Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

British Airways terminal changes from today – whilst Virgin Atlantic launches Mumbai

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

Today, 27th October, is the official start of the Winter flying season.  This is the day when most airlines change their timetables and schedules.

There are seven terminal changes by British Airways which take effect today:

Terminal 5 to Terminal 3: Billund, Hanover, Zagreb, San Diego

Terminal 3 to Terminal 5: Luxembourg, Lyon, Phoenix

Today is also the first day for the Virgin Atlantic service to Mumbai.  This is to fill the gap left by the collapse of Jet Airways earlier in the year.

The Mumbai service will have an early morning arrival into, and departure from, Heathrow in order to connect with as many UK-North America flights as possible.

The outbound will leave Heathrow at 10.15, arrving at 00.40

The return will leave Mumbai at 02.55, arriving at 07.35

It will use a Boeing 787-9 aircraft with 31 Upper Class seats, 35 Premium and 192 Economy.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (July 2024)

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 18,000 Virgin Points and the free card has a bonus of 3,000 Virgin Points):

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

18,000 bonus points and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

3,000 bonus points, no fee and 1 point for every £1 you spend 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 40,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 40,000 Virgin Points.

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points AND (to 27th August) £400 to spend at Amex Travel 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 sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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 (106)

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

  • Daniel says:

    Your terminal changes are the wrong way around at the moment, (03:24).

  • Andy says:

    Also today I think BA starts serving Beijing’s new airport at Daxing and will no longer fly to the old airport

  • Harry T says:

    OT – lounge lizard plans at LHR:
    Arriving into LHR T5 on an economy cash ticket with BA on 1st November at 6.35.
    I’ve booked a separate Club Europe RFS ticket from LHR to NCL at 18.15 on the same day.
    So, I’ve got about 12 hours to kill at LHR.

    It looks like I’ll have to collect my luggage from the arrivals section of T5 and then check my luggage at T5 departures for the next flight, before heading through T5 security.

    I’m wondering two things:
    1) Can I access the terminal 3 lounges (Cathay, Qantas etc) with my Club Europe ticket for a T5 departure on the same day?
    2) How do I get from T3 to access the lounges, and how do I get back to T5?

    I’ve never visited any of the LHR Business/OneWorld lounges (only PP T5) and I’d like to access as many of them as possible with 12 hours to kill. Flyertalk has conflicting advice on whether I can go from T5 to T3 to access lounges. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    • John says:

      Not possible especially if you need to pick up luggage.

      • BJ says:

        Not possible even if he doesn’t, he’s arriving T5. Besides, still not possible if Harry was arriving T3 with or without luggage as that boarding pass would not get him through to departures unless you know something I don’t. I think I’d be looking for an earlier flight to BCL Harry, cannot imagine anything much worse than 10h in a Y5 BA lounge.

      • Kevin says:

        It is. Check luggage at T5 and go through security. Travel to T5c and then back to T5a on the transit and go via flight connections to T3. Go through security and connections at T3 and into the lounges. At the end head back to T5.

        • BJ says:

          Wow, doesn’t he need to pass a boarding pass check and if he does would they let him through to T3 when departing T5?

          • Kevin says:

            Yes. Just explain you have a long connection and that you want to visit the lounges and do some shopping.
            I’ve even visited T3 when I was meant to be connecting to T4 (from T5) even though I couldn’t get a T4 BP issued

          • John says:

            Only if you book a T3 shopping experience where you get escorted and are supposed to spend £250 in a shop.

            It is possible without checked luggage, because you can go through flight connections to T3 after landing, then feign ignorance that you thought the terminals were connected.

            Technically you should not reeneter T5 having entered it already.

        • Harry T says:

          Thanks, Kevin.

          @BJ – no earlier flights for miles apart from a 7.30 flight which I would definitely miss (landing at 6.25 and need to recheck luggage and go through security). Cash prices are 300£+ one way in economy and over 400£ for business, vs 6500 miles + 45.50£ taxes (no economy redemptions).

          Obviously I’m waiting to see if any earlier RFS becomes available!

          • BJ says:

            @Kevin, thanks. Don’t imagine I will ever need it but it is one of those useful tips to remember if I do find myself in such a situation.
            @Harry, suggest you just ask on arrival at T5 if they can put you on an earlier flight, obviously before rechecking bags. In days when I flew through LHR I did this frequently with excellent success rate. They always had more chance of selling an empty seat on a later flight than one departing sooner.

          • Harry T says:

            @BJ thanks, that’s a good idea. Didn’t realise they could give me that option on an Avios RFS ticket. I’ll definitely ask at the check in desk.

          • Lady London says:

            Got a feeling there’s something that lets you go to ticket desk in airport same day and request a transfer to earlier flight same day f.o.c, if space available

          • Lumma says:

            The NCL flights often open up redemptions close to departure. It’s quite often business class only until a day or two before departure. Most of the time it’s just the first and last flight of the day however

          • Harry T says:

            Thanks, Lumma – I’m keeping an eye on redemption flights.

          • Polly says:

            They never let me go on an earlier flight from Dublin on an RFs fare, sadly. Insist it can’t be changed. Cheaper for me to buy hit earlier RFS flight, save hanging around, as happened in ARN one time too. So good luck…

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Outstations can be different. You can have more luck in Home terminals

    • Jake says:

      Personally, why not change your RFS flight or go into London. Change fee is £35 (I think) for the flight.

      It would be quite easy to go into London / Windsor and have a look round. Surely a couple of museums / art galleries is far more interesting than a couple of glasses of cheap bubbly and a watery curry.

      • Jake says:

        Also, apologies. My answer isn’t at all helpful.

        Don’t know about lounge policies I’m afraid. I can say though the BA T5 lounges are nothing to get excited about.

      • Lyn says:

        But is this practical with luggage? How early can you check in for CE domestic?

        • Jake says:

          I’m fairly certain BA will take your luggage from anytime up to 24hr before (or same day) and left luggage is always an option.

        • Relaxo says:

          BA wouldn’t take my luggage 5 hours before my connecting flight when I had a long layover last year…..

      • Harry T says:

        Was thinking about popping into london too! Will depend if I can get rid of my checked baggage, and if I have the energy after a red eye (I don’t sleep well on planes).

        • BJ says:

          If you end up doing this, and you have not already visited then you might have a professional interest in seeing the Fleming Museum at St Mary’s Hospital, and/or the Florence Nightingale museum. Just some suggestions if you have already seen most mainstream places in London.

          • Harry T says:

            Thanks both of you, I will take a look at those museums. I don’t go into London much so it will take some planning.

          • Alex Sm says:

            There are great things to see and visit in West London if you don’t have time to go to the city centre. First, it’s Osterley House and park, close to the tube and very nice. Second, it’s Gunnersbury park and Museum (near Acton Town station). Third, Acton depot (a branch of London Transport Museum, but check opening hours). And also if to venture a bit further, there are Kew Gardens, Museum of Water and Steam and Music Museum near Kew Bridge.

          • Rob says:

            Syon Park

        • The Savage Squirrel says:

          +1 for this – popping into one of the world’s most interesting cities where you can do literally anything you can imagine vs 12 hours in an airport terminal eating mediocre buffets and drinking heavily just to alleviate the boredom. I think T3 baggage storage is £8.50/item for 24 hrs? I’d pay a considerable amount more than this NOT to have to sit in LHR for 12 hours.

    • Lyn says:

      If you can find a shop that is in T3 but not in T5, then I think they allow you to go across to T3, probably with an escort to get across, to shop there.

      Also if both terminals have the same shop, but the T5 shop is out of stock of what you are looking for but the T3 shop has it in stock. I remember being offered this choice once. I don’t think there would be a minimum spend.

      • Jonathan says:

        It is possible to visit a different terminal using the transfer buses & transfer train to switch from departures to arrivals side of terminal 3 but the risk is on trying to return to T5 there will be a mini meltdown when you swipe your boarding pass at security as BA’s fly system will have you down as already being airside. Overriding this takes a lot of manual intervention & most BA staff will not be familiar with the exact process, particularly as it involves a domestic flight needing a photo taken. Customs will also want to speak to you to make sure you haven’t indulged in any duty free purchases in T3.

        I’d say chances of your luggage being off loaded or reaching departure gate & finding out someone has missed a step in the process resulting in you being denied boarding (at your own expense) is high enough that I wouldn’t risk it! If only travelling with hand baggage it’s slightly safer as won’t have to go landside/airside to get the transfer bus.

    • Andrew says:

      Twelve hours time to kill at Heathrow?

      If you’re only going as far as Newcastle, get yourself to Kings Cross and grab an LNER service that takes under 3 hours.

  • James says:

    San Diego is T5 to T3 – not 3 to 5 🙂

  • Michael C says:

    OT: pretty rubbish experience in Bologna lounge yesterday: no seats for first 20 mins (can happen), only food was 2 dry sandwiches, one of which was cheese paste (?!), only alcohol v rough wine.
    Toilets closed for last half hour we were there (with 5-yr old). Toilets by gate with 100+ people boarding also closed.
    The lounge is before security, but with it’s own fasttrack…but this closed before LHR departure.
    Back to the “normal” fasttrack – you can’t come through without a special ticket issued by the lounge people. Which no-one mentioned, of course.
    Great airport to arrive at, though – out in 4 minutes, into city centre in 15!

    • Polly says:

      Same rubbish system at Bari. OH had to go back out via security to obtain a door code. Inside just tea coffee, water pkts of biccies. That was it. Pointless. Thank goodness we flew Y.

    • Jon says:

      Agree, used it earlier this year and we only stayed for 20 mins before going through security and had a nice Aperol spritz at the bar after security. I meant to drop BA a complaint using the online form- suggest you do the same you might get 5/10k Avios and only takes 5 mins to complete the form.

      • Michael C says:

        Thanks Jon, and totally wish we’d just gone through. And of course, couldn’t even
        fill water bottle for the little one!
        Bu cheap Y flight and brilliant city, so hey-ho!

        • Jon says:

          Yes – ice cream and cakes/ pastries was off the chart!! We also did a trip to Maranello (Home of Ferrari) which was awesome, especially the f1 simulators which was pricey at 25 Euro each but a one off treat.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      My advice is always read the flyertalk reviews. Better time can be had in a nice cafe airside in most small airports

      • Jon says:

        The problem is that they can often be conflicting and changes made after the review – eg I read that they offered Prosecco at the Bologna lounge. They did not.
        CX J lounge at T3 offered Moët/ other top marques, not any more. So good advice but often things change so quickly that it’s worth checking out anyway if you have spare time/ have status etc.

    • Yan says:

      It’s pretty standard with other medium and small-size Italian airports. BA can’t do much more as long as they are paying for the only 3rd party lounge (LoungeBuddy for reviews) available.

  • MattB says:

    We are flying to San Diego in F next August, is there any chance it will revert back to T5 for the summer season?

    • Jake says:

      Not sure. Flights from T5 have connecting traffic. Those with the most point to point travel depart from T3. Depends therefore on booking patterns.

      Lounges are better in T3 anyway. More choice and better quality. Only missing out first wing on T5 which doesn’t add that much.


      • TGLoyalty says:

        First wing and importantly CCR.

        The CX first lounge is good but it’s not that good.

        • Jonathan says:

          Food is far better in Cathay First than CCR. Only thing missing is LPGS champagne (which you’ll get on board if flying F anyway). I’d also say service & wine better in Cathay. T3 wins all day for me.

    • Lyn says:

      I suspect San Diego will stay as T3. It would be par for the course. BA has always treated it as somewhat of a second class route, cancelling and restarting it in the past, or having a stop en-route in Phoenix. I think it has something to do with it being more of an economy class and cargo route than a true premium / business route. There always seem to be plenty of passengers connecting to San Diego ex-Europe but perhaps not many Club or First passenger doing this

      • Dev says:

        Have been in CX T3 first class lounge a couple of times in the last ten days. Their champagne from lesser known French houses are well worth the experience, I don’t know why most passengers choose the bling option available in the lounge.

  • PaulC says:

    O/T What is the website to check seat availability people have talked about in the past?
    I want to book 2 economy seats MAN to Dubai mid Oct 2020 and use a Lloyds upgrade ticket for Business coming back (using Avios for both). I have been keeping an eye on seat availability (but not stopping up till midnight to check) There doesn’t seem to have been a single economy seat available for weeks now.
    I have never struggled getting economy going out any other year but have never tried to book this far in advanced before.
    Any help much appreciated.

    • MattB says:


      • PaulC says:

        Thanks MattB
        That is showing there is availability for some days but on checking on BA it is only one flight.
        Would it be fair to say that the 12:50 (747) from LHR gets booked up at midnight which is our preferred flight? What we may have to do is book our return using the Lloyds voucher and then wait for more Economy seats to become available in the future. Can we then add them to the same booking?

  • NigelthePensioner says:

    I believe also that PHX is T5 for this season too…..or so my app tells me for our January flights!

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.