(Program Reviews - Side by Side Comparison - Website Reviews)
Rated: February 2012- The Virgin Atlantic website describes the airline's founding, detailing its growth throughout the eighties, nineties and "naughties." No, that's not a misprint, it's a bit of the cheeky attitude that owner Sir Richard Branson has used to brand himself, the British-based airline and all things related.
That same attitude is evident throughout the Flying Club portions of the website, where users can find information for frequent flyers. On the Flying Club's main page, members are invited to "The Lounge" (aka the club's online space) and all are encouraged to become "Swingers" (participants in the members' golf tournament). For those who aren't members, there's a simple online enrollment form.
Members can navigate the site with the links lining the left side of the page. You'll find a membership overview, mileage earning and spending details, elite-level information, links for transferring and buying miles, program partners, news and offers, competitions, terms and conditions and more. If you can't find what you're looking for, you can try the "Search" function. There is also a "Contact Us" page for more elusive information.
The news and promotions pages are full of deals, though we found at times that the information's updating lagged a little. And to see the most current promotions, you must log in to view everything. This is a potentially annoying feature of the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club site: The casual observer can't take a quick peek at all the juiciest details.
Once you're logged in, a whole smorgasbord of additional interactive features becomes available. You can claim missing miles, check tier points, keep tabs on your progress to the next elite level, view your account balance, and even check recent transactions online. There is also a section of promotions labeled "Exclusive Virgin Atlantic Offers, Just for You" which members may find tantalizing. There's even a page titled "Your Messages," which contains program news obstensibly targeted to your particular interests.
The program's award charts are available in an easy-to-read format, and you can also use the handy "Spending Calculator" to determine exact mileage for a planned trip. And of course, flights are just one of the award possibilities for club members. Check out "flying club partners" for additional options.
Overall, the site is genuinely useful as well as chockful of information, which is certainly as good as the competition's. Perhaps more importantly, with its little "attitude" the website makes frequent travel just a bit more fun ... and who among us doesn't welcome a little more of that.