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

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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 about their baggage allowance, fare structure, or cabin amenities, or you want to be prepared for any additional fees or add-on options. It’s all outlined 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 Hub: London Heathrow (LHR) and London Gatwick (LGW)

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

Virgin Atlantic Route Map
Virgin Atlantic Route Map. Image courtesy of virginatlantic.com.

Frequent Flyer Program

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

These miles can be redeemed for award flights or used to pay for part of a flight (starting from 3,000 miles). As well as flying, there are a variety of ways to earn Virgin miles 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.

Hot Tip: Read more about Virgin Atlantic’s loyalty program in our article about the best ways to earn lots of Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles 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.

Economy Classic

As with Economy Light, Economy Classic offers you meals, drinks, and snacks included. Flying Economy Classic also includes one free checked bag, free seat selection*, and is upgradeable with Flying Club miles.

  • For bookings made after 16 March 2018. For any prior bookings, the seat selection fee still applies.

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 flying Premium cabin on Virgin Atlantic, you receive dedicated check-in, priority boarding, and 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. Upon boarding, 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 that come along with your flight:

  • Chauffeur service to and from the airport*
  • Priority check-in and security at London Heathrow’s Upper Class Wing
  • Access to Virgin Clubhouses
  • Priority boarding
  • 3 free checked bags
  • Complimentary Champagne upon boarding
  • Complimentary 4-course meal
  • Onboard bar to pick up snacks, sweets, fruit, and drinks**

* Chauffeur service is available for eligible fares booked in J, C or D class and is not applicable to codeshare partner flights. Reward flights are also not eligible. 

**Excludes flights on A330-200 aircrafts.

Virgin Atlantic Baggage & Other Fees/Add-Ons

Virgin Atlantic Baggage
Virgin Atlantic Baggage. Image courtesy of virginatlantic.com.

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.

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 23 x 36 x 56 centimeters or 10 kilograms for Economy or Premium. The same size restriction applies to Upper Class but a maximum weight of 12 kilograms per piece with all carry-ons not totaling more than 16 kilograms.

Lap Infant Carry-On Policy

Lap infants are permitted 1 standard carry-on bag weighing up to 6 kilograms and have the same size restriction of no larger than 23 x 36 x 56 centimeters.

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.

Virgin Atlantic Checked Baggage Allowance:

All checked bags must adhere to a maximum weight of 23 kilograms for Economy & Premium fares, 32 kilograms for Upper Class fare. All luggage must adhere to maximum linear dimensions of 90 x 75 x 43 centimeters.

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

* 2 bag allowance applies to Economy passengers traveling from the U.K. to India, from the U.S. to South Africa, from the U.S. & Canada to India, and from the U.K. & U.S. to Lagos.

Additional/Excess Baggage Fees:

1st additional bag2nd additional bag3rd+ additional bags4th+ additional bag
Economy Light
 $60 (£45)$100 (£65)$200 (£140)n/a
Economy Classic & Economy Delightincluded$100 (£65)$200 (£140)n/a
Premiumincludedincluded$200 (£140)n/a
Upper Classincludedincludedincluded$200 (£140)

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

Lap Infant Checked Bag Policy

Lap infants are allowed one piece of checked baggage with a maximum weight of 23 kilograms.

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 & Tips to Cover the Expenses.

Other Fees & 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 – $300
  • Upper Class: $450 – $500

Lap infants are charged 10% of the fee.

In the case of a change/cancellation due to Force Majeure (evidence required), then Virgin Atlantic will credit the fare towards a future flight, and charge a £50 per person administrative fee.

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

Name spelling mistake changes (small): Free

Seat Selection

  • Economy Light: Free at the airport, prior to the airport: £30 for standard seats or £35 for standard upper deck seats.
  • Economy Classic: Free less than 24 hours before departure. £35 for standard upper deck seats, £59-£89 for an exit row seat, £49 for an exit row seat with reduced legroom, or £59-90 for an exit row upper deck seat (only available on the 747).
  • Economy Delight: Free
  • Premium: Free
  • Upper Class: Free

Wi-Fi Onboard: Wi-Fi Light £4.99 (40 Mbps) or Wi-Fi Max £14.99 (150 Mbps)

Unaccompanied Minor: Charged at adult fare

Pet in Cabin: Not permitted

Onboard Refreshments: Free

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Inflight Inclusions, Amenities, & Seat Specs

Economy Light & Economy Classic

Virgin Atlantic Economy
Virgin Atlantic Economy. Image courtesy of virginatlantic.com.

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

Virgin Atlantic Economy Delight
Virgin Atlantic Economy Delight. Image courtesy of virginatlantic.com.
  • Upgrade to Economy Delight and you’ll benefit from extra legroom with a seat pitch of 34″.

Premium

Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy
Virgin Atlantic Premium. Image courtesy of virginatlantic.com.

Amenities include:

  • Wide leather seating (21″ width) with a seat pitch of 38″ 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
Virgin Atlantic Upper Class. Image courtesy of virginatlantic.com.

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 onboard (excluding A330-200)
  • 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’.

Airbus A330-200 (2 layouts)
Seat CountSeat pitch/Bed lengthSeat width
Upper Class1959-60″/71.3″20″
Premium35 (36 seats on layout 2)36″17.7″
Economy21230″17.7″
Airbus A330-300 (2 layouts)
Seat CountSeat pitch/Bed lengthSeat width
Upper Class33 (31 on layout 2)79.5″/78″22″
Premium4838″21″
Economy18531″ (29-30″ on layout 2)17.5″
Airbus A340-600
Seat CountSeat pitch/Bed lengthSeat width
Upper Class4579.5″/78″22″
Premium3838″21″
Economy22531″17.5″
Boeing 747-400
Seat CountSeat pitch/Bed lengthSeat width
Upper Class1479.5″/78″22″
Premium6638″21″
Economy37531″17.5″
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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