Bits: Virgin Atlantic drops Dubai, Hainan selling Edinburgh-Dublin, new InterCon resort in Vietnam

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News in brief:

Virgin Atlantic to drop Dubai

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.  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.

PS. 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.

Hainan Airlines selling Edinburgh-Dublin

As we covered recently, Hainan Airlines has just launched a triangular Beijing – Edinburgh – Dublin – Beijing service using an A330-300.

Confusingly, the routing actually goes:

Beijing-Dublin-Edinburgh-Beijing on Thursdays and Sundays

Beijing-Edinburgh-Dublin-Beijing on Tuesdays and Saturdays

Hainan is now selling Edinburgh-Dublin and Dublin-Edinburgh as ‘fifth freedom’ services, if you want to fly this route with a business class flat bed.

It is £81 return in Economy and a stonking £414 return in Business! One-way tickets are also available.  Unfortunately Hainan Airlines is not in a major alliance so there is no easy way of booking Business Class with miles.

I suspect this would be a very pleasant Economy flight, as a lot of passengers will get off before you board and legroom will be better than a standard short-haul aircraft.

InterContinental Phu Quoc Long beach resort Vietnam

InterContinental opens new resort in Vietnam

InterContinental has opened the InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort, located on Phu Quoc island.  This is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve off the coast of Vietnam.

The resort features 459 rooms, suites and villas, its own beach and six restaurants and bars.  It is the 1,000th IHG hotel in the Europe / Middle East / Asia / Africa region, hence the image above.

The hotel website is here.  As an IHG Rewards Club redemption it is currently priced at 35,000 points per night, which is good value given that non-refundable cash rates in September start at $220 including tax and service.

(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. AlanC says:

    Anyone staying in the Jebel Ali, Marina or JBR areas, the plane to hotel often quicker from AUH than DXB depending on arrival time. Al Maktoum airport was good to fly into with Qatar before the fall out! Often felt like the only passengers in the Terminal.

  2. OT: I am hopefully about to book a flight using a 121 voucher. The voucher is in my wife’s account and she does not have enough to Avios but I do. I think therefore I need to create a BA household account which I think will let us book the flight we are after from her account. Is that right and if so how long does it take to set up, is it instantaneous?

    I am also hoping to get 90,000 avios from last weeks Iberia promotion. If there is any availability (and I don’t think there will be!) I think I will need to transfer more avios from BA to my Iberia account to get the flights I am interested in. Are there any issues with transferring from BAEC to Iberia if my account is a household account?

    • Darren says:

      Don’t know the second part but you’re right about the HHA, should be instantaneous

  3. 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?

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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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