More travel news

Our move from Gatwick to Heathrow and retiring our 747’s and A332’s.

We’ve announced plans to reshape and resize our business to ensure that is it fit for the future, in response to the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the global economy, our nation and the travel and aviation industry.

We’re making some changes to optimise our network and simplify our fleet, as we aim to establish ourselves as the sustainability industry leader. As part of these changes, we’ll be moving our flying programme from London Gatwick, flying modern twin-engine aircraft from London Heathrow and Manchester – with the intention of retaining slots at London Gatwick, to allow us to return in the future. From 5 May 2020, we’ll be saying goodbye to seven 747-400s, and four A330-200 aircraft will be retiring in early 2022 as planned.

If you’re booked to fly with us from Gatwick, we’ll be rebooking your travel over the next couple of weeks to ensure you can still get away as planned, including on flights from London Heathrow or with our partners where possible.

There’s no need to contact us right now. We'll be in touch directly with more information on what these changes mean and alternative options by the end of May.

You’ll be able to see any changes and choose your seats in My booking as normal, or assign seats when check in opens 24 hours before departure. If you have paid for a seat in our 747 upper deck, you will be refunded.

Please note, we can’t reimburse any extra costs as a result of these changes, such as accommodation, parking or airport transfers from connecting flights. There is no V-room at London Heathrow, so any bookings will be refunded automatically. Entry to the Number 1 lounge is available here.

Upper Class customers and Gold Card holders will of course be able to access our award-winning Clubhouse at London Heathrow.

Our teams are receiving a high volume of calls at the moment, so please do bear with us – we'll be in touch as soon as we can.

Terminal changes at London Heathrow

London Heathrow Airport is temporarily consolidating all flight operations at Terminal 2 and Terminal 5, in response to the very limited flight schedules operating currently at Heathrow overall. 

If you have a flight with us from Tuesday 21 April 2020, we’ll be temporarily operating from Terminal 2 and we will be in touch with all the information you need for your journey. Rest assured we’re working hard to make sure your Virgin Atlantic experience remains as seamless as possible while we’re away from our usual home.

We look forward to welcoming our customers back to our much loved, award-winning home in Terminal 3 as soon as possible.

In response to the rapid acceleration and severe impact of Covid-19, we are continually reviewing our flying programme in order to deploy our fleet most effectively.  As a result, we have made the incredibly difficult decision to withdraw our London Heathrow to Sao Paulo service which was due to launch on 6th October 2020.

If you are impacted by the route cancellation, we are offering rebooking and refund options.

If you have booked through a Travel agent or a third party, please contact them to discuss rebooking and refund options. For reservations directly made with Virgin Atlantic, please contact our customer team via our SMS messaging system on +44 (0) 7481 339184 (UK), 97634 (from a US number) or WhatsApp 0344 874 7747. 

Temporary changes to our onboard service

With the rapid acceleration of Covid-19, we’re making some temporary changes to our inflight service. To make sure we provide the safest experience for everyone flying with us, we’re offering our customers a streamlined service. This will include:

  • One main meal service delivered with juices and soft drinks
  • Orange juice and water services available throughout your flight

We know how much our customers love the full Virgin Atlantic experience, but we’ve made this decision as the health and safety of our customers and our people is always our top priority. We’ll continue to monitor the situation and will provide an update on our return to full in-flight service as soon as we’re able to do so.

In the meantime, you can still expect a warm Virgin Atlantic welcome from our teams on the ground and in the air. Thank you so much for your support and understanding — it means the world to us right now and we look forward to being able to offer you the full Virgin Atlantic experience again soon.

You can find out more about what we’re doing to ensure your health, safety and peace of mind in our latest travel information.

From the 10th of April, as recommended by the CDC and the city of Los Angeles’ new order, you'll need to wear your own face mask or cloth covering for protection when travelling. 

For more information please visit Dept. of Homeland Security: DHS.gov or Customs and Border Protection: CBP.gov

We are always evaluating our services to ensure they meet the needs of our customers. As the habits of our Upper Class customers change and the demand for complimentary ground transfer continues to decrease, we’ve made the decision to change how we offer this service.

In recent years, of the 20% of Upper Class customers that are eligible for a complimentary transfer, fewer than 50% choose to use one. For flight bookings made from 1st July 2020, we’ll no longer offer complimentary ground transfers as part of our Upper Class service. This includes chauffeur cars, limobikes and Heathrow and Gatwick Express tickets.

This change reflects evolving preferences and means we’ll be providing a consistent experience with our partners Delta, Air France and KLM. Customers will still be able to pay to pre-book a chauffeur car with us to take them to and from the airport.

We continue to invest heavily in our much-loved Upper Class product, focusing on what our customers have told us they want. We’ll be introducing eight further A350 aircraft in 2020 and 2021, so that more can experience the stunning A350 Upper Class suite and the new Loft area, as well as a brand new Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse in Manchester this summer.

We've made some changes to our baggage policy that will help make sure we’re offering the most streamlined experience possible when travelling with us and our partners.

For bookings made after 9th December

  • The free checked in bag allowance for Upper Class customers will be 2 bags (from 3)
  • The charge for any oversized baggage will be £200/$300 USD (from £65/$100)

The weight allowance stays the same.  More about baggage

The open skies agreement between the UK and US, agreed in November 2018, and existing bilateral air service agreements with other key markets, will ensure that our flights will continue to operate as normal, regardless of the future relationship agreed between the UK and EU

The ‘status quo’ transition period until 31st December 2020 will ensure that customers can continue to travel with confidence as the UK has left the EU. We have robust plans in place to keep our planes flying and our customers moving, so we don’t expect changes to our scheduled services.

We encourage all customers due to travel with us to check the details of their flight at www.virginatlantic.com  and to always ensure their contact details are added to their booking.

The Indian government has recently announced a ban on e-cigarettes and related products. This means you will be unable to buy e-cigarettes in India or bring them into the country.

Please visit the Foreign travel advice for more information.

The following nationalities are now eligible to use eGates at all UK airports. 

  • USA
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Japan
  • Singapore
  • South Korea

Visitors need to be aged 12+ to use eGates (12 to 17 year olds must be accompanied by an adult).

Citizens of the above nationalities will also no longer need to complete or present a landing card. 

For more information on entry to the UK please visit Gov.uk.

More information on visas

As part of a recent network review, we’re evolving our Caribbean offering to make sure we continue to serve destinations most loved by our customers. These changes mean that, from 8 June 2020:

  • We’ll be increasing flights from London Gatwick to Antigua, boosting services from three per week to four per week
  • Our Havana service will move from London Gatwick to Heathrow.
  • As part of these changes, we’ve made the decision to stop flying to St Lucia for the foreseeable future. It‘s never easy to withdraw from a destination and we’d like to thank our customers and teams in St Lucia for their loyalty and dedication over the last 21 years. Flights will continue to operate between Gatwick and St Lucia as planned until 8th June 2020 and we will continue to serve hotels in St Lucia through connecting flights via our partner airlines. Customer bookings for Virgin Atlantic flights departing up to and including 7th June 2020 will not be impacted. Flights to Grenada and Tobago will now connect through Antigua.