What are your options?

If your Virgin Atlantic flight is cancelled or the date or time has changed

Don’t worry, you don’t need to contact us.

If this happens, we'll contact you as soon as possible with the following options, including rebooking you onto another flight the same day if possible so you can travel as planned.

Rebooking you onto the next available flight

We’ll find you another flight in a similar cabin at the earliest opportunity. If you have a connecting flight on the same ticket, we’ll rebook that for you too.

Rebook you to fly later

At a date convenient to you, in a comparable seat and cabin, with the equivalent onboard services and baggage allowance. If the new fare is lower the cost of your original flight, we’ll refund the difference.

Rebook to another destination in our direct network

Again, in a comparable seat and cabin, with the equivalent onboard services and baggage allowance. If the new flight costs more, we’ll ask you to pay the difference, but if it’s less we’ll refund it. And of course, all subject to availability.

A refund

If you booked with us

If your flight has been cancelled or rescheduled by more than 3 hours you are able to request a refund. Please complete the form on our Refunds page. Just make sure to let us know in the comment box that you’re asking for a refund because of a flight disruption.

NOTE: If the flight is operated by Virgin Atlantic but you’ve booked with Delta, Air France or KLM you’ll need to contact them.

If you didn’t book with us

You’ll need to contact the company you booked with, as they may have a different rebooking policy. Your refund will be for the flight part of your package, not the whole cost of your holiday.

Travelling on a package holiday

Please contact whoever you booked with, as they may have a different rebooking policy. Any refunds will be for the flight part of your inclusive package, not the whole cost of your holiday. 


If your Virgin Atlantic flight is delayed

If your flight is delayed for more than 4 hours, or if your flight is cancelled and your new flight departs more than 4 hours later, we’ll make sure you have enough food and drink to keep you comfortable while you wait. We’ll also cover two short phone calls, or messages if you need to contact anyone.

For more than 5 hours

You can cancel your booking and receive a refund for your unused ticket. If the delay means there’s no reason to fly any more, we’ll refund you for your flights. This also means if you’re part way through your journey and need to fly home, we’ll rebook you onto the earliest flight back.

If your flight’s delayed until the following day, or if your flight’s cancelled and your new flight departs the following day (local time)

We’ll offer hotel accommodation and transport to and from your hotel, or home if you live nearby.

To make sure you don’t miss your new flight, we may need you to remain at the airport rather than offering food, refreshment, or accommodation elsewhere.

In the event of mass flight disruptions, you'll be prioritised if:

  • You have reduced mobility
  • You’re travelling with someone with reduced mobility
  • You’re under 16, and flying unaccompanied

Travelling on a package holiday

Please contact whoever you booked with, as they may have a different rebooking policy. Any refunds will be for the flight part of your inclusive package, not the whole cost of your holiday.

In all instances of delays over 4 hours, our team at the airport will advise you of your next steps. You do not need to contact us beforehand.

If your Virgin Atlantic flight is diverted

We’ll arrange getting you to your final destination. Our ground crew will keep you up to date with all the different options. If we need to put you up in a hotel, but can’t arrange a transfer, we may ask you to make your own taxi or public transport arrangements and we’ll cover the cost.

Please see EC Care – Regulation No 261/2004 - Claiming expenses below for more information how to claim.


Overbooking and denied boarding

Sometimes, a flight may be overbooked. This will either be because:

1.    It's common to accept a few reservations over seat capacity to account for no-shows. However, sometimes all confirmed customers check in for the flight.

2.    On rare occasions, we have to replace an aircraft for one with less seats for operational reasons.

If either happens, we’ll first ask if there are any volunteers to change their flights. If we don’t get enough volunteers, we then need to deny boarding to some passengers and pay them ‘denied boarding compensation.’

Please be assured that all our actions meet the requirements of the Regulation EC261/2004, which determines the care and compensation you are entitled to in the event you’re denied boarding due to flight overbooking, or the US Department of Transportation’s regulations (14CFR Part 250) for flights departing from US airports.

More details on compensation can be found here:

Compensation and assistance info sheet

If your flight has been cancelled and you're stuck abroad, you must register as ‘Away from home’ as soon as you can. We'll do everything we can to find you a flight and get you home quickly.

It's really important to provide your contact details as we need to know where you are and keep in regular contact via text or email. Keep checking your emails (including your junk folder), messages and My Booking for any alternative plans we may have made for you.

To register, tell us below if you booked flights from Virgin Atlantic or if you booked a whole holiday/package from Virgin Atlantic Holidays. The correct form will then appear for you to complete. We'll ask you to confirm the total number of people travelling so you'll only need to complete this form once for each booking you have.

It’s our responsibility to cover reasonable expenses under Regulation No 261/2004, so keep hold of your receipts. You can find more information on how to claim below on section EC Care – Regulation No 261/2004. 

Under EC261/2004, you can claim back reasonable added costs if your flight is disrupted and you’re not able to get home as planned.

The reasonable costs include:

Accommodation - In a 'no-frills' express type hotel, sharing rooms wherever possible.

Meals and refreshments - This includes breakfast (if not included) a snack, a main meal and around six regular sized non-alcoholic drinks per person per day.

Transport between the airport and hotel - Please use public transport if available.

Two short phone calls - No longer than 10 minutes each.

When you arrive home, please send the details of your expenses, including PDF copies of all receipts and an itemised summary.

If you've accepted a refund of your flight or choose not to travel on the first available flight we offer you, we won’t reimburse your accommodation or meal costs for the extra time you're there.

We would like to flag that you won't be able to claim for things like:

  • High-end luxury hotels and restaurants
  • Payments to friends or relatives if you're staying with them
  • Alcohol
  • Room service
  • Entertainment such as park tickets or theatre shows
  • Replacement flights on other airlines
  • Any other purchases not related to meal and accommodation requirements
  • Any expenses you don't have a receipt for

Thanks for your patience and understanding.

Claim expenses due to a delay or cancelled flight

EC Regulation 261/2004 establishes common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of: 

  • Denied boarding
  • Cancellation
  • Long delay of flights

You may be eligible to claim compensation if we cancel your flight within two weeks of your departure date, or if your flight is delayed in its arrival by more than 3 hours.

This depends upon the reason for the cancellation or delay, as well as the arrival time of your new or delayed flight.

Compensation will not be offered if the cause of the cancellation or delay is beyond the control of Virgin Atlantic, or for disruptions which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken. Such circumstances include:

  • Political instability
  • Weather conditions
  • Security risks
  • Unexpected situations and strikes

We also won’t offer compensation if we advise you about a flight cancellation at least two weeks before the scheduled departure date, or if your package or holiday is cancelled for another reason (not the flight).

More information on EC Compensation and how to make a claim

Make a claim on your insurance for flights that have been cancelled

If you need a letter for your insurance company confirming your flight was delayed or cancelled, or a proof of travel, please complete the below webform. Make sure to be clear in the comment box what you’re looking for. We’ll then send the letter to you as soon as we can.

Proof of travel, delay or flight cancellation webform

How to claim for unused parts of your journey

If your flight was cancelled and you wish to claim a refund for a flight not taken, please complete the below webform. Make sure to detail in the comment box that it’s a refund due flight disruption.

Claim a refund

We’re required to make the rules clear for compensation and assistance in line with the regulations, and tell you how to contact the national designated body responsible for the enforcement of this regulation if you’re affected by:

  • Denied Boarding
  • Flight Cancellations
  • Flight delays of at least 3 hours

Compensation and assistance info sheet

If your flight has to stay on the tarmac at a U.S. airport for more than four hours, we’re required to disembark you - unless our pilot thinks it isn’t safe to do so, or if Air Traffic Control decides it’s too disruptive.

For long delays (up to two hours) we’ll provide a snack and a drink to help keep you comfortable.

The bathrooms will be available, and we’ll be on hand to provide medical assistance if needed. Our cabin crew are trained to provide basic first aid and will seek further medical help in case of an emergency.

While we’re waiting for the issue to be resolved, we'll keep you updated with the status of the delay at least every 30 minutes and will let you know right away if there’s an option to get off the plane. This will be decided by the pilot, who will take into consideration the safety and security of other passengers, the crew, the aircraft, and any directions issued by Air Traffic Control.

This information applies to international flights. If a passenger leaves the plane, we’ll do a security search of their seat and offload any hold baggage belonging to them, which may mean a slightly extended delay.

If you choose to disembark while delayed on the tarmac, please keep in mind that you may not be able to re-board the flight, and you won't be entitled to a refund - unless you have a flexible ticket.

Regardless of ticket type, if you miss your flight, you also won’t be entitled to rebook or be given overnight accommodation, refreshments, and ground transport (under EC regulation 261/2004).

Other legal info

We have co-ordinated this plan with the airport authorities, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at each US airport that we fly to, as well as our designated US airports we diversion airports. You can read our full Tarmac Contingency Plan here.

If you're on a flight not operated by Virgin Atlantic, the Tarmac Contingency Plan of the operating airline will apply. 

If you turn up late to the airport and miss your flight due to an event beyond control or you are going to miss your flight due to reasons beyond your control, dependent of your fare type you may able to claim a refund or rebook onto another flight.

In all instances you should:

  • Make your way to the airport if possible
  • If you cannot get to the airport you should Contact us
  • You may need to provide us evidence so have this if possible

Foreseeable circumstances that are within your control and therefore not eligible for a refund or rebook include:


  • Not having the correct travel documents.
  • Not giving yourself enough time to get to the airport

If accepted, a new booking will be made or refunded, minus administration and commission fees from the original ticket will be transferred to the new booking. All additional costs must be paid before your new ticket is issued.

If you’re on a package holiday, please refer to your tour operator who may not operate the same re-booking policies.

Need to contact us to rebook a flight?