Virgin’s new route confirmed
TLFL has been speculating about Virgin’s new route that was rumoured to be Tel Aviv for a while now. As I suspected once the precise details of a start date began being leaked in the Israeli press, Virgin have confirmed the exact details. I for one will be using my miles to book a trip there once the tickets go on sale. Tel Aviv has been firmly on my travel wish list for a while. Roving Reporter went last year and enjoyed it.
As I previously reported the first flight to Tel Aviv takes place on 25 September 2019. The route will operate daily between London Heathrow and Tel Aviv Ben Gurion airport on an Airbus A330-300 aircraft. The flight takes around 5 hours.
Shai Weiss, Virgin Atlantic CEO commented: “2019 marks the start of a new phase of growth for Virgin Atlantic as we work to achieve our ambition to become the most loved travel company. Tel Aviv represents a fantastic opportunity for us – Israel’s economy is booming and as one of the world’s leading tech hubs we’re anticipating many business travellers and entrepreneurs flying between Tel Aviv and the UK. We also see a significant opportunity to increase competition in the US – Tel Aviv market, using the strength of our trans-Atlantic Joint Venture with Delta to offer customers from Tel Aviv a wide range of US destinations connecting through London Heathrow including New York and San Francisco.
I’m also thrilled to introduce this new destination to our leisure customers and I know it’s somewhere they’ll love to visit. Renowned for its cultural sites and with UNESCO recognised architecture, Tel Aviv also boasts beautiful beaches, a buzzing artistic and nightlife scene, incredible food and is a great base to explore the tourist destinations of the region including the iconic historical city of Jerusalem, Nazareth, and the Dead Sea”.
Flights to Tel Aviv are on sale from 25 February. As yet there is no rate for reward bookings. The lowest band for Flying Club reward flights is India and UAE which costs 75,000 miles return. I would anticipate it being put in this bucket or if we are lucky, a lower one could be created given it is a much shorter flight.
The initial departures will be
VS453 – departs LHR 13:30, arrives TLV 20:35
VS454 – departs TLV 07:15, arrives LHR 11:10
From 27 October 2019
VS453 – departs LHR 16:00, arrives TLV 23:05
VS454 – departs TLV 06:05, arrives LHR 09:55
Virgin Atlantic flight + hotel offer
I wrote about the benefits of booking a flight with a hotel on Virgin in this article. Virgin are offering an extra £55 off a flight and hotel booking with the code SAVE55. The offer is for new bookings only travelling to the USA or Canada booked on www.travelplus.virginatlantic.com between Friday 8 to Tuesday 12 February 2019. Promo code SAVE55 must be applied on the guest details page to receive £55 off the booking price. Bookings must be departing between 9 February to 30 June 2019.
Ex EU fares on oneworld to the US and Asia from £1166
This weekend some good offers have sprung up on oneworld airlines from both Dublin and Sweden. Dublin is obviously a shorter flight and has better connectivity from UK regional airports although, without much competition, seats tend to be pretty overpriced on this route I find for positioning. Both routes would get you 80 tier points return if you booked Club Europe positioning flights. You can read my guides to Dublin and Stockholm ex EU flights if you haven’t done them before.
From Stockholm and Gothenburg:
- Bangkok from £1166 on Finnair
- Minimum stay Saturday night or 5 days
- Travel commencing on/after 18 Feb 19 and on/
before 30 Nov 19. All travel must be completed by midnight on 30 Nov 19.
- Book by 18 February
- Los Angeles from £1375 on Finnair or £1410 on British Airways
The rules are:
- From Sweden –
Permitted Mon through Wed on each transatlantic sector.
To Sweden –
Permitted Tue through Fri on each transatlantic sector.
- 7-day minimum stay
- Non-refundable but changeable for a fee
- Orlando £1239
- New York £1216
- Boston £1246
- Miami £1295
- Las Vegas £1264
- Los Angeles £1481
- Seattle £1481
- Portland £1554
- Vancouver £1617
- San Francisco £1455
- New Orleans £1418
- Nashville £1487
- Hawaii £1672 (very limited in June/July only)
The rules are:
- Minimum stay 6 days or a Saturday night
- Travel dates 14 Apr – 27 Apr and 25 Jun – 01 Sep
- 2 free transfers are permitted in both Europe and America
- Book by 18 February
You can fly on American, BA or even Iberia if you want to go via Madrid! You will probably find slightly lower prices via Skyscanner if you book with an online travel agent. If you wanted to do something more complicated like a tier point run you can book via our partners at Propeller Travel.
Etihad has launched a sale for Valentine’s day when you book for two people on a ticket travelling together. You need to book by 14 February for travel until 30 November 2019. The prices are good for the UK to the Far East and Abu Dhabi but if you are willing to go ex EU, it is also worth looking at prices from Gothenburg and Stockholm as Etihad have some really cheap offers from there.
Prices return from London in business class for 1 person start from
- Abu Dhabi £ 1,506
- Bangkok £ 1,533
- Singapore £ 1,765
- Hong Kong £ 1,737
- Phuket £ 1,734
- Kuala Lumpur £ 1,754
- Colombo £ 2,006
- Seychelles £ 2,111
- Maldives £ 2,814
You can find the special sale page here.