Bits: new BBC ATC series starts tonight, Virgin economy sale, 30 Avios per £1 on flowers!

News in brief:

‘Skies Above Britain’ starts tonight on BBC2

I have been asked by a NATS employee to plug ‘Skies Above Britain’, which I’m happy to do.  Starting on BBC2 tonight at 9pm, this five part documentary focusses on the work of air traffic controllers across the UK.

You can watch an extended 73 second trailer here (email subscribers should click here):

Virgin Atlantic launches economy sale

Virgin Atlantic has launched an economy seat sale running until 21st September.  Headline prices to the US start at £398, presumably aimed to match the current Aer Lingus ex-UK sale.

Hong Kong at £449 looked one of the better non-US deals.  You need to travel between Christmas and March for the US deals, dates vary elsewhere.

Full details can be found here.

If you live in the regions and want to visit the US, look at the Aer Lingus deals here which include the connecting flight to Dublin.

(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

Virgin A350

Earn 30 Avios per £1 on flower deliveries!

Finally, I wanted to mention that you can currently earn 30 Avios for every £1 you spend on flowers from Appleyard.

You need to order via the Appleyard page of the Gate 365 shopping portal here.  There are even some discount codes, valid until 21st August, on that page which can be combined with the deal. (EDIT: scrub that, reader feedback is that using the Gate 365 code invalidates the higher bonus!)

The offer runs until 30th September at which point it will return to the usual 7 Avios per £1.

(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.)


Bits: new Hilton in Edinburgh, Night Tube starts, HFP back on Apple News
My review of the (temporary) AA Admirals Club lounge, New York JFK Terminal 8
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.


  1. On the Appleyard deal, you won’t get 30 Avios per pound if you use a discount voucher.

    I ordered about 70 quid worth of flowers, used the 5er off voucher and only for around 200 avios.

    Cancelled and reordered without the discount and i got the full amount.

    • Nate1309 says:

      I also got stung by using the discount code, you get a substantially lower Avios per £. I wrote to Gate365 and they basically said it was on the website somewhere.

  2. Sussex bantam says:

    YMMV of course but I had a terrible experience with Appleyard. Mother’s Day flowers died within 2 days of arriving. Contacted them 3 times before I got a response promising a replacement bunch which never arrived. Eventually had to ask for a refund. What annoyed me was they blamed the slow customer service response to them ‘being busy’ which presumably was a surprise to a florist on Mother’s Day !

    I may well have been unlucky but I won’t use them again.

    • Same disaster of a bunch of flowers as I received.

      Died very soon, bought really because I was hooked by the side deal.

      Now I buy only from local florists and support the local economy.

  3. If you have a longish connection in DUB can you use preclearance for US immigration?

    • As I understand I, all ex DUB pax to US go through pre learnable, including connecting traffic

    • Nick Burch says:

      If you are on a direct flight from Dublin to the USA, you *must* go through pre-clearance. You then arrive at a domestic gate

      If you are flying DUB-LHR-USA, then you’re not allowed through pre-clearance, your only option is normal immigration on arrival

  4. Another OT question from the same Roger above.

    As a small business owner I pay about 20k plus in VAT and about 20K in Corp. Tax too, so far I only use BACS to make payment, but realising that I can use Amex Gold Business Card (No fee in first year), and also earn Amex MR points.

    Rob, is this the advisable? Does HMRC allow payments (for Corp Tax / VAT) via Amex? If so, what are the charges (0.386%? as per your recent article)?

    • No Amex is not accepted but you can use a Visa or Mastercard for a small fee which would make the points cheap if you have a good card to use.

    • No, only MasterCard or Visa. You need a lucrative one, perhaps IHG Premium (2 points per £1)? Virgin Black?

    • Hello Roger from The Other/Another Roger. :)

      Just to avoid potential confusion, I have different cards questions which I will save for on-topic discussion. 😉

  5. I’d definitely avoid Appleyard – used them before when they had a deal with Amex, but they got the delivery date wrong (apparently Sunday deliveries for Mother’s Day are only in London despite them being offered elsewhere on the he website) and the flowers that arrived were pitiful – small in quantity and hardly lasted. By comparison have had excellent experiences with many other florists, would definitely not use Appleyard again.

    • don’t deliver abroad so no good for me. I found it cheaper to use a local company for sending flowers to the mrs. could also deliver within 2 hours of order!

  6. It depends on what your targets are. If you’d like to collect points on a card then it might be worth switching (and keep switching) as you can get a better return (in points) elsewhere – with sign up bonuses, referral bonuses and ongoing spend (depending how you value your points).

  7. And 2.5 in first six months

  8. Out if interest, we’re your flowers being delivered to London? I just wondered if they had a different service there and then outsourced elsewhere…

  9. I’m going to badmouth Appleyard too! I’ve been sending my mother flowers for Mother’s Day from Interflora for a few years without complaint. The flowers from Appleyard looked great when they arrived but lasted two days. Their customer service was terrible, impossible to get through to on the phone and they ignored my emailed complaint. I should have disputed their charge with Amex but sadly a work rush meant it lost any priority. Still this posting is a little revenge! I would not use again or advise anyone else to give them a try.

  10. James Alexander says:

    Dear HFP, PLEASE stop calling anywhere outside London “the regions”…. It is 2016 and some of us in “the regions” of the UK actually live in Nations! I suggest something like, “if you live in UK outside London”…. otherwise it is extremely patronising and London-centric to use terms like “the regions”.
    Many HFP followers would appreciate it, myself included!

    • Sussex Bantam says:

      Shirt-gate 2…

      • Sitting in the lounge at Edinburgh airport – enroute to LHR-ORD – that made me laugh! Love this blog!

      • Raffles, are you still offering money-back guarantees for those hfp readers dissatisfied with BA/shirt/London bias?

        • I have a suggestion & a compromise solution! Would members generally be in favour of HFP referring to the regions henceforth as ‘in the sticks’? Somehow less disparaging.

          I do agree about shirts, though. Here, I suggest we alternate ‘space to hang my boob tube’ to get rid of any casual sexism.

        • Certainly do, pro-rata refunds are available at any time on your annual HFP subscription!

      • rofl!!

    • James – Sshhhhh !! We in the regions enjoy a better quality of life!

      I’m happy living in Bristol LOL…we don’t want all these London lot invading! (Irony is I invaded from London :P)

    • James – Sshhhhh !! We in the regions enjoy a better quality of life!

      I’m happy living in Bristol LOL…we don’t want all these London lot invading! (Irony is I invaded from London 😛 )

      • Danksy:

        A quiet Sshhhh! please!

        If you could dissuade further invaders it would be appreciated.

        From a Bristolian who lived up the smoke for 10 +yrs, :) .

    • But outside of London is the regions…

      • and I stay in the most northerly region on mainland Britain. Not complaining.

        • Sounds like upper Caithness? Beautiful part of the world. My folks had a couple of houses on the other side (Kinlochbervie & Durness) so I spent all my summer hols up there when I was a kid. If you enjoy the call of the wild & a bit of Lebensraum, completely unbeatable. I think the stats were that Sutherland was the largest county in the UK…with a population of 8000!

          • Not quite. Ross and Cromarty, part of Highland region. Absolutely gorgeous on a day like today and yesterday. Give me the regions, and I’ll take a bit d patronising any day!

            • yep a good day was either making a massive bonfire on the beach with the driftwood etc and doing the pyromaniac stuff or just taking the dog for a 15 mile walk :)

    • I grew up in Rotherham and so get a free pass on how I describe the world outside Zone 1 :-)

      Point taken though.

      I am sending Anika off to Liverpool on Friday, you should know. And Manchester last week. We get about …..

      • Rotherham famous people: Rob Burgess, The Chuckle Brothers and Ex Top Gear presenter James “Captain Slow” May.

        I’m in between meetings 😉

        • I’ve twice been to Rotherham, but only to run round it for 50 miles so I’ve missed the highlights

        • Runner Peter Elliott

          Justine Greening, who lived on my road and was at my school, but 2 years ahead

          That bloke who was world darts champion

          Paul Shane

          Jeremy Clarkson worked at the Rotherham Advertiser

          William Hague

          A senior female partner at Deloitte in London who will probably read this :-)

          • I worked in Rotherham for about a year, but never lived there. I watched Meadowhall being built on my daily bus journeys from and to Sheffield.

      • Would love it if Anika’s wheels *were* nicked in Liverpool, and you had to report it…

      • “I’m a big fan of the regions. In fact, just this week I am sending someone else there so I can, ermm, experience them remotely…” 😀

      • Tell her to try The Blind School or Italian Club Bistro for good food and anywhere on Hope St for a decent drink away from the stag & hen parties. Weather not good on Saturday so new Museum of Liverpool a must on a rainy day with the bonus of a dry view of the best waterfront in the world/regions!!!

      • Now working in Rotherham I can confirm its equally as big a shit hole as you remember (no offence meant of course!), why you moved to London I’ll never understand (roll eyes)…..

    • I live in a posh ENCLAVE!

      Gotta watch for those pesky arrows, It’s hellish out here.

    • you mean Nations like Mercia and Wessex?

    • Outside of London is the Regions. My employer also refers to it this way and the Regions bankers do not take offence. And I’m from the Regions myself (County Durham) and I don’t take offence.

    • Dear dear

      Raffles is taking a linguistic pounding. Conscientious objectors to shirts yesterday, and now this :-)

      Personally, I’m delighted to be described differently from the Londonerati.

      Perhaps we need to remember that the ‘nations’ each do comprise a region approximately the same size as all the English Regions, and are referred to as such in official publications.

    • Nate1309 says:

      I live in Cardiff and we do have an airport but there are so few flights that Bristol is the closest for the majority of destinations, as this is a horrible drive, it can be quicker to whizz up the M4 to heathrow! If only they would expand CWL – always BA planes there being repaired, never one there to fly :'(

    • Evidence of these many followers? Or is it just you?

  11. Appleyard flowers are poor quality plus images shown on thier website is for the the larger (extra cost) boquet.

    If a deal seems too good to be true then it nearly always is.

  12. O/T. How long does the economist normally take to post the subscription Avios bonus to an Iberia Plus account? I tried to credit some NH Hotel rewards to Iberia Plus back in June but they never made it (tiny amount so not worth chasing) so it would be helpful to know when I should start chasing Iberia/Economist for my Avios…thanks!

  13. Thank you, good idea! I will definitely enjoy the documentary!
    And thanks to all these 1000s controllers and workers who make it happen!

  14. Slightly O/T but my sister would like to go Hong Kong over Xmas this year with her kids. Has anyone seen any ‘cheap’ fares recently? The Virgin fare mentioned by Raffles is excluded over the Xmas hols.

    • Try places like etc as a starting point.

      • Thanks Peter, I did try them already, I should have said. I was just thinking there may be some ex-EU deals out there that I had missed

  15. Russell Evans says:

    I should also add, I’ve had quite a bit of success of late with Hilton Best Rate Guarantee claims against a little known Travel Agent called ‘Happy rooms’. Have been searching for identical rooms on hotels combined which has been turning out these “alternative” booking sites whom I would never dream of booking through but am happy to use to match the rate and get a $50 rebate. Have had some problems with the Hilton BRG form online, but if you fill it out and also E-Mail screenshots and details of your HH booking within 24 hours to bestrate(at) you’ll be covered.

  16. They’re on Virgin ShopsAway, too.

  17. Another resident of the regions here who has had a terrible experience with appleyard. Worst quality flowers I’ve ever bought.

  18. Cost is £0 for 11 months, they don’t charge the fee until you hit year 2 😉

    • Might not be true anymore, the £450 annual fee was applied to my amex plat on second statement after upgrading my PRG. However, I discussed this with Rob and we believe it may be because the anniversary of my PRG arrived as opposed to a change of policy by amex. If this was indeed the case Tom should be fine for about a year. If not, he can just cancel for a pro rata refund as soon as he has hit the £1000 upgrade spend target and banked and transfered the 21000+ MR points.

  19. Ref payasyougym – that’sa good find. I’ve just signed up for another year through Gymflex though so no good for me. Also my current gym is perfect for my needs and not available through that site anyway.

  20. Scallder says:

    OT but BA cabin crew have backed industrial action short of striking 9 to 1 over new performance measurement. Anyone have a clue if that’s actually impact anything, or chances of it moving up to strike action?

  21. OT

    Rob do you know any BA Amex or BAPP sign-up bonus returning this year, same as this time last year?


    • No. However, something is up overnight tonight on the BA cards. Don’t know what but there will be a change tomorrow. Could be good or bad!

      • How do you know something is up?

        • They told me :-)

          Perhaps the Premium card is officially coming back for new applicants? It may also be something small like another interest rate change. I genuinely have no idea.

          • you may be right Rob.
            Just checked Amex website and for referral from my free BA Amex to someone else is 4000 Avios for myself and referred person gets 10000 Avios points.

            Bring on better sign up bonus BA!

  22. Simon Schus says:

    Hi all :)
    Any idea if there is a Virgin reward sale coming up soon? Last time, I feel like the reward sale tends to come out half-way through the Virgin standard fare sale. I’ve got my eye on a one-way flight which I can’t book right now due to needing confirmation on other aspects of the trip, so I’m just musing about the reward flights while I’m waiting.

  23. Mine is on hold too. First one (March stay) paid out and was uplifted to the increased rate, but others all just sitting at pending at the lower rates just now.


  1. electrical apprenticeship dayton ohio

    Virgin Atlantic economy sale launched