Virgin Atlantic has announced an interesting new route. From next June, it will become the first European airline to fly to St Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean.
Services will operate twice weekly from from Heathrow, presumably still from Terminal 2 unless Virgin Atlantic has moved back to Terminal 3 by then.
It will use an Airbus A330-300 with 31 Upper Class seats (the old style ones, not the new suite), 48 Premium and 185 Economy seats.
Virgin Atlantic says:
“With deserted white sand beaches, St Vincent offers the quintessential Caribbean getaway. The island also serves as the gateway to the Grenadines, a collection of 32 islands and cays full of yacht-filled harbours, chic private isles, coral reefs and dramatic volcanic landscapes offering the perfect escape for those in search of a luxury break, eco adventure, scuba diving or sailing voyage.”
Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic commented:
“St Vincent and the Grenadines as well as the Caribbean region as a whole, represent an extremely exciting opportunity for us. With many islands implementing rigorous Covid-19 protocols including testing before arrival and a short quarantine period for visitors, the islands are open for tourism and are a haven for travellers in search of sun.
“We’re currently flying to Barbados, Antigua, Jamaica and Grenada and expect to restart Tobago in the upcoming months. We look forward to launching this new service to St Vincent next year, welcoming customers onboard heading off on holiday or travelling to visit their loved ones.”
Tickets are not yet available but will be on sale from 24th November.
What are the coronavirus rules for St Vincent and the Grenadines?
Here’s the snag.
The good news is that St Vincent and the Grenadines is currently exempt from the Foreign Office advice against all non-essential international travel. You do NOT need to quarantine on your return.
The ‘not a big problem’ news is that, when travelling to St Vincent and the Grenadines, travellers from the UK must arrive with a negative PCR test taken within 5 days of arrival. Customers will also be retested on arrival.
The bad news, however, is that arrivals must quarantine for five days in a tourism authority approved hotel. What is not clear is what this means – whether you must remain locked in your room, at one extreme, or whether you must simply remain within the grounds of your resort.
Of course, with flights not starting until June 2021, it is virtually impossible that the guidance will be the same at the time you fly ….
How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (August 2022)
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 15,000 Virgin Points):
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.
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into 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.)