News in brief:
Virgin Atlantic delays the relaunch of Orlando flights
Unsurprisingly, Virgin Atlantic has pushed back the relaunch of its Orlando services.
The Heathrow service will now start on 10th December, using an A330-300.
The Manchester service will relaunch on the same day, also using an A330-300.
Both services are scheduled to operate daily, although clearly a lot can still change before then.
Avios launches new Santander deal in Spain
I know that we have a large number of expat readers, so I thought I’d flag the major new partnership which IAG Loyalty has just annouced with Santander for Spanish residents.
It isn’t live yet so we don’t have full details. However, according to IAG:
“From November 5th 2020, Iberia Plus members who hold a Santander One Account can earn Avios on a wide range of banking products. The more they engage with Santander, the more benefits they receive, including more Avios.
The partnership gives Iberia Plus members access to a wide range of choice benefits across their Santander banking relationship including insurance, credit and debit cards and other Santander products.”
One interesting point to note is that this includes status benefits with Iberia.
Those who sign up for Santander One Iberia Plus at the Elite level will receive 15,000 bonus Avios plus 10% discount on Iberia flights, as well extra luggage allowance, priority check-in and boarding, and 25% extra Avios for flights with Iberia.
There will also be a temporary 15,000 Avios bonus for anyone who opens a Santander One Iberia Plus account, at any level, as long as they pay their salary into the account.
Readers in Spain will be able to apply from 5th November.
Eurostar delays the introduction of redemption fees
Today was meant to be the day that Club Eurostar introduced a £32 ‘network charge’ per return reward ticket.
The ‘network charge’ is a flat-rate and not tied to your class of travel, status or destination. The fee is the same whether you are in Standard or Business Premier, and whether you are travelling to Paris or Amsterdam. There is no discount for children.
This is a genuine expense to Eurostar – it represents the track access charges per passenger that Eurostar has to pay. With its services currently down to a fraction of the usual number this is one way of reducing their cash bleed.
Eurostar told me yesterday that the new fee will not be introduced today. It is still coming, however, so this is only a temporary hiatus. You still have some time to make reward bookings for the future without being charged £32.