More 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 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.