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Latest Travel Updates

Latest travel updates

Check in Chill Out service - Updated 14th March 2014

Please note that from the 1st April 2014, the Check in Chill Out service offered in Barbados, Antigua, St Lucia and Grenada will no longer be available to our customers.

Customers will be able to use Virgin Atlantic's online check-in service which will still be in operation, 24 hours before their flight home.

We're still in the process of updating our website with this change, so if you do see it mentioned anywhere, sorry about that, it'll be removed soon.

If you have any questions on this change, please contact Customer Service via our Click To Chat Service, by email or on the phone by calling 0844 557 4002.

Dubai Tourism Fee - Updated 27th February 2014

We've received an update from The Department of Tourism to say that from the 31st March 2014 the Commerce at the Government of Dubai will be introducing a Tourism fee and we wanted to give you a little more information.  

The fee will be charged per room, per night and will be collected directly from you when you check out of the hotel that you are staying in.  You can pay by cash or card, whichever is best for you. Please note that the rate is subject to Government changes and will vary depending on the category of hotel booked.

To give you a guide the daily fees as per today's date of the 27th February 2014, are currently based on 20AED for a 5V hotel, 15 AED for a 4V Hotel and 10AED for a 3V hotel. Based on today's rate, the 20AED fee equates to £3.26 but as exchange rates fluctuate it's worth checking the latest rate closer to your departure date. 

This fee only applies to hotels within Dubai, not to those outside the Emirate of Dubai. We'll shortly send out letters to those who will be charged this fee to give you the heads up. If you have any questions you can speak with our Customer Service Team via our Click To Chat Service, by email or on the phone by calling 0844 557 4002.

Twilight Check In at Gatwick

Avoid the peak hours at check in by checking in the night before your flight at Virgin Atlantic's check in desks at London Gatwick's South Terminal (Zone A). This service is available between 1700hrs and 2100hrs

ESTA - Electronic System for Travel Authorization

It's mandatory for everyone travelling to or transferring through the US, under the Visa Waiver Program, to obtain approval to travel no later than 72 hours prior to travel by completing an online process ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) scheme.

Failure to obtain an ESTA could result in the passenger being denied boarding by the airline.

The cost of an ESTA is currently approx $14 per person and can be obtained by visiting Once completed & approved, the ESTA application is valid for two years and allows multiple visits without the need to reapply – simply update your details on the same website. Travelers can apply for an ESTA even if they have no firm plans to travel to the US.

If you need any further information on the ESTA or you have any other visa queries, then try the Visit USA Website at where further information on the scheme and up to date fee can also be found.

The ESTA is very similar to the automated visa that you purchase to enter Australia and is completely paperless