Bits: BA schedule changes to Italy and Spain, £5 cashback from Amex with Paypal, Necker Island available on Virgin miles

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

News in brief:

British Airways announces Spain and Italy service changes

British Airways has announced a number of changes to its Spanish and Italian networks, including a few switches between Heathrow and Gatwick.

Here are the changes:

Almeria – moves from Heathrow to Gatwick from 1st April

Bilbao – moves from Heathrow to Gatwick from 1st April

Valencia – moves from Gatwick to Heathrow from 31st March

The following services are being dropped from 31st March ……:

  • London Gatwick – Barcelona
  • London Gatwick – Pisa
  • London Heathrow – Mahon

…. but are being offset by increased frequencies at the other London airport, with additional seats now available for cash or Avios:

  • London Gatwick – Mahon, increasing from 5 to 6 weekly from 22nd May
  • London Heathrow – Barcelona, increasing from 7 to 9 daily from 31st March
  • London Heathrow – Pisa, increasing from 14 to 17 weekly from 31st March

British Airways cancels Pisa flights from Gatwick

£5 Amex cashback deal with Paypal

A Paypal cashback deal has appeared on a lot of American Express cards.  You need to look at the online ‘Offers’ section for each of your cards and click ‘Save To Card’ if you see it.  Remember that the online site usually shows more offers than the app.

You will receive £5 cashback on any £30 Paypal charge made before 9th December.  This will be triggered when you buy anything online at a retailer where Paypal is an option.  Select Paypal and, at the Paypal website, enter your Amex card details.

Only 5,500 people can register so I recommend doing it now if you can via the Amex website here.

Necker Island using Virgin Flying Club air miles

Necker Island redemptions available again with Virgin Atlantic miles

Few people know that you can redeem Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles for holidays on Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island retreat.

Necker Island was badly damaged by Hurricane Irma in 2017.  After substantial rebuilding, the resort is about to reopen and this means you can now book it with miles.

Whilst it is not yet showing on the Virgin Atlantic website, US blog Frequent Miler says that it is now bookable.  The reason it is restricted is that Necker is usually booked by private groups and only a handful of weeks per year are available for individual travellers.

Greg, who writes that site, should know as he has done this.  Impressively, he got the entire 1 million miles (it later went up to 1.2 million) entirely from credit card sign-up bonuses …… welcome to the USA!

This is probably the best value Virgin redemption you can get.  A week on Necker Island during those weeks where the island is not let on an exclusive basis will cost you $35,000 for a couple.  That is £26,980.  Flights are not included in this price.

On that basis, 1.2 million Virgin Flying Club miles is a very good deal – you’re getting over 2.2p per mile.

You might think that 1.2 million miles is a lot, and of course it is.  However, it would ‘only’ require £800,000 of Amex spend on the Virgin Reward Plus credit card and I know there are a fair number of HFP readers, mainly business owners, who spend six figures per month on their cards.

Virgin has decided to make life a bit harder for credit card heavy hitters.  You must now have Virgin Flying Club Silver or Gold status to book this award.  This is not hugely difficult but, unless you can find a promotion offering it for free, it would require you to shift some business travel towards Virgin or ask for a status match from any other airline card you have.

PS.  If you were thinking of booking Necker Island for cash for $35,000, you used to earn 50,000 Virgin Flying Club miles if you gave them your number!  It is possible that this offer remains available post-reopening.

PPS.  My wife has 1,418,078 Virgin Flying Club miles and we could book this.  Unfortunately, after watching the BBC2 documentary about Necker Island a few years ago, she’s decided that it is a bit too, ahem, free spirited for her liking …..

Play Marriott’s ‘daily win’ game

Finally, don’t forget to click here to play the Marriott Rewards ’29 Ways To Stay’ daily win game today.  You should win at least 50, but hopefully more, Marriott Rewards points.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

LAST CHANCE: Head for Points writer, London, £40,000 pa
£161 return flat-bed 80 tier points business class deal on LAN's Madrid to Frankfurt service
Click here to join the 13,000 people on our email list and receive the latest Avios, miles and points news by 6am.

Amazon ad
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.


  1. Scottydogg says:

    The Paypal offer was targeted apparently , it didn’t show up on either of my cards , i was message amex through the chat function and asked about the Paypal offer , she said it was a targeted offer

  2. Not on mine but mine is linked to my pp a/c

  3. O/T – have you seen what Ryanair are doing ?

    I know its not a carrier we chat about much, but they can be useful occasionally for positioning for a TP run.

    With only a few hours notice, they are taking their website down for 2 days – you must checkin before 5pm today online – no changes can be made, nothing bought for the next 2 days.

    But the absolute kicker is that their checkin fee (and all others) will remain in place – £55 for the privilage of checking in!!!!

    I know we are accustomed to BA bashing a little bit around here (and well deserved most of the time) – but, could you ever see BA doing something as pathetic and stupid as this – to actually bring down their own systems for planned maintainance and not help people accommodate their stupidity ?

    • Hadn’t seen this – they are crazy ….

    • It’s 12 hours overnight, not 2 days.

      Still bad, but nowhere near as bad as you imply. I also don’t think they’ll have a leg to stand on if someone waits until 12 hours before departure to check in and can’t do it online.

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment.