Have you always dreamt of flying in Business Class but not been able to afford it? Today I will teach you how you can upgrade to Upper Class on Virgin Atlantic without paying a penny extra.


What Do You Get on Virgin Atlantic Upper Class?

Virgin Atlantic do not offer a traditional First Class cabin. Upper Class is considered a step above competing Business Class cabins at other airlines, for many reasons, which I will cover below.

virgin atlantic upper class photo

Upper Class Lie Flat Bed


Unlike many other Business Class cabins, Virgin Atlantic offer a fully flat bed on Upper Class, including a mattress. Your private cabin also includes a pull-out entertainment system loaded with all the latest films and TV shows, a Virgin Atlantic sleepsuit (Virgin speak for pyjamas) and amenity kit.


virgin atlantic upper class meal

All meals on Virgin Atlantic Upper Class are freshly prepared.


Meals on Virgin Atlantic Upper Class are freshly prepared and include a wide selection of alcoholic drinks, including champagne. If you get peckish throughout the flight, you can also order snacks such as sliders at any point during the flight.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Bar

The Upper Class Onboard Bar


Virgin Atlantic Upper Class has a glamorous bar at its centre, where you can site and have a chat with your friends or fellow travellers while enjoying a cocktail or champagne. A great way to stretch your legs and experience the true Virgin Atlantic experience – Including those famous ice cubes shaped like Richard Branson's head.


virgin atlantic heathrow clubhouse photo

Unwind at the fabulous Virgin Atlantic Heathrow Clubhouse.


Passengers flying on Upper Class get exclusive access to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at Heathrow – One of the most renowned airport lounges in the world. Here you will find a huge selection of complimentary food, drinks and entertainment available at no extra charge. The Heathrow Clubhouse also has an on-site spa, where you can receive a complimentary treatments like an express facial or indulge in extended treatments like massages at a small additional charge (around £25-£30).


How Many Miles Do You Need to Upgrade on Virgin Atlantic?

The table below shows you how many Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles you will need to book a one-way cabin upgrade to Upper Class or Premium Economy.

To/From UK Upgrade Economy to Premium (Y,B,R,L,U,M) Upgrade Premium to Upper (W,S) Upgrade Economy to Upper (Y,B,R,L,U,M)
North America
Atlanta 10,000 10,000 20,000
New York (JFK/Newark) 10,000 10,000 20,000
Washington DC 10,000 10,000 20,000
Chicago 10,000 10,000 20,000
Miami 10,000 10,000 20,000
Orlando 12,500 12,500 25,000
Las Vegas 12,500 12,500 25,000
Los Angeles 12,500 12,500 25,000
San Francisco 12,500 12,500 25,000
Vancouver 12,500 12,500 25,000
Cancun 12,500 12,500 25,000
Antigua 12,500 12,500 25,000
Barbados 12,500 12,500 25,000
Cuba 12,500 12,500 25,000
Grenada 12,500 12,500 25,000
Montego Bay (Jamaica) 12,500 12,500 25,000
St Lucia 12,500 12,500 25,000
Cape Town 15,000 15,000 30,000
Johannesburg 15,000 15,000 30,000
Lagos 10,000 10,000 20,000
Middle East
Dubai 10,000 10,000 20,000
Delhi 12,500 12,500 25,000
Mumbai 12,500 12,500 25,000
Far East
Hong Kong 12,500 12,500 25,000
Shanghai 12,500 12,500 25,000

How to Book a £3,500 Flight for Just £565

The cheapest way to book a Virgin Atlantic Upper Class ticket is by upgrading your flight with miles. Note, that your ticket will need to be booked in an upgradable fare bucket. The cheapest upgradable economy fare is the M class ticket. A return flight to Los Angeles in December booked on an M class Economy fare costs approximately £565 return. In comparison, the cheapest Upper Class ticket on the same flights costs around £3,500 return. So for the people that say miles aren't worth it, the proof is in the pudding in this case.

Step 1

The first thing you need to do is to check whether there are any available Upper Class seats available. To do this visit the Virgin Atlantic booking page, where you will be presented with a screen looking something like the picture below:

virgin atlantic upgrade booking

Virgin Atlantic have made it slightly easier to find dates with reward seats available, by highlighting which fare classes are available on their booking calendar. Availability is indicated beneath the date using the following colour code system:

Red = Economy Seats Available

White = Premium Economy Seats Available

Purple = Upper Class Seats Available

Virgin Atlantic Reward Flight Availability

Note, that sometimes when you click through, you will find that tickets aren't available in the indicated fare class. In that instance, you will just have to look for another date until you find one with availability. On the whole, this tool is infinitely better than what Virgin Atlantic offered up until about a year ago.

Step 2

Once you have found a date with available reward seats, you need to find out how much you will pay for the upgradable economy fare. The cheapest upgradable economy ticket is a class M ticket. Virgin have developed a tool to help you search for pricing in the various fare buckets. Follow this link to visit the Virgin Atlantic Companion Flight booking engine. Simply put in your dates, choose Economy (Lowest) as the Cabin and the fare class as M. This will then show you the cash fare you will need to pay in order to upgrade to Upper Class on Virgin Atlantic.

Virgin Atlantic Upgrade Flight Booking

If you have already booked your tickets, your fare code should be listed on your E-Ticket. Tickets booked through travel agents or third party vendors will usually be booked in a discounted non-upgradable fare class, but you may be in luck. It's always a good idea to check just in case.

Step 3

Now that you've found a date with upgradable fares within your budget, the next step is to book! The easiest way to do this, so that you ensure you don't end up losing out on an upgrade is to book by phone. The number to call is 0344 209 7777 from the UK. For other countries, you can check the local number on this page.

EXPIRED: Receive Up To 3,000 Bonus Miles when Joining Flying Club

If you haven't already joined the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, you can receive up to 3,000 bonus miles when signing up through a referral. Simply enter your email in the form below and we'll send you an email with the referral link. If you would like to receive more news and deals from Cheaper Luxury, then please tick the box asking if you would like to subscribe to our free email newsletter.

Photos by markyharky , crucially , crucially & mighty.travels

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