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North East USA Winter Weather Update

Updated at 09:50 on 08 February 2016

You should always check Flight Status for the latest information on all our flight schedules before you travel to the airport.
In addition UK mobile phone users can update your mobile phone details in My Booking in order for us to send text messages in the event of significant disruptions.

Where possible we may also notify you by e mail providing you have given us your flying club details or e mail address directly, at the time you made your booking.

Read more about our Flight Disruption Policy

Rebooking options for passengers travelling to, from or through New York JFK, Newark, and Boston

In view of the forecast weather conditions customers booked to travel to, from and through New York JFK, Newark and Boston on 8 February 2016 who prefer to rebook may do so, without penalty.

Additionally, customers booked to travel to, from and through Atlanta (ATL) on 8 and 9 February 2016 who prefer to rebook may do so, without penalty.

Rebooking is subject to availability in the same booking class for flights and travel must be completed on or before 11 February 2016.

Please contact your travel agents or for direct bookings only, call our flight disruption line on UK 0344 209 8711 or if you are in the US 1 800 862 8621.

Passengers booked on all inclusive packages should contact their travel agents as they may not be operating the same policy.

Changes to the US Visa Waiver Programme with immediate effect

As of the 21st Jan 2016:

  • Nationals of VWP countries who have travelled to or been present in Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited exceptions for travel for diplomatic or military purposes in the service of a VWP country).

  •  Nationals of VWP countries who are also nationals of Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria

will no longer be able to enter the US under the Visa Waiver Programme (ESTA).

If this applies to you you'll still be able to apply for a visa using the regular immigration process via the US embassies (opens in a new window) or consulates.

If you need a U.S. visa for urgent business, medical, or humanitarian travel to the United States, the U.S. embassies and consulates will be on hand to process applications on an expedited basis.

If you already hold an Electronic System for Travel Authorizations (ESTA) and you previously indicated that you have dual nationality with one of the four countries listed above on your ESTA application, your ESTA will no longer be valid.

More on the US Visa Waiver Program (ESTA)


As of April 1 you'll need an e-Passport to enter the US

US authorities have confirmed that from April 1 2016 all passengers travelling on the Visa Waiver / ESTA programme must have an e-Passport (one containing an electronic chip) to travel to the US.

Double check your passport  - you should see a symbol on the front. 

If you don’t have one you'll be denied travel.


Air China redemptions

Until further notice, Air China redemptions are currently unavailable. We will update once we have any further information.

Zika Virus - information for customers

We are closely monitoring reports of cases of Zika virus in Barbados, Mexico and other destinations in the Caribbean and South America. The World Health Organisation does not currently advise against travel to these destinations and the latest advice can be found on The World Health Organisation (opens in a new window) and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (opens in a new window) websites.

Customers who wish to discuss their travel plans should contact their travel agent, alternatively customers who have booked directly with Virgin Atlantic should contact our customer service centre on 0344 209 7777 UK or 1 800 862 8621 US. Virgin Holidays customers should contact their customer service team on 0344 557 4321.

Hoverboards on board

Please be advised hoverboards are not permitted onboard within hand baggage and check in baggage.

This ban applies to all hoverboards, mini-segways, self-balancing scooters, swegboards, smart balance wheels and breeze boards.

Gatwick and Heathrow rail disruptions

Important information for customers using rail services to and from London Gatwick and London Heathrow over the holiday season

Both Gatwick and Heathrow express rail services will be disrupted by engineering works

Gatwick Express will not run from 22:00 on Thursday 24 December to 04:00 on Monday 4 January

Heathrow Express will not run from 20:25 on Thursday 24 December until Monday 28 December.

For the latest information go to Gatwick (opens in a new window) or Heathrow (opens in a new window) website for train services.

Don’t forget to check Flight Status for the latest information on all our flight schedules before you travel to the airport.

In addition please update your mobile phone or e mail details in My Booking in order for us to send messages in the event of significant disruptions.

Changes to purchasing additional baggage online

As of 1 October 2015 the online charge for purchasing a 1st extra bag has changed, please see further information in the additional baggage section.

Extra baggage charges

Quantity Online Check In At the airport
1st extra bag GBP 60/USD 90 GBP 65/USD 100
2nd extra and subsequent bags GBP 120/USD 170
GBP 140/USD 200
Overweight bags (23 - 32kg) Not available GBP 40/USD 60
Oversized bags Not available GBP 40/USD 60

We have changed where you can buy additional baggage on our website. You can still purchase additional baggage through Online check in, however it will no longer be available to purchase through My Booking. You can still benefit from the reduced online rate, when you purchase additional baggage through Online check in. We recommend buying your additional baggage online to avoid higher charges at the airport. This is for flights operated by Virgin Atlantic only (please note Online check in opens 24 hours before your flight).

Don’t worry if you have previously purchased additional baggage for your flight through My booking, your extra bags are still added to your booking and you do not need to purchase them again.

For more information on our additional baggage policy please visit our baggage page

Gold Flying Club member hand baggage allowance boost

From 1st September 2015, the new hand baggage allowance for Flying Club Gold members for all cabins will be:

  • 2 items - total maximum weight 16kg Or
  • 1 item at 12kg

(Please display your current Gold tags on your hand luggage)

South Africa documentation requirements

From 1 June 2015 there are some changes to South Africa’s immigration rules. This will affect everyone who has children 18 years and under when travelling to or from South Africa (with or without their parents or guardians). The requirements apply regardless of nationality. In order to be allowed to travel, customers impacted by this change must bring the necessary paperwork when travelling.

  • Where parent/s are travelling with a child - the parent/s must produce an unabridged birth certificate for the child (certified copies are acceptable). And if both parents are not travelling, show consent in the form of an affidavit from the other parent, or a court order, or (where applicable) a death certificate for a deceased parent.
  • Where a person is travelling with a child who is not their biological child – he/she must produce an unabridged birth certificate for the child (certified copies are acceptable), affidavit from the child’s parents or legal guardian giving consent and copies of the identity documents or passport of the parents or legal guardian.
  • Unaccompanied minors - must produce (i) consent for the child to travel into or depart from South Africa, in the form of a letter or affidavit from one or both parents or legal guardian (if only one parent then also a court order under which he/she has full parental responsibilities); (ii) a letter from the person who is to receive the child in South Africa, containing his or her residential address and contact details in South Africa where the child will be residing; (iii) a certified copy of the identity document or valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the child in South Africa; and (iv) the contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the child.

Further information can be found on the Department of Home Affairs website (opens in a new window) or the UK Foreign and Commonwealth website (opens in a new window).

Passengers can also find more information from the South African High Commission (opens in a new window).

South African High Commission
South Africa House
Trafalgar Square

+44 (0) 20 7451 7299

Alternatively please contact your local South African Embassy.

Electronic cigarettes on board

From 4 May 2015, please ensure electronic cigarettes (including e-cigars, e-pipes and other vaporizers), are packed in your hand luggage or carried on your person. 

Although they are allowed in the cabin, it is against the law to use them at any point whilst you are on the aircraft.

Delta Air Lines terminal changes

From 29 March 2015, Delta Air Lines flights to Atlanta and Seattle will move from London Heathrow Terminal 3 and instead depart from Terminal 4.

Payments on board Virgin Atlantic flights

During your flight if you wish to purchase any of our duty free products and snacks then these can be paid for using cash or credit card.

We accept the following cards: American Express, Visa, MasterCard, Diners’ Club, JCB. Cards are accepted for orders up to £550. We do not accept Solo, Electron, personal cheques or travellers cheques.

For all purchases over £20, passport details will be required and there is no minimum spend.

Currencies accepted on your flight:

AED U.A.E. dirham
AUD Australian dollar
BBD Barbados  dollars
CAD Canadian dollar
EUR Euro
HKD Hong Kong dollars
JMD Jamaica dollars
JPY Japan  Yen
TTD Trinidad and Tobago  dollars
USD US dollars
XCD East Caribbean dollar
ZAR South African Rand
INR Indian Rupee

New services to Tobago

Virgin Atlantic has confirmed it will be offering services from London Gatwick Airport to the island of Tobago from March 2015.

The airline will be resuming flights to the southern Caribbean island with weekly departures between March and October, and twice weekly departures between October and March. The flights, in response to an opening in the market, will be operating as an additional sector beyond Virgin Atlantic’s non-stop St Lucia services, meaning a short stop in St Lucia before the flight continues to Tobago.

Read our Tobago destination guide.

Latest Ebola virus travel information

Many countries around the world are introducing additional travel requirements to help stop the spread of the Ebola virus. Customers who have visited Sierra Leone, Liberia or Guinea recently should check the latest travel information for the country you are travelling to.

Additionally, if you are flying to the US and have recently visited Sierra Leone, Liberia or Guinea you will only be able to enter the US at New York JFK, Newark, Washington Dulles, Chicago O’Hare and Atlanta airports. If you have recently visited Sierra Leone, Liberia or Guinea and are due to travel to any other US destination please contact your travel agent or, if you booked directly with Virgin Atlantic, our contact centre. They will be able to assist you in reorganising your travel plans.

We would like to reassure all our customers that we are following all advice and additional requirements from governments around the world to help stop the spread of the virus.
For further information about the Ebola virus can be found at:

World Health Organisation (opens in a new window)

UK Government (opens in a new window)

Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (opens in a new window)

Duty free allowance update in India

We would like to announce there has been changes to the baggage rules 2014, for passengers arriving from abroad to any Indian airport.

Free baggage allowance has been increased from Rs.35,000 to Rs.45,000 for all passengers of and above 10 years of age and returning after stay abroad of more than three days.

Furthermore passengers arriving from abroad to any Indian airport will now be entitled to bring into the country 100 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 125 grams of tobacco without payment of customs duty.

New Virgin Atlantic routes for summer 2015

We are delighted to announce that we will be operating two new direct services for UK holiday makers next summer - between Belfast and Orlando and Glasgow and Las Vegas.

The airline is expanding its existing Orlando and Las Vegas services to help meet high demand to two of its flagship leisure destinations for customers based in Northern Ireland and Scotland - and will be the only scheduled airline to fly these routes.

This is the first time Virgin Atlantic has launched a route from Belfast International Airport or operated out of Northern Ireland. A popular seasonal service exists from Glasgow to Orlando but this will be the first time Sir Richard Branson’s airline will fly directly from Scotland to Las Vegas.

Both of these routes will form part of Virgin Atlantic’s Joint Venture with Delta Air Lines, with the US carrier offering the service for sale under the codeshare agreement. Customers will be able to use Delta’s services out of each airport to connect onwards in the US, such as from Orlando to Dallas, Texas and from Las Vegas to Seattle.

A Boeing 747-400 aircraft will operate these seasonal services on a weekly basis, flying on Thursdays. The aircraft flying to both US destinations will be configured with 14 Upper Class seats, 66 Premium Economy seats and 375 seats in Economy.

Belfast to Orlando service

The Belfast to Orlando service will operate in June and July, with the first flight on 25 June 2015. Seats will be on sale on the Virgin Atlantic website from 25 July 2014.

Glasgow to Las Vegas service

The Glasgow to Las Vegas service will operate in September and October 2015, with the first flight on 10 September 2015. Seats will be on sale on the Virgin Atlantic website from mid-October 2014.

Important information for customers wishing to carry Personal Electronic Devices on board

To comply with new security requirements customers travelling to the USA and other unspecified destinations may be subject to additional searches and questions, as well as being asked to turn on the personal electronic or battery powered devices they wish to carry on board in their hand baggage, in order to demonstrate how they work.

To help avoid delays and disappointment please ensure you arrive at the boarding gate with all your devices including cameras, phones, tablets laptops, e readers, games consoles etc charged. As a precaution you may also want to keep your device chargers and adaptors in your hand baggage, just in case.

If, when requested, you are unable to turn your device on, it cannot be carried on board the aircraft.

Currently these additional security measures are not creating undue delays at airports however we appreciate our customers continued support and co-operation by ensuring their personal electronic devices are charged and ready to be turned on and inspected before they arrive at the boarding gate.

Latest advice from the UK governement (opens in a new window)