Emirates and Virgin America announced frequent flier partnership yesterday. Emirates Skywards can earn and redeem miles on Virgin America flights and vice versa.
I first wrote about this partnership in making on October 1, 2013 (access the piece here).
Virgin America Elevate members can earn free 250 points by entering to chance win a trip to Dubai. You can get your free points here.
Emirates is offering up to 15,000 bonus miles for trips from the US to the Middle East/Indian Subcontinental. You can sign up for the bonus miles offer here.
Emirates Skywards Members:
Earning on Virgin America
The number of Skywards miles that you earn is dependent of the Virgin America fare class purchased. Business class fares earn 2 miles per mile flown and deep discount economy 0.5 miles per mile flown. You can access the Virgin America partner page here.
Redeeming on Virgin America
You can only redeem for economy and Main Cabin Select on Virgin America flights. First class is not available using Skywards miles. The transcontinental flights seem to require 40,000 miles in economy and 60,000 miles in Main Cabin Select that is quite expensive.
Virgin America Elevate Members:
Earning on Emirates
The number of Elevate points that you earn is a percentage of the flight distance in miles and the fare class booked. You can access the Emirates partner page here.
Redeeming on Emirates
Virgin America hasn’t published Emirates award chart, but has a calculator on its website. Seems that you cannot redeem Virgin America Elevate points for first class. The taxes and fees on Emirates flights are high mainly due to the fuel surcharge component that Virgin America apparently collects. You can access the award calculator here.
Although there are several airlines branded under the Virgin-brand, they are all run separately. Virgin Atlantic is partly owned by Delta, Virgin Australia by Etihad (the rival of Emirates), and Virgin America has now partnered with Emirates.
Emirates also has partnerships with JetBlue and Alaska in the United States to use them as feeder airlines supporting their US flights.