Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

News: Virgin Atlantic closes its Newark lounge, Pittsburgh wooing Aer Lingus

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

News in brief:

Virgin Atlantic closes its lounge at Newark

As part of its pandemic restructuring, Virgin Atlantic stopped all flights to Newark to focus on New York JFK. In London, of course, it did something similar with the cessation of all London Gatwick services.

Despite this, the Clubhouse lounge at Newark remained open. Under the management of Plaza Premium, it was made available to Priority Pass customers and those willing to buy entry.

According to a US blog, the lounge closed last week. Whilst the message pinned to the door isn’t fully clear, it does give the strong impression that it will not be reopening. It is unlikely that Plaza Premium has closed it with a view to refurbishment, since by all accounts the lounge was in decent condition.

Surprisingly, there are now no Priority Pass lounges in any terminal at Newark Liberty.

Virgin Atlantic closes its lounge at Newark

Pittsburgh wooing Aer Lingus to add to existing British Airways service

According to a report in the Irish Independent, Pittsburgh International Airport officials have been meeting with Aer Lingus to discuss ‘terms’ (ie a financial incentive) to persuade the airline to launch services to the city.

Whilst British Airways already serves Pittsburgh with six flights per week, the airport believes that demand exists for another service to Europe. Aer Lingus has ordered a number of A321XLR aircraft which will allow it to expand its current single aisle services from the US East Coast to more cities which could not fill a standard twin aisle aircraft.

The first Aer Lingus A321XLR aircraft is due to arrive next year, although this could be impacted by new design changes imposed by the EU which will reduce the flying range.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2023)

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 £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards 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

30,000 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

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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.

EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.

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 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.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.