The HackTrain

First of all I'd like to apologise on behalf of Save East Coast Rewards to those organising the first HackTrain event in March. March was the first month of operation of Virgin Trains East Coast and there was a lot of anger that they scrapped an excellent rewards scheme and replaced it with one of the worst in the UK. At the time it felt like VTEC were ignoring us and our Twitter followers who are regular travellers on the East Coast route, we genuinely thought that scrapping the rewards scheme was going to be the first of many cutbacks.

Hop on Board

new ale was added to the Virgin Trains East Coast Foodbar menu towards the end of 2015, it's called "Hop on Board" and has been available since Monday 19th October. It's been a long time since we've had bottled ales on East Coast trains, GNER used to offer a guest ale but they scrapped it around 2003 citing lack of demand (they never did anything to promote it).

Eurostar: Nectar v Flying Club

When Virgin Trains East Coast mentioned they were switching to Nectar some people asked me about Eurostar redemptions, these seemed poor to me as Nectar has a £10 booking fee for Eurostar journeys so you'd need to spend £12.50 in points to save the first £2.50.

Let's look at each in turn:

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club has fixed mileage rates for Eurostar trips, these rates are:

30% off East and 20% off West Coast (iOS App)

This blog post has been updated - previously there was a 20% off Virgin Trains East and West Coast offer. The September offer gives you 30% off East Coast, there's still a 20% off West Coast showing up for some people too.

The Virgin Red iOS app launched recently and the train related offer for September is 30% off Virgin Trains East Coast and for some users a 20% off Virgin Trains West Coast offer will also be available.

How BA lost my loyalty

When it was announced Virgin Trains East Coast were getting rid of the excellent East Coast Rewards and replacing with Nectar it seemed pretty obvious that all my London - Newcastle travel was going to switch to British Airways. They fly from London Heathrow which wasn't as convenient as London City Airport (or Kings Cross) but the only other flying option is from Stansted which would mean spending around an hour on the Greater Anglia operated Stansted Express, to me this does not seem like a viable option.

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