Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: Virgin cooling off period for buying miles, €29 Vueling sale, Cathay business sale

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News in brief:

Virgin introduces a cooling off period when buying miles

Virgin Flying Club is currently offering a targeted 30% bonus when you buy miles.  You should have received an email about this if you are included, but you can try speculatively logging in here if you are not sure or are opted out of receiving marketing emails.

Virgin has quietly brought in a ‘cooling off’ period when you buy miles.  I’m not sure if this is a brand new feature but I had never seen it mentioned before, either by the airline or by readers.

According to the terms and conditions:

Members will have the right to cancel any purchase of miles for up to 7 days after the date of purchase, provided that none of the purchased miles have been redeemed. If any of the purchased miles have been redeemed then members will not be entitled to a refund for any of the purchased miles including those that have not been redeemed. Once the 7 day cooling off period has expired, any miles purchased and received by members are non-refundable and non-transferable, except as expressly permitted by the terms and conditions of Flying Club.

This is likely to be a positive move for Virgin.  If you see a reward seat available but don’t have the miles, you now have no risk if you choose to purchase the rest.  If the reward seat has gone by the time the miles turn up, you can simply ask for a refund.

The Virgin ‘buy miles’ page is here if you want to double-check if you are targeted.


€29.99 Vueling sale launched

Vueling, BA’s sister airline, has launched a €29.99 sale (including booking fees and card charges) which runs until 10th July.

It is valid for departures between 17th July and 22nd December.

Details can be found on the Vueling site here.

Vueling currently flies from Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Manchester and London Luton / Gatwick / Heathrow.  Routes vary but there is usually a predominance towards Spain, especially their Barcelona hub, and Italy.

Vueling is due to be launching its own Avios programme any month soon.  Until then, you cannot earn Avios points unless you book via the Iberia or British Airways websites onto a codeshare flight – and those will always cost more than booking directly with Vueling.

Cathay business class

Cathay Pacific launches a business class sale

Whilst Vueling won’t give you any Avios, Cathay Pacific will, as it is a member of the oneworld alliance.  You will also earn British Airways tier points when you fly with them.

Cathay has just launched a new sale.  You can find details of economy offers on their website.

For business class, there are deals from both Manchester and London.  Cathay Pacific has a very high quality business class product – see the business class seat pictured above – and at these prices it becomes decent value.

Offers include (all flights are via Hong Kong):

  • London / Manchester to Bangkok / Phuket – £1,999
  • London / Manchester to Singapore – £2,399
  • London / Manchester to Seoul – £2,429
  • London / Manchester to Tokyo – £2,409

You need to book by 31st July for travel between:

  • 1st October 2017 to 31st December 2017
  • 16th February 2018 to 28th March 2018
  • 9th April 2018 to 31st May 2018

Comments (43)

  • owain thomas says:

    If you need miles for a reward flight you can purchase them at the time of booking so there’s no risk that the flights will have gone by the time the miles post.

    Also, VS are really good about putting reward seats on hold for 72 hours if you have other stuff you need to get lined up. I’ve got a LHR-LAX-SFO-MAN trip for next Easter on hold at the moment pending hotel reward booking.

  • Alvin C says:

    Doesn’t the law require at least 14 days for any online purchases? BA does offer the bare minimum – 14 days.

    • the real harry1 says:

      he’s right! naughty old Virgin, you could simply invoke the rules 🙂

      8.You have the right to cancel contracts for the purchase of Avios points within 14 days of purchase provided the Avios points have not been used. To exercise the right to cancel the purchase of the Avios points, you must make the request in writing (including by email) or by telephone to the Executive Club in their country (contact details can be found on You may use the cancellation template below but this is not obligatory. If you cancel, we will reimburse to you all payment received from you without undue delay and no later than 14 days after the day on which we were informed about your decision to cancel this contract.

      Cancellation Template
      Contact email address
      I/We hereby give notice that I/We {*} cancel my/our [*] contract of sale of the following goods [*}
      Ordered on [*}/received on [*}
      Customer Name
      Customer Address
      Signature of Customer

    • John says:

      How do that work with flights then? If I purchase a flight online with BA or Virgin does it mean I can cancel free of charge within 2 weeks? I’m pretty sure all non refundable tickets are non refundable after a 24 hour cooling off period. It’s probably some legal technicality but why would a flight and buying miles have different rules?

      • John says:

        How DOES that work – should have re-read after editing!

      • Callum says:

        Because the rules have exceptions – one of which being that they don’t apply to flight bookings. I have no idea whether they apply to miles purchases though.

  • Talay says:

    Cathay “sale” numbers might be good compared to their regular fares but BKK for two grand is hardly earth shattering considering the pretty large detour via HKG.

    Still a good option if you specifically want to go to Hong Kong and then onward.

  • Ah says:

    im sure I collected avios points via vueling last year?

  • Andrew says:

    I bought FC miles six weeks ago, cancelled the purchase the following day as it said I could do in the terms and conditions and was advised the refund could take up to two weeks. Still no refund. I emailed VS over one week ago, no reply to date, very unusual for VS not to reply. I Called VS last night, after a pause I was told I will be called back in a couple of days . All very strange!

  • Andrew says:

    OT: Totally bizarre conversation with Creation re IHG Mastercard. Card got blocked based on a transaction I attempted last night. Received email asking me to call their security team this morning. Did so. Didn’t ask for card number. Didn’t ask for any security details. Didn’t actually ask for anything but my surname, which the guy seemed to then check against some sort of list to see which transaction they were querying! Anyway, told him it was genuine and he said the card would be good to use again in about 2 minutes time. Never come across a card provider more amateurish! For all they know, I could have been a fraudster! Pretty shocking all in all.

    • Andrew says:

      p.s. he actually got the transaction they were querying wrong initially until I corrected him by suggesting what I thought would have caused the block (he had first said “was it a company called South West”, to which I said no – never spent with them, or attempted to).

      • Brasov says:

        Maybe ID’d you based on the number you were calling from?

        • Chris says:

          Quite possibly – Barclaycard do..

          • Aeronaut says:

            It’s possible to fake the CLI presenting number.

            Regardless, a credit card company telephone agent should run through some security details.

  • Metty says:

    Re BKK, may be of interest to some that although the Swiss companion sale J class is supposed to have ended, I managed to book seats LHR-ZRH-BKK/SIN-ZRH-LHR last night for £672pp out and £612 back. We are booked on Thai outbound and Singapore was available for the return if (most dates) arriving back at LCY is ok.

    As Rob originally mentioned the BKK fare seemed high, which it is for a return as the return leg is priced high. Returning from SIN, HKG or BJS are all much cheaper.

    Reasonably competitive compared to the BKK Qatar options (e.g. ex-Venice £1125ish) and the BA ex-AMS option (£1250). Ordinarily would have gone for the latter but our recent couple of trips with BA have been so poor – LHR-SIN being encouraged after departure to move from the upper to lower deck J cabin as ‘it’s nicer down there’, wife being told to stop coughing or she wouldn’t be served as ‘I don’t want to catch your germs’ – never mind KEF-LHR in Y and empty BoB trolley syndrome. BA probably don’t care how many people quietly defect to other choices just because you can!

    • JamesB says:

      That’s an excellent deal, well done and enjoy. It is hugely superior to Qatar in that it’s one stop, shorter duration and exUK so no potential poditioning flight drama to worry about. Only downside is your Thai flight will likely have angle flat seats unless it’s one of the latest aircraft.

  • Brasov says:

    OT: How to register for the Iberia Plus “multiple partners for 10,000” promotion?

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