Bits: Virgin launches afternoon tea, the new BA A320neo seats, 20% off at Millennium Hotels

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News in brief:

Virgin Atlantic launches afternoon tea – on the ground and onboard

One thing about running HFP is that you meet a far broader range of people than you ever do in the City.  Eric Lanlard is one of these people – I never really expected that I would get to know one of the best pâtissiers in the world, and owner of Cake Boy, the destination café, cake emporium and cookery school.  However, via various Starwood Preferred Guest events (he did a lot for Starwood), I did.

Lanlard has now partnered with Virgin Atlantic to launch afternoon tea.  From Monday, a formal afternoon tea service will be available – for free – in the Heathrow Clubhouse from 3pm to 5.30pm.  Banish images of the British Airways Club Europe afternoon tea from your mind!  You will get a pot of tea or Lanson rose champagne and a bespoke stand filled with items including:

  • Prosciutto, sunblushed tomato and rocket on a stone baked Campagne brown roll
  • Smoked salmon, cream cheese and dill mint mini croissant
  • Broccoli, goat’s cheese and cress savoury tart
  • Homemade plain and sultana scones with strawberry preserve, lemon and clotted cream
  • Eton mess verrine with strawberry coulis
  • Apple and blackberry cake
  • Dark chocolate brownie with salted caramel sauce

More interestingly, the service is launching onboard from “late Summer”.  Upper Class passengers will be able to have afternoon tea at the bar, whilst Premium and Economy passengers will receive a selection of items at their seat.

I have a friend in the Clubhouse on Monday so hopefully we can get some images.  In the meantime, here is a promo pic:

Eric Lanlard Virgin Atlantic afternoon tea

A photo of the British Airways A320neo

Here is a picture – shamelessly stolen from Flyertalk, I am claiming the ‘public interest’ defence – of the seating on the brand new British Airways A320neo.

This is the seating in the 2nd half of the plane.  The first half uses the existing short-haul seat.  See what you think (click to enlarge):

British Airways A320neo seat

Millennium Hotels offering 20% off and a food and beverage credit

Millennium Hotels, which includes the Copthorne chain, is running a new discount promotion.

These rates do NOT show up on the website when doing a search unless you input the code SPRINGBREAK2018.

You save 20% of the flexible rate (although these rooms are not cancellable) and will receive a food and beverage credit of £15 per guest per day in London hotels, £10 per guest per day elsewhere in the UK and €10 per guest per day in Rome and Paris hotels.

The ‘per guest’ restriction is a little weird because – in the few examples I checked – the room pricing is the same whether you book for one person or two.  Perhaps a solo traveller should book for two people and at check-in pretend a second person is arriving later?!

You can book via the Millennium website here.  The HFP overview of the My Millennium loyalty scheme is here and you can sign up here.  You can also earn miles in Virgin Flying Club instead of earning My Millennium points.

(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. OT: Now that Avios is closing and transferring to BAEC, how does one make an Avios booking and have the Avios come out of specific accounts? Previously if I didn’t want to use Avios from one account, I’d move them all from BAEC to Avios temporarily and make the booking.

    • Presumably you can still move them to Aer Club or Vueling Club accounts which are basically accounts using the IT platform and website.

  2. Tom Cook says:


    I hold the BAPP and the Amex Plat. Around early March I cancelled the SPG card after hitting the spend bonus – I can repay at the end of September. At the moment our BA avios come through my BAPP and Tesco. My Plat card gives MR which is sent through to hotel schemes.

    I’m thinking of keeping the Plat and the BAPP (haven’t churned the BAPP). We have plenty of BA avios and hols are sorted for the year. We want to build our hotel points.

    Would the following therefore be a decent next step – get my other half (or refer self) from plat to AMEX Rewards CC (which I presume I can hold as well). Hit spend target, cancel, then go back to the SPG card at the end of summer. Just conscious that at the moment I’m not benefitting from any sign up bonuses and I have referred a few friends / other half so have run out of options.

  3. OT – avios changes. I suspect there are going to be issues. have a BAEC household account where all family members share an email address as we like all our travel bookings to go to the same folder. I have just spoken to and they have said that to transfer mine and my OH’s avios, we have to have separate email addresses and must change this on our BAEC accounts! I told them I am not prepared to do this as BA don’t require separate email addresses. I was then told that this might prevent the avios from being transferred!

    I’m going to wait and see, but this isn’t mentioned in the notification email from so presumably people won’t know unless they speak to about it.

    • Margaret says:

      I don’t know if this is true (as the Avios site is still working), but customer services at told me that Aer Lingus accounts which merge with the Avios account (and presumably Aer Lingus accounts generally) will allow transfer into a family account, as they have different rules.

  4. Cate ⛱️ says:

    OT as bits, is anyone going to move their stays to another provider from Marriott and to who?. Going through the figures although we can do without lounge access the lack of breakfast plus lack of elite benefits on booking more than room means we’ll probably shelve them for the foreseeable future.

    • Alex W says:

      Hilton- free brekkie with gold

      • Cate ⛱️ says:

        Thanks Alex W, we’ve dropped Hilton and won’t pick back up for the foreseeable future.

        Anyone who runs a business here got a view? i’m thinking general employees for IHG HIX and biz meetings and entertainment perhaps Hyatt or MO location dependent.?

        • Pangolin says:

          Cste, mind saying why you dropped Hilton?

          For me it would be the obvious alternative to someone leaving Marriott.

          Are you sure that 50 nights is out of bounds? Remember that if the Marriott CC comes back in August we will hopefully get the 10 elite nights credit. That would mean 40 nights – the same as for Hilton Gold. Marriott Platinum will be a lot better than having that.

        • Cate ⛱️ says:

          Hi Pangolin, short and sweet Hilton took us for granted for too long and mistakenly thought we were loyal….

          It’s not about getting the status back with Marriott, we have plat anyway because we go away most weekends. It’s that the new changes mean it doesn’t matter how many rooms we book for a night only one of those rooms will get breakfast. So if we have nine contractors come down only one is getting breakfast.

    • Alex W says:

      I don’t know any chain which gives you 9 breakfasts based on your status?!

  5. OT but I’m itching to make a RFS redemtion just for the sake of it on a weekend break or upcoming bank holiday weekend…any good ideas for destinations around 9000 avios return…something to just unwind from the daily grind…or places that have good availability on weekends
    Also does more availability come up closer to the date?

    • Londonsteve says:

      The trouble with bank holidays is that all the obvious spring holiday destinations are oversubscribed, thus no availability. Optimum choice for 9000 Avios is probably Munich. It’s perhaps slightly more of a business destination, so passenger traffic tails off during holiday times, yet it’s also one of Europe’s nicest cities. The spring weather will be marvellous this time of year and it’s a nicely relaxed place to visit. Prague is lovely but also high on the hit list of holidaymakers. Budapest magnificent and cash flights with low cost carriers are super cheap as it’s a hotly contested route, but UK BH weekends and school holidays result in the large Hungarian diaspora filling up planes, so again, no RFS availability. If you don’t insist on using Avios, I’d go for Budapest with a cash ticket and relax in the myriad thermal baths under the spring sunshine.

      • Budapest isnt 4500 avios each way either. The late flight out of Heathrow is often quite cheap though and means you can maximize the time in the terminal 3 lounges if you have status. Ibis styles hotel at the airport is usually decent value for the first night and you can enjoy a full day in Budapest the day after

      • Thanks for the info….will check out Munich…yep if Budapest out other European cities are really cheap as cash tickets would prefer to pay cash….
        I’m also considering Portugal And Malta

        • Lady London says:

          Lisbon excellent but think it’s a bit more than 9k. Barcelona has to be visited if you’ve not been recently.

    • Paris usually has decent availability due to the number of flights per day, and other French cities like Nice and Marseille are the same avios price. I’m sure you’ll find something – personally I would spend 18000 avios (or less if off peak) and thoroughly enjoy the travelling as well as I only travel for leisure and am therefore not too jaded about lounges and CE refreshments!

      • I didn’t think I would be jaded with lounges too until recently..used up my lounge club Amex gold passes in plaza premium on our way to Marrakech Easter half term…we decided with the regular priority pass offers it would be worth it for us to pay for it Too! Had an excellent meal and coffee. Would have stated for a virgin mojito too but we were getting late for out flight
        In essence we would have probably paid £30 plus in terminal restaurants and cafes anyway

  6. OT: how does one claim Avios on Vueling flights? Before the flight there was a field for entering an number, but this was only for the booking as a whole (not per passenger). I entered mine on there. These have credited to my account (150 one way, 195 the other). How does the other passenger claim their Avios? (And is there a way to do this in advance not arrears for future reference?) Wondering what will happen with this on retirement also.

  7. flyforfun says:

    Looking at those seats makes me thinks its Easyjet in BA clothing.

    • Thomas Howard says:

      Its easyJet/Ryanair at BA prices – the question is, how long will people be fooled by it?

    • Alex W says:

      Don’t flatter BA, doesn’t easyJet and Ryanair have more legroom than BA?

  8. The seats do look exactly what easyJet have on their newest aircraft and I did not find it comfortable for two hours. That flight was booked by my current employer to attend a conference (the directors who were going flew BA Club Europe instead ????).

    Should I try for myself? Well I would if it was being run on shorter routes but the routes I’ve heard it’s operating on are fairly long.

    So the question is how come the ‘densified’ aircraft can still use the better seats throughout whereas the NEOs have to use these awful things in the rear section? In case you missed it here is my look at the first BA densified aircraft

  9. OT: Told by staff that will no longer allow creating / converting new household accounts.

    Any other routes for free avios transfers?

  10. Pangolin says:

    Pardon my french but holy f*** those seats look awful.

    I’ve seen seats on Arriva buses that look more comfortable and spacious than that.

  11. OT – SPG started another round points sale with 35% off, it should be the ever last sale

  12. The 200 comments best thing about this story. The Daily Mail really does have it in for BA these days.

  13. OT:
    I have reached target for PRG and really want to upgrade to platinum but am waiting on the 5000 MR for spending £500 on companion cc. Questions:
    1. Does anyone have link for upgrade?
    2. Would I still get my 5000MR even if I go ahead and upgrade now
    3. Can I later cancel the gold cc and get platinum companion cc for another 5K

  14. O/T Bits. My wife has the free BA Amex card. Her membership year ends on 20th May. We stopped spending on her card months back when she was on £9800 towards the companion voucher. She will apply for the Premiom plus card and with little spend activate the companion voucher. Am I right in thinking that she will be liable for the £195 fee from May 21st as well as the fee from upgrading to the premium card in the next week or so. I believe she will be in which case she will cancel the premium plus card after qualifying for the companion voucher unless I am wrong ?

  15. elguiri says:

    OT: Curve card (debit) seems to not be accepted for Gov’s Tax free childcare account top-ups. Anyone else had this issue?

  16. Anyone else seen the strange BA press release about T3?

    The bloke in the video seems drunk! Can’t keep still, sways and nearly bumps into a passenger…

    • Chris A says:

      How bizarre! I’m really not sure that video added anything of value to the press release!

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