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Green list responses: Virgin Atlantic adds extra Caribbean flights, BA Holidays launches a sale

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Both Virgin Atlantic and British Airways came out with announcements yesterday as travel begins to look a little easier for Summer and Autumn 2021.

Let’s start with Virgin Atlantic.

Whilst the removal of Amber List quarantine for the fully vaccinated won’t be a huge help to Virgin until the US begins to accept UK travellers again, it is using its aircraft capacity to boost flights to the Caribbean.

Virgin Atlantic announce extra Caribbean flights

The changes are a mix of additional services and earlier launch dates. This is what is coming:

  • London Heathrow to Antigua will increase from 1x weekly (now) to 3x weekly from 15th July
  • London Heathrow to Barbados will increase from 2x weekly (now) to 4x weekly from 15th July and then daily from 25th July
  • London Heathrow to Grenada via Barbados will operate twice weekly from 16th July
  • Manchester to Barbados will restart three times weekly from 7th August

In even better news for Barbados passengers, the Heathrow service will swap from a Boeing 787 to the new Airbus A350 from August for five flights per week. This will allow Upper Class passengers to enjoy the new A350 Upper Class Suite which we reviewed here. All other routes above will be on a Boeing 787.

You can find out more about Virgin’s Caribbean services on this page of their website.

BA Holidays launches a new sale

BA Holidays launches a new sale

BA Holidays has responded to the news that fully vaccinated visitors to Amber List countries will not need to quarantine on return with a new sale.

Book by 20th July and you can:

  • Save £25 with a minimum spend of £500 per booking
  • Save £50 with a minimum spend of £1,000 per booking
  • Save £100 with a minimum spend of £2,500 per booking
  • Save £200 with a minimum spend of £5,000 per booking
  • Save £300 with a minimum spend of £10,000 per booking

You must travel between 19th July and 30th September.

Participating destinations are Albania, Andorra, Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Grand Cayman, Greece, Grenada, Jamaica, Malta, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Poland, Portugal (including Madeira), Spain (including mainland, Balearics and Canary Islands), St Lucia, Turks & Caicos and UK domestic routes.

You can find out more on the BA Holidays website here. The discount is not on the home page at the time of writing but does come up when you search for a trip.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (April 2024)

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

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital on Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

Huge 30,000 points bonus until 12th May 2024 Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

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 Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (15)

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

  • Memesweeper says:

    Good news, but sadly still no Upper redemption opportunities on Virgin to the Caribbean…

    • Babyg says:

      wonder when extra flights will actually be added? Im currently booked in upper for 28 Aug but still a 787, im guessing more reward (upper) flights will come when the flights are loaded…

    • Mart says:

      Hasn’t been for months and I suspect they might have cash buyers

    • Mark says:

      Exactly this. Upper class redemptions only available to destinations you can’t actually fly to at the moment. We were forced to switch our Antigua flights from April to Miami in Nov/Dec. Hopefully US travel will open up before Virgin collapses, otherwise I see a Section 75 fight coming with Amex.

  • IanM says:

    What is the latest thinking on USA opening? The fact that Boris and Nicola don’t now seem to give a toss about infection rates will not be helpful

    • Chris Heyes says:

      Labor Day

    • JP-MCO says:

      What makes you think the USA’s approach is any different? Pretty much everything is open there and most places have ditched masks too. The big difference in the UK is the surge testing approach to infection control. We test to find asymptomatic infections that doesn’t happen in the USA. They don’t test their secondary aged children twice a week or randomly test entire towns to find infections. Our numbers may look dramatic at the moment but the USA’s are going up again and bear in mind that states like Arkansas or Mississippi have roughly 35% fully vaccinated. That’s a disaster waiting to happen once Delta takes hold, which, make no mistake will happen in about 4-5 weeks.

      • Colin says:

        Couldn`t agree more! Reckon everyone planning a USA trip in 2021 should read this very carefully.

        • JP-MCO says:

          The UK is having a surge because we eased restrictions with a high prevalence of Delta, a low amount of vaccinations amongst young people and a long dosing interval. That said, most of our vulnerable are fully vaccinated which is why our deaths came down faster than our cases did and cases have subsequently rebounded once restrictions were eased. I think once we get towards late August our case numbers are going to come down again because more young people will be fully vaccinated. Overall our vaccination coverage is going to be better, much better, as a nation than the USA where hesitancy is high. It wouldn’t stop me going to the USA as soon as I can. I’m fully vaccinated and it’s time to get on with life.

  • NickAnon says:

    Any idea when the change to the A350 will show on a bookng?

    • Rob says:

      Press release just said “from August”, no date was specified.

  • SVtravels says:

    How secure is it booking with Virgin, looking at May next year. Given they were on the brink at various points not sure if I’m better sticking with BA

  • Martin says:

    They list Poland, however haven’t reinstated krakow flights yet for July..
    Luckily my return is still scheduled to fly.
    Was hoping by some magic they would add flights back in as an Amber country

  • Graham Walsh says:

    Anyone know if I can use a FTV (which was flights only) on a BA Holiday online? Or do I need to call up or will they not apply the voucher to holidays?


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

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