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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 (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.

  • 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.

  • Hugh says:

    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

      • the real harry1 says:

        There was never a problem transferring points BAEC—>IB

  • 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.

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

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