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Virgin Atlantic drops flights from Manchester to Las Vegas

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Virgin Atlantic has quietly dropped flights from Manchester to Las Vegas.

We ran an article yesterday on the Virgin Atlantic Summer 2021 schedule which can read here.

What was noticeable by its absence was the new Manchester to Delhi service.  Due to launch on 26th October, it has now been quietly shelved.  This was the same fate as the proposed London to Sao Paulo service.

Eagle-eyed readers spotted another missing destination.

It appears that Virgin Atlantic is dropping Manchester to Las Vegas.  It doesn’t appear on the Summer 2021 schedule.

Manchester to Boston also doesn’t appear, but that is because Delta is taking over this route.  The first flight was meant to be next week but that clearly isn’t happening at the moment.

To be honest I would be surprised if Las Vegas did not reappear, as long as Virgin Atlantic retains enough aircraft to run it.  The collapse of Thomas Cook left Virgin Atlantic with a substantially improved position at Manchester.  Add in the benefits of the new pier, including a Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounge, which is due to open this year and you would expect Virgin Atlantic to have a good future at the airport.  Restricting itself to just five routes (Atlanta, Barbados, Los Angeles, New York JFK, Orlando) seems odd.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

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You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, the Reward+ card has a bonus of 15,000 Virgin Points):

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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 (61)

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

  • davvero says:

    I can see VS dropping Belfast and Glasgow and concentrating on Manchester and Heathrow. If things get really bad their entire Manchester operation might get scrapped to try and save their Heathrow business.

    I’m dying to fly somewhere, but really don’t want to fly to a country like the US that has handled coronavirus even worse than the clownshow in charge of England.

    In the long term really thinking of moving back to Italy once this stabalises. I was thinking this post Brexit as this country has changed a lot in the last few years, but my plans were paused.

    • Jonathan says:

      Interesting point about moving back to Italy. I work in the NHS alongside numerous Italian doctors & nurses & while they all love their homeland none of them have any intention of moving back as the politics & economy are such a perpetual mess. I gather there is a huge amount of nepotism in the medical world which doesn’t help matters either.

      • davvero says:

        Politics in Italy has always been a mess, just like Alitalia will always be bailed out. But as Italy is a country that depends on tourism more than the UK it has generally been welcoming to visitors. The UK used to be the same but that seemed to change after Brexit. The whole vibe in the UK at the moment is foreigners not welcome – although it’s a minority, they are encouraged by the government.

        • Steve says:

          “The whole vibe in the UK at the moment is foreigners not welcome” Come on. A lot of rubbish is written on HfP but that is up there with the biggest. I don’t recall the UK ever actively having a campaign saying we do not want tourists. Perhaps you need to direct your xenophobia more towards Spain and particularly, Catalonia which has had this approach. Google Barcelona no tourists. Even The Guardian reported it!

          • Andrew says:

            Parts of the UK definitely!

            “Don’t come to the Isle of Skye”
            “Tourists have Turned Oxford into Hell”

          • Rhys says:

            Venice has arguably been one of the most vocal cities regarding over-tourism

          • Anna says:

            I’m sure everyone employed in the UK tourist industry wants foreigners!

          • Doug M says:

            It’s about balance isn’t it, I think over tourism is a problem. Barcelona got quite unpleasant, and close friends have described Venice and Dubrovnik when cruise ships arrive and I can understand completely the need to limit tourists. Good for economy, bad in many other ways.

          • Rob says:

            In general cruise ships aren’t good for the economy either. Unless you stay overnight you’re not pumping any real money in.

          • John says:

            Many people employed in the UK tourist industry are foreigners. I would think many or even the majority tourists to the Isle of Skye are not foreigners, as in they are British.

          • davvero says:

            I never said anything about tourism, I’m talking about those who think ‘furriners’ are taking their jobs (and simultaneously also lazy benefit claimants).

        • the_real_a says:

          I often meet – apparently – intelligent Remain activists, who only associate with other Remain activists whilst living in comfortable middle class estates. It seems they have formed their opinion of other people who do not share their position in life solely by reading the Guardian and watching Shameless on TV.

      • J says:

        Italy has its issues but Britain, once very stable, looks politically and economically just as dysfunctional to me… And at least in Italy the food and people make up for everything else. I left the UK for Germany, the food is just as lousy but everything else is better, so I don’t plan to ever move back.

    • Andrew says:

      I’m not so sure.

      For as long as there are aircraft available, aren’t these fairly straightforward and often fully loaded diagrams that feed into the room allocations that Virgin Holidays have in Orlando?

      In normal times, Scottish Schools take slightly different holidays to English. For example, in 2021, my old School in Scotland will break up on 25th June. My local school here in England will break up on the 21st July.

      So for those 3-4 weeks, by cancelling the Glasgow flight, they’d be turning away people queuing up for (and paying a premium for!) a direct flight to Orlando and handing them over to BA to route via London – and leave them with empty rooms.

      (Yes, Delta, United & AA all fly direct to the USA, but they’d all need to put on bigger aircraft to accommodate the 1800 seats Virgin provide to Orlando every week).

      • davvero says:

        I wasn’t aware Scotland had a different school timetable. That might have some impact if they can use that to fill their hotels before the rest of the UK hits peak.

        • RussellH says:

          Not only a different school year, but a completely different education system, primary, secondary + tertiary. And an even more different legal system; and house purchase system. Shopping laws. Drinking laws. It IS a different country!

        • Brian W says:

          As I highlighted last week, beginner @davvero has a lot to learn as this post highlights. Keep reading HFP daily @davvero and you will reap the benefits.

      • Alan says:

        Yep agreed, can’t see them dropping the easy money of the Orlando routes which seem to have had consistently decent loads.

    • Anna says:

      +1 on flying to the US, I can see them still not being out of the woods by Xmas. A lot of them don’t even seem to fully understand the extent of the crisis in their own country. On a timeshare owners forum I’m on they clamour every day for other countries to re-open their borders to them but seem completely oblivious to the stated declarations of these nations that this will only happen when there’s no longer a risk of Americans bringing COVID in with them.

      • roberto says:

        The US has two pandemics , covid and stupidity. I remember chatting with some Americans in the Dominican Republic a year or so ago and they would not fly to Europe because of the risk of terrorism. When I pointed out their state had more fatal shootings than all of Europe combined they could not comprehend that the right to bear arms meant they where more likely to get killed staying at home.

        • AndyF says:

          I had exactly the same conversation in the Dominican with Americans. A lovely couple in their 60’s the wife said she dreamt of visiting Paris and London yet refused to go due to Terrorism. The husband ran a shop and told me stories about how he has been held up multiple times at gunpoint and that he has a permit to carry.

          • Don says:

            No right to bear arms in London either, not a right to bear a bit of stabby stabby kit. Seems to happen with a concerning frequency and especially affecting persecuted minorities.

    • james says:

      I think you are wrong, GLA – MCO is a cash cow, it is jam packed most of the time, only thing that might kill it is if Disney isn’t open!

      • Paul says:

        Not sure if you appreciate the Glaswegian joke you wrote down

        If Disney “disney open!!”

  • HAM76 says:

    BA‘s policy still only applies to flights booked on or after March, 3rd. I was going to attend a conference in November that has been canceled due to covid-19. Unfortunately, I booked my flight earlier this year.

    • BrightonReader says:

      What do you mean?

      I had flights booked in January and due to fly in March that I was able to get a voucher for and I am incredibly happy with that as the flight was operating. If I had cancelled I would have cost back less then £50

      • Andy says:

        I’m in a similar position (bookings for flights after July but made prior to 3 March. It is annoying that those who had given BA cash earlier (and hence showed more regular “loyalty”) are being penalised. Guess I just need to wait to see of the flights get cancelled in due course …

        • AJA says:

          Andy, the exchanging tickets for vouchers is now extended to the end of July so you can now swap if you want. I am waiting for official notification of flight cancellation before making my decision as i am still not sure if I want to just get everything back.

          The problem for HAM76 is that the exchanging for vouchers is not extended as far as November for flights purchased before 3 March.

          • Andy says:

            My flights are after July (but booked before 3 March) so am in the same boat as HAM76

      • Alan says:

        Yep I gas Easyjet flights in March for a ski trip. They were still running so got zilch back, would have happily taken a voucher for that!

  • Anna says:

    I’ve got confused with all the different policies emerging. Does Book with Confidence apply to Avios/2 4 1 bookings? I’ve got a voucher which was extended but still expires next Feb. If I make a booking with it but have to cancel because travel hasn’t re-started, would I be eligible for a voucher for the Avios, voucher & cash valid until April 2022 or have I misunderstood this?

    • davvero says:

      That’s correct, if you take a voucher your 2 for 1 and avios will stay inside the voucher and will be valid until 2022

      • The Streets says:

        Is this written anywhere? Has this really been confirmed that 241 vouchers are extended beyond their expiry day if wrapped up in a BA voucher? Great if it has!

        • Rob says:

          It is NOT written anywhere, annoyingly, and the only ‘proof’ is a couple of BA staff on Flyertalk who say this is the case. I am tempted to believe them.

          • AJA says:

            I agree Rob, the BA staff on FT are brilliant, especially Hawk777 who works in the call centre handling refunds who has specifically said the 2-4-1 gets wrapped up in the e-voucher and is valid until Apr 2022, if he doesn’t know the rules then no-one does. The BA staff on FT give loads of excellent advice for free.

            The other reason I’m convinced that it’s true is I’ve now received an email offering me the option of cancelling my 2-4-1 reward flight booking to Tel Aviv in July in exchange for the e-voucher which is valid until end of Apr 2022. I am still waiting for BA to formally cancel the flight in the next few weeks but when they do I will specifically ask when I phone BA. I will report back on what they say.

          • Andy says:

            And I was specifically told this by the Gold line when getting a refund on Wednesday.

        • Lee says:

          I converted what was my 241 for a voucher when flights to New York cancelled and although I haven’t called BA to go through it, the policy clearly states you get full value, so for me, I’ve extended the companion voucher until April 2022.

          • Anna says:

            That’s good to know. It may be a struggle to get away over Christmas and annoying my 2 4 1 expires at the start of Feb so we wouldn’t be able to use it for half term!

  • Alan says:

    Had to be extended so sensible that they’ve done so. Not a patch on Qatar when it comes to generosity of their policy though – rebookings within a 5k radius at no extra cost is difficult to beat.

    BAEC is going to have to do something re status extension too – at least 6 months (if not 9 months) of air travel is going to be wiped out this year.

    • Rob says:

      Or do they?

      I’m beginning to think they have a plan. They can only re-open lounges if they are about half as full as before. What better way than letting everyone lose their status?

      • AJA says:

        But the Exec Club is a money spinner for BA. It encourages / incentivises shiny card holders to spend money booking flights with BA, not only to retain tier status with all the perks it also means they’re more likely to fly BA or OW rather than the alternative. If they cull the membership it hurts revenue and sees loads defect to Star Alliance or Skyteam. Also every passenger who flies business or first is entitled to the lounge anyway so it’s not like they will create space by taking away the shiny card as most who are sitting in the lounge are already shiny card holders.

        • Rhys says:

          Yes, but BA doesn’t differentiate in its lounges between someone on a 1.5k business class fare to New York and someone on a 50 quid ticket to Paris. Many airlines separate short-haul/long-haul lounges at their hubs – BA doesn’t. That means the margins on many lounge guests are a lot thinner.

          • Ian says:

            Yes I am a typical regular flyer to Paris (always in economy for that short hop) in the latter category! Using the lounges at both airports, particularly the excellent CX lounge at CDG, I doubt whether they make anything out of me at all.

          • Doug M says:

            This is a very tricky thing to quantify. BA more than most really work their loyalty scheme, and it does lock people in. Allowing status to lapse could be an escape for many many people. Maybe they try other things and decide the lounge isn’t that important, and whilst Gold was nice for the seat choice and SH redemptions flying other airlines means these things matter less, or not at all.
            I’d be surprised if BA don’t extend status somehow, just as always with them caution and gradual steps are the way, and I understand this is perhaps the best approach.
            It is the case when they offered year long extensions following the Easter IT meltdown, that many on FT BA forum simply said great, status locked in, now I can try other airlines. So just throwing a year at everyone could be equally bad for them. Interesting to see how it all moves forward.

          • AJA says:

            I agree with you Rhys but the other issue for BA is other OW airline customers with status. It seems unfair to penalise BAEC members when other OW frequent fliers have had extensions to their status allowing them to use BA’s lounges ahead of BA’s own frequent fliers.

          • Rhys says:

            That’s on the assumption that BA won’t offer more extensions. We don’t know that yet – they haven’t so far but equally they may be waiting it out to see how many people are affected and go from there. It’s a strategy they appear to be using when it comes to fleet planning, unlike LH which as been pro-actively shedding aircraft.

          • Rob says:

            Nowhere near as unfair as AA not lettings its own elites get domestic lounge access when BA elites can waltz in!

          • AJA says:

            I agree Rob that is a very weird anomaly specific to the AA scheme.But I suspect it may have to do with lounge capacity at AA hubs with domestic connections. If you’re flying AA Domestic First or Business you do get lounge access via the ticket. It stops their own elites doing the same thing as BA Silvers and Golds do here in the UK. The difference is the number of domestic flights and the number of hubs. The UK isn’t quite in the same position as the number of domestic flights and UK airports served by BA is much smaller than AA hubs and flights in the USA. I suspect that most people flying economy shorthaul and using the lounge are on flights that depart the UK and many of those flying domestically are simply connecting to LHR or LGW to fly to somewhere else. The numbers of purely UK domestic passengers must be fairly small. Similarly in the USA if you’re elite flying internationally in economy you can still use the lounge prior to your flight.

          • Alan says:

            Not sure I’d compare with the domestic AA setup. Other OW fliers are a tiny minority there and the US is all about paid-for lounge club membership anyway, apart from transcon or international premium flights you don’t get lounge access on domestic F within the USA.

      • Alan says:

        I think they’re playing a dangerous game if they do that. If status lapses then I think many may consider not bothering pushing to for regaining status.

  • ChrisC says:

    Quick Q on using BA vouchers – I have two to use.

    Would booking using the ‘hold’ mechanism be easiest and then phoning to apply both vouchers and pay the balance by cash?

    Would rather do flight bit myself than feed flight details to the agent and taking up time others could benefit from.

    And the website says book with confidence applies to BA marketed and 125 tickers so I assume that would cover AA metal on a BA codeshare (I want to do an ex EU with a US domestic as part of the booking)

    • Anna says:

      I’m not really sure what you mean here, are you talking about companion vouchers or those given in lieu of a refund for a cancellation?

      • ChrisC says:

        Sorry Anna

        refund vouchers

        • Anna says:

          If it’s a cash voucher to be applied to a future booking – I got an email telling me to reply when I had made a new booking online and the refund amount would be credited to my Amex, which it was within 5 days.

  • Martin Pelant says:

    How is fare difference calculated? Does it apply only when they rebook me to a different fare class?is it fare difference at the time of a booking or at the time of changing the date? Last fall I booked a SEZ flights in the flash sale (I class) for this May and just before they cancelled it I tried to change the date of of curiosity – it allowed me to pick any date within 1 year of booking for no extra charge (and they were no longer selling them that cheap) so I’m really curious how the fare difference is calculated.

    • Kip says:

      That’s a good question.
      I booked an indirect flight in a sale (LHR-LAS-SEA) then Delta rescheduled the connecting flight so it wasn’t possible to connect in time. Virgin helpfully put me on the direct LHR-SEA flight instead. Great. Except now if I need to reschedule a quick glance at the non-sale prices suggest that it’s several thousand pounds more to go on this routing then I originally paid.
      If the original flights aren’t cancelled I’m not sure how this is going to get resolved.

  • Will says:

    Very good point about Manchester.

    Clearly there was a reason that TC failed but it would be an interesting thought for VS to scoop up some bargain single isle planes in the coming months and start up short haul ops from Manchester to Europe, potentially free some traffic to transatlantic from there.

    Sell that to the government as strengthening the “northern powerhouse” and pick up on some of the anti BA/London airways sentiment that exists.

    • ian_h says:

      Whilst I would love to see VS able to feed its own LH at MAN, I think (and especially now they are taking a “rest” from LGW) its more likely we will see the “Worldwide by EasyJet” offered via MAN possible even going further with a codeshare or some form of Interline to allow VS to sell these flights too.

      An Immediate win, must be to get Codeshare / Interline in place with Loganair, Eastern, Blue Islands & Aurigny to pick up the void left by Flybe through MAN, a lot of VS connections via flybe came from NI, IoM and Scottish routes.

  • Michael C says:

    Re. Book with Confidence example case study!

    So say I pay 2K on flights for the 3 of us (all on BA family account) to Boston for Oct. We cancel and go for the voucher.
    a) can that voucher only be used on all 3 of us travelling together? or
    b) could I chisel away at it, like a book token?! e.g. GBP200 in Nov. on an LHR-BRU but just for me, leaving GBP1800 on the voucher for some other trip(s) later on?

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