Key Terms

Here is a summary of the key terms you should be aware of before you book with us. You should also read the information provided on each link and our Conditions of Carriage.

  1. Who are you flying with?

    Usually us. However, sometimes we work with other airlines to give you better options for travel. For example, we have code share arrangements with other airlines. This means that you may book a flight with us and hold a ticket in our name but another carrier may operate the flight on our behalf.

    When you select your flight, the identity of the airline operating your flight will be displayed alongside each of the flight options.

    Sometimes, for operational reasons and after you’ve booked, we need to fly you on an aircraft flown by another airline. We’ll let you know if that’s the case.

    If you’re travelling on a flight operated by another airline under a codeshare arrangement, you’ll need to follow their rules relating to:

    (i) check-in time limits;
    (ii) unaccompanied minors;
    (iii) carriage of animals;
    (iv) denied boarding compensation;
    (v) baggage acceptance; and
    (vi) refusal of carriage.

    A list of the carriers that operate flights for us and a link to their website can be found at Code shares.
  2. Making changes to your booking

    Correcting a name
    Mistakes are sometimes made and, if so, you can correct them. You must do so at least two (2) hours before your flight. Further details on correcting a name can be found on our website.

    Changing your itinerary in advance
    We sell a number of different fares of varying prices and with various conditions attached to them. Some fares are fully flexible and can be changed. Other fares are more restrictive. You must select the most appropriate fare for your needs and make sure you have travel insurance to cover unforeseen circumstances.

    If your ticket conditions allow changes to be made, these will always be subject to availability and may result in a price change (up or down) and a change fee. You will be notified about these when you contact us or your travel agent to make the change.

    Taking flights in the agreed sequence
    Your ticket is for travel from the departure airport to the arrival airport (via any stopovers). The price you paid for your ticket is based on this sequence and you must take them in this sequence.

    If you miss out a flight on your itinerary your ticket may no longer be valid and we may cancel any onward or return flights.

    If you need to miss out one of the flights in your itinerary please contact us or your travel agent in advance to discuss the impact of this on your onward or return flights. We won’t cancel them if:

    • your ticket type doesn’t contain relevant restrictions and you pay any extra amounts due and a change fee (these will be notified to you); or
    • you missed your flight due to a legitimate change in circumstances (including an event beyond your control) and you provide us with proof of this.
    If you miss your flight
    If you miss your flight you should still go to the airport on the day of your flight and speak to our airport staff. They will book you onto the next available Virgin Atlantic flight and will not cancel your onward or return journeys.

    If you contact us after the day of your flight or contact us on the day because you can’t get to the airport, we won’t cancel any onward or return journeys, and will reinstate them if they’ve been cancelled (subject to availability), if:

    • your ticket type doesn’t contain relevant restrictions and you pay any extra amounts due and a change fee (these will be notified to you); or
    • you missed your flight due to a legitimate change in circumstances (including an event beyond your control) and you provide us with proof of this.

    Transferring a ticket

    You can transfer your ticket to someone else only if your flight is part of a Package Holiday (as defined) and certain conditions are met. In all other circumstances, only the person named on the ticket can travel on it.

    Unable to travel due to illness or death
    If you can’t travel because you’re ill or your travel companion or a member of your immediate family is ill or has died, we will:

    • re-route you to your next Stopover or final airport destination (without re-calculating the price of your itinerary);
    • book you on to another available flight;
    • extend the validity of your ticket if you’ve already started your trip; or
    • issue you with a full refund.
  3. Refunds

    You’ll need to contact us if you want to cancel your reservation. Any refunds will depend on the type of ticket you hold and the fare conditions that apply to your Ticket.

    If you’ve bought a non-refundable ticket then you can still get a refund of the taxes, fees and charges, subject to a £30 admin charge.

    If you’re unable to travel due to an Event Beyond Your Control and provide proof of this, we’ll refund any unused portion of your ticket, even if your ticket type is non-refundable. We won’t charge for this.

    We only make a refund to the person who paid for the ticket.

    Full details can be found in our Refunds policy.
  4. Taxes, fees, charges and surcharges

    In addition to the fare, you must pay any taxes or other fees and charges imposed by a government or airport operator and these will be shown separately on your ticket.

    These costs can go up or go down between the date of your booking and the date of your flight. Where we are permitted to do so, we may pass any increase onto you. If any items decrease or are abolished after you have paid for your ticket, but before the start of your journey, you can claim a refund.
  5. If we cancel or change your flight

    We don’t guarantee a particular departure time and flight timings do not form part of your contract with us.

    Sometimes we may need to change the scheduled flight times or cancel, divert or delay a flight for operational reasons. If this happens, we or your travel agent will get in touch with you to let you know.

    If we advise you of a revised flight time and this is inconvenient to you, you can choose between a refund or being booked onto another one of our flights.

    Where your flight is affected by operational disruption, you may have rights under EC261. For further information, see Flight Disruption.

    Our liability to you is limited by law and so we recommend you have travel insurance to cover any additional costs you may incur as a result of flight disruption.
  6. Check-in and Boarding

    You must complete all check-in formalities (including giving us any checked baggage and obtaining a boarding pass) at least 70 minutes before your scheduled departure time.

    You must complete all check-in formalities (including giving us any checked baggage and obtaining a boarding pass) at least 70 minutes before your scheduled departure time.

    If you haven’t done these things, we may cancel your reservation or change your seat if you don’t hold a fully flexible ticket.

    If you’re flying with another carrier under a code share arrangement, you must familiarise yourself with that carrier’s deadlines.
  7. Baggage

    Baggage policy
    You must follow our baggage policy. Failing to do so may result in us refusing to carry you and/or your baggage.

    You must keep any valuables (e.g. cash, jewellery, laptops, phones) or essentials such as medicine and travel documents with you in the cabin. These must not go in the aircraft hold.

    There are also a number of items that you must not pack in your checked baggage. A full list of prohibited items can be found on our website.

    Baggage charges
    We’ll advise you of any free baggage allowance once you’ve selected your flight. The same information will also be shown on your ticket. Full details of baggage allowances can be found on our website.

    If your ticket doesn’t entitle you to a free baggage allowance or you exceed your free baggage allowance, then you may be charged an additional fee. Please visit our website for details of current excess baggage charges.

    Loss or damage to baggage
    If we lose or damage your hold baggage, please report it to us at the arrival airport. If you fail to report the loss or damage to us immediately or soon afterwards, you may lose your right to claim.

    Our liability in respect of baggage is limited by the Montreal Convention to 1131 ‘Special Drawing Rights’, which is approximately £1,200 or US$1,500. You can increase this limit to either £1,750 or £3,000 by paying a fee of £17.50 or £30 respectively.

    As our liability is limited, you should have travel insurance to cover the full value of your baggage and its content. There are strict time limits for bringing baggage claims.

    Please see our conditions of carriage for full details on our baggage liability and claims procedures.
  8. Refusing carriage
    Safety of all our passengers, crew and pilots is our paramount concern. Therefore, in certain circumstances, we may refuse to carry you or your baggage or cancel your booking. We may do this if (amongst other things):
    • you don’t have valid travel documents;
    • your mental or physical state, or health poses a danger or risk to you, the aircraft, or any person in it;
    • carrying you will affect someone else’s comfort;
    • you’re drunk or under the influence of drugs;
    • you try to carry prohibited items in your baggage;
    • you haven’t provided us with enough advance notice about your assistance requirements or we are unable to carry you safely (please see Special Assistance for further information);
    • you’re outside our prescribed time limits for travelling when pregnant;
    • we’ve notified you in writing that we will not carry you on our flights; or
    • you haven’t completed check-in or presented yourself at the boarding gate on time.
    For full details please see our Conditions of Carriage.
  9. Special Assistance
    Carriage of the following passengers is subject to our policies, procedures and applicable laws:

    (a) unaccompanied minors;
    (b) incapacitated persons;
    (c) persons with a disability or those with limited mobility;
    (d) passengers who are pregnant;
    (e) passengers with an illness;
    (f) passengers travelling with assistance dogs; or
    (g) passengers requiring special assistance.

    Further information can be found on our Special Assistance pages. Please familiarise yourself with these before you book with us.