Virgin Atlantic Review – Seats, Amenities, Customer Service, Baggage Fees & More

Virgin Atlantic Plane
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While you may not have flown with Virgin Atlantic, there’s no doubt you’ve come across this distinctive, glamorous airline with its vibrant brand and PR-loving founder.

If you’re planning a trip on Virgin then we’ve got you covered with all the information required for planning your flight.

Maybe you need to know the baggage allowance, fare structure, or cabin amenities, or you want to be prepared for any additional fees or add-on options. We outline everything you need to know below.

Basic Info

Airline: Virgin Atlantic

Alliance: None

Category: International Carrier

Frequent Flyer Program: Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Tagline: “Flying in the face of ordinary”

About/Mission Statement: “To embrace the human spirit and let it fly.”

Daily Flights: Over 300 (including partners — Delta Air Lines and Air France-KLM)

Fleet: 44

Main Hubs: London Heathrow (LHR), London Gatwick (LGW), Manchester (MAN)

Destinations: Over 200 (including partners — Delta Air Lines and Air France-KLM)

Virgin Atlantic Route Map
Virgin Atlantic route map. Image Credit: Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic Frequent Flyer Program

Flying Club is Virgin Atlantic’s loyalty program that rewards members with points when they fly with Virgin Atlantic and on other partner airlines including Delta, Air France-KLM, and Singapore Airlines.

These Virgin points can be redeemed for award flights or used to pay for part of a flight (starting from 3,000 points). As well as flying, there are a variety of ways to earn Virgin points, from spending on the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® to shopping at specific retails through the Virgin Atlantic retail portal.

When you fly, you earn tier points that can help you move up the Flying Club’s membership tier statuses of Red, Silver, and Gold — the Red tier being the lowest tier and Gold being the highest with each tier offering its own benefits.

There are great incentives to achieving Gold tier with Gold members not only earning a bonus on flights, but also receiving priority for check-in, access to the Virgin Clubhouses, and an extra luggage allowance.

Better yet, as of Septemeber 1, 2020, Flying Club members will earn elite-qualifying Tier Points on all bookings with Virgin Atlantic – including award tickets!

You’ll earn Tier Points based on the fare class of your ticket. But award tickets will earn tier points at 50% of the rate of cash tickets. All one-way Upper Class redemptions will earn 100 Tier Points, Premium one-way redemptions will earn 50 Tier Points, and economy one-way redemptions will earn 25 Tier Points.

Hot Tip: Read more about Virgin Atlantic’s loyalty program in our article about the best ways to earn lots of Virgin Points and you’ll be jetting off on a reward flight soon!

Ticketing Options

Virgin Atlantic has introduced some flexible options to its economy fare offerings, along with standard fares for Premium and Upper Class cabins.

Economy Light

Flying Economy Light offers you meals, drinks, and snacks included; however, you are limited to carry-on luggage only. Secondly, seat selection can only be made at check-in or for a fee 24 hours before departure. Passengers may also pay to book a “preferred seat” (near the front of the cabin, exit row, or duo seats) in advance.

Economy Classic

As with Economy Light, Economy Classic offers you meals, drinks, and snacks included. Flying Economy Classic also includes 1 free checked bag, free seat selection, and is upgradeable with Virgin Points. If passengers want a preferred seat they can pay to do so.

Economy Delight

Economy Delight delivers all the perks of Economy Classic but adds great extras like premium check-in, priority boarding, and extra-legroom seating.

Premium Cabin

When you fly in the Premium cabin on Virgin Atlantic, you receive dedicated check-in, priority boarding, and priority baggage offloading on arrival (where possible). Additionally, you benefit from free seat selection up to 331 days before departure as well as a larger seat onboard. On board, you’re offered a complimentary drink and newspaper to start your flight off.

Upper Class

Flying in Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class, its first class equivalent cabin, there’s a whole host of perks at the airport and onboard (in-flight inclusions are covered later in this article):

  • Priority check-in and security at London Heathrow’s Upper Class Wing
  • Access to Virgin Clubhouses
  • Free seat selection (including preferred seats for those in Economy Classic or with semi-flexible tickets in Q class or higher)
  • Priority boarding
  • 2 free checked bags
  • Chauffeur service (additional fee)

Virgin Atlantic Baggage and Other Fees/Add-Ons

Virgin Atlantic Baggage
Virgin Atlantic baggage. Image Credit: Virgin Atlantic

Baggage Allowance and Fees

As Virgin Atlantic doesn’t operate any domestic or short-haul flights, it has a pretty clear-cut baggage policy.

Virgin Atlantic Carry-On Allowance:

Passengers in Economy Light, Economy Class, Economy Delight, and Premium are permitted to bring 1 piece of carry-on luggage plus 1 personal item, such as a handbag or small backpack.

Passengers in Upper Class are permitted to bring 2 pieces of carry-on luggage plus 1 personal item.

Standard carry-on luggage must not exceed 9 x 14 x 22 inches (23 x 36 x 56 cm) or 22 pounds (10 kg) for Economy or Premium passengers. The same size restriction applies to Upper Class but includes a maximum weight of 26 pounds (12 kg) per piece or a combined total of 35 pounds (16 kg) for all carry-ons.

Lap Infant Carry-On Policy

Lap infants are permitted 1 standard carry-on bag weighing up to 13 pounds (6 kg) and have the same size restriction of no larger than 9 x 14 x 22 inches (23 x 36 x 56 cm).

Stroller Check Policy

Passengers traveling with children have the option to check their stroller free of charge either at check-in or at the gate. The stroller will be transported in the hold compartment and in some cases will be ready for you outside the plane on arrival, or at baggage claim.

The following strollers can be taken into the cabin, within your carry-on allowance:

  • GB Pocket
  • Britax Holiday
  • Silver Cross Jet
  • BabyZen YOYO

Virgin Atlantic Checked Baggage Allowance:

All checked bags must adhere to a maximum weight of 50 pounds (23 kg) for Economy and Premium fares, and 70 pounds (32 kg) for Upper Class fares. All luggage must adhere to maximum linear dimensions of 35.5 x 29.5 x 16 inches (90 x 75 x 43 cm).

  • Economy Light: No baggage included
  • Economy Classic and Economy Delight: 1 piece (50 pounds/23 kg)*
  • Premium: 2 pieces (50 pounds/23 kg per bag)
  • Upper Class: 3 pieces (70 pounds/32 kg per bag)

* 2 bag allowance applies to Economy passengers (Classic or Delight) traveling from the U.K. or the U.S. to India or to/from Nigeria.

Additional/Excess Baggage Fees:

You can add up to 7 extra bags per person when you check-in online (from 24 hours to 70 minutes before the flight). You can add up to 10 bags at the airport.

First additional bagSecond additional bagThird additional bagFourth additional bag
Economy Light
 $60 (£45)$100 (£65)$200 (£140)$200 (£140)
Economy Classic & Economy Delightincluded$100 (£65)$200 (£140)$200 (£140)
Premiumincludedincluded$200 (£140)$200 (£140)
Upper Classincludedincluded$200 (£140)$200 (£140)

Overweight Fee: $100 (£65)
Oversized Fee: $300 (£200)

Lap Infant Checked Bag Policy

Lap infants are allowed 1 piece of checked baggage with a maximum weight of 50 pounds (23 kg).

Please refer to Virgin Atlantic’s baggage policy for information relating to special luggage (e.g. musical instruments or sports equipment).

Hot Tip: Check out our detailed post on Virgin Atlantic baggage fees and tips to cover the expenses.

Other Fees and Add-Ons

Change/Cancellation Fees (Cash Tickets)

Fees are detailed in the fare conditions section upon booking. After running a few test searches, these fees seemed consistent for a variety of flight routes from North America.

  • Economy/Premium: $275 to $300
  • Upper Class: $450 to $500

Lap infants are charged 10% of the fee.

In the case of a change/cancellation due to Force Majeure (evidence required), Virgin Atlantic will credit the fare towards a future flight and charge a £30 ($38) per person administrative fee.

Hot Tip: You can find out information on Virgin Atlantic’s award flight change and cancellation fees here.

Name spelling mistake changes (small): Free

Seat Selection

  • Economy Light: Free at the airport or via online check-in, prior to the airport: £30 ($38) for standard seats and £40 ($56) for preferred seats
  • Economy Classic: Free; £30 ($38) for preferred seats, £59-£89 ($75-$114) for an exit row seat, or £49 ($63) for an exit row seat with reduced legroom
  • Economy Delight: Free
  • Premium: Free
  • Upper Class: Free

Wi-Fi Onboard: Wi-Fi Light £4.99 ($6.50) for 40 Mbps or Wi-Fi Max £14.99 ($19) for 150 Mbps/unlimited data, depending on the aircraft. A messaging-only service is also available for £2.99 ($4).

Unaccompanied Minor: Charged at the adult fare

Pet in Cabin: Not permitted

Onboard Refreshments: Free

Avoid Paying Baggage and Excess Fees by Using These Credit Cards

Unfortunately, the Virgin Atlantic World Elite card doesn’t offer any baggage perks, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay excess fees!

Simply purchase your travel with a Capital One® Venture® Rewards card or Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards card. You then have 90 days to request a statement credit by using Purchase Eraser to redeem your miles at 1 cent per mile.

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card - This no annual fee card comes with a 20,000 bonus mile offer after spending $500 in the first 3 months. When you use your card for travel purchases (e.g. baggage fees), use your miles to pay off all, or part of, your statement balance! We've highlighted 30+ benefits of the card.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card - The "big brother" card to the VentureOne with a 100,000 bonus miles offer when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. This card is full of benefits and perks and you can redeem your miles on travel or transfer your miles to over 10+ travel loyalty programs.

Virgin Inflight Inclusions, Amenities, and Seat Specs

Economy Light and Economy Classic

Virgin Atlantic Economy Classic
Virgin Atlantic Economy Classic. Image Credit: Virgin Atlantic

Amenities Include:

  • Snacks and drinks including hot drinks, beer, wine, and spirits
  • 1 or 2 meals depending on the flight duration
  • Entertainment on your personal screen including movies, games, and music
  • Wi-Fi available to purchase
  • Power supply
  • Kids entertainment pack (flying from the U.K.)

Economy Delight

Virgina Atlantic Economy Delight
Virgin Atlantic Economy Delight. Image Credit: Virgin Atlantic

Amenities Include:

  • Extra legroom with a seat pitch of 34 inches
  • Priority check-in and boarding

Premium

Virgin Atlantic Premium
Virgin Atlantic Premium. Image Credit: Virgin Atlantic

Amenities Include:

  • Wide leather seating (21-inch width) with a seat pitch of 38 inches and a footrest
  • Welcome drink including Champagne and a newspaper
  • Entertainment on your personal screen including movies, games, and music
  • USB socket
  • Premium amenity kit on night flights
  • Wi-Fi available to purchase

Upper Class

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Seat
Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Seat. Image Credit: Virgin Atlantic

Amenities Include:

  • Large leather seats that convert to lie-flat beds
  • Entertainment on your personal screen including movies, games, and music
  • Welcome drink including Champagne
  • Bar on board (excluding A330-200); on Virgin’s new A350 aircraft, the bar has been replaced with “the Loft” — a stylish seating area with a 23-inch TV featuring the live tail cam
  • Light bites and snacks available to order or pick-up from the bar
  • Premium dining
  • Drinks including wine, beer, and spirits
  • Wi-Fi available to purchase
  • USB socket
  • Duvet and pillow
  • Pajamas
  • Amenity kit including Rituals beauty creams and lip balm

Seat Specs

Virgin Atlantic has 5 aircraft types in its fleet with a couple of different seating configurations for its Airbus aircraft.

Airbus A330-200 (2 Layouts)
Seat CountSeat Pitch/Bed LengthSeat Width
Upper Class1959 to 60 inches/71.3 inches20 inches
Premium35 (36 seats on layout 2)36 inches17.7 inches
Economy21230 inches17.7 inches
Airbus A330-300
Seat CountSeat Pitch/Bed LengthSeat Width
Upper Class3179.5 inches/78 inches22 inches
Premium4838 inches21 inches
Economy18529 to 30 inches17.5 inches
Airbus A350-1000
Seat CountSeat Pitch/Bed LengthSeat Width
Upper Class4444 inches/82 inches22 inches
Premium5638 inches18.5 inches
Economy23531 to 34 inches17.4 inches

Frequently asked questions

What is the baggage allowance for Virgin Atlantic?

See our handy guide for full details on Virgin Atlantic’s baggage fees and policies.

Economy or Premium:

  • 1 piece of carry-on luggage plus 1 personal item
  • Carry-on luggage must not exceed 9 x 14 x 22 inches (23 x 36 x 56 cm) or 22 pounds (10 kg)

Upper Class

  • 2 pieces of carry-on luggage plus 1 personal item
  • Same size restriction as above but a maximum weight of 26 pounds (12 kg) per piece with all carry-ons not totaling more than 35 pounds (16 kg)
Amar Hussain

About Amar Hussain

Amar was born and raised in England, UK, embarked on an 11 country round the world gap year after graduation and then became well and truly hooked. The first gap year inspired a second which ended up being a 23 country down-the-world trip from Canada to Antarctica. Since then Amar has endeavored to turn his gap year into a ‘gap life’ and has spent the last 10 years traveling the 7 continents.

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4 comments

  1. Your list of the width of the plane 787 is not good

    Reply

  2. What about pets? I have always flown with my pet in cargo from A.F. to London. Is this service available today?

    Reply

Any thoughts or questions? Comment below!

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