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Virgin Atlantic to end all flights to Dubai next year

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Virgin Atlantic has announced that it is cancelling all flights to Dubai from 31st March 2019.

As a regular traveller on the route, I always struggled with Virgin. 

Virgin Atlantic to drop Dubai route

The outbound flight from the UK is overnight which, whilst it may suit some business travellers (albeit you are heading straight into work after 2-3 hours sleep at most), didn’t work for the leisure market.  Arriving in Dubai at 8am with no hotel room to check into and sleep-deprived kids is not fun.

The British Airways options are not great either, with the first Heathrow service leaving at 12.55 which gets you in very late.  The sweet spot is taking the 9-ish services on Emirates or Etihad (to Abu Dhabi, a short taxi ride away) which land around 8pm.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (January 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, 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.

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:

Nectar American Express

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:

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee 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 (108)

  • ConcernedFriend says:

    O/T – friends flight to New York on Norwegian (operated by a 747 operated by Wamos) has been turned around due to smoke in the cabin. No one has any information for him on board. If flight not fixed tonight what is he entitled to?

  • John says:

    Well I’m sad about the VS to DXB, the route I used most on VS, imo the depart/arrival timing great

    I liked the overnight flight, usually in UC with a good sleep, never had a problem with my hotel allowing very early check-in (SPG Gold as was), typically landing to being on a sunbed in under two hours if staying in Dubai for business

    for holidays, heading up to RAK both Waldorf and Hilton upgraded us on arrival, zero wait

  • Binks says:

    I’ve been using this site for th last 18 months and this is my first comment.
    I’m very disappointed about Virgin dropping their flights to Dubai. I have flown using that service a couple of times and have really enjoyed it. I also have 150k points which I was planning on using for two upper class returns to Dubai late next year. I’ll now have to reconsider my plans. I have 80k points on my Amex which I was going to transfer to Virgin however may now look at the Singapore Airlines dollar conversion instead. I’m also now thinking twice about whether to go for the new Virgin CC with the 15k bonus…. hmmmhhhh

  • Janicee says:

    I disagree with your comment on the leisure market. I regularly use the overnight flight to Dubai on BA.

    I can work till 6.30 in Canary Wharf, get the 9pm flight to Dubai, be beside the pool by 8.30am. Stay overnight Saturday, get a late checkout Sunday and then fly back on the 2am ish flight on the Monday, arrive at Heathrow at 6.30 and be at my desk by 9.30.

    Two days sun for one night’s stay. I can sleep on planes.

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