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Virgin Atlantic Flights

Virgin Atlantic, headquartered in Crawley, United Kingdom, flew its maiden voyage from London Gatwick to Newark, New Jersey in 1984.  Virgin Atlantic encountered two challenges as soon as it came into existence.  First, it had to be profitable in the first year, something demanded by its flamboyant founder, Sir Richard Branson, of all the enterprises in his Virgin Group.  Second, Virgin Atlantic had to break into a market where the competition held strong cards and objected to the entrance of a new player.

Virgin Atlantic managed to persuade several airports to give them landing slots.  It was profitable in its first year, so was allowed by Branson to continue.  Some later years were difficult financially, as has been true for many airlines, and now Delta Airlines owns a significant percentage of Virgin Atlantic’s shares.

Virgin Atlantic’s offers three classes of service: Economy, Premium Economy and Upper Class.  Virgin Atlantic (VS) tends to be on time for about 77% of flights.  Virgin Atlantic also strives to offer state-of-the-art service, such as Wi Fi on all its flights.

Virgin Atlantic is committed to being a responsible leader with respect to current and pressing issues.  “Change is in the Air” is the name of its sustainability program, in which Virgin Atlantic is working with partners to reduce its environmental footprint.  “Our 2016 Modern Slavery Statement” show what Virgin Atlantic is doing to combat exploitive employment practices, both at home in the UK and in the deals it makes with suppliers – such as avoiding those who hire children.

Virgin Atlantic has codeshare agreements with these airlines: Air China, Air New Zealand, Delta Air Lines, Flybe, Jet Airways and Singapore Airlines.

Virgin Atlantic Destinations in the US

  • Boston, MA – Logan International Airport (BOS)
  • Las Vegas, NV – McCarran International Airport (LAS)
  • Los Angeles, CA – Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • Miami, FL – Miami International Airport (MIA)
  • Newark, NJ – Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  • New York City, NY – John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  • Orlando, FL – Orlando International Airport (MCO)
  • San Francisco, CA – San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • Seattle, WA – Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
  • Washington, D.C. – Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)

Virgin Atlantic International Destinations

  •  Barbados: Bridgetown
  • China: Shanghai
  • Cuba: Havana, Varadero
  • Hong Kong: Hong Kong
  • India: Delhi
  • Jamaica: Montego Bay
  • Mexico: Cancun
  • Nigeria: Lagos
  • Lucia: Vieux Fort
  • South Africa: Johannesburg
  • United Arab Emirates: Dubai
  • United Kingdom: Belfast, Glasgow, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Manchester

With its alliances, especially with Delta, Virgin Atlantic can help you reach the furthest corners of the globe.

Virgin Atlantic’s Hubs

  • London-Gatwick, UK (LGW). London Gatwick flies the second greatest number of passengers in the UK, following London Heathrow.  Gatwick has two terminals, North and South, connected by a moving walkway about 0.75 mile in length.  Virgin Atlantic is considering moving its operations from one terminal to the other so check your ticket carefully.
  • London-Heathrow, UK (LHR).The busiest airport in all of Europe, let alone the UK, Heathrow is situated about 14 miles west of downtown London, and can be reached by train, bus and taxicab. Heathrow has five terminals but Terminal 1 is currently closed and the space will become an extension of Terminal 2.  A bus system within Heathrow takes transferring passengers between terminals; this also means leaving the secure area and then having to pass security again.  Virgin Atlantic flies out of Terminal 3 and has its own section for check-in, known as Zone A. 
  • Manchester, UK (MAN). The third busiest airport in the UK – known earlier as Ringway Airport – Manchester Airport is about 8 miles southwest of downtown Manchester. It currently has three terminals, but is eager to make improvements to deal with increasing demand.

Virgin Atlantic’s Fleet

  •  Airbus A330-300: 8 airplanes in service; each seats 266 passengers
  • Airbus A340-600: 7 airplanes in service; each seats 308 passengers
  • Boeing 747-400: 8 airplanes in service; each seats 455 passengers
  • Boeing 787-9: 14 airplanes in service; each seats 264 passengers

Why Fly With Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic's Flying Club: Loyalty Programs, Miles, Discounts and Promotions

  • Members of Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club earn miles while flying on Virgin Atlantic or on one of Virgin Atlantic’s partners
  • Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club comes in three tiers: Red, Silver and Gold
  • Red Flying Club members can pick their seats sooner than non-members (72 hours opposed to 24 hours), are allowed to book time in lounges, and are eligible for discounts for airport parking and Virgin holidays
  • Silver Flying Club members, in addition to the perks for Red Flying Club members, can pick their seats 14 days in advance and are entitled to priority check-in
  • Gold Flying Club members, even when flying Economy can choose their seats without additional charge, take more luggage (both carry-on and checked), use Upper Class check-in and priority boarding, and enjoy many other perks
  • You can purchase them in 1000-mile increments
  • Miles can be used for flights, to pay less for flights, for chauffeur service, many hotels, Virgin trains, and for special holiday excursions such as safaris and balloon flights
  • You can give your miles away
  • You can convert miles from other loyalty programs – American Express, Tesco Clubcard, Heathrow Rewards, from many different hotel chains and even for buying Texaco gas or taking surveys
  • Virgin Atlantic also offers Flying Paws - a chance for your furry companions to earn miles

How to Check in, Seat Assignment, Leg Room and Other Fees

  • 24 hours before your flight you can check in online; this service closes 70 minutes before departure.
  • Economy seats are always 17 inches wide.  Seat pitch usually goes up to 31 inches, with the exception of seats in exit rose, which go up to 34 inches.
  • You can pre-book an Economy class seat for a fee starting at about $52 (40£) up until 24 hours before departure.  Starting at 24 hours before departure, you can choose any remaining seat in your cabin class free of charge.
  • Premium economy seats are 21 inches wide, with seat pitch of 38 inches, seats include a footrest and a headrest.  Also premium economy customers have priority with respect to checking in, dropping off bags and boarding.
  • Upper Class passengers enjoy seats that are 22 inches wide for the seat and up to 33 inches wide for their shoulders, as well as seats that convert into beds that are more than six and a half feet in length.
  • Upper Class passengers travel to and from the airport with Virgin Atlantic’s chauffeur driven car service.
  • Upper Class passengers traveling at London Heathrow avoid the long waits in line by using Virgin Atlantic’s Private Security Channel and can await their departures in Terminal 3’s Upper Class Wing. If you’re an Upper Class passenger arriving at London Heathrow, freshen up in the Revivals Lounge with a shower, breakfast and other amenities

Baggage Allowance and Fees

Virgin Atlantic’s Carry-on Baggage Policies

  • Economy & Premium Economy passengers can bring one item, weighing no more than 22 pounds and with a size no greater than 9 x 14 x 22 inches (23 x 36 x 56 centimeters). If you have more than one item, you must place one in the other.
  • Upper Class passengers may bring two items making a total combined weight of 35 pounds (16 kilograms), with a maximum weight of 26 pounds (12 kilograms for a single item. The size can be no greater than 9 x 14 x 22 inches (23 x 36 x 56 centimeters).
  • Infants and children in Economy and Premium Economy. Both are allowed one item with a size can be no greater than 9 x 14 x 22 inches (23 x 36 x 56 centimeters).  The weight of carry-on is limited to 13 pounds for a lap infant and 22 pounds for a child traveling with his or her own seat.
  • Additional permitted items: a handbag, small backpack, coat, baby food (if you have an infant), reading material, and a small quantity of duty-free goods.

 

Virgin Atlantic’s Checked Baggage Policies

  • Economy Class passengers may check one bag (or one piece of sporting equipment) up to 50 pounds in weight and with maximum dimensions of 35.5 x 29.5 x 16 inches (for sporting equipment, maximum dimensions of 75 x 30 x 26 inches). Two checked bags are included with the flight if you are traveling between the US or the UK and Lagos or India.
  • Premium Economy Class passengers may check two bags or pieces of sporting equipment, up to 50 pounds in weight each and with maximum dimensions of 35.5 x 29.5 x 16 inches (for sporting equipment, maximum dimensions of 75 x 30 x 26 inches). Three checked bags are included with the flight if you are traveling between the US and the UK to Lagos or India.
  • Upper Class passengers may check three bags or one pieces of sporting equipment up to 70 pounds in weight (a 50 pound limit for sporting equipment) and with maximum dimensions of 35.5 x 29.5 x 16 inches (for sporting equipment, maximum dimensions of 75 x 30 x 26 inches).
  • Infants traveling on laps can have one piece of checked luggage with a maximum weight of 50 pounds as well as a car seat or collapsible stroller.
  • If you wish to check additional luggage, fees will apply.

Service on Board: In-Flight Entertainment, Meals and More

p>Food and Drink

  • Economy offers a selection of three meals, included in the price, complimentary drinks and a bottle of water as you settle in so you stay hydrated.
  • Premium Economy receives a choice of three main courses with red or white wine, as well as sandwiches and scones afterwards. You can raid the pantry of tempting treats by going to the Wander Wall or galley area.
  • Upper Class receives a choice of various elegant dining options and a wide selection. Those who want to nibble at will can take advantage of the Graze Menu or enjoy afternoon tea.
  • Special meals are available in all classes, but must be ordered at least 24 hours in advance. These include meals that are low in fat, or sodium, or sugar (for diabetics), fruit platter meals, gluten intolerant meals, lacto ovo vegetarian meals, low in lactose meals (not necessarily dairy free), vegan meals, Hindu meals, Muslim meals, Jain meals, Asian vegetarian meals, or pureed meals.
  • Kosher meals are available on most flights but must be ordered 48 hours in advance of departure
  • Virgin Atlantic can supply both baby meals and meals for kids (dinosaur pasta!) but they need to be ordered at least 48 hours in advance
  • Note that kids’ meals are not vegetarian.

 

Entertainment and Extras

  • Virgin Atlantic offers a wide selection of movies, TV shows, music and games to make the hours fly by.
  • WiFi is available on some flights for a fee.
  • Virgin Atlantic offers amenity kits to make the experience more enjoyable.
  • Newspapers are available.
  • Premium Economy passengers have plenty of room to work as well as power outlets located at their seats so that their batteries don’t drain.
  • Upper Class passengers can stretch out and get a good rest while in the air.
  • Virgin Atlantic keeps the kids entertained, with kid-friendly movies, shows and games.

Child Fares/Fees and Extras, Minor Service guidelines

  • Infants must be at least 48 hours old in order to travel.
  • Virgin Atlantic has in-flight cots (sky cots) for the babies, but they should be reserved in advance.
  • Some toilets on some Virgin Atlantic flights have changing facilities.
  • If you’re in Economy, you may generally bring a car seat for your child, as long as you have a reservation for a seat. The car seat must meet certain safety conditions (approved labeling for the US by the FAA, Canada, the EU or Australia/New Zealand) and be compatible with being secured into the adjacent seat.
  • If the car seat cannot be secured it must be checked and the infant will have to ride on the lap of an adult (secured by the seatbelt whenever the seatbelt sign is illuminated).
  • Those traveling with children or babies may bring either a collapsible stroller or a car seat in addition to regular checked luggage without incurring additional fees
  • Unaccompanied minor service is available for kids between 5 and 18, and is required for those between 5 and 11. Unaccompanied Minor service is optional for those aged 12 to 18.
  • Children under 5 must be accompanied by someone 18 or older, unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian who is under 18.
  • Children traveling in a different compartment – for example, Economy instead of Premium Economy – are considered Unaccompanied Minors because the crew will be responsible for them.
  • Note that documents and health certificates may be required, depending on the child’s route and destination. Virgin Atlantic ground staff will guide them through customs and immigration and take them to the adult on the Declaration of Indemnity form.
  • Unaccompanied Minor service cannot be reserved for by using the website; you must either call Virgin Atlantic or speak to a travel agent.

Pet Policy

Pet Policy

  • Virgin Atlantic only permits dogs and cats to travel and no other species.
  • As all pets (but not service dogs) must travel in the hold (as checked luggage), so short-nosed breeds such as Pekingese dogs and Persian cats cannot travel on Virgin Atlantic.
  • Dogs deemed dangerous by the Dangerous Dogs Act are not accepted. These include Pit bulls, Tosas, Dogo Argentinos (also known as Argentine mastiffs), Fila Brasileiros (Brazilian mastiffs) and any mix of these breeds.
  • Not all destinations and not all flights accept animals for transport.
  • Both the flights and destinations generally have paperwork and documentation requirements.
  • Bookings for animal travel need to be made at least 7 days before the departure flight.
  • Animals that have been sedated will not be accepted for transport.
  • Your pet can travel without you; make sure to arrange for delivery and pick-up.
  • Virgin Atlantic recommends not feeding your pet up to five hours before check in, but please give your pet plenty of water. Virgin Atlantic will give your animal water before take-off and upon arrival.
  • Checking a pet should be done at least 4 hours before departure
  • The cost of transporting your pet differs by flight and other criteria.

 

Service dogs

Service dogs are welcome to accompany you on most Virgin Atlantic flights, but there’s stuff to do before you board:

  • You need to contact Virgin Atlantic’s Special Assistance department at least three days before your flight. They will also be able to guide you through the paperwork for Virgin Atlantic
  • Because of the extra documentation and requirements, you and your service dog will need to check in at the counter.
  • Your dog must wear a safety harness whenever the seatbelt sign is on.
  • Please bring an absorbent mat for your dog to use while onboard.

If you and your animal (dog or cat) plan to travel to the UK, to avoid quarantine, all animals must meet the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) from DEFRA.  These rules include being microchipped, being vaccinated against rabies (or a blood test), and having a pet passport or vet certificate.  Dogs also need to be treated for tapeworm.

Prices shown on this page are estimated lowest prices only. Found in the last 45 days.