Everyone loves to get things cheaper, and the same applies to flights. Just because one program charges 100,000 miles doesn’t mean that’s the cheapest ticket available, each frequent flyer program is valued differently, and it’s a great thing to learn about. I’ve previously talked about Alaska and AAdvantage miles for cheaper Qantas redemptions, In this post, I’ll explain how to get cheaper Virgin Australia redemptions using Virgin America’s program.

First of all, lets compare how many points are required for each program: E.g. Brisbane – Sydney (Oneway) 

Virgin Australia 

  • Economy – 7,800
  • Business  – 15,500

Virgin America:

Virgin Australia:

  • Economy  –  44,800
  • Premium Economy – 71,700
  • Business Class – 95,500

Let’s try a longer flight, E.g. Brisbane – Los Angeles (Oneway)

Virgin America:

As you can see the miles required when redeeming through Virgin America are almost half of what Virgin Australia require, on top of that, the taxes are much less.

How do I get Virgin America Miles?

As the merger between Alaska and Virgin America gets closer it’s now a little harder to get miles. You used to be able to transfer miles to SPG than transfer across but was cut a few days ago. The new best way to get the miles now is buying them. Here is what Virgin America charge in USD. Keep in mind you can are only allowed to buy 60,000 miles per year.

How do I find If the seats I want are available?

To search for available seats I recommend 3 resources. Expertflyer, which now finds Business and Economy awardsDelta’s website and of course Virgin Australia’s website.

If you’re wanting to find Los Angeles flights I recommend reading my post on Virgin Australia’s long-haul availability trends.

How do I book these flights?

Sadly you cannot book Virgin Australia award tickets online so you have to call their call center. The number to ring is 877-359-8474. I’ve used the call center before and found the agents to be helpful and often quite friendly. You also will be charged $20 for booking over the phone.