News in brief:
British Airways flyers now have a lounge at Newcastle
The British Airways lounge at Newcastle Airport was a casualty of coronavirus. The lounge was closed permanently and has already been ripped out.
The good news is that the Aspire Lounge at Newcastle reopens today. It will open at 4am, seven days per week, with closing times varying depending on the flight schedule.
The even better news is that, according to the ‘Lounge Finder’ tool on the oneworld alliance website, eligible British Airways customers will have access.
Here is our last review, from 2017, of the Aspire and Aspire Plus lounges at Newcastle Airport. The premium Aspire Plus lounge will not be reopening at this time.
Sir Richard Branson raises another $300 million
Sir Richard Branson sold another slug of shares in Virgin Galactic last week, raising $300 million. Bloomberg has the story here.
The reason given for the sale was to “support its portfolio of global leisure, holiday and travel businesses that continue to be affected by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic”.
Part of the money may end up with Virgin Atlantic – although Virgin Atlantic is reportedly planning an IPO – but there are also likely to be funding issues at the nascent Virgin Voyages cruise business. Virgin Active is also reportedly in difficulties.
Virgin Group remains the biggest shareholder in Virgin Galactic with 18%. Branson went into space on the last Virgin Galactic test flight, and it is reported to be ready to reopen bookings for paying customers. Whilst down over 50% from its peak in February, Virgin Galactic is still valued at over $6.5 billion which puts the remaining Virgin Group stake at $1.1 billion.
How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (December 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.
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.)