Travel alerts

Information correct as of 04:00 GMT on Monday 6 December 2021

Nigeria added to Red list from 6 December  

Nigeria is currently on the UK’s Red list of countries 

if arriving customers have been in or through Nigeria or the other Red list countries in the previous 10 days, you will be refused entry to the UK, unless you are a British or Irish National, or you have residence rights in the UK. 

Arrivals from Nigeria will need to have booked a managed hotel quarantine package for 10 days, before boarding a flight from Lagos. We recommend that you book your hotel quarantine package as soon as possible to ensure you secure it for your desired dates. Full details of what to do when arriving from a Red list country can be found here.  

Red list rules do not apply to customers that are transiting to another international flight at London Heathrow where you do not pass border control, but you must check the entry rules of your final destination. 

We’re currently reviewing our wider schedule of Lagos operations and recommend that any customers booked to travel to or from Nigeria check their flight status on www.virginatlantic.com

We understand the difficulties that the inclusion of Nigeria on the Red list may pose to our customers. Where a Virgin Atlantic customer is unable to travel for any reason, we offer as much choice and flexibility as possible to help you change or amend your plans, set out in our flexible booking policy.   

Self-service forms are available for all Virgin Atlantic customers to convert their booking to a travel voucher or rebook their itinerary for a new travel date all the way until 30 April 2023, amending departure date, origin and destination with no service fee. You can also make one free name(s) change. Fare difference may apply.  

Due to the high call volumes that the Virgin Atlantic Customer Centre is currently receiving we recommend that customers only contact us if you are unable to self-serve on the website. If you made your booking through a third party or travel agent, please contact them directly with any questions.   

All arrivals from a Red list country from will need to quarantine in a government-approved hotel. Please remember you must book and pay for a Managed Hotel Quarantine Package before you depart to the UK, citing the invoice reference number in your UK Passenger Locator Form. The official booking portal is here: https://quarantinehotelbookings.ctmportal.co.uk/

The UK Government has confirmed that from 0400 GMT on Tuesday 7 December, anyone aged 12 years and over travelling to the UK will be required to take a pre-departure COVID-19 test, regardless of their vaccination status, within 2 days of departure. This test can be PCR or antigen (lateral flow) test. If you need a helping hand with testing options and providers, please refer to our help centre. Full UK entry requirements can be found on the UK Travel Advice page.

From 10 December, Virgin Atlantic customers at Los Angeles Airport (LAX) will enjoy a streamlined customer experience as the UK airline temporarily moves its full operation, including check in, into the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT), from its usual home in Terminal 2.

To support a better customer experience during ongoing construction work, Virgin Atlantic will relocate to the world-class TBIT (also known as Terminal B), which boasts excellent facilities and amenities, many of which can be found in the central "Great Hall" in Departures and in the West Gates, a beautifully designed interior featuring extensive use of natural light.

As part of the terminal change, eligible customers will have access to the Star Alliance Lounge at LAX, in partnership with codeshare partner, Air New Zealand, which operates the lounge. From 10 December the lounge will be available to Upper Class passengers, with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Gold members welcomed from 17 December. The Star Alliance Lounge offers impressive facilities and services, including spacious areas to work, dine or relax, shower suites, plus a serviced bar with complimentary cocktails and refreshments. An outdoor terrace also offers views over the airfield and distant Hollywood hills.

Sean Winston-Smith, Senior Manager for US Airports, Virgin Atlantic said:

“With increasing numbers of Virgin Atlantic customers travelling to or from Los Angeles, the relocation from Terminal 2 to the well-appointed Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) is excellent timing to offer the most streamlined customer experience for everyone that flies with us from LAX. We’re also delighted to offer eligible loyalty customers access to the Star Alliance Lounge, thanks to our codeshare partner, Air New Zealand.”

Virgin Atlantic currently operates twice-daily services between Los Angeles and London Heathrow, with plans to increase service frequency to three times daily to the City of Angels from April 2022.

The White House has confirmed that the United States will be strengthening its pre-departure testing protocols to respond to the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

The official announcement can be found here, as part of a broader set of actions by the US Government.

From 6 December 2021, all customers departing to the United States must present a negative COVID-19 test, taken within one calendar day of departure, regardless of their vaccination status or nationality.

This applies to any customers departing on a Virgin Atlantic flight to the USA departing after 05.01am GMT on Monday 6 December.

Pre-departure tests for the US can be at-home/remote, providing it’s via a telehealth service affiliated with the test manufacturer (i.e. video-observed) or administered in-person by a health professional. Lateral flow (antigen) and PCR tests are both accepted.

Please continue to check the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website which will be updated with the latest entry requirements. If you need a helping hand with testing options and providers, please refer to our help centre.

In line with existing rules, all foreign national visitors to the United States must be fully vaccinated. 

As part of measures relating to the Omicron Covid-19 variant, the Israeli Government has confirmed the closure of its borders to any person who is not a Israeli citizen or resident, effective from Monday 29th November for 14 days.

The Ministry of Health press release is here, which explains that foreign nationals from all countries will not be allowed to arrive in Israel, save for exceptional cases approved by the Exceptions Committee.

This means that if you’re not an Israeli citizen or resident and do not have an exception, you will not be able to board our Virgin Atlantic services from London Heathrow to Tel Aviv. We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused. Where a Virgin Atlantic or Virgin Holidays customer is unable to travel for any reason, we offer as much choice and flexibility as possible to help you change or amend your plans, set out in our flexible booking policy

Self-service forms are available for all Virgin Atlantic customers to convert your booking to a travel voucher or rebook your itinerary for a new travel date all the way until 30 April 2023, amending departure date, origin and destination with no service fee. You can also make one free name(s) change. Fare difference may apply.

We’re currently reviewing our schedule of daily operations between Heathrow and Tel Aviv for the coming two weeks and recommend that any customers booked to travel to or from Israel with us check their flight status on www.virginatlantic.com. If your flight or holiday is affected and we need to cancel, we will be in touch with your options, including a refund. 

Any customers who made their booking through a third party or travel agent, should contact them directly with any questions.

UK Government update:  PCR test and self-isolation requirement

 

The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that all international arrivals to England will are required to take a PCR Covid-19 test upon arrival, before the end of Day 2 in England, and self-isolate at home or the accommodation they’re staying (e.g. hotel) until the negative result is confirmed. Please note, the PCR test can be taken as soon as you land in the UK (on Day 0), with rapid PCR services offering a result in 24 hours or less.

The GOV.UK press release with more information is here.

Please ensure you book the relevant Covid-19 tests that apply to you and complete a UK Passenger Locator Form (PLF). 

If you need a helping hand with testing options and providers, please refer to our help centre

The UK Government has confirmed that South Africa will be added to its red list of countries from Friday 26 November at 12:00 GMT along with Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Eswatini and Lesotho.

 

The official UK Government announcement can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/six-african-countries-added-to-red-list-to-protect-public-health-as-uk-designates-new-variant-under-investigation

 

From Friday 26 November at 12:00 GMT until Sunday 28 November 04:00 GMT, the UK Government will also enforce a direct passenger flight ban from South Africa to the UK, meaning customers due to travel from South Africa to the UK during this window will unfortunately experience cancellations. If your flight or holiday is affected and we need to cancel, we will be in touch with your options, including a refund. 

The VS450 from Johannesburg to London Heathrow on Friday 26 November will be cancelled.  

 

After this point, if arriving customers have been in or through South Africa or the other Red list countries in the previous 10 days, you will be refused entry to the UK, unless you are a British or Irish National, or you have residence rights in the UK. To enter the UK,

British nationals arriving from these six countries between 1200 GMT Friday and 0400 GMT Sunday, must quarantine at home for 10 days and take NHS PCR tests on Day 2 and Day 8, even if they already have a lateral flow test booking. 

 

From 0400 GMT on Sunday 28 November, arrivals will need to book and enter managed hotel quarantine for 10 days.

We’re currently reviewing our wider schedule of South Africa operations and recommend that any customers booked to travel to or from South Africa check their flight status on www.virginatlantic.com.  

We understand the difficulties that the reinstatement of South Africa on the ‘red list’ may pose to our customers. Where a Virgin Atlantic or Virgin Holidays customer is unable to travel for any reason, we offer as much choice and flexibility as possible to help you change or amend your plans, set out in our flexible booking policy

 

Self-service forms are available for all Virgin Atlantic customers to convert their booking to a travel voucher or rebook their itinerary for a new travel date all the way until 30 April 2023, amending departure date, origin and destination with no service fee. You can also make one free name(s) change. Fare difference may apply.

 

Due to the high call volumes that the Virgin Atlantic Customer Centre is currently receiving we recommend that customers only contact us if they are unable to self-serve on the website. Any customers who made their booking through a third party or travel agent, should contact them directly with any questions. 

 

All arrivals from a 'red list’ country from will need to quarantine in a government-approved hotel. Please remember you must book and pay for a Managed Hotel Quarantine Package, citing the invoice reference number in your UK Passenger Locator Form. The official booking portal is here: https://quarantinehotelbookings.ctmportal.co.uk/

More travel news

4 September 2020

Hello,

Firstly, I hope that you and your loved ones are well.

As a valued customer of Virgin Atlantic I wanted to share with you an important milestone. Yesterday we achieved a major step in securing the future of Virgin Atlantic through a privately funded solvent recapitalisation plan which has been approved by the UK High Court and recognised within the US jurisdiction

The last 6 months have been the toughest in our history, as they will have been for many of you. Despite the amazing efforts of our teams, at times we have not lived up to your expectations of us. We know we need to rebuild your trust in us and we will do everything in our power to achieve that.


We have always been, and remain committed to, refunding every customer who has requested one from us. We are working hard to increase processing capability and unlock some of the systems constraints we face. Our intention is to be able to process all refunds raised in October within 30 days and, once the whole backlog is cleared, return to 7 and 14 day time frames for Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays respectively.

Returning to the skies with confidence

We continue with the restart of our passenger flying programme – with flights from Heathrow to the US - New York JFK, Miami and Los Angeles; to Barbados, Delhi, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tel Aviv as well as future flying to Lahore and Islamabad.

Our commitment is to ensure every customer flies safe and well and returns to the skies with us with confidence

We are also committed to working alongside our industry partners to unlock travel restrictions and support public health by pressing for urgent government action to enable passenger testing

I truly hope that as demand returns and confidence continues to grow, we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back on board. We remain incredibly grateful to you as valued customers

Stay safe and well,

Shai Weiss
CEO | Virgin Atlantic

There are currently temporary terminal changes at London Heathrow and a number of other airports that we fly from - find out more.

31 July 2020

Due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19 we are temporarily suspending the carriage of unaccompanied minors, aged 5 to 11 years old. This decision has been made with the health and safety of our people and customers at the front of our minds.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this temporary change in policy. We are in the process of contacting customers with bookings made for unaccompanied minors.

5 May 2020

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’re 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 to ensure you can still get away as planned, including on flights from London Heathrow or with our partners where possible.

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.

We were saddened by the news that our longstanding agent partner, STA Travel UK, ceased trading on 21 August. If you’re an STA Travel customer, the correct advice will depend on the nature of the booking and whether the ticket has been issued.

If you’re a customer of STA Travel that had a flight-inclusive package sold by the company which included Virgin Atlantic flights, you are protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL scheme and you should submit a claim to ATOL through the online portal. More information is on the CAA website here: https://www.caa.co.uk/ATOL-Failures/STA-Travel-Limited/

If you have an STA Travel flight-only booking and you’ve received your e-ticket from Virgin Atlantic (the ticket number will begin with the digits 932), we want to reassure you that this means your booking remains valid and your travel plans are unchanged, assuming the flight is still scheduled. Please login to Manage My Booking to ensure your contact details are up to date so we can keep you informed.

If you have an STA Travel flight-only booking with Virgin Atlantic but the e-ticket has not been issued, we’re sorry but your booking is not complete with Virgin Atlantic and won’t be accepted for travel. Please keep checking the STA website for further details.

If you have a valid STA Travel flight-only booking with a pending refund, due to a cancelled flight, customers should complete our online refund form here  attaching a copy of their STA booking confirmation email, which shows the total paid and ticket number and your phone number. Our team will then be in touch to obtain the correct bank details for the refund to be processed. It’s taking longer than usual to process refunds due to the huge volume of requests, alongside operational constraints on our teams and systems, so we appreciate your patience. From the point the customer supplies all the necessary information and confirms correct bank details, we expect it to take a maximum of 30 days to process the refund.

If your cancelled flight was paid for with a credit card and ‘Virgin Atlantic’ appears on your statement, we can confirm this refund will be refunded back onto your credit card.

What else is going on at Virgin Atlantic