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Bits: seven new British Airways short haul routes, the best Virgin Atlantic redemption

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News in brief:

New BA short haul routes

British Airways has added seven new short haul routes from London Heathrow to their Summer 2017 season.

Included is one of the most gorgeous cities I’ve been to: Tallinn in Estonia. (Here is my review of the Hilton Tallinn Park and a photo from my trip is below.)

In total there will be six new routes from Terminal 5 and one new route from Terminal 3.

Terminal 5:

  • Brindisi (Tuesdays and Saturdays)
  • Montpellier (Wednesdays and Saturdays)
  • Murcia (Tuesdays and Saturdays)
  • Nantes (Wednesdays and Saturdays)
  • Tallinn (Tuesdays and Saturdays)
  • Zakynthos (Wednesdays and Saturdays)

Terminal 3:

  • Pula (Tuesdays and Saturdays)

Cash and Avios redemption seats are available for booking at

tallinn estonia old town view point

The best Virgin Atlantic redemption

Head for Points dedicated a lot of time this week to analysing the changes to Virgin Flying Club.

What we didn’t point out at the time is that there is one ‘no brainer’ best redemption out there.

It is illegal to add any sort of fuel surcharge to flights which are booked from Hong Kong.  This does not apply to return tickets which start elsewhere, however.  Your ticket must start in Hong Kong.

After 16th January, a one-way redemption from Hong Kong to London will cost, off peak:

12,500 Flying Club miles + £35 in Economy

22,500 Flying Club miles + £35 in Premium Economy

57,500 Flying Club miles + £35 in Upper Class

You really can’t argue with that.  You obviously need to get to Hong Kong in the first place, as those are one way prices to get back to London, but this flight would be a great addition to a round the world itinerary.

PS.  It is also illegal to add fuel surcharges to flights departing Brazil, which makes one way Avios redemptions from Brazil to London (on BA) or Madrid (on Iberia) also a great deal.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (December 2023)

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 Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

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

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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

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

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable 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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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 (41)

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

  • Peter Taysum says:

    I’ve got 12000 Avios for an ISA (thanks Rob) I’m tempted to go economy long haul for this (never thought I’d say that after finding HfP!) any advice n how to pick up the extra 500 points I’d need?


    • Peter Taysum says:

      Virgin Points, sorry…

    • Rob says:

      Amex, Heathrow Rewards, join eRewards and do 1 survey (do they have that?)

      • Peter Taysum says:

        That’ll do nicely. E-rewards isn’t showing as a partner (I don’t really like them for obvious reasons, but they stopped me losing some Accor points, so I’ve kept my account active)

        • Leo says:

          They are definitely a partner. They show up quite clearly as of 5 minutes ago. I always credit them to Flying Club.

  • Paul B says:

    Great heads up! Managed to book 8 seats in August to Pula in Croatia. There was also lots of seats to Zakynthos.

  • TGLoyalty says:

    OT Any signs of a winter SPG AMEX Promo?

    • Danksy says:

      I was thinking the same… normally about now.. but I’ve just got our new Nectar cards through and a new BAPP’s through so will have to rinse through £8k in the next two months already!

      Even Mrs Danksy will struggle with that!

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Was hoping to top up SPG and take advantage of my 50% points deal but just checked and I’ve been slashed to 25%.

        Some goings on with this deal!

        • Nick M says:

          I think same thing happened for me – was 50% now 30%….

        • Scallder says:

          Wife has been dropped from 50% to 25% as well. I only ever got 25% and has stayed as that. Will definitely be looking at contacting SPG

  • Louie says:

    Thanks for the tip about Hong Kong. Been trying to get hubby home from CNS for his dad’s 90th and can do all the other legs on Cathay but I’d forgotten about Virgin – and we’ve got a fair few we accumulated for a Virgin trip to SYD before they canned the route. So hubby now booked in UC on a day which works….

  • Scottydogg says:

    Ive got 40,000 virgin points , and my plan is / was to book a Premier Economy back from Hong Kong in March currently selling at 40,000 , now , do I wait until after the 16th of January and hope that there is redemption option available , or do I book now to make sure I get it .
    Im not flexible on dates so need to get on to a certain flight

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

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