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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.  And 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.


HFP Virgin Atlantic Rewards credit card

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (January 2021)

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 (73)

  • 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

    http://business.time.com/2012/05/08/the-250000-airline-pass-that-was-worth-every-penny/

    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…