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

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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.

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.

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. 

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


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2023)

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

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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 Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (84)

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

  • James says:

    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.

  • 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…

      • Liz says:

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

      • Jonty says:

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

        • harry says:

          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.

        • Rob says:

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

      • Adey says:


    • Danksy says:

      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)

    • Danksy says:

      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 😛 )

      • Worzel says:


        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, 🙂 .

    • RTS says:

      But outside of London is the regions…

      • Kinkell says:

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

        • harry says:

          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!

          • Kinkell says:

            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!

          • harry says:

            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 🙂

    • Rob says:

      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 …..

      • Daz says:

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

        I’m in between meetings 😉

        • Gavin says:

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

        • Rob says:

          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 🙂

          • Fenny says:

            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.

      • Boris says:

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

      • raikje says:

        “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…” 😀

        • Rob says:

          I’ve done my share 🙂

          I am back in the HI Sheffield in a few weeks ……

      • Paul says:

        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!!!

      • Nick says:

        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)…..

    • Daz says:

      I live in a posh ENCLAVE!

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

    • mark2 says:

      you mean Nations like Mercia and Wessex?

    • Genghis says:

      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.

    • Boris says:

      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.

      • Boris says:

        Can we standardise on “London”, The Regions, and The Chippy Regions ?

    • 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 :'(

    • Graeme says:

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

  • Melvin says:

    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.

  • Mark says:

    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!

  • idrive says:

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

  • Rash says:

    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.

    • Peter K says:

      Try places like etc as a starting point.

      • Rash says:

        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

  • 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.

  • Will says:

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

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

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