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Virgin Atlantic shake-up: Edinburgh to Barbados dropped, daily Cape Town flights return

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Virgin Atlantic has quietly dropped its flights from Edinburgh to Barbados after just a few months of operation.

The route started in December 2021. It was due to run until the end of the Winter season in March 2022 but was pulled early. The airline has now cancelled the route entirely.

If you are booked to travel on Virgin Atlantic from Edinburgh to Barbados this Winter, you will be rerouted via Manchester or offered a refund.

The other Edinburgh route flown by Virgin Atlantic – to Orlando – is continuing. It isn’t clear what this means for Virgin Atlantic’s strategy in Scotland, with flights from Glasgow cancelled in 2021 in favour of the high-profile switch to Edinburgh.

Cape Town returns

In more positive news, Virgin Atlantic will be relaunching daily flights from London Heathrow to Cape Town on 5th November.

It is scheduled to run until the end of March, using a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. This does not offer the latest generation of Upper Class suite – our last review of Virgin Atlantic Upper Class on a Boeing 787 is here. Rhys is due to fly this seat to Austin in a couple of weeks so an updated review will follow.

The daily year-round service to Johannesburg will continue.

Other Virgin Atlantic schedule changes

Aeroroutes notes a number of other schedule changes which were made last weekend. These are for the Winter season which kicks in from the end of October and are based on what was previously planned for the Winter:

Antigua – increased from 3 to 4 weekly
Bridgetown – increased from 8 to 10 weekly
Los Angeles – reduced from 3 to 2 daily
Montego Bay increased from 2 to 3 weekly from mid December, with an increase from 2 to 4 weekly on the additional indirect service via Nassau
New York JFK – reduced from 42 to 39 weekly
Orlando – increased from 7 to 10 weekly
Tel Aviv – reduced from 2 to 1 daily
Manchester – Bridgetown increased from 3 to 5 weekly from mid December

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (March 2023)

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):

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

A generous earning rate for a free card at 0.75 points per £1 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 – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel 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.

Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

60,000 points sign-up bonus (to 30th March) 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 (32)

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

  • Paul says:

    Thanks Rob for heads up. Managed to bag CPT upper redemption tickets this morning!

  • Lisa says:

    Does anyone know if Virgin is cancelling their LHR to Seattle route from 1 April 2023 as no reward seats are showing on Seatspy. I tried making a points booking and only a Delta flight was listed.

    • Rob says:

      Possible. New Summer timetable starts that day.

      • Lisa says:

        When would they likely announce their new Summer 2023 timetable?

      • ChrisC says:

        The airline summer season starts the week before in Sunday 26th March.

        But more importantly they simply may not have released any rewards. VS don’t follow the BA system of releasing rewards as soon as cash fares go on sale.

  • h1jfg says:

    Live 15 minutes from Edinburgh airport and just signed up for Virgin Atlantic credit card so I can nab some “cheap” Virgin miles and then look for Edinburgh to Barbados reward seats for 2024. Now that plan is scuppered. Thanks very much Virgin. After being a BA Avios Reward flight fan for many years this was my first dabble with Virgin miles. Guess I’ll stick with BA in future. They may be difficult to deal with, but at least they actually have reward flights available.

  • signol says:

    CPT capacity is definitely on the up – I received notification from KLM that they are increasing from 7 to 10 weekly.

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

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