More travel news

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.

Applies to VS tickets issued by 05 Mar 2020

Issued for passengers booked on SAO services between 29 March 2020 - 04 October 2020 that are due to be cancelled.

1)  Rebook:

  • Rebook travel in the same booking class, or;
  • If original booking class isn’t available, re-book in the lowest available class in the same cabin
    • No additional collection or change fee will be charged
  • Re-booking with onward connections on other non-codeshare airlines;
  • Rebook in original class in the same cabin; If original booking class isn’t available, re-book in lowest available class in the same cabin.
    • Brazil point of sale - No additional collection or change fee will be charged
    • All other points of sale – No change fee will be charged but any fare difference applies
  • Re-booking with Codeshare partner GOL Airlines; If customer chooses to remain on GOL Airline connection, VS* must be cancelled and re-booked onto a GOL Airline flight.
  • Tickets must be re-issued on / before revised travel date

2) Re-route:

  • Re-protections onto Air France via Paris-Charles De Gaulle & KLM via Amsterdam
    • No additional collection or change fee will be charged

For direct re-protections, please call back on/after 12th March 2020

3) Refund:

  • Refunds will be permitted.

If you have booked through a Travel agent or a third party, please contact them to discuss rebooking and refund options. If you have made your reservations directly 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. 

As part of the ongoing M23 Smart Motorway Project, the M23 will be closed for FIVE weekends. Work will begin on Friday 28 February and continue for the next four weekends.

For Gatwick Airport, traffic will be diverted off the motorway at Junction 10 and via A2011, A23 and Airport Way to reach the terminals. For the M25, traffic will follow the A264 and A22 to join the M25 at Junction 6 (Godstone).

The diversion route is expected to be very busy and delays should be expected in the local area. Passengers are advised to allow plenty of additional time for their journey and to consider alternative modes of transport where possible.

The final weekend, the closure direction will switch after 28 hours:

  • Northbound Junction 10 - Junction 8 closed from 21:00 on Friday 27 March to 01:00 on Sunday 29 March.
  • Southbound Junction 8 - Junction 10 closed from 01:00 Sunday 29 March to 05:00 Monday 30 March.

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.

Like many airlines, we are unable to accept cash payments at some of the airports we operate from. This now applies to all of our Airports in the USA.

Please check with a member of our Airport team to find out which options are available to you for converting cash to a payment card.

Apple have identified a battery fault in a number of older generation MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, mid 2015) models; which may pose an overheat/fire risk. As a result they are recalling affected devices to allow for a battery replacement.

The affected devices were sold primarily between September 2015 and February 2017 and are linked only to certain serial numbers. To ascertain whether a device is impacted the following link should be used:

https://support.apple.com/en-gb/15-inch-macbook-pro-battery-recall

If confirmed as an affected device, Apple have stated it should not be used and that owners should contact them for a free battery replacement.

Given that passengers safety is our top priority, affected devices should not be checked in to hold luggage, plugged in or used onboard our aircraft.

From 1st October 2019, if you’re travelling to or transiting through New Zealand from a visa-waiver country or region (like the UK or US) you’ll need a valid New Zealand ElectronicTravel Authority (NZeTA).

The NZeTA is valid for two years, and once you have it you can use it as often as you like for stays of up to three months, or, if you’re a British citizen, up to 6 months. If you'd like to stay longer, you can apply for a visa from New Zealand Immigration.

How to apply for a NZeTA

Applications cost NZD $12 online, or NZD $9 on the NZeTA free app.

You should allow 72 hours for your NZeTA request to be processed. Please make sure you apply in good time, as you’ll need a valid NZeTA or a valid visa for New Zealand before you fly with us.

Visit the NZeTA website for more information and to apply.

Applying for a New Zealand visa (rather than an NZeTA)

Some visitors to New Zealand will need to hold a valid visa, rather than an NZeTA. If you think you might need a New Zealand visa, visit the New Zealand immigration website for more information on visa options and eligibility and how to apply.

The International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy

The New Zealand Government may also require you to pay an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL). The IVL costs NZ$35 per person and is processed and payable when you apply for your visa or NZeTA.