Virgin Atlantic Airways is a well known British airline that is known for its budget-friendly pricing on flights to dozens of destinations around the globe. From its operating bases in London, Virgin Atlantic passengers can fly to such popular destinations as New York City, the Caribbean, Hong Kong, and more.
If you’re thinking about booking a flight through Virgin Atlantic, you’ll want to plan and budget accordingly when it comes to baggage fees. Compared to many other airlines, such as United Airlines baggage fees, Virgin Atlantic actually has some of the most straight-forward baggage fees and policies out there, which should make planning for your trip easy enough. Still, there are a few things to know before you fly so you can avoid surprises and unnecessary expenses.
Virgin Atlantic Checked and Carry-On Allowances
Virgin Atlantic has specific policies for both carry-on and checked bags, as well as general guidelines for those traveling with infants.
Checked Bag Allowances and Fees
Virgin Atlantic is a little unique in their checked bag allowances in the sense that your specific allowances vary depending on the type of fare you purchase. Most notably, those booking Economy Light should be aware that no checked bags are included with their airfare. Instead, they will need to pay £45 ($60) for their first bag, £65 ($100) for a second bag, and £140 ($200) for each additional checked bag.
Those flying Economy Classic will enjoy one checked bag included with their purchase, with a second checked bag costing £65 ($100) and all additional bags costing £140 ($200).
Book a Premium Economy fare and you’ll enjoy your first two checked bags included, though all additional bags will still cost £140 ($200) apiece.
Upper Class passengers will enjoy three free checked bags, with the ability to add on a fourth checked bag for £140 ($200).
No matter which fare you choose or how many bags you check, your bags should weigh no more than 23kg (50 pounds) and measure no more than 90 x 75 x 43 linear centimeters.
Carry-On Allowances and Fees
Virgin Atlantic allows carry-ons for passengers regardless of the fare they have booked, though specific allowances can vary a bit. All passengers are entitled to one free personal carry-on item, and those in Economy and Premium Economy will also enjoy a free standard-sized carry-on. Those who have booked an Upper Class fare can bring on two standard-sized carry-on bags in addition to a personal item.
Size restrictions for carry-ons also vary a bit by fare, with maximum measurements at 23 x 36 x 56 linear centimeters and 10kg (22 pounds) for Economy fares and 12kg (26 pounds) for Upper Class fares.
What About Infants, Strollers, and Baby Gear?
Infants under the age of two are not charged a fee to fly, so long as they ride in the lap of an adult. If you’ll be flying with a lap infant, you are allowed to bring one additional standard-sized carry-on bag at no charge, provided that it weighs no more than 6kg (13 pounds).
If traveling with a stroller, these can also be checked at the gate or at the ticket counter, depending on your preferences.
Charges For Additional and Overweight/Oversized Luggage
As mentioned above, Virgin Atlantic has specific restrictions on bag sizes depending on the fare you book. If you check a bag that is oversized or overweight, you will be charged an overweight bag fee of £65 ($100) and/or an oversized bag fee of £65 ($100). If your bag is both oversized and overweight, expect to pay both fees.
Avoiding overweight and oversized bag fees is as easy as using a luggage scale to weigh your suitcase after you pack it and before you leave for the airport. If your bag is overweight, consider moving some items over into your carry-on (if possible) or leave a few things at home.
It can also be a good idea to measure your bag ahead of time to ensure it conforms to size requirements. When doing this, be sure to include any wheels, handles, or other accessories in your linear measurements.
Saving On Virgin Atlantic Baggage Fees (Or Avoiding Them Altogether)
If you’re planning on flying with Virgin Atlantic in the near future, you may be wondering how to save on your baggage fees. We’ve got some ideas!
Limit Your Luggage or Book an Appropriate Fare
Start by anticipating how much luggage you may need for your trip and planning accordingly. Since Virgin Atlantic offers different baggage allowances based on the type of fare you book, this may mean booking your fare based on the amount of luggage you need to check. For example, if you know you’ll need to bring one bag, then it may be worth it to spend a little extra on an Economy Classic fare rather than an Economy Light fare, since this will entitle you to one free checked bag. Take time to consider your needs and do the math to avoid paying more than you need to for baggage fees.
Get Reimbursed By Your Credit Card
Many credit card companies offer specific cards geared towards frequent travelers that may include reimbursement for baggage fees with participating airlines. If you have one of these cards, be sure to review their specific policies and rules for being reimbursed. In many cases, all you’ll need to do is pay for your baggage fees using your credit card and then submit a request for reimbursement after your trip. Within a couple of weeks, you should receive an account credit to cover your applicable fees. Keep in mind that many credit cards will only reimburse for standard baggage fees—not fees for overweight or oversized bags.
Look Into Exclusions and Waivers
Virgin Atlantic offers a “Flying Gold” membership, which entitles you to bring an extra checked bag at no additional charge regardless of which type of fare you book. Some other perks of this membership include free exit row seats, exclusive airline clubhouse access, and priority boarding.
Virgin Atlantic Baggage Policies: Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Virgin Atlantic baggage fees and policies.
Does Virgin Atlantic limit the amount of luggage you can bring on a flight?
Checked baggage limitations vary based on destination when you fly with Virgin Atlantic. For example, some destinations will have a two-bag limit, though most destinations allow you to check four or more bags. Keep in mind, however, that you may have to pay for checked bags depending on the specific fare you booked.
What are Virgin Atlantic’s weight and size limits for luggage?
When flying Virgin Atlantic, your checked bags or hard shell luggage should weigh no more than 23kg (50 pounds) and measure no more than 90 x 75 x 43 linear centimeters. Size restrictions for carry-ons also vary a bit by fare, with maximum measurements at 23 x 36 x 56 linear centimeters and 10kg (22 pounds) for Economy fares and 12kg (26 pounds) for Upper Class fares.
If you’re flying with a lap infant, you are allowed to bring one additional standard-sized carry-on bag at no charge, provided that it weighs no more than 6kg (13 pounds).
Oversize and overweight bag fees on Virgin Atlantic are £65 ($100) each.
What is the best way to save money on baggage fees with Virgin Atlantic?
Start by making sure you book the right fare based on your needs. You may be able to save money on baggage fees by booking a fare that includes one or two checked bags. Also, be sure to measure and weigh your bags ahead of time so you can avoid overweight/oversized bag fees.
If you do a lot of flying with Virgin Atlantic, check to see if you may be eligible for their Flying Gold membership, which will entitle you to one additional checked bag at no charge, regardless of the type of fare you book.
Finally, if you have a travel credit card, check to see if you may be eligible for reimbursement for your baggage fees through your credit card company.
Can I pay for my luggage ahead of time?
Save time and hassle at check-in or at the gate by paying for your baggage fees ahead of time. This can be done directly through the Virgin Atlantic website or through their app. Either way, all passengers are able to check-in and pay for their luggage 24 hours before their flight’s sscheduled departure.