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Avios seats now bookable on additional St Lucia flights next Summer

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Extra Avios seats are now bookable on St Lucia flights for next Summer.

Virgin Atlantic recently announced that it was pulling out of its St Lucia route from next June.

British Airways is picking up the slack.  It is adding two additional weekly flights to St Lucia in Summer 2020.  Extra flights are scheduled between 4th July and 29th August 2020 from London Gatwick to St Lucia.

Since these flights have recently been added to the schedule there is still excellent Avios reward availability.  Remember that British Airways guarantees two Club World and four World Traveller seats available for Avios bookings on every flight it operates.

More Avio seats to St Lucia

The easiest way to see reward availability is by using Reward Flight Finder. It is currently showing very good availability for flights in July and early August, which is as far out as you can currently book.

BA is cancelling one weekly Orlando service and one weekly Las Vegas service during this period to free up an aircraft.

To maximise your miles when paying the taxes, your best bet is the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card which earns double Avios (3 per £1) when you book at ba.com.  You do not get double Avios if you book with the free British Airways American Express card.  Another option is American Express Preferred Rewards Gold which offers double points – 2 per £1 – when you book flight tickets directly with an airline.

(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.)

British Airways '£1 taxes' domestic Avios redemptions are back
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Comments

  1. OT
    I recently upgraded from Amex Green to Platinum and spent £4,000. The 20,000 MR points did not trigger immediately but have now appeared, although the tracking bar still shows £0.

    • Good morning Mark, how long did the points take to appear after hitting the £4k?

      • It was about two weeks, but CS told me that there was a technical problem that was being fixed.

        • Thanks, I think I’ll conti ue to keep mine on hold until next years council tax is due although the risk is the offer could be withdrawn. Two weeks is good though, some were reporting bigger issues.

          • Lucky you lot that can use paypoint for your council tax. Our council resolutely refuse to issue such a card. Atm, can only use pp on bt, affinity, so can’t use that route to get the 4k spend in v quickly! But yes, timing of upgrade to benefit is paramount.
            How’s that Addison Lee benefit working out for people?

          • Takes me 10 painful trips to the co-pp Polly, due to cap on 2x£150 payments per day.

          • BJ – My CT bill is £332 per month which I pay manually each month along with my mother-in-laws. The Co-op I use can take a max of £200 but what they do is scan the bill and enter £200 then scan it again and enter £132 and then I put in the credit card and pay the total of £332 in one transaction.

          • Have a look at Monese. It does cost £14.95 per month but you can load £500 per day at Post Office and £249 per day at Paypoint and a few Coop branches have both. It is a current account with free FX which I have not tried. You can switch the full facilities and fee on and off.

          • @Liz, in Edinburgh they give us a payment card. Co-Op scans it 2x£150 and then takes a £300 card payment. Twice I tried doing it mire times on same day without success but it was in the same store, I need to get another store on the same day to see if it will allow me additional payments there.

            @Mark, with avios becoming increasingly difficult to collect I guess now is a good time for me to look at Monese and other avenues that I have ignored thius far as simpler opportunities have previously sustained my avios requirements.

          • Bigger issues here. Three very painful online chats, the last of which lasted an hour (I was doing other stuff at same time), during which they committed to sort the issue during the call, but still failed to do so. Still nothing resolved even though I was told (again) that yesterday should be the date.

            The worst service part of all this is that Amex point blank refuses to contact me with any updates. I am told I have to proactively ask them each time via online chat if they’ve sorted it yet. What a bloody charade.

          • Liz m- I just wait for a new CC target period and pay CT £200/week at both Tesco & Coop (both have Paypoint). Really easy to reach a target if your Council allows prepayment.

          • Thanks for the Tesco tip. Also ASDA apparently.

          • Harry T says:

            @Mark2
            Coop and post office are happy for you to load the Monese card with Amex? I thought they would only let you top it up with cash?

            I’ve never used PayPoint before, so I’m unsure how it works.

          • @Harry T, if you are thinking about Monese you can current get over 3600 avios for signing up. Think like @Shoestring might think and you will figure it out.

          • Yes; I rarely use cash for anything. As always do not ask; just clutch a card and they will usually just put it on card. Remember the quality of the staff.

          • @TripRep – I don’t use my CT to hit spend targets in one go – i just pay it month to month and chop and change the card spend as I go along. Am now in my 2nd year of BAPP with no £3k bonus to hit so chugging along till I get to £10k for 241. Have already hit Spire on IHG and hit the 10k on Hilton card this year so decided with only 4 mths to go to go for a final Lloyds upgrade voucher so currently putting everything through that for next few months. Then I’ll switch back to BAPP.

        • Harry T says:

          @BJ – I catch your drift but I sadly already have Monese. Though they’ve given me Premium free for three months, so I intend to capitalise if I can top up at Post Office or Paypoint.

          @Mark2 – thanks, I’ll see how I fare at the post office five mins walk from me. Think there’s also a PayPoint at the Tesco across the road.

          • Cheers Harry, can you report back on how you get on please. Have every confidence in Mark’s tips but always useful to have more data points on peoples experience in other locations. For example my local Tesco Extra now seems determined to enforce every detail of all t&c regardless of promotion etc.

  2. O/T: Trailfindees is back on amex offers, £100 back on £1000 spend. Only on my gold card of the four cards currently held.

  3. Have BA announced which LAS flights it is droppings?

    • It is the Gatwick-Vegas flight, BA2277. Not every day. But since it is in the schedule you won’t be able to book it any more. I found it missing on a Thursday but not sure if it’s every Thursday or if it alternates with Orlando.

      • Thanks for the update, hoped it was the Gatwick flight. Got Avios /BA 241 redemptions booked on the LHR to come back from LAS in August.

  4. OT – I’m interested in the Virgin Atlantic credit cards but looking at Trustpilot, Virgin Money’s reviews are terrible – almost all are 1 star with many saying they’re struggling to get the cards to work. Should I be worried?

    • Probably most of the reviews are from those who have had their applications rejected. Had issues with android app when first launched but never since, not had any issues with applying for or using the card. Never had to call CS about the card. I have and have had other Virgin Money products, never had any problem with those either and I found CS related to those to be excellent.

      • +1

        • Peter K says:

          I never found the app good. If after they “fixed” it out still didn’t work very often. Only had to chat to CS once who were okay but the miles credit well.

    • Genghis says:

      If you never have to contact customer service, they’re great. Otherwise CS is appalling (first hand experience).

    • Spaghetti Town says:

      I have terrible trouble with the app, it’s completely stopped working for me and I’m having to go on to desktop. Will try re-installing.

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      If you never need to do more than spend on the card, look at the statement and pay it then they’re fine. Supposedly fixed, but do also make very sure and then check again later that the DD is set to take full payment before first billing date.

    • I don’t understand why so many get hung up on apps. If it is proving difficult then why not just use the mobile site? These are generally much better than apps anyway.

      • It’s an irritation.

        There’s been a few major changes to the App so it’s been a full delete and reinstall app a few times. There’s also the security feature that only permits one installation per account. Some of use a tablet at home and their mobile when out and about – but not allowed by Virgin.

        • I’d carefully see the cash price and the points+ taxes. You can only use the 241 voucher in economy unless you have status which makes it pretty useless. Just relieved I didn’t bother aiming for the voucher. Will cancel the card shortly

        • Easy irritated 🙂 Thanjs for comment about it not being allowed on two devices, I didn’t know that.

  5. Hi, I have trying to find a number that I can call for an avios redemption at 1am BST (midnight GMT) but have failed to find one that works (i.e. is open).

    I’d really appreciate it if someone could share a number (I tried the standard US one on the BA sight but that closes at 1am)

    Thanks

    • Spurs Debs says:

      Have you tried Japan number?

      Are you trying to book a return flight?
      Why not just book on internet when flights are loaded?

      • Hi, Using the phone rather than the Web as that is what was recommended in Robs redemption article. (Just the article didn’t contain a number – and the one in the comments is closed at 1am BST)

        Haven’t tried the Japan number – didn’t know about the language and suport of English?

        I’m actually trying to book outbound flights using the AMEX 2-4-1

        Thanks

        • Spurs Debs says:

          With the time difference Japan is open, my advice is to call a few minutes before to go through security and get in the queue. Don’t worry about language I believe you are actually calling Hong Kong, in any case their English is very good.
          I’ve always managed to book outgoing flights on line at 1am you have to keep refreshing page as they might take a few mins to load flights.
          It’s the return flights you will likely need to call them.
          Remember they release two club world per flight but no guarantees of first. My advice if first isn’t showing is to get the club seats and wait and see if you can upgrade to first, use the flight reward finder website for updates well worth £3 a month.

    • +81332985209

      I called Japan on this number a few nights back. I am a high flying bronze so not sure if this was a dedicated hotline.

      Read my comments and the replies in the bits article yesterday. I’m on holiday with rubbish wifi and poor signal, had to call from the bus stop down the road at 2am and even then it cut out on me, thankfully they called me back. Still cost me a small fortune so make sure you use skype or something similar.

      • An just saw you are booking outbound, no need to phone just book online and apply 241, then call to add inbound.

    • Thank you “Spurs Debs” and “Matt b” for your help and suggestions

  6. OT – how does Radisson Rewards compare to Bonvoy, HHonors etc, is it better?

    • Genghis says:

      Isn’t there an ongoing series doing compare and contrast?

    • No definitive answer, horses for courses.

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      See recent hotel scheme article series. I’d imagine the ‘opinion’ article on Radisson will be posted tomorrow.

    • It’s easy to earn lots of points, but I find the points are worth significantly less than the valuation Rob places on them.

      Having said that, Hilton seems to be going this way too.

      We get by FAR the most value out of Bonvoy points, and actively seek them out.

      • I cannot get decent points-earning opportunities from Bonvoy for love or money. By contrast, Honors is even happy to lend me a few 🙂

  7. Last night BA flight arrived back at LHR over 2.5 hours late. Circa 11pm.

    I understand no eu261 compo as less than four hours.

    Would BA accept a expense claim for a taxi incurred (under £50) as was spouse and 2 Young’s kids plus stroller.

    Family friend was arranged but could not wait the extra time due to the delay.

    • Shoestring says:

      probably not – you’d have to demonstrate that public transport options had finished for the day & even then 2.5 hrs means it would be a goodwill refund so ask very nicely

      • We don’t know from where Nick’s flight arrived. If it was less than 1500km then duty of care kicks in after 2h. I successfully claimed for taxi on a delay of slightly more than 2h from Dublin in the past. If it is more than 1500km, then no luck.

        • Shoestring says:

          duty of care doesn’t normally cover transport home after a delayed flight – no matter how long the delay – unless the passenger can make the case for there being no public transport available

          it *is* all about making a reasonable case, but BA are sometimes iffy about paying more than £50 taxi fare at the worst of times, eg they dumped you at Gatwick when you expected to arrive at Heathrow & pick up your car – they really want you to hang around and get public transport, which I guess in legal terms is mitigation of costs

          one tip is to get them to arrange the taxi for you (prepaid/ taxi voucher) at the airport, but then you need to find CS/ manned desk and make your case, not necessarily easy at 11pm

          all of the above is just about getting an easy refund – you would always also have the option of forcing the issue (eg MCOL) if you felt you had no other reasonable option than the taxi & the cost was BA’s fault (eg the 2.5 hr delay late at night) – and BA would very probably back down and refund you without any more procrastination

          • Shoestring says:

            you could also add that the taxi option was cheaper for 4 people rather than buying 4x bus/ train tickets

          • RussellH says:

            This story was a ***very*** long time ago, last century, but I once offered to mitigate BA’s losses following a delay quite significantly, and BA said no.

            I had an Airmiles (pre-Avios) booking EDI-LHR-BRU, with a rail ticket for onward travel to a small town south of Namur.

            Flight from EDI was delayed, meaning that I missed the booked connection to BRU. BA rebooked me on the last flight to BRU, which arrived long after the last train south. They said that ground staff at BRU would arrange and pay for a taxi to my destination 80km away.
            I offered to spend the night with my parents, who lived quite close to LHR, and fly out the next morning, but BA’s line was they had to get me to BRU as soon as possible.

            I got my taxi voucher, and walked down to the taxi rank; the drivers all seemed to recognise a BA voucher from some distance, and the grin on the face of the driver who got the job has never left me.

          • BA paid £292 for our taxi from MAN to LHR the other week!

  8. Sussex Bantam says:

    They’re dropping an MCO flight in middle of the summer holidays ? Wow

    • Peter K says:

      St Lucia is no doubt a premium heavy destination with a whole Virgin jet load of customers ready to fly to it.

      • The Savage Squirrel says:

        Makes you wonder why Virgin dropped it then, if it’s so profitable that BA would drop a guaranteed full plane to MCO to service it.

        • Spaghetti Town says:

          Virgin seem to be heading in the direction of non Bucket and Spade routes with the Delta tie up now

        • @The Savage Squirrel
          Apparently Virgin tried to negotiate a deal with the St. Lucia government, who refused to pay the multi million dollars demanded by the airline to keep bringing tourists to their island.
          Sounds like a Delta driven initiative.

          • It’s reported that Virgin has also asked for multi-million $ “subsidies” from Grenada, Tobago and Antigua. I’m not an expert on the tourism industry but this does seem to smack of a large company trying to hold poorer nations to ransom.

          • RussellH says:

            Sounds not unlikely to me.

            Ryanair’s early business model seemed to be based on most of their income on many routes being incentive payments from smaller municipalities and/or airports. EU commission forced them to return a lot of the cash, IIRC.

        • Roberto says:

          I read that virgin wanted money from St Lucia to continue the route and a deal could not be reached.

          Maybe Ba did the deal instead.

    • A couple of years ago Thomas Cook dropeed ALL MCO/SFB flights from everywhere south of MAN and see where that got them!

    • That was my thought! Economy seats to MCO can hit £1k pp in the school holidays; I can’t see St Lucia having remotely similar demand in July and August.

  9. Gtellez says:

    OT- I have realized that Marriott is not crediting points properly. Last week I stayed in Marriott Leicester for 3 nights, the total expense was 392 pounds (326 excluding VAT), but I only received 2685 base points (including the platinum bonus, 2k points less). I looked at my previous stays and all of them were wrong… I had to contact Marriott and after more than hour talking with them and sending the invoices, they fixed my last 5 stays, in total more than 10k points more.

  10. Chemical Brothers are available too for the o2, only two packages left.

    • ankomonkey says:

      Finally something worth considering. I’m fed up of all the Barry Manilow-type offers.

  11. OT: Has Hilton Bankside really gone from 45,000 to 70,000 points per night?!

    Hilton points seem to have devalued quite severely this year.

    • It’s just variable pricing. I couldn’t believe it was only 45000 points per night before the structural change.

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