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Goodbye to Dubai
Posted 13 February
We’re sad to say that we’ve made the difficult decision to stop flying between Dubai and London from 31 March 2019. After a thorough review of our network and due to a combination of external factors, we’ve found the flying to Dubai is no longer economically viable.
Shai Weiss, Chief Executive Officer for Virgin Atlantic, said: “It‘s never an easy decision to withdraw a route, and we’d like to thank our customers and dedicated team in Dubai for their loyalty over the last 12 years. We’ll continue to offer daily flights between Dubai and London Heathrow until 31 March 2019, and will be sad to say goodbye to this fantastic city.”
Until the 31 March we’ll be continuing to operate daily flights between Dubai and London Heathrow as planned, with new bookings available until the last flight. Virgin Holidays will continue to provide holiday packages to Dubai. It offers an extensive range of hotels throughout the region and has launched the ‘v-hub’ arrival lounge at the Atlantis Dubai, allowing customers to truly kick off their holiday in style.
Changes to ESTA
Posted 13 February
US Customs and Border Protection have stated that due to changes in ESTA application processing, with immediate effect real-time approvals will no longer be available.
Citizens of participating Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries traveling to the United States are strongly encouraged to apply for an ESTA at the time of booking their trip and no later than 72 hours prior to departure.
Applicants who apply on the same day of their flight's departure risk not having an approved ESTA prior to their scheduled departure. International travellers without an approved ESTA will not be authorised to board their flight.
Further information about the Visa Waiver Program and the ESTA process can be found on the US Customs and Border Protection website.
Even more choice to New York
Posted 23 December
We're adding an additional flight to New York for Winter 2018/19.
We love flying to the city that never sleeps so much, that we're adding an extra flight to New York JFK from London Heathrow this winter.
From 24 November 2018 until 30 March 2019 the VS153/4 will be in operation. Departing LHR at 12.55 and arriving in JFK at 16.10, this means you now have even more choice when flying to New York.
LanzaTech sustainable fuel project takes flight
Posted 11 November
On 3 October 2018, our Boeing 747-400 G-VROM (Barbarella) flight from Orlando in Florida was a world first and a landmark step towards making commercially-viable sustainable aviation fuel a reality. The aircraft was flown using LanzaTech jet fuel, the first time this technology had been used on a commercial flight.
LanzaTech produces next generation ‘advanced’ fuels by recycling waste industrial gases like those produced from steel making and other heavy industrial processes. LanzaTech takes these waste, carbon-rich gases to first make ethanol. The ethanol can be used for a range of low carbon products, including jet fuel. The innovative alcohol-to-jet process used to make the fuel in this flight was developed in collaboration with Pacific Northwest National Lab and the US Department of Energy.
Today Virgin Atlantic is calling on the UK government to commit to making this fuel a commercial reality in the UK. Allowing access for new carbon capture and utilisation technologies like LanzaTech’s to incentives already given to earlier generations of ‘biofuels’ and providing critical investor support will enable first plants to be swiftly built.
At a press conference after the flight had arrived at Gatwick, Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Atlantic said:
“Long haul travel is more important than ever for connecting people around the world. And it’s our responsibility to ensure we’re doing that in the most sustainable way possible. Working with LanzaTech will enable us to drastically reduce our carbon emissions and at the same time, help support UK industry. That’s why we’re so excited to showcase this fuel on its first commercial flight as we plan for the world’s first full scale jet fuel plant using this amazing new technology.”
Delta's new Edinburgh to Boston service
Posted 10 December
Delta will double its flights from Edinburgh in summer 2019 by adding a new service to Boston’s Logan International Airport from 24 May. Complementing the existing daily service to New York-JFK, the seasonal Boston route will offer customers more travel options from Edinburgh to the United States, with two flights every day during the peak summer months.
Delta has scheduled a 163-seat Boeing 757-200ER aircraft between Edinburgh and Boston, offering 16 fully flat-bed seats in the Delta One business class cabin, in-seat entertainment for every passenger, Wi-Fi access and free mobile messaging.
Virgin Atlantic and Delta will jointly offer up to 25 weekly flights from Scotland to the U.S. in summer 2019 - 25% more than 2018. The airlines’ shared network includes:
· Daily flights from Edinburgh to Boston and New York-JFK, operated by Delta.
· Daily service from Glasgow to New York-JFK, operated by Delta.
· Up to four weekly flights from Glasgow to Orlando, operated by Virgin Atlantic.
One look and you’re on your way
Posted 13 November
Delta Air Lines is co-launching the first biometric terminal in the US at Maynard H. Jackson International Terminal (Terminal F) in Atlanta. Beginning late this year, customers flying direct to an international destination have the option of using facial recognition technology from curb to gate, transforming the customer journey with a seamless travel experience through the airport. Why not try it next time you fly with Delta from Atlanta?
More South Africa, more often
Posted 19 September
We’re thrilled to announce a second daily service between London Heathrow and Johannesburg. The new flights are on sale now, and will take to the skies from 28 October 2018. They’ll be operated by our fabulous Boeing 787-9 aircraft, with our latest cabin interiors and inflight entertainment, as well as WiFi on every flight.
Virgin Group and Virgin Atlantic announce their intention to launch a new Virgin loyalty programme, powered by the currency of Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club
Posted 20 August
Today we’re announcing the intention for the Virgin Group and Virgin Atlantic to launch a new Virgin-wide loyalty programme, with unique and differentiated reward opportunities, to reward customer loyalty across Virgin branded companies.
Expanding Services from Manchester
Posted 19 July
We’re excited to announce that we’re increasing the number of flights we operate from Manchester. From March 2019 we’ll be offering customers a new direct service to Los Angeles and will be doubling the number of flights we offer to Las Vegas. This increase will make 2019 our biggest ever year flying from the city with up to six daily departures.
The new route to Los Angeles, coupled with the increase in services to both Boston and Las Vegas means we’ll be offering customers up to 14,000 seats a week directly from Manchester to the USA and Caribbean.
A number of our routes, including both New York and Atlanta, will now operate on our Boeing 747’s, the largest in Virgin Atlantic’s fleet. This means even more of our customers from the North West will be able to take advantage of one stop connections to over 200 US destinations, in partnership with Delta Air Lines.
Our partnership with FlyBe also ensures customers from across UK regions have opportunity to connect through Manchester, truly securing the airport as a significant base for us.
Enhancements to our flying programme in 2019 will include:
- A new route to Los Angeles, operating three times weekly (commencing 22 May 2019)
- Doubling our services to Las Vegas, growing from twice a week to four times a week (from 31 March 2019)
- Increasing our Boston service to three times a week (from 22 May 2019)
- Our daily New York and Atlanta services will operate principally on a Boeing 747, with seat capacity of 455 per flight
Family travel made easy
Posted 19 July
We’ve made travelling with kids even simpler for you. You can now book infant travel online at the same time as booking the rest of the family, rather than calling our contact centre.
We know going on holiday as a family is brilliant, but can also be stressful. That’s why we do everything we can to make your journey great and keep the little ones happy, so you can sit back and enjoy yourself. If you’re travelling with a baby, we’ve got cots, we can warm milk for you or provide baby meals, plus we have changing facilities on board. For older tots, we have meals for even the fussiest kids, drinks and snacks on hand when needed, and hours of fantastic inflight child-friendly entertainment and games. Boredom is banned!
You’re welcome to bring one fully collapsible pushchair and a car seat, in addition to your free checked baggage allowance. Car seats can be used onboard (in Economy only) if they meet the necessary requirements.
Pushchairs can be checked in or used up until the boarding gate, after which they will be put in the hold. Once we land we’ll have your pushchair ready outside the aircraft doors, whenever possible.
Afternoon Tea by Eric Lanlard
Posted 19 June
Virgin Atlantic is excited to announce a brand new partnership with celebrity chef and master pâtissier Eric Lanlard. Eric has created a series of bespoke afternoon teas for the London Heathrow Clubhouse and for Upper Class, Premium, and Economy cabins on all day flights worldwide.
Eric will be bringing his award winning culinary experience to the Virgin Atlantic Heathrow Clubhouse, serving afternoon tea between 3pm and 5.30pm daily. This latest addition to the Clubhouse menu can be enjoyed with a pot of tea or Lanson rose champagne and will be served on a bespoke stand filled with items including:
- Prosciutto, sunblushed tomato and rocket on a stone baked Campagne brown roll
- Smoked salmon, cream cheese and dill mint mini croissant
- Broccoli, goat’s cheese and cress savoury tart
- Homemade plain and sultana scones with strawberry preserve, lemon and clotted cream
- Eton mess verrine with strawberry coulis
- Apple and blackberry cake
- Dark chocolate brownie with salted caramel sauce
Across all three cabins, you'll also get the chance to sample Eric’s signature afternoon tea when flying on day flights. Launching this summer, the 38,000ft high tea will feature handmade sandwiches, scones and an assortment of macarons. This new afternoon tea joins a host of food and drinks already available to you.
Winners at the TripAdvisor Travellers Choice™ awards
Posted 29 April
Virgin Atlantic has announced it has been recognized as a winner in the 2018 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice™ awards for airlines. Coming out on top in the Best Premium Economy category, Virgin Atlantic has beaten off stiff competition from some of the world’s biggest carriers.
Craig Kreeger, CEO of Virgin Atlantic said: “Innovation to improve the experience for our customers is at the heart of what we do. We were the first airline to introduce Premium Economy over 25 years ago and it’s clear that it’s still just as loved now than it was then. We’re continually investing in all cabin s and we recently unveiled the biggest change to our Economy cabin in over a decade with three new Economy products – Economy Light, Economy Classic and Economy Delight - offering more choice for our customers than ever before.”
The Travelers’ Choice awards for airlines recognize the carriers that exceed passenger expectations and receive top marks from travelers.
Posted 21 April
We’ve collaborated with esteemed British scent designer and candle chandler Rachel Vosper to design a bespoke scent to elevate the customer experience on the ground. The unique fragrance embodies warm and exotic notes inspired by the airline’s top destinations, and will be present at various points throughout the Virgin Atlantic experience to inspire feelings of adventure and relaxation.
When designing the fragrance, Rachel carried out a number of workshops and blind tests with people from across the business. She focused on balancing top, middle and base notes, approaching it in much the same way as a winemaker would. Using only the finest European sourced ingredients, Rachel employed traditional methods in her Belgravia boutique, which help to maximise the scent’s longevity. The chosen fragrance was selected as a favourite and the one that most represented our business by 80% of those who participated.
The unique scent of AIR is currently being rolled out to enjoy at check-in, airport gates, Clubhouses and upon boarding your Virgin Atlantic flight. You can also pre-order the candle online at www.retailtherapyshopping.com from 19th March as well as purchase at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses and on-board duty free. The candles are priced at £30 and come in a ribbon-bound handmade gift box.
More choice to India and beyond
Posted 9 April 2018
We’re really excited to announce that we’re expanding our codeshare relationship with Jet Airways to include seven new destinations in India, as well as some further Southeast Asian destinations*. This will give you more opportunities to earn Flying Club miles whilst explore this exciting and varied region.
You’ll now be able to book through Virgin Atlantic to fly to Amritsar, Kochi, Ahmedabad and Jaipur via Delhi (travelling on Virgin Atlantic or Jet Airways aircraft), and to Goa, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Jaipur and Calicut connecting via Mumbai (on Jet Airways only). This means far more choice in terms of the city, airline and flight times.
We’ll also be enhancing our network presence in both Hong Kong and Singapore, with options via both Delhi and Mumbai. As well as this, we’ll add Colombo to our virtual network for the first time by putting our code on Jet Airways’ Mumbai-Colombo services.
Virgin Atlantic unveil three new ways to fly
Posted 17 March 2018
We’ve just announced the launch of three new ways to fly economy as part of a multi-million pound investment in the cabin for the 21st century traveller.
Recognising that one size doesn’t fit all, from spring 2018 we’ll introduce ‘Economy Delight, ‘Economy Classic’ and ‘Economy Light’ tickets. The three new ways to fly will allow customers like you to choose the product that suits their budget and travel style – but never compromise on inclusive food and drink, unrivalled service, and inflight entertainment.
As always, our Flying Club members will earn lots of lovely miles and tier points on these services – and there will be some new benefits for you, too. Find out more below.
Meet the newest additions to our fleet
Posted 13 March 2018
You may have heard about them, you may have even seen them… Four new planes are joining our fleet this month and we’re thrilled to have them. Our new ladies are all Airbus A330-200s, and will be known as Strawberry Fields, Scarlett O’Hara, Daydream Believer and Honkytonk Woman.
These lovely aircraft will be flying out of Manchester and Gatwick, and they will look a bit different on the inside from what you are used to. But there’ll be no less Virgin Atlantic sparkle. Upper Class passengers can enjoy three new types of seats – the Love Suite (perfect for cosying up with a travel partner, the Solo Freedom Suite and the Solo Corner Suite). There will be lots of extra touches on board, including a speciality coffee menu and inflight WiFi.
Over time, our new Flying Ladies will all enjoy a full makeover, inside and out, to match the rest of the fleet – including the addition of a Premium cabin.
Helping those with hidden disabilities
Posted 20 Feb 2018
Some people just need a little extra help on their journey, and that’s why we’ve launched our special assistance initiative and produced a hidden disability alert symbol across our network.
Customers with hidden disabilities can print off, or take a photo of the symbol with a mobile phone, which can be used to discreetly let our air and ground staff know that they may need a little more time, space, consideration or help than others. Hidden disabilities, such as autism or dementia, can be difficult to recognise. So, by showing this symbol, it’s easy to let us know that someone may need assistance without drawing any unnecessary attention.
We’ve already tried out this initiative on our London Gatwick to Orlando flights, and we’ve received really positive feedback. So, we’re going to be sending out bookmarks with this symbol displayed to other airports very soon. Customers can print off the bookmark at home and carry it with their passport or pick up a slip at the check in.
Changes to our limo service
Posted 01 February 2018
We’re made a few changes to Upper Class ground transportation offering. From 24 January, some of our Upper Class customers will need to book their chauffeur car service via our preferential rates, as it may not be included as part of their booking anymore. Only customers with a certain booking class (J, C or D) will be offered the complimentary chauffeur car service.
Other Upper Class bookings (I and Z class) will be able to add on a chauffeur car via our preferential rates at the ‘My booking’ section on virginatlantic.com, or through their travel agent.
Our chauffeur driven car will take you straight through to the Upper Class Wing at Heathrow or drop you off just outside check in at Gatwick. When you arrive at the Upper Class Wing, you can whizz through our Private Security Channel, skipping the queues and enjoy a seamless, stress free journey direct from car to Clubhouse.
Your Virgin Atlantic experience starts as soon as we pick you up.
Around the world with Virgin
Posted 01 February 2018
We're thrilled to announce our new codeshare agreement with our sister airline Virgin Australia.
You can now book with Virgin Atlantic to travel all the way to Australia. Take off from London Heathrow, then connect Los Angeles (for Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane) with Virgin Australia and earn Flying Club miles for the whole journey.
This means you can now, quite literally, travel around the world purely on Virgin airlines. One booking, one check in, one bag drop. A seamless experience with the fabulous Virgin service you know and love.
We offer up to three daily flights between London Heathrow and Los Angeles.
Virgin Australia has 18 services per week from Los Angeles to Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane.
Meet the all-new Vera
Our new-look Vera magazine has now touched down, so the next time you fly with Virgin Atlantic, you’ll find it in your seat pocket. The fresh new design makes finding out about our fabulous destinations and exciting onboard entertainment even simpler. Check out the latest issue for exclusive interviews, and suggestions of what to see and where to go the next time you fly.
WiFi, WiFi everywhere
Just getting to a good bit in your eBook? Can’t stop listening to that one track on your phone? Or just want to let all your friends know you’re flying Virgin Atlantic to somewhere incredible? That’s absolutely fine. Because, now you can access the internet, right from your seat with our inflight WiFi, wherever you’re flying with us.
Get connected and update your status from 35,000 feet. Just be sure to use the tag #LiveFromVirgin to let everyone know the good news.