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.

(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.)

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  1. That’s really annoying about virgin america, having just booked a first class ticket with them to travel next year. They weren’t the cheapest but I wanted to try out their first class product and the flying club miles were a nice little incentive.

  2. the real harry says:

    But Raffles – that seems to contradict the assertion that you haven’t paid a penny for flights for years 🙂

  3. That’s a shame about Virgin America, I recently redeemed some Flying Club points for 2 round trip tickets from San Francisco to Maui and the taxes were a very reasonable £25, total!

    • In future you could try Alaska Airways with Avios (probably same metal).
      You are allowed to bring a box of pineapples back at no extra charge.
      I have just booked Seattle to Vancouver BC with them for 7,500 Avios plus £4.60.

  4. Nick Anon says:

    Will the Etihad offer work with a flight that is already booked? (February 2017)

  5. Apologies if I’m not interpreting the Etihad rules correctly, but is this also valid if I sign up for an account now and then attach it to an existing booking to be flown next month? Would the status be earned straight away after taking the first flight (I have a connection in Abu Dhabi from one Etihad flight to another).

  6. In Gatwick just now – get access to ‘Clubroom’ as BA Gold, pretty nice environment, esp if you manage to snag the little snug on the way in that has a TV and two comfy seats 😀

  7. OT Any news on Curve, Curve Rewards and Curve Android?

  8. 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?

  9. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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!

          • 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).

          • 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.

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

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