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Bits: Gatwick to NYC cancellations, £28 BA Bordeaux flights, more on Australia domestics

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News in brief:

BA strike hitting Gatwick to New York this month

Another wave of British Airways cabin crew strikes start today, running to 15th August.

This only impact flights from Heathrow, with Gatwick, London City and ‘Regional CityFlyer’ services unaffected.  That said, most passengers will not notice any difference, and if you’re lucky you may find yourself on one of the nine Qatar Airways short-haul planes which BA has borrowed, with free food and drink and very comfy Business Class seats.

There is one exception.  BA announced to the travel trade yesterday that it intends to cancel the Gatwick to New York JFK service on “some” strike days.  If you are due to travel on this route during the next two weeks, you should be prepared to be moved onto a Heathrow service at short notice.  Make sure any parking or hotel arrangements are flexible.

InterContinental Bordeaux

£28 British Airways flights to Bordeaux

BA sent out a note yesterday highlighting its lowest fares from London Gatwick this Autumn.

To give them credit, some of the deals are very attractive.  The lowest I could find was Bordeaux, which is £28 one-way for a Hand Baggage Only ticket on selected dates.

Remember that you can now select seats for free on Hand Baggage Only tickets if you have British Airways status.  Frankly, £56 return – for anyone with access to the excellent new Gatwick lounges and Fast Track security via their BA status – is an exceptional deal, however you look at it.

If you like the idea of a cheap Autumn break in Bordeaux, here is our review of the fairly new InterContinental Bordeaux pictured above (website here).  Anika also did a ‘what to do in Bordeaux’ article here.  Here is her warning about visiting the lounge at Bordeaux airport on the way home …..

(EDIT: comments below suggest that BA has luckily dumped the lounge and is now handing out €15 food vouchers instead. So half of your £28 fare returned …..!)

Etihad Virgin Australia

Free lounge access on Virgin Australia

I ran an article yesterday on using Avios points for flights in and between Australia and New Zealand.

There was something that I should have added as a PS. to that article but forgot.  If you have an American Express Platinum charge card, you receive free lounge access when flying with Virgin Australia as I wrote here.  This might swing you away from redeeming Avios and into buying a Virgin Australia cash ticket instead.

Virgin Australia is also a partner with Etihad Guest, and if you have any Etihad Guest miles – or could get some via, say, an Amex Membership Rewards conversion – you may also want to look into that as a redemption option.  You can, of course, also redeem Virgin Flying Club miles for Virgin Australia – the rates are here.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (October 2022)

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 points bonus 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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

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

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER), £200 travel credit and unbeatable 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 sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits 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 (73)

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

  • Sam Goss says:

    29th July – 8th Aug so far for LGW-NYC cancellations. I had a look at the forward loads and it is a total dog up front – can’t see it lasting to be honest especially with more and more LoCo seats coming on to the market forcing the fares down further

  • Anon says:

    If you buy HBO ticket is it possible to get that upgrade offer later in manage my booking? I know it’s a matter of luck, but wondered if it happened at all with HBO or if you had to book a regular economy seat to have the possibility?

    • roberto says:

      Yes.. I get the upgrade to club europe offer near enough every time I fly but I guess it depends on route and loads.

  • Dominic says:

    As a Chicago resident, I’m not so sure I believe how ‘harmless’ the strike has been to LHR services. The second daily flight from/to ORD has been cancelled five days out of seven this last week, messing up my journey home from vacation! And when I flew out to the UK last week, one of the cabin crew mentioned it has been much the same the previous week. And unlike JFK, ORD does not get loads of daily services – only two.

    • Nick says:

      ORD has five flights a day, not two. Remember there’s a joint business with AA so any money you pay gets divided up between them the same anyway irrespective of whose plane you fly on. What this means in disruption is that customers can be rebooked on each carrier’s flights interchangeably.

      This is why PHL has also often been cancelled – despite there only being one BA flight a day. The multiple AA options are enough to cover it.

  • David says:

    Re: low fares from LGW… I’m currently considering cancelling my 2x one-way RFS to Genoa at the end of August, since it seems the cash price is tiny and I’d probably prefer the avios and a flight towards my 4xBA to keep silver. Since the RFS cost me 9,000 avios and £35 total, if I cancel what would I end up paying? Is it a further £35 canx fee? Or is it £35/ticket? The economics of cancelling and rebooking are touch and go dependent on this.

    Please help!

    • Genghis says:

      You’d get the 9k avios back only

    • Polly says:

      David. We did this too on our Dub flights in June, well worth doing. A no brainier. Similar to when a fantastic EX EU QR sale comes along, we have cancelled our BA 241 in F to KUL.

  • Graham says:

    Do BA silver get access to BA lounges on HBO fares ?

  • Andy E says:

    There are some nice sweet-spots on the Etihad redemption chart for Virgin Australia flights (Sydney to Hamilton Island and Sydney to Queenstown are ones I’ve booked though it is sometimes operator-dependent as to whether they can issue Aus-NZ redemptions)

    • Michael Jennings says:

      My parents live on the Gold Coast, and my sister lives in Canberra. There is only one flight a day on that route (on Virgin Australia on an EMB-190). The cash price is normally quite expensive, but in Etihad miles it is in the same category as Gold Coast – Sydney, which makes it a bargain.

  • the real harry1 says:

    12-Jul-17 18-Jul-17 Hotels – Marriott Rewards Bonus Avios 0 1,000 🙂

  • Chris says:

    Completely OT.

    Stumbled across this the other day

    The AAirpass. Are there people still using them?

    • Robbie says:

      Not quite costing a quarter million, but I flew around the US in the 80s on an AAirpass for visitors, for – I think – $300 for 12 flights….booked in conjunction with a transatlantic on PanAm…the AAdvantage programme was the first of its kind, as I recall – and almost bust the airline decades later…
      Those were the days…

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