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Bits: use Virgin miles on East Coast trains, £1k business class to Asia starting in the UK

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News in brief:

Virgin Atlantic allowing redemptions for Virgin East Coast trains

Virgin Atlantic is now allowing you to redeem your miles for Virgin East Coast rail tickets.  The rate is pretty poor – 6,250 miles for a £25 voucher – but no worse than Virgin Atlantic offers if you redeem for any of their other voucher-based redemptions such as Theatre Tokens, Virgin Wine etc.

What is good about this deal is the 6,250 mile minimum redemption.  Other Virgin voucher deals require 12,500 miles.  This could be a good way of using up a small amount of Virgin miles.

Note that the vouchers can only be used online and ONLY for the cheap ‘Advance’ train tickets.

Remember that you also earn Virgin Flying Club miles when you buy rail tickets via the Virgin East Coast site.  This is arguably a better deal than taking Nectar points.

Until September 30th, you can also convert spare East Coast Rewards points to Virgin Flying Club at a decent 1 to 6 ratio.  I have already sent my last few East Coast Rewards points across.

More details about all of these offers can be found on the Virgin Atlantic website here.

Excellent Turkish Airlines deals from the regions

Reader James mentioned in the comments yesterday that Turkish Airlines was running some aggressive business class fares.  He was right.

I took a look at prices for departures out of Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh.

I don’t know what dates they are running these fares on, but I checked for mid September.  I found:

Dubai £1,005 return

Singapore £1,415 return

Bangkok £1,208 return

These are business class fares, of course.  Turkish Airlines is in Star Alliance so you could credit them to a variety of loyalty programmes.  The other bit of good news is that the Turkish Airlines lounges in Istanbul are meant to be incredibly good.

The downside, compared to Etihad / Qatar / Emirates, is that the first leg will be on a short-haul aircraft.  You would need to be careful that the second leg wasn’t on a short-haul plane as well.  Flying short-haul from Edinburgh to Istanbul (and then on to Singapore) is worse than flying Etihad and getting a flat bed all the way.

On the upside, you don’t need to travel outside the UK to start your trip.

If you have a long-haul trip to the Middle East or Asia in mind for the Autumn, it is worth going over to the Turkish Airlines website and seeing what prices you can find from the UK regions.

Comments (39)

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  • James67 says:

    OT: ETIHAD HILTON HHONORS INSTANT GOLD. Etihad Guest members take care not to delete emails. It is the latest airline to offer instant gold through 31 October, quadruple miles and gold retention with three stays.

    • Waribai says:

      At this rate, it’ll be spot the non-gold at check in!

      • James67 says:

        There is a rather funny footnote to the effect that diamonds who want to register to try gold should call or email hhonors cs!

        • Rob says:

          That’s not how I read it. I read it as ‘if you are Diamond and were stupid enough to register for this, you will find that you have been downgraded to Gold. If you ring us, we’ll fix it.’

          • James67 says:

            Haha, even better. I couldn’t quite believe it and gave them benefit of the doubt thinking it meant diamonds could register for the quadruple miles element

          • Fenny says:

            That’s what I read it as. Diamonds can register for the extra miles, but will automagically be set to Gold, so ring us and we’ll put it right.

    • Rob says:

      Note: this offer IS TRANSFERABLE. The link can ONLY be used once, but anyone can use it.

      I got this via Etihad today. I filled in my wifes details (different surname to mine) and she was instantly upgraded.

      • James67 says:

        That’s interesting, I was under impression previous versions of the offer were nontransferable. Now everybody and their granny will be gold.

        • Rob says:

          You can still only use the link once – this is only beneficial if the recipient is already Gold.

  • Pete says:

    been trying to transfer East Coast Rewards for over 24hrs now, seems to be permanently showing ‘out of stock’ with the Submit button greyed out – anyone else having the same issue?

    • Rob says:

      Must have been a surge after the Virgin email went out. No rush, you have until 30 September.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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