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The early May Bank Holiday in 2020 has been moved … book (or rebook) your flights now

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The Government has announced that the May Day bank holiday in 2020 will be moved.

Instead of taking place on Monday 4th May, it will now take place on Friday 8th May.

This is to allow it to coincide with the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

This has a few implications if you had booked, or were planning to book, flights over that weekend.

2020 May bank holiday moved

If you have already booked a short break for the May Day bank holiday:

If you paid cash, you’re stuck

If you booked with Avios, you should be looking to rebook as soon as possible as long as your hotel plans are flexible.  The change fee is £35 per person, but you may prefer to pay this rather than take an extra day of work.

If you haven’t booked anything yet:

You’re in luck!  As this news was only released on Friday, you may find good Avios availability to Europe for the weekend of 8th to 10th May.  

It is also possible that hotels have not yet adjusted their rates, because you would expect to pay a premium over the May bank holiday.

You can find out more about the change on BBC News here.

PS.  It is worth remembering that Spring bank holiday is on 25th May next year.  This gives the potential for an 18 day holiday between Friday 8th May and Monday 25th May which requires just 10 days of leave.

Comments (95)

  • Stu says:


    A few weeks ago there were some posts relating to a link or app that gave you a discount (£5 or £10 I think) off train bookings.

    Can anyone remember what they were?

    • Shoestring says:

      sure – go to HUKD, search ‘megathread’ and the rail offers come out first/ on top

    • Andrew says:

      LOCO2 is the site that was doing the £5 offer.

      They are doing a link with some major employers, so if you are PAYE, take a look at your internal site for special offers. Mine is still giving a fifth back in points, brother’s is getting a tenth.

      Absolute bargain given that I got a full refund on a delayed first class KGX-EDI journey by the TOC and still got the points!

  • Harry T says:

    I’ve been looking at Avios flights to mainland Europe from Newcastle for the new Bank Holiday weekend… I’m not honestly sure how Avios can be useful for anything other than long haul redemptions on partner airlines. The price of taxes and Avios for flying to say, Budapest, means that my partner and I will get nowhere near 1p per Avios flying from Newcastle or Edinburgh, as we have to go via London. Even the Aer Lingus route from Newcastle to Dublin isn’t good value compared to Ryanair cash flights.

    Do any of my fellow Northern residents have advice for finding good value Avios redemptions, or have better suggestions for where Membership Rewards points might be invested?

    • Dave Barron says:

      Like you I use Newcastle airport with limited options in terms of short haul. Personally tend to do long haul to USA or Canada (with BA via LHR) because in such cases the connection from NCL to LHR is free.

      The Avios fare for a city break etc with BA via LHR is a poor use of points unless you have a 241 voucher and use Club Europe. A shame the short call connection to LHR isn’t free (or even reduced) in the same way as it is for long haul.

      Personally I’m intrigued to see what options may open up with a Virgin Flying Club / KLM&AF Flying Club merger so for now am keeping my Amex points where they are.

      In the meantime stick with Jet2 or EasyJet etc as a cash fare for Europe.

    • David says:

      Any advice? Move to London, of course!

      • Freddy says:

        Might be easier to dump avios points unless your London based, the options are limited. Not everyone wants to live in London

        • Shoestring says:

          4 hr drive for us and I’ve no problem with LHR, still far cheaper/ much better frequency than some LCC alternatives – LCC from Bristol means losing day/s of holiday & is not exactly cheap either

          LCCs around London airports might be better frequency/ sometimes cheaper in cash terms – to our regular destination – but obvs you can’t pay with cheaply acquired Avios!

          travelling time by car Newcastle to LHR is 4.5 hrs so not that much worse – though sure you might live closer to Edinburgh which really would start to be a longish car journey

          • Harry T says:

            @Shoestring: I do live in Newcastle. Not too keen to drive 4.5 hours down south for a city break in Europe, but I see your point. For long haul it probably doesn’t matter as much, if I can get enough leave to factor in travelling to and from London. My OH is from Edinburgh so we can stay with her parents if we fly out of Edinburgh. I’m more bemoaning my lack of redemption options for a quick weekend getaway without sacrificing any of my leave. Would be much nicer if I could spend 9000 Avios for a cheeky return to the Continent.

            Concerning long haul Avios redemptions – I’m not sure I can earn enough Avios to redeem now AMEX has changed the rules. I’ve come to similar conclusions to Dave Barron regarding long term opportunities – thankfully I’ve just been approved for the Virgin Reward+.

            I’m doing my specialty training in the North East (my preferred choice, could’ve gone to London), so moving down south isn’t an option for another five or so years (in reply to people who suggested moving).

          • Shoestring says:

            South West of LHR is quite useless for airports & routes, Bristol is great but you have to hope it covers your destination, which in our case it doesn’t do a good job. Exeter / Bournemouth/ Cardiff etc are just pot luck as to whether they have your destination. Newquay is 15 mins away but completely useless for Europe. Plymouth closed down.

            I think London, the Midlands and the North have enough population for the LCCs to be able to offer decent choice.

          • Shoestring says:

            Let’s hope Exeter stays strong after flybe problems

    • Anna says:

      Going via LHR on SH is a pain now the novelty of CE has worn off and connecting flights are now charged for the avios. I’m trying a new strategy in December- taking my sister to the Xmas markets in Vienna. She’s never flown in Club so I’ve used my Lloyds upgrade voucher to upgrade us both outbound so we can enjoy the lounges at MAN and T3, then flying back direct to MAN on EasyJet for £50 each which includes seat selection and checked bag for our Xmas purchases!

  • Nick says:

    MR > hotels to go with LCC flights booked with cash?
    Or go to EDI or MAN and use the seasonal BACF direct flights?
    Campaign to stop your local countrymen being so cheapskate that BA decides there’s yield to be made in more direct regional flights themselves?

    • Harry T says:

      Thanks for the suggestions. I think hotel redemptions are a good idea.

      Am I right in saying you can’t get Reward Flight Saver for the seasonal flights out of Manchester or Edinburgh? Apologies, still quite new to all of this.

      • Anna says:

        All the regional flights can be booked as RFS if there is availability. We went to Nice last year on Monaco GP weekend for half term, cash price for 4 of us would have been £1700!

        • Harry T says:

          Thanks, that’s very helpful. Do you know when they release regional Avios availability for Manchester and Edinburgh?

          • Anna says:

            T-355 the same as all redemption seats with the possibility of more being added at a later date. You just have to bear in mind that they are weekly and seasonal so you don’t get loads showing up all the time. One option is to do BA on avios one way and LCC the other if you don’t want to go somewhere for a whole week.

        • Harry T says:

          Thanks for the heads up on the RFS flights out of Edinburgh and Manchester. Just booked a return for my OH and I from Edinburgh to Florence next May. Only got about 1p per Avios when compared with the BA cash price (the best for that route) but I’m happy with the flexibility and value I’m getting. I can leave my car at my OH’s family’s house and stay there overnight. Much better than driving to Manchester or London and paying more for fuel, parking and maybe a hotel.

    • Harry T says:

      Not sure if the locals round here are really cheap skates when it comes to holidays; I’m from the South originally. I do wonder why BA doesn’t have a bigger presence in Manchester.

      • Anna says:

        I know, it’s crazy. Most people I know do between 2 and 5 foreign trips per year, we are always desperate to get away from our (generally) abysmal weather!

        • Anna says:

          BA would finds tons of demand for direct flights to New York, Orlando and Miami (at present there are none at all to MIA). Bonkers that you can fly direct to DBX and the Far East but not to MIA, IAD, BOS, ORD and so many other US cities!

          • Harry T says:

            Exactly, Anna! I’ve flown to Australia from Newcastle with Emirates (via Dubai), but there’s very little on offer to go mainland Europe or North America. I think the market would be there if BA wanted to expand.

          • Andrew says:

            There is clearly demand in “The North”. I’m flying from EDI to BOS direct on Delta’s new route in a few weeks time.

            On the midweek day I’m outbound – the plane is full. The days around it are showing as a handful of seats available. One full plane doesn’t make a business case, but that’s one full plane of passengers that aren’t on Oneworld or Star Alliance connecting services.

        • Harry T says:

          I feel you on the weather. I lived in Australia last year and I have found it hard to readjust to the perpetual dark and rain.

          • Anna says:

            Oof! My GP told me that most people in the North West are vitamin D deficient through lack of sunlight 😱

          • Harry T says:

            Your GP is right! As a doctor in the North East, I’ve come across many patients with vitamin D deficiency or borderline levels. Good excuse for a few holidays in the sun a year 😉

          • Rob says:

            I recommend Boots childrens chewable Vitamin D gummies instead, very tasty 🙂

        • David says:

          Is 2-5 international trips a year meant to be a lot or not very many? I’ve done 5 since January, excluding work travel, number 6 coming next weekend…

  • KirtjE says:

    OT: Is there anything at all that you can do with a small (c. 12,000) Miles & More miles that are due to expire? I know you were once able to move them to Heathrow Rewards, but I think that has stopped. Any help would be appreciated!

    • Rob says:

      You can check HR. If not you might need to part-pay a hotel room or buy some tat from WorldShop.

  • Tilly71 says:

    Anybody know what VF2011 charge on the VA credit card is?

    • Tom1 says:

      Harry got you hooked on Sun Bingo?

      • Dan says:

        Ha! That’s definitely what it is!

        Unfortunately my cash back tracked at £10 rather than £25 🙁

        • Tilly71 says:

          Same here, it better uplift as I lost and that’s what the VF2011 charge was & not a cash advance fee! 😎

          • Freddy says:

            Would have thought virgin would have put it through as a cash advance, do they apply cash advance fees for gambling transactions?

          • Shoestring says:

            hang on you guys – I said no good on credit cards

        • Tilly71 says:

          Better put in a claim as today the offer finishes.

    • Harry T says:

      Best to use a debit card? Perhaps Curve linked to VS cards?

  • Tilly71 says:

    Couldn’t find your first post from this morning, was it removed?

    • Rob says:

      3rd article was the Amex Plat reminder which is now pinned to the top, so it sits there to remind people tomorrow.

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