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Bits: BA Gatwick update, Etihad Guest status with one flight, Virgin America via Flying Club

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News in brief:

British Airways Gatwick terminal move update

British Airways released more information on Friday about the switch of terminals at Gatwick.

The changeover date is now (re)confirmed for Wednesday 25th January.

A few test flights will be going from Gatwick South for anyone who wants to try it out in advance, although the new BA lounge will not be open then.  These are:

  • BA2776 to Jersey on 23rd November
  • BA2273 to New York JFK on 11th January
  • BA2612 to Naples on 19th January

Etihad 350

Etihad Guest status with one flight

Etihad has been running a promotion with The Times this week to give Etihad Guest status to anyone who signs up and takes one flight.

The offer is only open to new members of Etihad Guest who sign up via the link on this page.  If you already have an Etihad Guest account which is empty, you may want to create a new one with different address and email details.  This isn’t ideal, of course, but Etihad should have made the rules more flexible …..

You will receive Etihad Silver status if you take an Economy flight with Etihad before 10th May 2017.

You will receive Etihad Gold status if you take a Business or First Class flight with Etihad before 10th May 2017.

The rules are vague unfortunately:

it talks about a closing date of 24th November but it does not say if that is the last day to open the Etihad Guest account or the last day to book

it doesn’t say if the flight must be a return flight

it doesn’t say if the flight must depart from the UK

It is worth noting that a similar deal for Silver status (but not Gold) is freely available to everyone, all year round, if they take out the Etihad Guest credit cards.  Full details are in my Etihad Guest credit card review.

Virgin America First Class reclined

Virgin America no longer a Flying Club partner from Monday

Finally, it has emerged that Virgin America will no longer be an earning or redeeming partner of Virgin Atlantic Flying Club from today.

Virgin America is in the process of being acquired by Alaska Airlines and all parties seem to have decided that the imminent relaunch of Flying Club was a good time to make the break.

My one experience of Virgin America domestic First Class was excellent as I reviewed here – see the seat photo above.  That said, I paid cash for that flight because Flying Club did not allow one-way redemptions.  For that reason, this change is not as big a loss as it could have been.

More details on this decision are on the Virgin Atlantic website here.


HFP Virgin Atlantic Rewards credit card

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (December 2020)

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, one has a bonus of 15,000 Points):

Virgin Rewards credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

The UK’s most generous free Visa or Mastercard at 0.75 points / £1 Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending Read our full review

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

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 (35)

  • Andrew H says:

    O/T. I signed up for Tesco Life Insurance last November to get the 5000 points. I’ve just had the final batch of 1250 points (they paid them quarterly) so can I now end the policy without any danger of them being taken away?

  • Jon says:

    I managed to get a one way Virgin America flight from SFO to EWR last summer. Something like 10,000 miles and $5 tax. I had reserved first class for more miles but lost the seat as Tesco CC declined the transaction as they classed it as suspicious. First class got sleeping bags and practically any drink they wanted, which on a 5 hour night flight would have been very useful. I do hope that with the transition to Alaska they keep the name as the safety video.

    • dps says:

      I also redeemed (admittedly rather a lot of) VFC Miles for a one-way VX SFO-JFK in First) and had the best service, comfort, entertainment and catering in 40 years of US domestic flights.Let’s hope AS leaves the brand alone, increases its route network and allows redemptions for Avios.

      • Rob says:

        The brand is going, because Richard Branson gets a 1% cut on all Virgin America ticket sales and Alaska is keen to cut that off.

        • Callum says:

          I take it that’s just your opinion? Everything I’ve seen says Alaska are considering keeping it given its popularity. What’s a 1% royalty if the brand is increasing revenue by more than 1%? There must be a reason so many companies are paying for the brand!

          • Rob says:

            Scrapping it was the original plan I believe. Not sure if they have changed their mind – 1% is a lot if your profit margin is 3% (number plucked from the air).

          • Callum says:

            Yes its a high percentage, but if it increases your profit margin by more than 1% then it’s clearly still worth it!

            Whether it actually does or not I don’t know. Clearly it has so far, but Alaska already has a good brand which may erode some of the advantage.

  • Tilly71 says:

    Have VA changed passwords already? The account won’t allow me access today.

  • Genghis says:

    OT. Early doors EZY flight out of LGW North tomorrow. Which lounge should I use with a Priority Pass? TIA

  • Simon says:

    I did the New York marathon last Sunday, decided the extra legroom in Virgin America first class was worth paying for a flight the next day. I was very impressed with the seat, more than adequate for a 2 hour flight, plus having a movie made the journey go quicker, my poached egg breakfast was streets ahead of anything I’ve had on BA.

    Wonder what they will do about lounges now, I didn’t feel like paying 75 dollars to use the Virgin clubhouse given the amount of time I’d spend in there. I really feel lounge access shouldn’t be extra for a first class ticket.

  • YL says:

    Sorry for the OT question, but VS related.
    I was wondering if anyone is able to see the VS Shop Away account correctly after the update? My VS account is now linked with a new Shop Away account with no record of any shopping history…
    Thanks