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Redeeming Virgin Points to fly ANA Business or First Class to Japan has long been one of the great ‘travel hacks’. Arguably, it’s not just the best Virgin redemption, but one of the best value frequent flyer redemptions full stop.
Sebastian over at LoyaltyLobby just came across something extremely interesting that makes these incredible redemptions even better: It is now possible to book one way flights.
Historically, only round-trip flights were permitted, and as any connections would price as a separate redemption, this wasn’t hugely flexible. If you wanted to go to Tokyo and back home (and there was award availability), it was amazing, but being able to redeem one-way offers much more flexibility.
The relevant page on the Virgin website now states the following:
“The table below shows round-trip mileage, not including applicable taxes and surcharges. If a journey requires a connecting flight or stopover to reach the destination, points are charged for each sector.
One-way trips are permitted at half of the round-trip mileage shown below.“
One-way flights can therefore now be booked between the UK/Europe and Japan for:
- Economy: 32,500 Virgin Points
- Business Class: 47,500 Virgin Points
- First Class: 60,000 Virgin Points
ANA’s premium cabins are superb, so it is definitely worth paying the relatively small amount more for First Class (or at least Business Class) if you can.
From the UK, you should expect to pay about £235 in taxes/surcharges for Business or First Class:
In the opposite direction, it shouldn’t be much more than £25:
To be clear, your ‘out of pocket’ cost for a First Class return would be about £260 + 120,000 Virgin Points. That’s for flights that retail at over £11,000!
Given how easy it is to earn Virgin Points in the UK (compared to say Alaska Mileage Plan Miles), this is a redemption option you should pay close attention to. File it away for future use, even if you aren’t even really thinking about long haul travel yet!