Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Virgin Atlantic to end all flights to Dubai next year

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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 (June 2023)

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, the Reward+ card has a bonus of 15,000 Virgin Points):

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ card is doubled to 30,000 Virgin Points. Apply here.

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

30,000 points bonus (to 13th June) and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

A generous earning rate for a free card at 0.75 points per £1 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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points (worth 60,000 Virgin Points) – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! Read our full review

Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year 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 (105)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • S879 says:

    OT: Could someone please advise about the medical cover offered by American Express (Platinum or Gold). Visiting USA in the summer and wondering if I should get additional medical insurance. Just need cover for 2 adults and 2 kids in case we need to see a doctor, have an accident etc. Won’t be going skiing. Is it worth getting extra insurance if I have Amex? If yes, could someone recommend a company? Thanks.

    • Genghis says:

      I suggest you read the insurance docs. Plat cover for medical is very good. No medical cover with Gold

      • Callum says:

        I’d second this. If you don’t understand the policy enough that you need to ask others, it’s a sign you need to read it again. Especially if you’re going somewhere like the US where a simple accident could bankrupt you.

        Very boring I know, but it’s pretty simple.

    • Matt says:

      I’m not an expert but I believe plat offers comprehensive travel insurance. Gold doesn’t – it just offers coverage if your travel plans are disrupted as long as that travel was paid for on that card.

      If you don’t have plat I recommend nationwide flex plus current account – £13/month gets you and your family worldwide travel insurance, mobile phone insurance and European car breakdown cover.

      • Roger1* says:

        Seconded, and if you keep a balance of £2,500 or more, the net cost is only £6-7 a month at current interest rates.

        Pre-existing (existing?) conditions can be covered and unlike AmEx they don’t stop coverage for anybody over 70 (+£50 p.a. for 75+).

    • Rob says:

      Amex Plat is fine.

    • Pangolin says:

      Be aware that Amex confirmed to me recently that the insurance on the Platinum is only valid if your trip originates in the UK. I tend to fly ex-EU mostly as I spend a lot of time on the continent. However, if your ex-EU flight is preceded by a positioning flight you wouldn’t have any issues (you could easily show that the actual trip started in the UK).

  • guesswho2000 says:

    $220 is incredibly expensive for a hotel in Vietnam, although I’m not familiar with Phu Quoc specifically. Looks nice though, and there’s a shortage of chain properties in VN in general.

    • Genghis says:

      We toured Vietnam in 2015. Those prices are indeed expensive for Vietnam as a whole but seem comparable for Phu Quoc top end hotels (we stayed at Peppercorn Beach Report and Salinda at the time).

      • Crafty says:

        Genghis, we are planning a several months trip to Vietnam. Would you be happy to share some reflections and recommendations from yours, particularly if you may have already written them up elsewhere? If so, perhaps best by email as too far off topic for here. Thank you.

    • Jeff says:

      We have just booked to go to Phu Quoc next March and had looked at a few other places like Nha Trang or Hoi An and at US$220 a lot of the places look quite dodgy when you look at them a bit more closely.

      The rate Rob gives is for September which is still the monsoon season…in March the rate with tax is US$260 for the smallest room without sea view etc. The rates at good hotels with some outside space etc. are much higher.

      • Phil Gollings says:

        Vietnam is getting more expensive as popularity increases.

        Which airports can you get to Phu Quoc ?

    • Gary Colclough says:

      Phu Quoc is expensive (especially Dec to Feb), we have just paid £180 per night for La Veranda

  • Chelseafi says:

    O/T looking for a one night break, booking with points, I’ve got Amex Plat, so Gold Marriott, I’m looking at Hanbury Manor looks nice but not sure how good restaurants are, also Lingfield Marriott (both 30k) any comments thanks

    • Charlie says:

      Lingfield is unusual in that you can get rooms that overlook the racecourse as it’s built into it. Not sure if they can be booked on points but in a nice area.

    • Cat says:

      Hanbury Manor is lovely, I really liked the food there, as well as the grounds and the spa!

  • What's the Point says:

    The prices quoted are inline with the JW Marriott we stayed at in Phu Quoc, and very top end for Vietnam in general. The food costs on site were also quite pricey

  • Samuel says:

    How will passport control work on the Dublin-Edinburgh flights? Or does everybody go through border control in Edinburgh? On LATAM’s MAD-FRA flights, the flight is classed as a non-Schengen so everybody has to go through border control. On the other hand, British border control is not allowed to check passports for passenger from Brussels to Lille (the so-called loophole for illegal immigration supposedly).

    • Gerry says:

      I was at Edi again on Sunday. Signs in Chinese (sorry, don’t know which) and English explaining that Pek-Dub pax go through border control, walk through baggage without stopping and go to Hainan desk to be directed through security again to get to departure lounge.
      Intrigued by the Edi/Dub sector. Would it be as delightful as my £13 flight on the same route last year with Ryanair?

      • ADS says:

        i just did a search on skyscanner to see how Hainan compare … it took page 8 of the results to get to the Hainan return flights – 3x the price of the flights on page 1 (EI and FR already compete on the route)

    • abc says:

      I guess you could have everyone go through border control in Edinburgh (I assume they’ll have to leave the plane anyway?) and it would also allow people to save time when arriving in Dublin). This would be more difficult to organise in Madrid as airports in the Schengen Area usually have separate gates for Schengen and non-Schengen flight departures while UK airports usually don’t.

  • DTB says:

    another non US route closed for virgin. Assumed they struggled to compete with the loss leading middle east airlines in this case.

  • Nick says:

    Gutted about the Virgin Dubai Flight having used it a couple of times as a BA alternative. Especially as i’ve just dumped my marriott travel package airmiles portion into my account!

  • Alan says:

    Presumably VS will still need to use the London slot for something? Or doesn’t it work like that?

    • Rob says:

      Yes they will – or lease it out. Use it or lose it is the rule.

      • Lumma says:

        The departure time would be better for something heading east presumably? Or is that just wishful thinking?

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.