NEWS: BA will not return to Gatwick until 31 October & Virgin Flying Club can book Staycation at sea first with points

BA Gatwick

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BA will not return to Gatwick until 31 October 21 for short haul

The unveiling of the Global Task Force’s roadmap for travel has been a major blow to most travel companies. With multiple expensive tests even for green countries, it is likely to dramatically reduce the number of passengers that airlines and holiday companies were expecting this summer. I’m sure it’s no coincidence that BA chose to announce today that their short-haul operation will remain at Heathrow until 30 October. Just a handful of Caribbean long-haul BA flights will remain at Gatwick. The earliest short-haul will restart at Gatwick is 31 October. 

I think that it will be interesting how the terminals play out at Heathrow with this announcement. Should the US be on the green list and reopen to UK travellers in the next couple of months, Terminal 5 is unlikely to be able to cope. It has been rumoured that Terminal 3 would reopen once the US flights restarted. If travel testing is eased in June, which seems particularly likely for those vaccinated, then I think Terminal 5 would struggle to cope anyway with the numbers of short-haul flights. 


Virgin Flying Club can book Staycation at sea first with points

Yesterday I wrote about an exciting opportunity for a “staycation at sea” with Virgin Cruises. I was lucky enough to spend a night on one of the Virgin Voyages ships last year and can’t wait to get back on board. If you think you don’t like cruises, have a read of my review!

Virgin Red is offering its members the opportunity to book one of six voyages this August, around the southern coast of England to get a sneak peak into what it’s like to be onboard the Scarlet Lady. From today, Virgin Red is giving its members EXCLUSIVE, early access to cabin bookings with Virgin Points, ahead of cash bookings opening on Tuesday 13 April.

On top of this, every cabin booked via Virgin Red will have a bottle of bubbly included onboard. 

Since Virgin Voyages can’t sail out of PortMiami just yet, the team is taking the opportunity to head back to the home of the Virgin brand and sail out of Portsmouth so that UK residents can spend a few nights under the stars, choose from 20+ unique eateries, get a proper dose of Vitamin Sea at the spa, enjoy the fitness spaces and get a first taste of all Scarlet’s incredible offerings. Virgin Red members could be amongst the first to set sail for either a four-night Summer WeekDaze voyage or a three-night Long Weekender voyage this August. You can read all the details and dates in this article. 

• Three-night Long Weekender voyage: 180,000 Virgin Points per two Sailors sharing a cabin
• Four-night Summer WeekDaze voyage: 215,000 Virgin Points per two Sailors sharing a cabin

One of the many restaurants on board

Sailing safely is a top priority for Virgin Voyages – it is committed to a healthy and safe start at sea, with all the proper precautions and considerations in place. At this time, only residents of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland will be able to set sail on the Summer Soirée Series — with Sailors aged 18+ vaccinated against COVID-19. Additional testing and protocols will be confirmed closer to sailing — all in line with the most up to date recommendations from the UK government and their Healthy Sail Panel.

Kelly Best, Chief Marketing Officer at Virgin Red, says: “We’re absolutely delighted to give our members a taste of what it’s like to set sail the Virgin Way and experience all that the Scarlet Lady has to offer. The Virgin family is made up of many different and exciting companies and this is just one of the ways Virgin Red can give its members access to something that they simply can’t get anywhere else.

”It’s been a year like no other and as restrictions start to ease, Virgin Red members deserve to reward themselves by spending their Virgin Points on everyday treats, rewards or an extraordinary experience like this one with Virgin Voyages.”

And if you prefer to remain on dry land, exclusively with Virgin Red, from just 2,500 Virgin Points, members can get their hands on some awesome Virgin Voyages merchandise, to celebrate the launch of the Summer Soirée Series, including:

• Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady mini ship model
• Virgin Voyages vegan leather backpack
• Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady AHOY ship model
• Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady tote bag

Head over to the Virgin Red app or Red Web now, to book a cabin or to purchase exclusive Virgin Voyages merchandise.