In an interesting press release, Virgin Atlantic announced that it will created a unified loyalty program across all Virgin Group brands including Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club. The new program will use the Flying Club “miles” as it’s currency. While Flying Club isn’t the most lucrative points program, there are some nice redemption sweet spots in the program at present like Transatlantic Premium Economy flights.

Per the press release from Virgin Atlantic:

Today we’re announcing the intention for the Virgin Group and Virgin Atlantic to launch a new Virgin-wide loyalty programme, with unique and differentiated reward opportunities, to reward customer loyalty across Virgin branded companies. This new loyalty programme will offer members the chance to earn and spend ‘miles’, the currency of Virgin Atlantic’s frequent flyer programme, across a range of products and services.

A new company, Virgin Group Loyalty Company (VGLC), will be established to own and manage this exciting Virgin loyalty programme. Virgin Red, an existing loyalty start-up within the Virgin Group, will also be integrated into the group-wide loyalty programme, as we bring reward across the Virgin family together into a single company and create a more valuable offer for our customers. VGLC will launch in 2019 and will be owned by Virgin Group and Delta Air Lines.

Flying Club will continue to be owned and managed by Virgin Atlantic as its frequent flyer programme and will continue to use miles as its currency. Flying Club members will continue to earn Tier Points and earn and spend miles across Virgin Atlantic, Delta and a range of airline and other partners as they do today. In the future Flying Club members can look forward to an expanded range of valuable ways to earn and spend miles that will be powered by the new Virgin loyalty programme.

We don’t have much detail on the new program and I’m sure more will slowly roll out over the coming months. This feels very much like a movement towards a broad loyalty current like Avios. I can only hope that the technology behind the new Virgin loyalty scheme will be better than that of Avios. I can’t tell you how many late nights I’ve had trying to move Avios around my accounts. Or even worse: long calls with helpless BA or Iberia phone support folks.

Until we have more details, it’s hard to make any judgement at this point. I’m looking forward to hearing more.

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