Virgin Atlantic Guide

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Virgin Atlantic, previously British Atlantic, was formed in 1984 and is headed by Virgin Group founder Richard Branson. It services around 31 destinations from its main bases in Gatwick and Heathrow, and employs around 9,000 aviation professionals.


What are my Virgin Atlantic check-in options?

Mobile boarding passes & priority boarding
Priority boarding
Virgin Atlantic flying with children
Seating for babies and children
Unaccompanied children
Flying while pregnant
Virgin Atlantic Senior Fares
Group Bookings
Virgin Atlantic Disabled Access
Medical Equipment
Pets & guide dogs

Mobile boarding passes & priority boarding

Mobile check-in is available between 24 hours and 2 hours before departure. The process includes seat map and seat selection. You can check in online using this portal by entering your booking details ahead of your flight. You can choose to receive your boarding pass via SMS or Email, Passbook (where applicable), or print it ready to hand in at the check-in kiosk. Ensure you check in at least 120 minutes prior to your scheduled departure time.

Priority boarding

Premium Economy customers can select and buy their preferred seat online from the time of booking up to 2 hours before each booked flight.

Virgin Atlantic flying with children

Newborns aged less than 48 hours cannot be accepted for travel on Virgin Atlantic flights, while children up to the age of 5 must be accompanied by an adult aged 16 or over (one infant per adult). An infant can sit on an adult’s lap, and an infant seat belt is provided by the cabin crew. An extra bag weighing up to 6kg for infants (or 10kg for children aged over 2 years) can be also carried by the accompanying adult in addition to their own cabin bag allowance. You can carry 2 items of baby equipment free of charge per child -1 x pushchair plus one of the following items: car seat or booster seat or travelcot.

Seating for babies and children

Virgin Atlantic offers in-flight cots free of charge. Note that the cots have to be requested in advance by calling 0344 874 7747 in the UK, and that there is a limited number of cots offered on a first come, first served basis. When flying in Economy, you can also bring one fully collapsible pushchair and a car seat, in addition to your free checked baggage allowance.

Note that pushchairs will fly in the aircraft’s hold and that car seats can be used on board in Economy only if they meet the requirements below:

  • Be designed to be secured by means of a normal aircraft single lap strap
  • Have a separate 5-point restraining harness
  • Not exceed the dimensions of the aircraft seat, and should fit into an area of 43cm x 43cm
  • Must be secured to its host seat at all times of the flight

Unaccompanied children

Virgin Atlantic accepts unaccompanied children on flights from the age of 5 up to 15. Note that the parent/guardian of the travelling child must stay at the airport until the child’s flight has departed and that children under five must always travel with someone aged sixteen or over. You will need to inform the airline that the child will be travelling alone when you book by calling the reservations hotline on 0344 209 7777 (UK open 24 hrs a day), or through a travel agent. You can’t book this service online. They will send you a Declaration of Indemnity form for you to complete and sign. One part of the form then needs to be returned to the UK Support centre.

Flying while pregnant

Virgin Atlantic has a policy specifying the latest stage that pregnant women can take flights:

  • No later than the end of week 36 if pregnant with one baby; or
  • No later than the end of week 32 if pregnant with more than one child
  • Within 48 hours of delivery Normal Vaginal Delivery (NVD)

A medical certificate is required for any pregnancy after the 28th week stage.

Virgin Atlantic senior fares

Virgin Atlantic does not offer any special fares specifically for seniors.

Group bookings

If you are planning to fly with a group and wish to be seated together, you can arrange bookings for 10 or more people in Economy or 8 or more in Premium Economy by requesting a quote through Virgin Atlantic’s group booking form here. In your request, you will need to give the following information:

  • Name of the person to be contacted
  • A daytime telephone number
  • Number of passengers (including children)
  • Flight dates
  • Destination

An offer will then be sent for acceptance, upon which Virgin Atlantic will call you to finalise your details and organise your group’s flight.

Virgin Atlantic disabled access

You are required to give at least 48 hours in advance of your flight regarding the make, model, weight and lowest collapsed height of your wheelchair if you plan to take it on your journey. The number to call in the UK is 0344 481 4455. In order to be accepted onto the plane, electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters must comply with the following:
Some other points to note:

  • The 32kg single item weight limit does not apply to mobility equipment.
  • No wheelchairs are permitted in the aircraft cabin.

You should arrive at least 90 minutes before your scheduled time of departure so staff can prepare your wheelchair for your flight.
Pets & guide dogs

  • JFK (New York)
  • Newark (New Jersey)
  • Washington DC
  • Boston
  • Miami
  • Orlando
  • Los Angeles
  • Chicago
  • San Francisco
  • Las Vegas
  • Antigua
  • Barbados
  • Dubai
  • Hong Kong
  • Sydney
  • Tobago
  • Tokyo
Loading Limitations for Electric Wheelchairs & Scooters
Plane type B747 A346 A343 A330 A320*
Length 144 cm 144 cm 144 cm 144 cm 144 cm
Width 146 cm 146 cm 146 cm 146 cm 146 cm
Height 160 cm 160 cm 160 cm 160 cm 111 cm

To avoid quarantine in the UK, all animals must meet the criteria of PETS – the Pet Travel Scheme set out by DEFRA. Note that you will need to contact Virgin’s Special assistance department ahead of your travel if you plan to fly with your guide dog.


What are the Virgin Atlantic baggage allowance limits and fees?

Virgin Atlantic hand luggage size
Virgin Atlantic checked luggage size
Baggage charges
Musical and sport equipment

Virgin Atlantic hand luggage size

Virgin Atlantic structures its baggage allowance policy based on a passenger’s ticket class. For those in Economy and Premium Economy, the following applies:

  • 1 x Cabin Bag: 23 cm x 36 cm x 56 cm
  • Maximum weight: 10kg

For those in Upper Class, the following applies:

  • 2 x Cabin Bags: 23 cm x 36 cm x 56 cm
  • Maximum weight: 12kg
  • Maximum weight (combined): 16kg

Note that if you plan to bring any liquids into the cabin, you can do so as long as they are stored in containers no bigger than 100ml and are carried in a clear, re-sealable plastic bags with maximum dimensions of 20 x 20cm. Each passenger can carry a maximum of 1000ml (e.g. 10 x 100ml).

Virgin Atlantic checked luggage size

For those travelling in Economy, the following checked luggage restrictions apply:

  • 1 x Cabin Bag: 90 cm x 75 cm x 43 cm
  • Maximum weight: 23kg

Premium Economy

  • 2 x Cabin Bags: 90 cm x 75 cm x 43 cm
  • Maximum weight: 23kg

Upper Class

  • 3 x Cabin Bags: 90 cm x 75 cm x 43 cm
  • Maximum weight: 32 kg each

If you’d like to check in extra baggage beyond the limits, you can, but you’ll need to pay an extra baggage fee.

Baggage charges

You can pay to check-in up to 10 extra bags weighing up to 23kg each per person. Note that higher fees apply if you pay at the airport:

Quantity Online Check-In At the airport
1st extra bag £60 £65
2nd extra and subsequent bags £120 £140
Overweight bags (23 – 32Kg) Not available £40
Oversized bags Not available £40

Also note that you can bring one piece of sports equipment onto your Virgin Atlantic flight at no extra charge, in addition to your free baggage allowance. For any extra bags, you will be charged as per the table above. If it is overweight, you will accrue charges both for an extra bag and an overweight bag.

Musical and sport equipment

Musical instruments and other special luggage items such as sports equipment are allowed in the hold as long as the weight of the item including its case doesn’t exceed 23kg. If your item exceeds this, you’ll need to pay the additional baggage fees outlined in the table above. Note that canoes or kayaks must not exceed 4.5m in length, and that surfboards have a size limit of 277 cm.


What additional fees does Virgin Atlantic charge?

Booking fees
Flight change policy
Flight cancellation policy
Travel insurance

Booking fees

For flights departing from the UK, Virgin Atlantic applies a 1.5% fee to account for the cost charged to the airline when you pay by credit card. The fee is refundable on tickets that permit a refund of the fare.

Flight change policy

You may cancel your booking without penalty within 24 hours of making your reservation. A Flight Change Fee will apply if you plan to alter your departure date or time (per passenger, per flight) after this time. You will need to contact Virgin to determine the cost of a change however, as the fees vary.

Flight cancellation policy

If a portion of the Ticket has been used, the refund will be not less than the difference between the fare paid and the applicable fare for travel between the points for which the Ticket has been used. If a portion of the Ticket has been used, the refund will be not less than the difference between the fare paid and the applicable fare for travel between the points for which the Ticket has been used.

Travel insurance

Virgin Atlantic offers travel insurance at point of sale only.


Which routes does Virgin Atlantic fly?


What amenities does Virgin Atlantic offer?

In-flight entertainment
Seating
Frequent Flyers
Lounges

In-flight entertainment & food

Virgin Atlantic’s latest in-flight entertainment can be viewed here. In-flight meals and drinks are free on Virgin Atlantic flights.

Seating

If you want to select specific seats before your flight in Economy, you can pay to do so from 336 days before your flight. Prices start from £25, with Exit Row seats charged at £35. The fee doesn’t apply if you’re:

  • An Upper Class customer
  • A Premium Economy customer
  • An Economy Y or B class customer
  • A Flying Club Gold member
  • A Delta SkyMiles Diamond, Platinum or Gold Medallion member

All other optional service fees can be found here.

Seat pitch in Economy Class is up to 81cm (32 inches), Premium Economy offers seats with up to 96cm (38 inches). The Upper Class Suite is the longest fully flat bed in Business Class.

Frequent flyers

Virgin Atlantic has the Flying Club Frequent Flyer program that includes the following benefits:

  • Seat selection
  • Lounge access
  • Discounts on parking
  • Hotel and car rental bookings result in you earning miles

Silver and Gold benefits are priority boarding, premium check in, as well as other added extras.

Lounges

Virgin Atlantic’s Clubhouses offer Upper Class passengers and Flying Club Gold members spa treatments, high-end food and drinks, showers and business facilities. There are ten Clubhouses along with a selection of shared lounges in locations where Virgin does not currently have a lounge.


How do I contact Virgin Atlantic customer service?

Contact
Delayed, missing or damaged luggage
Compensation for baggage

Contact

Virgin Atlantic can be contacted using the numbers found here.

Delayed, missing or damaged luggage

If your luggage is lost or delayed on a flight, you will need to report it within the baggage reclaim area at the airport by filling out a Property Irregularity report (PIR). Once submitted, you will receive a 10-character reference number that you can use to monitor the progress of the tracing procedure via the baggage tracing tool online.

Damage to checked baggage must be reported at your arrival airport and in addition a claim should be submitted to Virgin Atlantic within 7 days from the date of bag damage occurring. The claim form for damaged baggage can be found here.

Compensation for baggage

Once the PIR is completed, Virgin will reimburse you for essential purchases up to the value of $50 if you’re in the US, or the equivalent of £50 in all other destinations. You will need to keep all the receipts and send them to the Baggage Claims Department to make a claim.

If your bag turns out to be irretrievably lost, they will deduct any sum paid for essential items from the final settlement costs. Virgin Atlantic’s liability is limited to approximately £350 per person in respect to the destruction damage or loss to your unchecked baggage or £17 per kilo for checked baggage. It is possible to increase this amount by purchasing a Special Checked Baggage of Declaration of Value in advance of your trip.

Virgin Atlantic Guide was last modified: January 4th, 2016 by Victoria Elizabeth
Author: Victoria Elizabeth (19 posts)