Bits: HFP Summer Party!, Virgin Atlantic ordering more aircraft, up to 40% bonus buying Virgin miles

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News in brief:

Save the date for the Head for Points Summer Party!

As promised, we are putting together a Summer party again this year.  Last year, our Christmas and Summer parties sold out in less than 5 minutes. The venue we have selected this year has twice the capacity, and we are hoping that everyone who wants to attend will be able to!  It is a prestigious hotel in a central London location with an outdoor area if the weather holds – and an amazing indoor space if it doesn’t.

We are still finalising details. We will have a full post about the party in the next fortnight including details about the event itself, our sponsor and how to buy a ticket. For now, however, please keep the evening of Monday 8th July free! 

Virgin Atlantic orders additional aircraft

Reuters is reporting that Virgin Atlantic and Airbus are on the cusp of a deal for six to 10 new A330neo aircraft.  This is not a big surprise, given that the 12 new A350s coming on stream from this Summer are not enough to replace the Boeing 747 and A340 aircraft that are being retired over the next few years.

The A330neo is a refresh of the A330 aircraft which Virgin Atlantic already has in its fleet. The biggest upgrades are to the wings and engines, with a 12% fuel efficiency increase compared to the older A330 model which entered service in 1994. The aircraft also comes with larger overhead bins and is apparently quieter than a Boeing 787.

Interestingly, the A330neo competes on both capacity and route length with the Boeing 787, of which Virgin Atlantic has 17.  Instead of streamlining their future fleet around two aircraft types, the 787s and the new A350s, Virgin Atlantic clearly sees value in operating an additional type. It may be that Airbus has given them a particularly attractive price for this deal, since sales for the A330neo have been slow.  It probably helps that Delta, which owns a 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic, also has 35 A330neos on order.

A330neo aircraft taxiing

Get 15%-40% bonus when buying Virgin Flying Club miles

Virgin Atlantic has re-launched its semi-regular bonus for buying miles. Here are the rates:

2,000-9,999 miles = 15% bonus miles
10,000-29,999 miles = 20% bonus miles
30,000-69,999 miles = 30% bonus miles
70,000-150,000 miles = 40% bonus miles

With this promotion, Virgin has increased the annual purchase limit to 150,000 miles from 100,000 miles. You can buy here.

As usual, these deals are best used to either:

top-up your account for a redemption you plan to make soon, or

buy all the miles you need for a redemption where availability is showing

It does NOT make a lot of sense to buy on a speculative basis at these prices.  Even if you buy the largest possible quantity, which is 210,000 miles for £2,265, you are still paying 1.08p per mile.  Whilst you can get far better value than this when redeeming, the ‘profit’ isn’t so great that I’d be willing to tie up my money without having a clear redemption plan.

Before buying, think if you have any American Express Membership Rewards points, Tesco Clubcard pointsHeathrow Rewards points or hotel loyalty points which you could transfer instead. Remember that Amex points transfer instantly if your accounts are already linked.  A cheaper way of getting 10,000 Virgin Flying Club miles would be to get the free – in Year 1 – American Express Preferred Rewards Gold credit card and transfer the 10,000 Amex points sign-up bonus.

And, of course, you currently receive 12,000 Virgin Flying Club miles with the FREE Virgin Atlantic Reward credit card and 30,000 Virgin Flying Club miles when you take out the £160 Virgin Atlantic Reward+ credit card.  This is a better deal than buying the miles!  Full details of the Virgin Atlantic credit cards, and a few ideas to help you choose which is best for you, are in this article.

The promotion closes at midnight BST on the 30th June.

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  1. Simon says:

    OT beer top up at beer52. If you still have multiple 10 off 20 beer52 offers on various cards and you have previously ordered something. Code “SOLDOUT” knocks a tenner off the shop. £9 beers + postage is about £31. So net cost £11…

  2. Ahopping says:

    OT: As a Canadian citizen currently living in the UK, but still with a Canadian address, I am thinking of getting the Amex plat back in Canada and ditching the one I have here.

    I assume if I did so I wouldn’t get a sign up bonus, would have to either merge or empty my UK MR account.

    Has anyone gone through a similar process in other countries?

    • Tom H says:

      Having just done this myself last year, you can hold both. I had the Amex Plat in the UK and got Amex gold whilst in Calgary. 2 different MR accounts as they aren’t worth the same as in the uK, but the earning rate is considerably higher. Eg 3x on fuel, 2x on groceries etc

  3. OT — thanks to the HfP reader (whose name I forget—sorry) who tipped me off about being able to use my Amex Platinum to get into the Lufthansa lounge at MUC terminal 2.

    For anyone else planning to use this benefit in the future, note that it only works in the lounges next to K and L gates; the lounge near my gate (H) didn’t let me in. Also don’t let anyone at the lounge entrance tell you that your gate (in the same terminal) is half an hour away, as though you might walk there rather than get the frequent one-minute subway.

  4. Freddy says:
    • Shoestring says:

      bit of a non-story as the vomit was hidden from view until they pulled out the bed (or whatever) so not surprising the cleaning crew didn’t see it

      should be in line for some decent compo! 🙂

      • Jill (Kinkell) says:

        I had a disgusting footstool , clearly something spilt. Alerted cabin crew immediately and completed all complaint forms on return,including photos. Shocking corporate responses from CS. Sent pics to Alex Cruz and got a phone call from his office staff next day…..totally agreeing about the poor state of the stool and cabin. ( which was filthy) Apparently they were also appalled at the CS responses I had received. Comp20k avios

        • Shoestring says:

          Going direct to Senor Cruz’s office is a very good tactic as he is a man who gets things done!

          I have very good respect for his response in a similar situation, he made up completely for CS failings (that’s only one person in CS, remember – who might be having a bad day) and did it efficiently with a great show of senior competence which made BA look good.

    • He did well to get 64K if he only upgraded at the airport – though if that’s the bassinet seat it might explain the vomit!

  5. Virgin spending bonus
    Got the fee CC recently and met the spending bonus,I thing I’ve read recently on this forum that people get an email from Virgin saying that the spending target has been meet and that the welcome bonus will be deposited in your Flying Club account when the statement is generated!Can anyone confirm please?

    • Shoestring says:

      sure, that’s what happened with mine
      Hi Shoester
      As you know, you’ve been enjoying our enhanced bonus miles offer designed to help you earn even more Flying Club miles when you spend with your Virgin Atlantic Credit Card.
      Great news – you have reached the minimum spend threshold and have bagged your bonus miles.
      Your bonus miles will be added to your monthly miles total on your next credit card statement and transferred to your Flying Club account a few days after that. You can check your miles balance at any time by visiting
      Yours sincerely
      The Virgin Atlantic Credit Card Team

  6. Shoestring says:

    You can’t stop the mentally ill! Hero neighbour saves the day.
    Gatwick knifeman who ‘wanted to cause a massacre’ is sectioned by police – as passenger reveals he was just YARDS from holidaymakers in baggage reclaim when he was Tasered
    Callum Oldfield, 21, [a neighbour] said he briefly spoke to the man [Gatwick knifeman, who had security clearance] at a bus stop in Ifield, West Sussex, and asked what he had in his bag.
    He told the Independent: ‘I said “what are you up to?” and he said: “I’m going to Gatwick for a massacre, I’m going to kill them all”.’
    Mr Oldfield, who like the arrested man is from Crawley, called the police after the ‘uncomfortable’ encounter after suspecting a flat box the man had inside a carrier bag contained knives.
    He added: ‘I took a couple of steps back. He was grinning like he’d won a load of money. He looked really, really happy. It was like he wasn’t all there.’

  7. Shoestring says:

    Why the hell can’t HfP have the party in the South west, howzabout Bristol or Exeter or even better Truro?

    Indeed, Newquay might be a nice night out for Londoners and other reptiles.

    There’s even an airport – Newquay! Not sure you’d get BA to fly a 747 there for the night but entirely possible.

    • But there is no J or F to Newquay!

      • Shoestring says:

        Don’t tell them: it’s much better than London. Because it’s not your shabby preep-poor London.

  8. O/t – amex green to plat upgrade.
    I saw people are waiting until the £60 annual fee is applied to green before upgrading to platinum.
    Are you finding you then don’t get the charge for the platinum until the year from the green activation? (As it was with gold previously). ?

    • BlueLabel says:

      I recently upgraded green to plat. Waited until after the £60 green fee had hit. Got a pro rata refund on the £60, and then charged the £450 plat fee the following month

    • guesswho2000 says:

      I did Green to Plat, didn’t bother waiting in light of the comments saying it didn’t work any more.

      We were charged £450, hit the target before the Platinum card has even turned up, cashed out MR, cancelled and refunded £437.67.

      £12.33 for 20,000MR is a pretty good return.

  9. I still hope for a free ticket – you promised me Rob! – in compensation for a massive VA credit card prop which fell on me at the 2018 Xmas party…

  10. Enjoy the party, folks – have full days at work Mon 7th and Tues 8th so no chance of making it down just for the evening.

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