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Delayed baggage

It’s never pleasant to find out your bags are delayed or lost, and the last thing we want is for your trip to be spoiled because of it.

If your baggage does not appear on the baggage belt, please make sure you speak with baggage hall staff and make a report (known as a PIR - Property Irregularity Report ) there and then. We can’t begin to look for your bag and neither can we accept responsibility for delayed luggage unless you report it before leaving the airport.

We take delayed baggage seriously:

  • We have baggage services staff at every airport we fly into. If they’re not by the baggage belt, you’ll find them at a service desk within the baggage hall area.
  • Our Central Baggage Tracing and Claims departments are situated in the UK.
  • We belong to the global baggage tracing network, WorldTracer – linking us to the baggage offices of more than 2,200 airport locations.

When reporting delayed baggage to our baggage hall staff:

  • Be sure to give us an accurate description of your bag – any distinguishing features you can think of will help us to locate it more easily. It’s always worth having a picture of your luggage on your phone, just in case.
  • You’ll be able to monitor the progress of the tracing procedure in relation to your bag. Get in touch with our baggage services staff at the airport where you reported your delayed bag, or our central baggage tracing department in the UK. Alternatively you can login to our baggage tracing (opens in a new window) page to check online (you’ll need the 10-character reference number we give you when you report the delay).
  • Contact numbers for our baggage services are listed by airport.

Baggage tracing contact numbers

London Heathrow

London Gatwick



Hong Kong



Cape Town


St. Lucia


Buying essential items when your baggage is delayed

We understand you may need to buy some essential items such as cosmetics, toiletries and basic clothing to keep you going until we can find your baggage.

As long as you let our staff in the baggage hall know your bag has not arrived and they create a Property Irregularity Report, we will reimburse you for these essential purchases when you return home up to the value of $50 if you’re in the States, or the equivalent of £50 in all other destinations. To make a claim, please ensure you keep all the receipts and send them to our Baggage Claims Department.

If your bag turns out to be irretrievably lost, we’ll deduct any sum paid for essential items from the final settlement costs.

To claim reimbursement for essential items, please send us the following information within 21 days of your bag being returned to you:

  • Receipts for your purchased items.
  • The Property Irregularity Report (PIR) Number given by the airport when you report your delayed baggage.
  • Your flight details.
  • Your full name and address.

We’ll do our best to attend to your claim as quickly as we can, but it can take between 21-28 days from the date we receive your claim before reimbursement.

Please send your claim to our UK address (unless you’re a US resident):

Baggage Claims
Virgin Atlantic
The Office
Manor Royal
West Sussex
RH10 9NU

  • Fax 0844 209 7301

For US residents, the address to use for your claim is:

Virgin Atlantic - Baggage Claims
PO Box 569
MA 02021.

  • Fax 866 343 1912

You can also email and attach scanned images of all your purchase receipts.

Once we’ve found your baggage

As soon as we locate your baggage, we’ll arrange for it to be delivered to you.  Unfortunately, due to customs regulations we are unable to deliver delayed baggage to addresses in Lagos , you will need to collect it from the airport yourself.

If we can’t find your baggage

If we’re unable to locate your bag within 21 days of you reporting its delay to our airport staff, we’re very sorry, and at this point we will declare it ‘irretrievably lost’.

If you don't have travel insurance and you need to make a claim, take a look at our making a baggage claim page.

Buying essential items when your baggage is delayed

More information on buying essential items when baggage is delayed.