
HKG to North Asia: 25K miles

In summary, I think US Airways Dividend Miles is the best program to accrue both UA and VS flights on. Just be sure that you’re ticketed on a fare class that can accrue mileage.

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1 Response

  1. walter says:

    Hey HK Travelblogger,

    Thanks for the research, it’s really useful. I think I may as well stick to UA for now since I hav eso many miles with them and maybe give NZ a shot. Also, AA is considering a merger with US Airways, in which case, they might join One World?

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