Travel alerts

Information correct as of 15:30 GMT Tuesday 21th September 2021

We’re excited to confirm that President Biden’s administration has announced (on 20 September 2021) that the United States will remove travel restrictions for fully vaccinated international visitors from November 2021.

This means that from November (date to be confirmed) if you’re fully vaccinated with a vaccine recognised by the United States, you’ll be able to enter the US as a visitor, be it for a holiday, business or reuniting with loved ones. 

According to the White House announcement, customers will need to show proof of vaccination prior to boarding US-bound flights, and also complete a COVID-19 test within three days of departure. Once further guidance is updated about approved vaccines and accepted format of proof, we’ll update our US travel advice. Please do ensure you check the latest US entry requirements before travel, and if you’re a British national, refer to the UK FCDO website for all regular entry requirements from the UK.

Upon return to England, if you’re fully vaccinated through an approved vaccination programme, you’ll avoid any self-isolation and just have to complete a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 of arrival, as well as a Passenger Locator Form, subject to any changes in UK Government guidance.

The US has been our heartland for more than 37 years since our first flight to New York City in 1984. We are simply not Virgin without the Atlantic. After 18 months of uncertainty, we cannot wait to welcome our customers back onboard, flying you safely to your favourite US destinations.

Virgin Atlantic currently serves the following US destinations from London Heathrow and will be rapidly reviewing US schedules, including from our Manchester base:

  • Atlanta (up to 7 x week)
  • Boston (4 x week)
  • New York-JFK (up to 17 x week)
  • Los Angeles (up to 11 x week)
  • Miami (3 x week)
  • San Francisco (from 2nd October)

The UK Government has announced that the rules for international travel to England will change from 0400 BST on 4 October 2021.

The full details of the changes for travellers arriving to England can be found in this update on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-system-for-international-travel

Until the new, simplified system comes into effect, customers should continue to adhere to the rules for entering England based on the ‘traffic light system’, which remains in place until 0359 BST on 4 October. More details on the entry requirements from countries designated ‘Green’, ‘Amber’ or ‘Red’ are on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-amber-and-green-list-rules-for-entering-england

As part of the final regular traffic light review, Pakistan has been added to the Amber list from 0400 BST on 22 September. If your flight from Pakistan arrives in England after this time, then you will be able to follow the requirements of an Amber arrival, until the new international travel framework takes effect. We’re continually reviewing our Pakistan flying programme and, as a result, subject to authority approvals, plan to restart our Manchester to Islamabad services on 7th October and increase our London Heathrow to Lahore services from three per week to four per week from 8th October. Our London Heathrow to Islamabad service will continue to operate three times a week.

Please note, both the existing traffic light system and upcoming two-tier system apply to arrivals to England. You must continue to check the requirements you need to comply with for other origin or destination countries before you travel. The latest UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) foreign travel advice can be found here.  

 

The following countries served by Virgin Atlantic Airways are allocated: 

Green: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Hong Kong and Israel

Amber: China, India, Jamaica, Nigeria, United States and St Vincent and the Grenadines. Pakistan will move to the Amber list from 0400 BST on 22 September.

Red: Cuba, South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago.

 

Additionally, the following Virgin Atlantic Holidays destinations are allocated: 

Green: Canada, Singapore

Amber: Mauritius, Thailand and United Arab Emirates (UAE). Maldives will move to the Amber list from 0400 BST on 22 September.

Red: Bali (Indonesia), Dominican Republic and Mexico.

We’re ready to welcome you back to some of your favourite destinations, ensuring all our customers fly safe and well. To ensure you can book with confidence we have a 

flexible booking policy so that if things change, we’ve got you covered. We do understand that the Covid-19 situation remains dynamic and ongoing restrictions may pose difficulties to our customers with upcoming travel plans. If you are unable to travel for any reason, we offer as much choice and flexibility as possible to help you amend your plans.

The FCDO has updated the Jamaica travel advice and although the country is still part of the UK Government Amber list, the FCDO is now advising against all but essential travel to the whole of Jamaica based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks. 

If you do not wish to travel, please visit our flight disruption page to view your options.

If you have booked through Virgin Holidays or a tour operator, please contact them directly as your holiday will not be able to go ahead as planned.

With international travel restrictions remaining unpredictable, new restrictions may come into effect at any time and at very short notice. If you choose to proceed with your journey as planned, we urge you to ensure you have the correct Travel Insurance and resources in place should your journey be affected.

Update to UK’s Green, Amber and Red country lists effective 8 August

The UK Government has announced an update to the countries designated ‘Green’, ‘Amber’ or ‘Red’ status according to its risk-based traffic light system. See this UK Department for Transport news announcement for more details.

The full details of the requirements for travellers returning to England from these destinations can be found on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-amber-and-green-list-rules-for-entering-england.

Please note, this system applies to arrivals to England. You must continue to check the requirements you need to comply with for other origin or destination countries before you travel. For example, there may still be restrictions to enter certain countries designated ‘Green’ or ‘Amber’ in the UK Government’s framework. The latest UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) foreign travel advice can be found here

The following countries served by Virgin Atlantic Airways are allocated:

Green: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Hong Kong and Israel

Amber: China, Jamaica, Nigeria, United States and St Vincent and the Grenadines. India will move to the Amber list from 0400 BST on Sunday 8 August.

Red: Cuba, Pakistan, South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago.

Additionally, the following Virgin Atlantic Holidays destinations are allocated:

Green: Singapore

Amber: Mauritius and Thailand. United Arab Emirates (UAE) will move to the Amber list from 0400 BST on Sunday 8 August.

Red: Maldives, Bali (Indonesia) and Dominican Republic. Mexico will move to the Red list from 0400 BST on Sunday 8 August.

We’re ready to welcome you back to some of your favourite destinations, ensuring all our customers fly safe and well. To ensure you can book with confidence we have a flexible booking policy so that if things change, we’ve got you covered. We do understand that the Covid-19 situation remains dynamic and ongoing restrictions may pose difficulties to our customers with upcoming travel plans. If you are unable to travel for any reason, we offer as much choice and flexibility as possible to help you amend your plans. Please also refer to the customer FAQ in our help centre.

Virgin Atlantic Airways 

If your flight is still scheduled to operate, please see our flexible booking policy for your options. Where a flight is cancelled, we’ll be in touch with you and you can rebook your flights for a new date all the way until 30 April 2023, convert your booking to a travel voucher with an additional credit included, or of course request a cash refund. If you made your booking through a third party or travel agent, please contact them directly to discuss your options.

Virgin Holidays

All Virgin Holidays customers with a booked travel date up until 30 April 2022 may rebook up until 30 April 2023 with the date change fee waived, or convert your booking to one of our holiday vouchers. To simplify the options and to provide immediate peace of mind for customers whose holidays are cancelled, we’re automatically providing an ATOL-protected digital voucher for the value of your trip, redeemable up until 30 September 2022, which you can use to rebook a package holiday, departing any time before 30 April 2023. This can either be to the same destination or we can look at alternatives, as well as different times of the year. Of course, where a holiday is cancelled, you can also request a cash refund.

The UK has been placed on the Israeli Government new ‘Orange list’

We welcome the announcement from the Israeli Ministry of Health that outlines a new framework of international travel for Israel, effective 16th August, which will move the UK from the Red list to the newly defined Orange list.

As a result of this new Orange designation and following a short pause to operations, from 14th August we’ll be reinstating our five weekly flights between London Heathrow and Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport, alongside seamless connections to key US cities, via London. As ever, we’re ready to ensure all our customers Fly Safe Fly Well, offering flexible booking policies and rigorous health and safety measures on board. The latest flight details and schedules are available at www.virginatlantic.com.

Fully vaccinated US and EU arrivals from Amber countries exempt from quarantine

The UK Government has confirmed that from 0400 BST on Monday 2 August 2021, customers fully vaccinated in either the US or EU will be able to arrive in England from an Amber country and no longer need to quarantine.

The changes will apply to fully vaccinated people with a vaccine approved by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) or European Medicines Agency (EMA). If you’re eligible, you’ll still need to do the usual pre-departure test before arrival and book a PCR test before you fly, to take on or before Day 2 of arrival in England. You’ll also need to present evidence of vaccination status before you fly. It is expected that for European countries this will be the EU Digital Covid Certificate (EU DCC) and for the USA this will be the US CDC card, along with proof of US residency.

Further details have been published on the UK Government website and shared by UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

Requirements for entering England from an Amber country can be found here.

The Amber rules form part of the UK’s traffic light system, which applies to arrivals to England, so customers should also continue to check the requirements you need to comply with for other origin or destination countries before you travel and note there are still restrictions in place for non-US citizens wishing to travel to the US who have been in the UK in the last 14 days. 

The latest UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice for the United States and other countries can be found here. 

Customers will also still need to complete a passenger locator form and take a pre-departure Covid-19 test within three days of departure to England.

We have implemented extensive health and safety measures to ensure our customers can fly safe and fly well and to ensure you can book with confidence we also have a flexible booking policy so that if things change, we’ve got you covered.  

We can't wait to welcome customers from across the Pond back to the UK this summer, quarantine-free, including returning British expats, visiting friends and relatives, reconnecting colleagues, and tourists enjoying a well-deserved break.

We’re delighted to confirm that from Thursday 15 July 2021, Virgin Atlantic has returned to its home in London Heathrow Terminal 3, following over a year of closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Alongside partner Delta Air Lines, you’ll be safely welcomed back to the award-winning facilities, where all customers will receive the famous Virgin Atlantic welcome in the airline’s dedicated area in the terminal, along with flexible check-in options and warm hospitality. 

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class customers, Flying Club Gold  members and other eligible customers will once again be able to enjoy access to the award-winning Clubhouse, Revivals lounge and Upper Class Wing, which will also reopen from 15 July. 

This means that from 15 July, all departing customers should go to Terminal 3 rather than Terminal 2. 

All flights from ‘Red’ list countries will continue to arrive into Terminal 4. However, customers departing to Red list destinations should go to Terminal 3. 

You can find more details in this announcement and further information will be updated on the website over the coming days and shared with customers booked to travel from 15 July onwards. 

We’re delighted to finally be back on our ‘home turf’ and our teams can’t wait to warmly welcome back customers to Terminal 3. 

Pakistan to be added to UK travel ban ‘red list’ on 9 April

The UK Government has confirmed that Pakistan will be added to its red list of countries from 0400 BST on Friday 9 April 2021.

This means that if you have been in or through Pakistan in the previous 10 days, you will be refused entry to the UK. However, if you are a British or Irish National, or you have residence rights in the UK, you will be able to enter the UK, but you must quarantine in a government approved hotel for 10 days.

As a result of Pakistan’s designation on the UK ‘red list’, we’ve made the decision to temporarily suspend our services between Manchester and Islamabad from 8 April. Islamabad-Heathrow and Lahore-Heathrow services will continue to operate to facilitate essential journeys for UK nationals and residents returning home, who must present their Passenger Locator Form and hotel quarantine booking before they board any flights arriving after 0400 on 9 April.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the Manchester-Islamabad flight cancellations and we’re in the process of contacting all customers affected. Customers will be automatically rebooked onto our London Heathrow services, but if they wish to rebook or hold their ticket open for a later travel date before 30 April 2023, we can help them with this, or arrange a refund.

Any customers booked to travel to or from Pakistan in the coming weeks should continue to check their flight status at www.virginatlantic.com before they travel to the airport. Those who made their booking through a third party or travel agent should contact them directly with any questions

We’re grateful for all our customers’ patience and kindly ask that customers refrain from calling the Customer Centre while we deal with much higher call volumes than normal. Seat availability on UK flights from Pakistan is very limited and if you are not already booked on a service, we may not be able to accommodate you before 9 April.

It is vital that all arriving customers comply with the UK’s testing and quarantine requirements and complete the online Passenger Locator Form https://virg.in/D9 before travelling to Lahore or Islamabad airports. Please note, these UK Government public health measures will be enforced using financial penalties. More information about these requirements can be found in the UK Government guidance.  

From 9 April, in order to enter the UK from Pakistan, you must be a British or Irish National or have UK residence rights. All arrivals from a 'red list’ country will need to quarantine in a government-approved hotel at a cost of £1,750 per person. Please remember you must book and pay for a Managed Hotel Quarantine Package, citing the invoice reference number in your Passenger Locator Form. The official booking portal is here: https://quarantinehotelbookings.ctmportal.co.uk/.

UK Government announcement regarding testing on arrival and hotel quarantine

The UK Government has confirmed new mandatory testing requirements for all international arrivals to England, effective 15 February 2021.  

Customers arriving in England will be required to have two PCR tests, on day 2 and day 8 of their 10-day quarantine.  

If arriving from a 'red list’ country, you will need to quarantine in a government-approved hotel.  

It is vital that all arriving customers comply with these testing and quarantine requirements and complete the online Passenger Locator Form https://virg.in/D9 before arriving at the departure airport. Please note, these UK Government public health measures will be enforced using financial penalties. 

You must book and pay for either an arrival test package or hotel quarantine package prior to travel. You need to include the reference number in your Passenger Locator Form provided in the second email you will receive which contains a copy of your invoice. The official online booking portal is here: https://virg.in/9AN

The testing on arrival requirement is in addition to the existing mandatory requirement for all international arrivals aged 11 years and over to provide a negative Covid-19 test result before departure for England, taken up to 3 days before departure. 

More information about these requirements can be found in the UK Government guidance

We want to let you know that some hotels in the Caribbean and Mexico are currently being affected by an increased level of seaweed, known as Sargassum.

This is a natural occurrence, with the situation changing on a daily basis. Unfortunately it is expected to affect many properties in the area due to the influence of weather patterns and sea currents, which we have no control over. Where effected, hotels are taking steps to address this and are working to remove the seaweed on the public beach areas.

For safety reasons, from time to time the water sports/water-based activities may not be available in Mexico due to the Sargassum, as it presents a risk of getting tangled up in boat engines and other equipment. 

Our in-resort teams are aware and carefully monitoring the situation, as are our partners. Please rest assured we’ll be available to make sure you get the most from your holiday.

We wish you a wonderful time, however if you have any questions, please contact our friendly Customer Services team.

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