Bits: 3000 miles with Virgin Money Transfer, £40 off Virgin economy to NYC, Norwegian to launch third daily NYC flight

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News in brief:

3000 Flying Club miles with a Virgin Money International Money Transfer

Virgin Money International Money Transfer returned as a Flying Club partner a few months ago.  The offer has now been extended and runs until 31st October.

If you try this service now you can get 3,000 Virgin Atlantic miles when making your first money transfer transaction.

The miles are worth around £30 at best and you need to transfer £1000 to trigger the bonus.  If the Virgin rates are close to Azimo then you may come out on top but you should definitely do the maths first – the banks are not known for their great rates.

Full terms and conditions can be found here.  You can find out more about this offer in our earlier article here.

How to earn Virgin Atlantic miles from UK credit cards

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Flying Club miles from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Flying Club miles.  That page is regularly updated with the latest special offers and will still be accurate even if you are reading this article months after publication.

Virgin International Money Transfer earn Flying Club miles

Up to £40 off Virgin Atlantic economy flights to New York

We’ve given Virgin Atlantic’s rebranded economy products quite a bit of coverage over the last few weeks.

This article introduces the three different economy fare classesThis article explains why – because it earns so many additional miles – Economy Delight upgrades are effectively free.  More interestingly, a review of Virgin’s Economy Delight service, coupled with a report of what airline press trips are actually like!, will be published in the next few days.

Virgin Atlantic has now launched a special offer for economy flights from London to New York.  This gives you up to £40 off the fare. If you book an Economy Light return trip you will get £10 off and on Economy Classic return trips you will get £40 off.  There is no saving on Economy Delight.

You must book by 17th May 2018 for travel before 27th October 2018.  These fares are exclusive to Virgin’s own website.  The special booking page is here.

To maximise your miles when paying, your best bet is one of the two Virgin Atlantic Reward credit cards.  These earn double miles (3 per £1 on the paid card or 1.5 per £1 on the free card) when you book at virginatlantic.com or via Virgin Holidays.  Another option is American Express Preferred Rewards Gold which offers double points – 2 per £1 – when you book flight tickets directly with an airline.

Norwegian adds third Gatwick to New York service

Norwegian to increase London to New York frequency

Norwegian has announced plans to increase their daily flights from London to New York.  From 28th October 2018 there will be three daily flights instead of the current two.

The additional flight will depart from London Gatwick at 9.50am and lands at New York JFK at 1pm. The return flight will depart New York JFK at 7.40pm and land at London Gatwick at 7.10am the following day.

Thomas Ramdahl, Chief Commercial Officer at Norwegian said about the new frequency:

New York remains one of the most popular routes for Norwegian customers and we are delighted to be able to offer an additional frequency between London Gatwick and JFK Airport which will provide even further choice and flexibility combined with great value. Our modern fleet of aircraft allow our customers, whether travelling for work or leisure, to enjoy their trip from the moment they step on board thanks to our award-winning state of the art entertainment system, comfortable and spacious cabin and attentive cabin crew.”

My review of Norwegian’s Premium cabin is 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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Comments

  1. Anna says:

    Is there any reason why Norwegian couldn’t start flying from Manchester? The North is woefully served for US flights. Prices are very high for the few services that do exist; it’s quite common for northerners travelling to the US to fly via LHR with BA simply because the prices are so much lower, even though it’s extremely inconvenient. New York and Florida are hugely popular destinations and lack of availability pushes prices to ridiculous levels – a colleague of mine has booked flights to Orlando 15 months in advance to get affordable fares for a family with school age kids!

    • Matt says:

      3 direct flights a day to NYC is reasonable on 3 different carriers (Virgin, Delta and Thomas Cook) to provide competition? That seems to reflect in the price where looking across the rest of the year prices for economy return range between £350 to £600 which seems pretty in line with the prices I see from London. (Most prices were around £400, and prices only went >£500 on peak August dates).

      Thought you could only book flights around 11 months in advance?

      • Anna says:

        Some travel companies (I think it was Thomas Cook) allow you to book further in advance.

        Not everyone wants to go to New York though (and prices can hit £800-900 in Economy) There’s a very long list of US cities you can’t get to directly
        from Manchester. Also for such an in-demand destination, there are very few flights to Florida, which is why the airlines can charge £1000 pp as standard for an economy seat at peak time. When we went to Orlando a few years ago BA was far and away the cheapest option (that was when there was still a connection to Gatwick!)

        • Andrew says:

          Don’t forget Singapore to Houston from Manchester

          Priced from £389 including 2x23Kg hold luggage as standard. Even with overnight stays at Houston airport to ensure connections, that’s still pretty good.

  2. marc shorter says:

    I clicked the link but the ‘new’ morning flight didn’t show. Only one flight per day – pm

  3. Jonathan says:

    Quick question for the churners here. People talk about the benefit of taking gold and upgrading to plat for additional MR points. Has the benefit been reduced or is the normally just the 1k? Seems like all in Gold to plat with referral is 49k vs. 48k for the direct route (assuming there’s no referral for an upgrade).

    • Anna says:

      Not sure what benefit you mean, the required spend on the upgrade is £1k for 20,000 MR points. Though I haven’t seen anything definitive to say you can upgrade to Platinum charge from Gold credit card yet.

      • Jonathan says:

        Thanks, essentially I mean the benefit of churning via Gold vs. churning the platinum card directly. If you are a recipient of the referral points through getting your spouse to refer you, etc, it didn’t seem wildly different in terms of the rewards. Let me know if I’ve got this wrong.

        I guess you’re likely to incur lower fees with fewer months with the higher Plat card given it’s a only a 1k spend via the upgrade route.

        • Genghis says:

          If you’re nifty on Excel, why don’t you build a model where you can find the best routing for you, building in different points earned, how fast you spend money, likely fees etc

    • Genghis says:

      Direct to Plat is: 35k + 2k = 37k for £2k spend
      Gold then upgrade is: 22k + 2k + 20k + 1k = 45k for £3k spend
      So delta of 8k for an extra £1k spend, a decent deal.
      Question is though, can it be done with the new Gold credit card? If anyone has it and is interested in upgrading, please report back.

      • Jonathan says:

        Has it changed? On the Amex website today under Plat referral I see:
        https://www.americanexpress.com/uk/content/mgm/the-platinum-card/terms-and-conditions.html

        You will receive 18,000 bonus Membership Rewards points if your friend or family member uses the Referral Programme to apply for a card (other than a Basic Card) and is approved. You will not receive any points if they apply for a Basic Card.

        Hence this suggested to me 30k + 18k = 48k.

        • Genghis says:

          It’s been like this for a while. The person doing the referring receives 18k whether Gold or Plat, ie no delta

      • Genghis says:

        You’ve also got the additional supp numbers, 5k for direct plat vs 3k + 5k for upgrade route, increasing the delta to 11k

  4. meta says:

    O/T A new Colloseum inspired Plaza Premium lounge in Rome just opened last week. It looks impressive.

    • Anna says:

      Colloseum inspired? That sounds a bit grim ????. Are they serving dormice on the buffet?!

      • meta says:

        Am flying back tonight, so will report back. From what I’ve seen online, it has 6 shower rooms, huge bar, and a large amount of seating. I am quite excited as I thought I’ll have to settle for one of those horrible other lounges!

        • John says:

          Nice bank holiday in Rome?

        • meta says:

          Yes. Very nice. Stayed at Aleph Rome on Hilton voucher + points as no availability at Waldorf and it was great. Plaza Premium lounge is opposite BA lounge and they do cooked to order pasta and pizza! @Anna, no dormice! ???? Lots of space and relatively quiet. Although the staff are not that friendly! We’re in Italy after all.

    • Alex Cohen Goldstein says:

      Didn’t realise it was new! Was there yesterday in the morning and it’s very impressive like other PP lounges, so spacious and comfortable with not many people there. Staff are friendly and someone is constantly cleaning. There are indeed lots of shower rooms and a bar, not sure it was coliseum themed though

  5. Bits O/T, BA still up to their pathetic dodgy practices denying valid EU261/2004 claims…

    Loyalty Lobby pretty damning of the situation (rightly so IMHO)..

    https://loyaltylobby.com/2018/05/06/compensation-clinic-british-airways-five-hour-delay-for-cargo-door-coming-off-ec-261-2004/

    • John says:

      It’s BA standard practice to deny almost everything on your first contact

      • Anna says:

        Their CS is atrocious! Last year they cancelled 3 flights I had booked and would only offer alternative flights to another destination. When I pointed out their legal obligation to re-route our party to the original destination, their response was that this might be the law but it’s not their policy!

        • Yuff says:

          BA cancelled my outbound flight, on Thursday for May half term, and within1/2 hr I had called up and re-booked all 3 passengers, on a new flight, from a more convenient departure airport. These are RFS flights and I couldn’t book the airport, we are now departing from , as there was no availability. No issues with changing the flights whatsoever 🙂

        • Matt says:

          Did they actually say “this might be the law but it’s not their policy” or is this your hyperbole? If they actually said that I’m sure the legal ramification and PR damage will be enormous for a company like BA to vocally acknowledge they don’t follow the law.

        • Anna says:

          Do you actually know what hyperbole is?

          The actual conversation went:
          Me: “It’s a legal requirement that you re-route me on a comparable method of transport.”
          CS rep: “But that’s not our policy.”

          In the end I opted for an alternative destination as the route wasn’t served directly by another airline in any case so I would still have had to take two flights which was even more inconvenient than changing the city!

        • Evan says:

          I know what hyperbole means and I would say that your own response shows that Matt does too.

    • Danny says:

      Why are you keep plugging this pathetic, dodgy and sub standard so called blog?

      • BA has paid 2 x EU261 for Anika and 1 for my brother in the last year, all within a week and all with no discussion.

      • Danny – I have no bias or agenda to plug LL, the story interested me as it clearly does others, I advise you skip on by, simply ignore my comments and links if it rattles you so much..

    • This isn’t really news.

    • Nick_c says:

      We had a five hour delay on our flight back from LAX last year. We knew about it when we woke up in the morning (inbound flight delayed) and adjusted our day accordingly. Made a claim on line as soon as we got home, and BA paid out within three weeks. No hassle at all, and as the €1200 was more than we paid in fees and charges on our J 241 redemption, I felt we hit the Jackpot.

      Apparently because BA have so few A380s, when one goes technical its a real problem for them.

      My partner was stuck in Germany during the bad weather at LHR before Xmas. BA couldn’t be contacted, but they paid up quickly on the expenses claim when he got back.

      You can criticise BA for many things – and I do – but IME they pay up quickly when things go wrong.

  6. O/T – Any one aware of extra/bonus points for adding a supplementary card to Amex Nectar!

    • Peter K says:

      I think my wife got 1k nectar points for doing it earlier this year.

  7. OT:planning a trip to Malaysia and Singapore next Easter. Have enough points for a Marriott Travel Package. Any recommendation for a beach hotel/resort?

    • Matt says:

      Haven’t stayed there, but the St Regis Langkawi looks stunning.

      In Singapore, I’ve stayed at the Ritz Carlton Millenia which was ok but a bit too big and busy for my liking to feel like a luxury 5*, and worst of all you could hear the traffic from your bedroom even on the top floor! Also stayed at the St Regis Singapore which I adored but realise not everyone is keen on the location compared to being down on the bay.

      Enjoy!

  8. Ammar says:

    Ot- I have £225 worth of Heathrow rewarads vouchers which expire next month. Not got any flights from Heathrow, so have a couple of options I can think of, but wonder if others with more creative minds can sugg alternatives:
    1) make a trip to Heathrow and buy something from pre-security shops like luggage
    2) not sure if poss – book refundable airline ticket, check in and get boarding passs, spend voucher post security and then cancel flight before take off- not sure if I will get money back?
    3) book cheap non refundable flight one way and check in and spend vouchers…
    4) find someone travelling from Heathrow to get something for me

    Regards

    • Catalan says:

      Why not just convert them into the various airline loyalty schemes such as BA Executive Avois, Virgin Flying Club miles, Lufthansa Miles & More etc.

      • Without a transfer bonus, you are ‘paying’ 1p per mile if you do this so not great value. I would sit on them until a transfer bonus comes along.

        • Matt says:

          But points expire next month so sitting on them is not a great idea …

          Does the expiry of all his points get refreshed if he earns a single point or transfers from say Emirates?

      • Ammar says:

        Sorry if I was not clear, meant I had already converted them last yr when a bonus came along, originally had planned tp buy something but as not travelling via Heathrow will loose them

        • David says:

          Sorry did you convert other miles INTO Heathrow rewards vouchers?
          Otherwise I don’t follow you.

    • Tilly says:

      Find someone travelling from Heathrow to buy something for you.

    • Shyla says:

      Sorry, I have only just read this thread. I was in your your position only two weeks ago, I travelled down to Heathrow, terminal 5 and went into W H Smith where you check-in and was able to convert them into £120 John Lewis/Waitrose gift card. On the back of the paper voucher it does say gift card purchase is not allowed however mind were accepted without question. There is also a W H Smith at arrivals but the gift card selection is very poor. Making the trip was well worth it, as the money will be put towards a new fridge.

  9. Tom1 says:

    o/t Lloyds upgrade voucher

    If I change/cancel a BA Avios booking made with a Lloyds upgrade voucher, what happens to the upgrade voucher? does it make a diff if I change the booking rather than cancel?
    tks

    • The_real_a says:

      You cancel you lose the voucher. Change of date are allowed, change of destination allowed provided in the same avios zone. I paid a small fee (£30 ish) when i made a change. You need to call up.

  10. rash says:

    o/t How does priority pass work if you have one through a supp Amex plat and another through your own Amx Plat? Is it possible to have and use two priority pass cards? Thanks

    • Nick says:

      The name on each PP needs to match the name on a boarding pass handed over at the same time. Obviously each user can have a guest. Other than that, you can use them however you like, the agents on the door won’t have a clue it’s from a supp card.

      • rash says:

        Thanks Nick!

      • Genghis says:

        But if Mr Genghis has his a PP card from his own Plat and a PP card from being a supp, can he then guest in two people?

        • My untested theory would be that you can guest 3. For a few weeks later this year I will have two Plats, if travelling I will try and find out/ask at a lounge

        • I have guested in two people using two PP cards in my name when my plat card overlapped with the sup I had from my wife’s card. The agent does not usually mind as they are still collecting the money.

  11. Matt Black says:

    OT – just booked what I considered to be a very reasonable BA holidays package over Easter holidays next year, going out in CW to SEA returning in WTP from LAS to LHR which I immediately UuA to CW. Obviously as a lowly blue the galling thing is the seat reservation charges on top.

    For the outbound leg, the only upper deck seats available to reserve (2 together) are in row 63 either a/b or j/k. I assume either of these would be preferential than the lower deck which is wide open?

    The return leg hasn’t been reticketed since the upgrade a few hours ago so it won’t let me reserve anything at the moment, but with the flight only being released to book today I’m hoping we can also book the upper deck.

    • Years ago when I had no status I paid to reserve an upper deck seat on a 747. I didn’t regret it then and I wouldn’t now. That said, I flew back with AA and didn’t have to pay anything to reserve a seat. It would have galled me to pay a fee there and back thinking about it – and it’s a lot of money if there’s two of you. I’m not a great fan of CW but in my view it’s a much better product “upstairs”.

      • Matt Black says:

        I’m leaning towards booking upper now, just need to decide which seats. Would rather not have to climb over anyone and have someone do the same to me so I’m thinking 63b and 63j which are across the aisle and both exit row?

        • Can’t help you there – I’ve always avoided an aisle seat in CW.

        • Genghis says:

          I never choose aisle seats. 62AK and 64AK are in my opinion the top seats. Private and direct aisle access

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