Bits: 50% bonus Virgin miles with Kaligo, see Sunny Afternoon and earn Avios, BA cancellation fees

News in brief:

50% bonus Virgin miles when you book hotels via

Online hotel booking site, which gives airline miles on every booking, is offering 50% bonus Virgin miles on every booking made by 30th June see here.  Your stay must be completed by 31st December.

There is no small print – both new and existing customers can take part and there is no minimum spend.

Remember that you will NOT earn hotel points or receive status benefits when you book via, so this option is best used for non-chain hotels.  Compare prices before you book as can vary sharply from hotel to hotel versus booking direct.

The special link for the Virgin offer is here.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Kaligo Virgin Atlantic

See ‘Sunny Afternoon’ for half price AND earn Avios!

A few weeks ago my wife and I went to see ‘Sunny Afternoon’, the musical based on the story of The Kinks, as the guests of new Avios partner – and a good night out it was too.  (It won the 2015 Olivier Award for Best New Musical so you don’t need to take my word for it).

‘Sunny Afternoon’ is LOVEtheatre’s ‘Musical of the Month’ and they have an exclusive offer of £34.50 for top price tickets, valid any day of the week.  Cheaper seats can be bought from £10.

Details are here.  You will also earn 3 Avios per £1 when you book this or any other show via LOVEtheatre.

Sunny Afternoon Avios Lovetheatre

British Airways changes cancellation fees (in your favour)

As part of the move to its new check-in system, British Airways announced a change in cancellation fees on semi-flexible tickets last month.  It moved from being a charge per ticket to a charge per segment.

This led to some ludicrous situations where expensive semi-flexible tickets were effectively non-refundable because of the fee.  A semi-flexible ticket from Dusseldorf to New York became €300 per segment, so the cancellation fee was €1,200!

Effective immediately, all published cancellation fees have been halved for semi-flexible tickets.  This means that, in the example above, cancellation would now only be €600.  For a standard return flight of two segments, the fee is now reduced to the original level before the changes took place.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

Flying Blue Petroleum - another good scheme for oil and energy sector employees
Important dates for your diary - offers about to close which you shouldn't miss
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  1. It’s not per segment, it’s per fare component. There is a difference. Your flight from Amsterdam to London to New York would have 2 segments, but if it’s a through fare from Amsterdam to New York, it’s just one fare component. Hence a return ticket, again using a through fare, would have 4 segments (AMS-LHR-JFK-LHR-AMS), and 2 fare components (AMS-NYC, NYC-AMS). So 2 cancellation penalties. Now if the fare was broken at London, and your ticket was calculated using separate fares AMS-LHR, LHR-NYC, NYC-LHR, LHR-AMS, then you would be assessed 4 penalities. The combined sum of each individual penalty per fare component, which in this case would be the same as the number of segments.

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  3. Tilly71 says:

    if you turn off auto convert in your clubcard account for VA miles redemptions after getting your 1000mile bonus, if you turn it back on just before the next Q end, do you get another bonus or do you need to leave auto convert off for a while?

    • I have just turned mine off after receiving the fourth bonus and will turn it back on at the very beginning of the next quarter. This gives me flexibility although I might actually go via Virgin (to Hilton) this quarter.

  4. O/T I suppose there might be one upside for points hounds: the interchange cap might disappear! It’s only a regulation, not a law, so it doesn’t figure in UK legislation.

    • This is an interesting point, hope you are right.

      • Raffles says:

        That won’t happen. Who is going to unpick consumer friendly legislation? In any event, it is an FCA regulation and doesn’t need to be legislated to be binding on regulated firms.

        • In what way is the interchange cap vonsumer friendly? The price of goods has not gone down at all.

          More consumers have lost out than have gained.

          It’s surely retail friendly rather than customer friendly.

          • That is a simplistic view though. On that basis shops should reprice each time petrol, electricity, rent etc changes. In reality you look at all your costs every 6 months then decide, if they are up overall, to raise prices.

            Changes prices also costs money (new catalogues, staff time, relabelling) – firms try to avoid doing it.

    • Perhaps in the distant future there maybe changes but I can’t see anything being done anytime soon, the only people who really benefits are going to be the credit card companies who will make larger margins at the cost of the retailer.

      Sadly for us the interchange fee reduction is actually of benefit to the retailers so they are not likely to welcome any higher fee changes now that they have been reduced.

  5. Michael says:

    O/T – BA Credit Card Fee: I booked 3 domestic flights yesterday – one BA, one Easyjet and one Ryanair – chosen because of routes and times.
    HOW can BA justify a £5 credit card fee? The flight cost £66 so £5 in fees seems absurd…best of all I used the BA Amex which offers no discounted fee. As a comparison, Easyjet’s cc fee was about 50p and Ryanair was 74p.
    This fee cannot be reflective of the fees BA are charged. Other airlines adjusted their cc fees over a year ago, how is BA still getting away this?
    p.s. before anyone comments I realise no one forced me to book BA or pay with a cc

    • Different fare system. Virgin is 1.5% but that means £45 on a £3k booking – hardly fair either.

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      I bought two adult MAN-LHR tickets yesterday. I part-paid with Avios and ended up with a final bill of £68. BA wanted £10 off me to use a cc. I declined.

      I then booked an all Avios LHR-MAN and was not charged to use a cc to pay the tax etc.


      • 1. Next time, you might remember you live in Ukraine, which is free

        2. No CC fee for Avios tickets

        • The fee does seem over the top and an expensive way of earning some points, they will probably won’t adjust anytime soon.

          Interesting Ukraine is free of charges!

          • Brian W says:

            I’ve been moving home for quite a while now when booking on BA flights and usually live in Ukraine also, however, I have been known to live in Uzbekistan equally fee free as well.

            I could be wrong on this front but I think everywhere but the United Kingdom is credit card fee free!

            • Michael says:

              All very interesting. I guess I’m perplexed as to why BA can continue to charge these extortionate fees when the budget airlines were forced to lower their fees to reflect the actual costs to them. I’m moving to the Ukraine.

  6. James67 says:

    OT Bit: My SPG transfer to my BA account credited this morning complete with the 35% bonus, whisch was applied to the 5k bonus too as usual.

    • Matthew says:

      That’s correct, as SPG adds the bonus 5k their side before sending it to BA. This happens with all of their transfers irrespective of a particular airline running a specific promotion.

      • James67 says:

        Just commented for the benefit of those asking earlier this week if 35% bonus would post immediately.

        • Cheers James67 – I was glad of the confirmation. I’ve got 25K Star points to send over to BA and was thinking of doing it in 2 batches, 20K to get the extra 5K and then 5K separately. I think the minimum you can transfer without status is 2500. Happy to be corrected.

  7. lucinda says:

    O/t: feature in this weekend’s FT money on “how to make your air miles stretch much further”.
    Seems a poorly researched and basic article, no mention of Rob unfortunately, and just a few edge case anecdotes quoted by some odd eccentrics!

    • Was on the website earlier in the week, not sure who wrote it but clearly they did no research. I know everyone mentioned in it I think.

      • Genghis says:

        I read it this morning. I thought it was poorly written – chopping and changing between different alliances which have fundamentally different rules – and very badly researched with a number of inaccuracies – mileage runs to Hawaii on Oneworld? Erm, more of a tier point run. No mention that Amex Gold is free for first year. Raffles – I’m surprised as the authority on UK points collecting you weren’t asked to not only contribute but to be a guest writer

        • The article was ‘placed’ I believe, ie given to the FT as a package. All the people quoted are friends of each other. One who claims to be a passenger is actually a blogger. Article may even have been written by a PR firm and given to the FT.

  8. worldisyouroyster says:

    hi Raffles, any comment on the British Airways profit warning ?

    • Wait until BA is told they have to give up most of their EU flights due to the need for bilateral agreements route by route. It will end the 3rd runway debate anyway.

      • BA has more than 1 European licence…

      • Won’t the EU airlines want to fly to UK?

        • Tilly71 says:

          No, everyone in the world suddenly won’t want to sell to us, fly to us or even talk to us!
          Overnight, according to some we have fallen off this planet with no return.
          We’re all doomed! (Sigh)…

  9. Cheers Rob! My Mum loves the Kinks and courtesy of a 15 hr flash sale today only I got top price tickets for £15 each!