In consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic, how does Virgin Atlantic ensure a safe flight?
As the world reopens for travel, your wellbeing, health, and safety remain Virgin Atlantic’s priority. To ensure you have a safe and enjoyable trip, you can expect some changes throughout the journey. Virgin Atlantic has gone the extra mile to give you peace of mind when you travel so you can fly safe and fly well:
- Travel advice and COVID-19 testing guide.
- Face mask policy.
- Award-winning cleaning.
- Flexible booking policy.
Travel Advice and COVID-19 Testing Guide
On Virgin Atlantic’s Travel Advice page, you can find everything you need to know, from the latest travel alerts and restrictions to entry requirements and airport guides. As COVID-19 testing is now likely to be an integral part of the travel experience and requirements differ by country, Virgin Atlantic created a checklist to help you find everything you need to prepare for your journey from terms explanation and which type of test is required to where to get tested and getting ready to fly.
To even more help customers, Virgin Atlantic launched Virgin Atlantic FlyReady, a digital health tool to streamline transatlantic journeys. The new tool, fully integrated on virginatlantic.com (no third-party app download necessary), helps customers prove they have the correct COVID-19 test and links their FlyReady status to their booking.
Face Mask Policy
Virgin Atlantic follows the latest government regulations and requires that you wear a face mask or face covering at all times onboard and throughout the airport. You may remove the face mask only to eat or drink (where it is reasonably necessary to do so), to take medication, or to avoid harm or the risk of injury to yourself or others.
There are some exemptions from the mandatory requirement of wearing a face mask or face covering:
- From March 16th, 2022, on flights between the UK and the Caribbean, passengers and crew have the personal choice of whether to wear a face mask on board.
- If you cannot wear, put on, or remove a face mask due to a disability, physical or mental illness or impairment, or without severe distress.
- If you are traveling with or assisting another person who relies on lip-reading to communicate.
- Children aged 11 and under, except when traveling to/from the U.S., when all travelers aged 2 and over must wear a face mask at all times.
If you are exempt from wearing a face mask, you must notify the Special Assistance team at least 48 hours before your flight. When you arrive at the airport, you may be asked to provide a formal notification of your exemption in the form of a certificate or letter signed by a suitably qualified health professional. If you travel without formal notification of your exemption and choose not to wear a mask, you may not be permitted to travel.
Virgin Atlantic has been awarded the Diamond status in Health and Safety by APEX and SimpliFlying. This highest standard possible shows its efforts to create the safest customer journey possible and its commitment to keeping staff and customers safe and sound throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
From the moment you arrive at the airport, you’ll see that everything is being done to ensure your safety. To ensure a safe distance is maintained, the number of customers is being limited in the check-in zones and queues, and queue markers have been added to help you keep your distance while you’re waiting. The check-in desks and self-service kiosks are all regularly cleaned and disinfected with high-grade products, tested to be effective against viruses.
At the gate, safe distancing is a priority throughout boarding, which is limited to small groups of passengers at a time. To minimize contact, you will be asked to scan your boarding pass and hold up your passport for inspection, and boarding will start from the back to the front of the aircraft.
Onboard, every passenger receives a Health Pack with medical-grade masks, surface wipes, and hand gel. To minimize contact, the Vera inflight magazine and the Retail Therapy service are not available onboard for now, but you can still pre-order your duty-free.
To ensure aircraft cabins are clean and safe for you to fly, Virgin Atlantic cleans everything onboard with hospital-grade products before every flight, wiping down tray tables, seat pockets, screens, overhead lockers, bathrooms, etc. Also, before every flight, to ensure that every area is sanitized and disinfected, a professional cleaning team carries out electrostatic spraying of the cabin with high-grade disinfectant.
The air inside the cabin is fully refreshed every 2-3 minutes. Onboard HEPA filters use a vertical airflow and extract more than 99.999% of particles from the air, including bacteria and viruses.
Flexible Booking Policy
Virgin Atlantic’s flexible booking policy gives you the freedom to book with confidence, knowing that, if you need, you can make changes without any charges. The following policy applies to bookings made on or after March 3rd, 2021, to all booking classes (including Economy Light) and all ticket types (including those that would normally be non-changeable) on all Virgin Atlantic’s international routes.
For all travel up to and including April 30th, 2022, you can change the date as often as you like, choose a different destination or, if you would like someone else to benefit from your ticket, make one name change. You only need to make sure you make any changes before your original departure date and that you complete your new travel by April 30th, 2023.
If you’re unsure of your travel plans and you want to cancel your flight, you can convert it to a Travel Voucher, which you can use to purchase a future Virgin Atlantic flight or even make a booking for someone else.