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British Airways adds new routes whilst Virgin Atlantic expands at Manchester

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British Airways has added two new services for the Summer 2020 timetable, which starts at the end of March.

These services are now available for Avios redemption, so if you previously struggled to find seats to these destinations you may want to take another look.

New Orleans – a new Tuesday flight has been added, taking the service to six per week

Nassau and Grand Cayman (the same flight serves both destinations) – a new Tuesday flight has been added, taking the service to five per week

British Airways adds additional New Orleans flight

Virgin Atlantic adds more flights from Manchester and Gatwick

Virgin Atlantic has added more services from Manchester and London Gatwick for Summer 2020.  This is in response to the failure of Thomas Cook which served many of the same routes.

Here are the changes:

An additional flight from Manchester to Barbados will run for the entire Summer season (late March to late October), taking the service from two per week to three per week

An additional two flights per week will be added between Manchester and Las Vegas over the peak Summer period

An additional one to two flights per week will be added between Manchester and Orlando over the peak Summer period (Virgin will be running 14 weekly flights between Manchester and Orlando at times!)

An additional two flights per week will be added between London Gatwick and Orlando over the peak Summer period, meaning that Virgin will be running 18 weekly flights at times

These flights do not go on sale until tomorrow, Saturday 9th.  Virgin Atlantic does not have a policy over releasing guaranteed reward seats at the same time as booking opens, although it is certainly worth checking tomorrow to see if anything is available.

You can book via the Virgin Atlantic site here.


HFP Virgin Atlantic Rewards credit card

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (November 2020)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Points

As well as the two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (see here, one has a bonus of 15,000 Points), you can also earn from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.

(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 (228)

  • C F Frost says:

    A question about Amex offers:
    “Only one credit per UK Card.”
    Does this criterion apply retrospectively for recurring but identical offers from the same shop? If you’ve already used the offer and then the same deal repeats, will you receive the credit again. I’m guessing so..?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      It’s per deal so if it’s reoccurring if you get it each time your card eligible

  • Ian McDowall says:

    The extra flight is probably using the aircraft taken from the cancelled Buenos Aires flight that I was booked on. Fortunately BA were able to move my business class reward flight using a companion voucher to the day before. An extra day in Buenos Aires. Perfect.

    • Heathrow Flyer says:

      The aircraft has come from:

      · LHR-BOM reducing frequency from 21 to 19 per week.
      · LHR-JFK reducing frequency from 56 to 55 per week

  • Cal says:

    OT: Flying to Barcelona tomorrow morning from Gatwick South. We have the two free passes with Lounge Club, recommendation on which lounge to try to get into first?

    • Rob says:

      As refusal often offends, according to the sign in my newsagent, I would head to Aspire.

    • Russ says:

      Personally prefer the No1 Lounge. It’s just newer and brighter. If you have Iberia tickets when you get to No1 Lounge they will direct you there anyway. It’s just upstairs from the No1 Lounge and there’s a lovely security guard there who loves his job….Breakfast isn’t very extensive, mostly bacon rolls and beans, pastries, fruit salad etc. Gordons gin.

  • Claire says:

    OT – does anyone know what is going on with Curve and IHG credit cards? I tried using Curve with IHG and it failed, IHG called me and said there had been a data breach, cancelled my card and sent me a new one. Tried using husband’s IHG card with Curve and same thing happened. We tried linking new cards with Curve but they rejected the verify transaction with Curve so there is no code to verify. Does anyone know if IHG have banned Curve from using their cards??

    • Anna says:

      I think someone else had the data breach issue the other day. I don’t know what’s causing this but be aware that IHG has strict limits for “cash-like” transactions which includes anything done via Curve & Revolut (£200 per day/£700 per week). I find IHG with Curve very unreliable (it declined a £5 sandwich purchase recently!) so tend to stick with Revolut.

      • Anna says:

        I’ve also not been able to get a confirmation code on my new card as my IHG account only shows the authorisation but not the code which is pretty useless!

      • Claire says:

        I had Curve payments totalling £75 in the 7 days before the attempted transaction that got the card cancelled and the pending Curve verify transactions have disappeared from both mine and my husband’s accounts, which infers they don’t want me to link Curve to IHG any more??

    • EwanG says:

      “Does anyone know if IHG have banned Curve from using their cards??”
      Not based on my experience – paid HMRC in two transactions on Tuesday and Wednesday, all went through fine.
      My card has been linked for some time, if that makes any difference.

      • Anna says:

        How did you get round the £200 per day limit or does this not apply to everyone?!

        • Genghis says:

          No limits but for Curve limits.

        • Claire says:

          Some things seem to be capped at £200 but I have Curved £500 to HMRC and it was accepted (£600 was rejected) so it must depend on what it is??

          • Anna says:

            IHG won’t let me pay my £300 monthly car payment either directly or via Curve as it’s counted as “cash-like” (they have confirmed this). I don’t know the extent of what they count as cash-like so have pretty much given up and just load up my daily allowance on Revolut each morning!

      • Lev441 says:

        It depends who you are paying and whether or not creation class it as a cash like transaction. Things like top up to Revolut, paying off Brighton, car lease payments are limited to max £700 a week or £300 a day. Payments in my experience to HMRC are not classed as cash like and I have been able to pay off a £20k vat bill this quarter.

    • Benj says:

      I’ve had exactly the same issue. Got my new IHG card and can’t get it verified in Curve. Never had any issues before, and I’ve spent loads on Curve linked to IHG.

      • Claire says:

        Just spoken to IHG customer services and they said they have discontinued Curve usage on ALL of their cards!!

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Unless it is very recent ie since yesterday that’s rubbish.

          • Rob says:

            What does IHG know about how their cards work?!

          • luckyjim says:

            That would be Creation, not IHG. But nothing has changed.

            My card was declined when paying for lunch on Wednesday but a £3k payment went through yesterday. I’m assuming it was just a glitch.

          • @mkcol says:

            My IHG linked to my Curve has worked fine at B&Q this afternoon.

        • Anna says:

          We took £200 out on my OH’s IHG card via Curve 2 days ago.

          • Claire says:

            Sorry I meant Creation customer services, i’m just used to calling it IHG card. The lady I spoke to contacted the security team and called me back to say you can still use Curve however some cards have been blocked. She said they did approve Curve’s 61p transaction however it does not show on my statement online so I dont know the code. She gave me the code but it didnt work. I asked her why she originally told me that they no longer allow Curve and she said that is what she had been told but there is mixed information there, so who knows what is going on. Rob can you clear this up please??

        • mark2 says:

          I used it yesterday!

        • Lev441 says:

          Absolute rubbish. I just reverified a new creation ihg card this week. It took a few days for the verification code to come up but now it has and it’s all active and I was able to use it yesterday.

          • Anna says:

            Where can you see your code? Mine is partly showing in “transaction” but the actual number is cut off! The card is new so I haven’t had a statement yet.

        • ankomonkey says:

          Used IHG card and Curve this morning – no problems… yet…

      • Rui N. says:

        I’ve just used my IHG card with Curve and all was fine.

        • Nick Burch says:

          Ditto, 200 quid to Brighton (taking me back up to my £700 in rolling 7 days limit) just went through fine

    • Thomas Howard says:

      I used my IHG via Curve on 5/11 no problem. If it stops working my year is up on 28/11 so I’ll probably wait for the voucher and cancel.

  • Mr(s) Entitled says:

    Why does the lower number of MAN-MCO flights get an exclamation mark but not the higher number of LGW-MCO flights? There is life outside of London as I hope you experienced on your recent MAN visit.

    • Kip says:

      It’s regionism. And if regionism isn’t a thing it should be. As LGW is inaccessible for 80% of the country it’s a wonder anyone flies from there at all.

      • Shoestring says:

        Funny definition of accessible – I drive 4hrs to Heathrow and that’s perfectly accessible, with public transport admittedly more of a faff. But using c.4hrs driving as the barometer, Gatwick is accessible to everybody in the UK from Manchester downwards

        • Shoestring says:

          anyway, doesn’t the exclamation mark [(Virgin will be running 14 weekly flights between Manchester and Orlando at times!)] mean: ‘at last! somebody is looking after Manchester & environs’?

      • Sussex Bantam says:

        46 million passengers flew from LGW in 2018. Presumably not that inaccessible…

        • Mikeact says:

          And I guess by his reckoning, Manchester is 80% inaccessible from the country !

      • Mikeact says:

        @kip. SOwhat do you make Heathrow, 50/60/70% inaccessible?

      • Charlieface says:

        Er guys, I think you actually need to drive out of London to understand the distance. Gatwick is definitely more than 4hrs from Manchester, even Heathrow is in the daytime, and both of those as inaccessible to most of the country. Meanwhile 4hrs from Manchester gets you past Glasgow and nearly the whole of Wales, because traffic isn’t as bad as in the south.

        • Shoestring says:

          Which is why I build in 2hrs contingency 🙂

          A bit of a pain but it means better certainty of catching flight & more time in the lounge

        • BJ says:

          Many people from central and southern Scotland choose to make that drive to Manchester as there is more choice of flights and often cheaper too. My perspective is different…how accessible is my destination not my departure airport. In reality many one-stop destinations are more accessible to Edinburgh residents than are direct destinations from the London airports for many people living in the south east. I can get to EDI in 15-20 minutes and feel comfortable walking into the airport 1h before departure, I can then comfortably connect in the major European hubs in under 90 minutes. But I will go to INV to save about £300 on APD, that’s 3.5h.

          • Harry T says:

            Do you stay in Inverness when flying out of there for a 241? Or just drive up?

            I’m considering flying out of there for my 241 but wondering whether to train, drive, stay overnight.

            Also, do you return to Inverness as well? Or call BA and book a return to Edinburgh?

          • BJ says:

            @HarryT: We return to EDI so we take the train. Used to have friends there but they moved to Shetland so now stay hotels. Flights schedule varies by day as they now have twice daily some days meaning your flight can be early morning, lunch time or evening. Not really any option but to stay if you need the morning departure. Hotels can be extremely expensive in Inverness outside the winter season. Best options are Travelodge Inverness Centre or one of the two central Premier Inns for train and bus station. In my view it is worth doing as a couple can save about £200. The train or bus journey is very scenic so if you value that then the decision is easier. If you book far in advance I believe you might still be able to get a seat on the bus from Edinburgh for £1 which is worth considering. There is a faster service and a slower one which detours through some of the towns along the way such as Pitlochry and Aviemore. From Inverness train or bus station you need to take bus or taxi to the airport. Unless it has changed again, the airport bus no longer stops in the retail park adjacent to the HIX so that hotel is now best avoided. You may have seen recent comments from Jill who lives locally; these indicate the risks of travelling the same day or in winter.

          • Harry T says:

            Thanks, BJ, that’s really helpful. Looks like it knocks if about 350-400£ of taxes and charges if I use a 241 from Inverness instead of Newcastle.

          • BJ says:

            @HarryT, Shsss it’s just the difference in APD!

          • Jill (Kinkell) says:

            There is a Marriott Coutyard under construction just a few minutes walk from the Inverness Airport terminal. Should be open in the new year. Ive just saved rather a lot of APD on my 241 CW flights for next year , but then Inverness is my local airport. Gotta have some perk for living in the regions!

          • BJ says:

            Thanks Jill, I heard about that hotel but did not realise it was at the airport and would soon be finished. Already booked PI for next sumner, and I think I still prefer to stay in town anyway. New hotel good for the 7am flight though. Hope things got sorted out for you in the end when the weather played havoc a week or two ago.

        • Peter K says:

          AA route planner says 4hrs 11mins from ‘Manchester’ to LGW when just checked. It depends on the time of day of course.
          It takes me about 3.5hrs to get to LGW from where I live (North) but only took 2.5hrs when I drove home at 11pm.
          The flights are more plentiful and cheaper from LGW than MAN a lot of the time, though I’d rather go from MAN if had the option at only a slightly higher cost.

    • Rob says:

      No life at all in PremiAir – I was the only guest. Had my own private terminal for the morning 🙂

      • Mr(s) Entitled says:

        I saw the instagram posts. If it wasn’t for HfP I wouldn’t know it existed. I wonder how they are promoting it?

    • fc99 says:

      Strange thing to be bothered about.

      An exclamation mark!

  • Sunny says:

    OT – Amex preferred rewards gold, hit 1 year this week and spent over £15k, how soon do we typically see the 10,000 points credit?

  • Diydegsy says:

    When do you receive the 25k points for reaching spire elite please or do you have to request them?

    • mark peterborough says:

      You have to request them as there is a choice between gifting Plat status to a friend or taking the 25k points for yourself.

      Oddly I just achieved enough points earnt to make Spire Elite three days ago when my credit card points posted but I have heard nothing from IHG to say that I will maintain Spire until December 2020 , nor have I seen the chance to choose between gifting status / taking points

      • mark2 says:

        I have had Spire Elite carried forward for several years now with virtually no stays.
        Shame it is worthless!

        • BJ says:

          Well if you did stay you’d get twice as many points and slightly less rubbish welcome points but that is about as good as Spire gets.

      • Crafty says:

        How do you request them?

        Do you still get these if you reached Spire due to credit card spend?

        • Steve-B says:

          Yes. Log in and go to Your Account, there’s a link on the left hand side “Explore Elite Benefits”. Takes you to a page where you can select option (points or Plat). Points post straightaway.

  • rob says:

    Very OT:

    Virgin Atlantic redemptions on singapore airlines are limited to A380, 777-300ER & A350. If I’m seeing first class availability between PVG-SIN on the 777-300 can I book this in F, as I’m guessing this is the only aircraft you could actually book F on?

    Thanks

    • Neil Donoghue says:

      Good luck finding availability with Virgin! Despite finding various seats on United, I have only ever been offered economy when trying to book SQ….Give them a call and let us know how you get on.

      • Shoestring says:

        seatspy.com until Tim gets his data feed

        • Neil Donoghue says:

          Doesn’t show SQ availability!?

          • Dev says:

            Singapore Airlines generally blocks reward seat availability for partner airlines on their new aircraft (B787-10 and A350-900) as well as premium (for want of another word) such as the A380 and B77W. Having said that, I gather from other travellers that availability on flights within Asia has been opened up to Virgin Atlantic and Star Alliance members. I’ve never succeeded in booking SQ flights within Asia using Virgin FC miles, but you never know, you might get lucky!