Bits: BA removes hot food on long short-haul routes, Virgin launches Varadero

News in brief:

British Airways removes hot food from Band 4 flights

In order not to appear to be unduly criticising British Airways again (see my main article today!), I will assume that this is a genuine improvement to services and not a cost cutting move …..

From the end of next week, hot food is to be removed from Euro Traveller on ‘Band 4’ short haul flights.  There will now be no short haul routes serving warm meals down the back.  This includes:

  • Athens
  • Istanbul
  • Larnaca
  • St Petersburg
  • Bucharest
  • Sofia

The new cold meal – which we should assume is an improvement on the old hot meal – will be served in a box and not on a tray.  Again, I don’t want to suggest in any way that this is a downgrade as I’m sure there are good reasons why eating out of a box is preferable to eating off a tray.

Club Europe will continue to receive a hot meal but the side salad is to be removed.  Difficult to spin that bit in a positive way, to be honest, unless a lot of customers were accidentally spilling the dressing onto their clothes or something ….

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Varadero Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic to launch Varadero in Cuba

Virgin Atlantic announced a raft of changes for Summer 2017 yesterday.

The most interesting is that, from April, Virgin will fly from Gatwick to the Cuban beach resort of Varadero, photo above.  There will be one flight per week to complement the existing two flights to Havana.

The other changes are:

Gatwick to Vegas increasing from seven to nine flights per week in April and May

Gatwick to Barbados increasing from seven to nine flights per week in April

Gatwick to Montego Bay reduced from three to two flights per week in May, June, September and October

Belfast to Orlando increasing to four flights per week in late June and early July

Glasgow to Orlando increasing to four flights per week in late June and early July

Manchester to Barbados moving from one 747 flight per week to two flights on smaller A330 aircraft, with an additional third flight during the Summer school holidays

Manchester to Orlando increasing from 13 to 14 flights per week during the Summer school holidays

Remember that these changes are for 2017 and do not impact schedules for this year.

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  1. OT:
    1. What do virgin/Tesco check on cc conversion? My sister and I have same surname/address. Do people think this will go thru if I transfer her cc to my Virgin FC?

    2. Also, can one have 2 e-rewards accounts with same email address (I already have one going to avios but need one for virgin)? or what is the way around this? can I join with one email then change to the one that will match my FC?….I just want more ways of earning virgin FC as I am a little bit short on a redemption.

    Thanks in advance

    • I just created another email address (well several) for this purpose.
      You my, however, have problems with the 90 day rule for multiple redemptions if time is of the essence (even with different names, maybe try different Pcs).

    • Virgin transfer from Tesco should be ok. I had two different erewards accounts with 2 different emails but they sussed it out somehow and suspended both accounts till I cancelled one! I stuck with the IHG one as it gave me more options to transfer eg. Avios, virgin, AA IHG Hilton

  2. Leonid says:

    Does anyone know if Moscow is classified as short-haul? They used to fly long-haul aircraft there so I wonder if hot food is also removed for this flight…

  3. Doug M says:

    How unfair that the new improved cold meal is only served in ET, whilst those in CE must continue to endure the old and unimporved hot meal. Surely the improvemnt should be made to those up front paying more.

  4. Wally1976 says:

    Can anyone suggest what we might expect to get flying LGW->PFO in August in ET (12:20 departure) and the return (20:10 departure) some in ET and some in CE? Thanks!

    • Wally1976 says:

      Food-wise that is!

      • Sounds like the meal in a box for ET – eg a pastrami roll plus a sticky sweet, I guess they’ll rotate the offering over time. CE should be better.

  5. Nick Haley says:

    Half OT, not entirely… But… Raffles do you take (article) requests?

    After a few fun years chasing BA Companion Ticket Biz redemptions — I am thinking of turning my attention away.

    Would you do a Virgin Flying Club University page? I somehow found it easy to run up 100K Avios in a year to spend double that with 2-for-1.

    Wondering if it’s possible to do that with Virgin and what are the fastest methods 🙂 !

    • Given that Virgin is an Amex transfer partner and you can get both of its MBNA credit cards (which would have netted you 35,000 between them in the recent promo) and you can get 12,000 for opening an ISA at present, 100k should be simple. There is no 2-4-1 for miles on Virgin though.

      • Nick Haley says:

        Thanks for the quick reply(!) – ah there’s two of us so would need 200k in a year. Thanks as ever.

        • Genghis says:

          There’s also the frequent Virgin transfer bonuses from Tesco though we might see a change in that through the revamp of Clubcard.