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Virgin Atlantic delays the relaunch of Orlando flights

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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.

Remember that you earn double Virgin Points on all Virgin Atlantic flight bookings made by 15th October – full details here.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (June 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 – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. 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 a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee 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 (36)

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

  • ChrisW says:

    Who on earth would be going to Orlando in December???

    • Doug M says:

      Agree it seems a strange one. Not an obvious freight route either. Cash tease maybe? But the volume of people prepared to book a December flight given the current situation I’d have thought was trivial.

      • ChrisW says:

        Is it technically illegal to sell tickets to flights they have no intention of operating purely to collect cash and they delay refunds as long as they possibly can?

      • Nick says:

        @Doug, you’d be surprised how much cargo goes through Orlando (well, not once you’ve thought about the reasons anyway). Miami is a major cargo gateway to south America. But while the US will allow ‘Freeport’ transshipping through a single airport, anything moving overland has to be landed and formally im/exported first. It’s such high volumes that what VS/BA do is fill up MIA flights with connecting freight, and use MCO for anything actually heading to Florida/Alabama.

        Added to that of course are the fairly large volumes of second home owners / British expats across Florida, many of whom have taken green cards or US passports, are exempt from travel restrictions, and want to go for winter.

        • Doug M says:

          Do you have any references to cargo and MCO, I couldn’t find anything after 2017 when it was the 29th in the USA in terms of tons of cargo. Memphis is top, which is all about FedEx. I’ve thought about it and I still don’t know why MCO would be a big cargo base.
          Is second home owners seriously going to fill 2 x A330-300 daily?

    • TripRep says:

      If you had FL residency and owned your own property there?

  • mradey says:

    Christmas Vacation?

    • ChrisW says:

      They don’t allow British travellers entry, travel insurance is invalid in a country with some of the most expensive healthcare in the world, and Florida is one of the worst covid hotspots on the planet. Plus 14 days quarantine on return the U.K.

      Merry Christmas!!

      • Henry says:

        Surely this will be all over by Christmas!

      • J says:

        A lot of British people own property there?

      • Andrew says:

        That’s not exactly true.

        If you are the right kind of British traveller, there’s no problem whatsoever with entry or healthcare. There is the inconvenience of quarantine, but sometimes the reason for travelling is more important than the incovenience in either direction.

      • Jessiefan says:

        Fake news! Daily cases in Florida are no worse than UK and on a steep downward curve…unlike the UK

        • Anna says:

          That’s good to know. Florida might be a possibility for next Easter if we can surmount all the hurdles associated with foreign travel by then!

          • Jessiefan says:

            Yes! I’m looking at using up some points for a trip EDI-ATL next Easter. SO long as FCO restrictions are lifted then there’s very little risk if you stay away from houseparties and busy bars.

          • Anna says:

            Though NY Times is reporting that Florida’s infections have increased 16% in the last fortnight!

          • MT says:

            I’ve booked avios redemptions from DUB to MCO on Lingus for Spring Half Term in May. Hotels are v cheap looking right now even on flex rates. Will only loose a hundred or so if we need to cancel.

          • Genghis says:

            @Anna Not sure how useful percentages are in this. If a small villages has 1 person and then has 3, that’s a 200% increase.

          • Anna says:

            Ghengis, I get your point but I wouldn’t really compare Florida to a small village!

        • Rob says:

          I doubt there are many places on the planet where the infection rate is higher than the 500 per 100k in Manchester ….

          • Anna says:

            I know! I think I’m the new Harry T. My last 3 trips were to Newcastle, Solihull and Manchester 🤦‍♀️

          • TGLoyalty says:

            They must all have been on holidays to Ibiza and Mykonos. The virus doesn’t spread in the UK …

          • Lady London says:

            Seriously, what is causing this in Manchester?

          • dezbez says:

            On my son’s new Fallowfield campus, it’s 558 out of approx 3,500….
            They’ve been there less than three weeks

          • dezbez says:

            Figures across all the other campuses across the city total approx 1,500, which actually means students account for 50% of total cases (if you assume m/cr pop = 600k)

          • TGLoyalty says:


            you are constantly told ONLY to get a test if you had symptoms yourself or if told by a health care professional. Yet Schools and universities had been telling everyone to get tested regardless of symptoms.

            So it’s not like for like

            Also as the economy opens up and people return to life there will be more symptomatic cases.

  • ChrisBCN says:

    Thanks for the Santander news, one I will look at closely! The current Iberia Icon credit card (€90 per year) gives the same benefits as the Santander deal (equivalent to BA bronze) – the pay a little bit for a little bit of status seems to be the model!

    • marcw says:

      Be aware that the criteria to have a “free” (new) ONE Santander bank account is hefty: you need to pay in your salary/pension, + at least 3 direct debit, +mortgage/insurance or investment. If you don’t meet the requirements, there will be at least a monthly 10€ fee. This does provide you the bare minimum: if you want status and additional perks, expect to pay on top a minimum of 4€ per month. The “new” Santander Avios card will give you 1 Avios every 3€ spend on the card.
      Do you honestly pay 90€ per year to have the ICON card? Have you not learnt the Spanish way? call, say you are planning to leave and question what they can provide? They have different options, including pay full fee + free 9.000 Avios, 50%/75%/100% discount on the fee, extra Avios per months,… oh! the same applies to Amex Spain.

      • AndreasJ says:

        Marcw what’s the best you usually get for threatening to cancel AMEX Gold in Spain? Gracias

        • marcw says:

          Either 50% discount on the fee, or you pay full fee + 1MR point for each (fee)eurocent

      • ChrisBCN says:

        No, I don’t pay the €90 fee

  • James says:

    Many people all over the world, including British, travel to Orlando in December and all year around. It’s always busy there. Regarding Covid 19, UK isn’t safer than Florida. And Corona isn’t worse than regular seasonal flu. One should be careful anyway but not panicking

    • Anna says:

      I think for many of us at this stage, it’s not the fear of catching COVID that’s preventing us booking trips to the US, it’s the fact that we’re still not allowed in and even if we were we may well not be insured.

      • Bagoly says:

        At the beginning of Covid the most likely to happen risk seemed to be that one would be denied boarding if one had ordinary ‘flu or something else causing a temperature.
        Is that still a risk, or have they stopped checking temperature when arriving at airports?

  • ADS says:

    “This is a genuine expense to Eurostar – it represents the track access charges per passenger that Eurostar has to pay”

    Is it though ?

    Do we really know how much they actually pay per passenger ??

    • Rob says:

      Someone who used to work there told me it used to be £15, so very likely it is now £16 each way.

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

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