Bits: BA bans hover boards, Virgin Atlantic sale launched

News in brief:

British Airways bans hover boards!

For anyone planning to unleash their inner Marty McFly over Christmas, be aware of this important release that was rushed out by BA yesterday.  I am reproducing it in its entirity because I find it funny!

Prohibition of the carriage of hover boards including Air Wheels and Solo Wheels

Corporate Safety and Security have been assessing the risk associated with the carriage of hover boards including Air Wheels and Solo Wheels within baggage following a number of adverse press reports relating to poor product quality and the potential fire risk associated with them.

As a result British Airways has decided to prohibit the carriage of these items in both hand baggage and checked baggage with immediate effect.

Further information:
These devices are recreational devices, not an essential travel item and are not defined as a mobility aid.

Back to the Future

Virgin Atlantic launches its Winter sale

Virgin Atlantic has decided to steal a march on British Airways by being the first to launch its Winter sale.  BA is holding firm and will be starting its sale on the day it originally planned – which I know but can’t tell you!

The Virgin sale home page is here.

All fare classes are included.  To be honest, the Upper Class deals are not sparkling – the cheapest New York ticket is £2,029.  Premium Economy looks better at £849 for travel up to mid March.

Dubai is worth a look.  With strong competition from the Middle Eastern airlines, an economy return is just £349.  Premium Economy is £659 – for a flight that is the same distance as New York which is £849.  Upper Class is £1,449.

The Delta service from Edinburgh to New York is also in the sale, as is the Glasgow to Orlando service Virgin is trialling.

You can book for travel until roughly the end of June, varying by route.  The last day to book is 2nd February.  The sale home page is here.

(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.)

Bits: Etihad business class sale launched, fake BA emails, BA Gold dining at Dallas / Fort Worth
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  1. Hingeless says:

    Other items they should ban

    Pepsi Perfect
    Auto-fitting clothes
    Food Hydrators

    Flying cars

  2. “not defined as a mobility aid” – brilliant!

  3. VS service from GLA to MCO isn’t a trial. It’s been running since 2007. It is seasonal, read Scottish school holidays only, but the number of seats available has been increased for 2015.

  4. What’s the news on the Glasgow-Orlando trial?

    How does it differ from their usual summer service (that’s being running for years)??

    • Chris Ruddy says:

      No longer seasonal, I’m travelling on that service out late April returning early May, so well out with school holidays. Runs on a Friday and Saturday.

  5. Not hover boards. Not hovering. Electric scooters.

    • I prefer the term “handle-less segway” myself. But as long as it is not “hoverboard” I am happy. Stupid name, shouldn’t be allowed.

  6. Hey Raffles,

    Any ideas on when the airlines will drop all fuel surcharges when the fuel price is below pre-2009?

  7. I don’t blame BA, there are several cases of those hover boards bursting into flames whilst in use or on recharge. I guess somebody could pack them with the on button ‘on’ or else ‘off’ but it knocks against something in transit, overheats & bursts into flames.

  8. Katy storie says:

    Do you know if there is a way to get an alert for when the BA sale is launched?!

    • JamesWag says:

      I wish the Virgin Upper Class deals had been better, not because I intend to book one but because it hasn’t given BA a very hard target to beat 🙁

      Still, I’m waiting for Qatar’s sales as their J product is lightyears ahead of BA’s. gutted that Avios redemptions on QR are now all at rip off peak prices.

  9. JamesWag says:

    Glad they’ve banned these things. Too many reports of them blowing up and catching fire due to overheating from poor quality. And ontop of that there are plenty of really dodgy copies being made which have seriously poor quality electronics and no testing at all.

  10. Diydegsy says:

    Hi I’m looking to buy tickets for 2 adults and 3 children to Orlando next August any suggestions on best time to buy or who to fly with for best deals, much appreciated?

    • shadowfixer says:

      I have family out in FL and usually travel to MCO 2x a year – book early and be flexible. Apart from the VS GLA to MCO flights mentioned above the only other direct scheduled are LGW (VS and BA) to MCO or MAN to MCO (Seasonal BA & VS) iirc. There are other flights that operate into Orlando Sanford but these are mostly chartered, and not much cheaper – Thompson flights have a decent reputation from what i understand.

      I tend to use to understand the best cheapest options – not flying direct is a pain because when you land in the US at tour first port of call you need to clear customs immigration and then re check your bags & normally back through US security lines – which can be a nightmare – we have missed connecting flights because of this, but for a family of 5 (which we are) the difference in price could be £1000 – between flying directindirect so it depends how you cut your cloth…


    • Sussex Bantam says:

      We are doing the same thing and found some better value by flying to Tampa rather than MCO. Might be worth a look too depending on where you are travelling to afterwards.

    • I found some fantastic deals for next August booking in September/October by doing it as follows. For example on 27th October you could book:

      DUB->MAN (1/6/16) (Aer Lingus I think) (this could be almost any date in advance)
      MAN->MCO (11/8/16) (Virgin)
      MCO->MAN (25/8/16) (Virgin)
      MAN->DUB (26/8/16) (Aer Lingus I think)

      For £2036 (economy) for a family of 4. This was found with eBookers using the multi-city option on Skyscanner. Of course you would have to add on a cheap flight to Dublin to give you a short May half term break and would either have to (a) hope you could get the agent not to book your luggage through to Dublin on the return; (b) change the MAN->DUB flight to the following day to give an overnight gap (meaning they definitely wouldn’t book the luggage through to DUB) – this was nearly an extra £500 when I priced it up; or (c) do not book the final leg in the first place – again this’ll be a bit more expensive (but still WAY cheaper than booking the direct MAN->MCO return flight and you get a short break in Dublin!).

      I suspect these fares will no longer be available for next August but I hope this helps in some way.

      • I’ve just priced up this itinerary and (for a family of 2 adults, 2 children under 12 in economy) it prices as:

        £2046 as is
        £2000 by changing the final leg to a day later (27/8/16)
        £2379 by dropping the final leg entirely

        This compares with £3495 if you just book the return flights MAN->MCO.

        Again this is using the Multi-City option on Skyscanner.

  11. Off topic I know but I thought I would add it to the bits post for today

    Jury’s Inn are releasing 2016 rooms at £20.16 per night at 10am this morning. The promo code SALE2016 needs to be added when searching.

    Hopefully it is of use to someone.

    • AndyGWP says:

      Thanks 🙂

      (note that “This promotion code is only valid for stays from 1st January 2016 to 31st May 2016.”)

  12. Very OT, but how do I calculate how much value I am getting out of my avios.
    For example. A BA ticket to EDI is costing me £110 however I can knock off £50 by redeeming 7500 avios… is that worth it?
    There are no RFS on the dates and times I require so resorting to cash.
    Thanks in advance

    • Genghis says:

      Knocking £50 off the price for 7,500 means you are getting (5000p/7500) = 0.66p per Avios of value – not a great redemption but if you have avios to burn, could be worth it for you.

    • I’m confused at what you are after?

      In your example above you are getting £50 off for 7500 avios so 5000 (pence)/7500 = 0.66ppa (pence per avios). Rubbish if you are buying them at 1p, decent if you have got them free from work/promos.

      You can get much higher values for avios (ie 12ppa) when redeeming for super expensive tix but personally I wouldn’t dream of spending 10k on a flight ticket so no matter how many avios I have this doesn’t make sense for me…

      RFS is pretty much the only way I use Avios. Saved me thousands on various stag do’s/weekends away around Europe where I would have 100% spent the cash.

  13. OT, does anyone know if the M&S Food at Heathrow T5 does the 2 for £10 thing?

  14. i thought the BA sale started tomorrow?

  15. Rob Brown says:

    This is crazy, What are you supposed to do if you need to get your hoverboard over seas? Only a time traveller from the past wouldn’t know that you can’t use hoverboards over water!

    • BA is right in this instance.

      They’ve been wrong about mobile phones & laptops & tablets for the last 20 years, but in this instance they are correct to ban the hover boards – fire hazard.

  16. “Virgin Atlantic sale launched”
    What’s the asking price? I’m sure someone has an airline on their Xmas list!

  17. Completely OT, but I’ve just seen that on my booking email for my DUB—>LHR—>SFO flights that it says “Very important information: If you do not check your bags through to your final destination you may incure [sic] additional costs”.

    I don’t plan to miss the final leg and I’ve already paid for my flight back from Dublin to London to get me home, but the turnaround at LHR between landing from SFO and departing for DUB is just 30 mins so I imagine it is highly possible that I’ll miss the “last leg” to DUB. If that’s the case I would hope that BA would let me have my luggage rather than booking me on to a later flight to Dublin, but I don’t want to incure (!) costs if I successfully run that argument! Is this “very important information” warning a new thing?

    • I’ve just looked up my ex-CPH – JFK flight, and found the message:

      ‘If you do not check your bags through to your final destination, you may incur multiple and/or additional baggage charges.’

      I’m not sure if it’s new or if I just hadn’t noticed it before.

    • Must check my Dub-SFO booking for new year

      I’m HBO though so will skip off to catch the railair back to Reading regardless. I wouldn’t normally skip an ex EU but got a big work commitment next day

      Obvious solution is to book your flight back to Dublin / elsewhere from LGW or LCY so you can retrieve bags

    • This statement has been included for over a year and no reports of it being enforced.

      30 minutes is an invalid connection time and impossible to book. If there has been a schedule change you’ll be rebooked.

      • I think they’ve changed the time of the flight from LHR to DUB – I’m expecting it to be rebooked in the next day or so.

  18. AirlineWorker says:

    easyJet have also refused carriage of hover boards due to possible fire risk

  19. Dave Barron says:

    How often do Virgin Flying Club offer a sale and if/when does it normally happen? What kind of reductions in points have they previously offered? Looking to book flights to USA with Virgin around October next year Thanks in advance to Raffles or anyone else who can answer. Since devaluation all my Tesco points have gone to Virgin and hope to visit family in USA if I can accrue enough points for a family of 4!!!

    • Janeyferr says:

      I’ve been trying to get a handle on this too. Looking at HfP history it’s been something like:
      Sept 2015 – 20% off Economy and Premium Economy
      May 2015 – 40% off Economy, US only
      January 2015 – 25% off Economy
      Sept 2014 – 25% off Economy and Premium Economy
      May 2014 – 25% off Economy and Premium Economy
      January 2014 – 25% off Economy

      So, I’m hoping for another redemption sale to turn up in January.