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Bits: British Airways bans hover boards, Virgin Atlantic sale launched

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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:

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 will be soon.

The Virgin Atlantic 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.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (August 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, the Reward+ card has a bonus of 15,000 Virgin Points):

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Virgin Rewards credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

A generous earning rate for a free card at 0.75 points per £1 Read our full review

You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for a year and comes with 20,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 20,000 Virgin Points.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Points

(Want to earn more Virgin Points?  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.)

Comments (48)

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

  • 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.

    • Wally says:

      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.

      • Wally says:

        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.

        • Craig says:


          I’m new to this. Do you just book the flight from Dublin to Manchester but just get on at Manchester? Or do you need to travel to Dublin to get the flight?



  • Chris says:

    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.”)

  • sd83 says:

    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.

    • DW201 says:

      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.

  • Karl says:

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

  • Ian says:

    i thought the BA sale started tomorrow?

  • 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!

    • harry says:

      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.

  • Mark says:

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

  • nick says:

    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?

    • Kathy says:

      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.

    • Gavin says:

      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

    • Jason says:

      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.

      • Joe says:

        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.

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

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