Latest Travel Updates

Virgin Atlantic Baggage Allowance – Sport Equipment

Virgin Atlantic have recently made some changes to their baggage policy. It means that, for bookings made on or after 31 August 2016, your sports baggage will be included in your overall checked baggage allowance. So:

  • You’ll be able to carry sports equipment (up to 23kg and 190 x 75 x 65cm) as part of your checked allowance.
  • One extra piece of sports equipment (up to 23kg and 190 x 75 x 65cm) will cost 65 GBP / 100 USD / 100 CAD.
  • If you want to bring any extra sports equipment in addition to the above, you’ll need to pay our standard excess charges, including oversize charges (where applicable).
  • There’s no change to our policy of charging for additional, overweight or oversize baggage.

For bookings made before 31 August 2016, our previous sports equipment policy will still apply: allowing one extra piece of sports equipment in addition to your checked baggage allowance.

Find out more about our sports baggage policy.

Updated - 13th September 

 

Virgin Atlantic - London Gatwick Terminal

From 25 January 2017, all Virgin Atlantic flights will operate from the North Terminal at London Gatwick Airport. Departures and arrivals will continue to operate from their current home in the South Terminal until 24th January 2017 when they will move to the North Terminal as part of the Gatwick redevelopment plans. As most Virgin Atlantic flights from Gatwick leave early in the morning, twilight check in and bag drop will continue to be offered, so you can avoid the airport queues and check in any luggage the night before.

As part of this exciting change, there will also be a brand new Clubhouse and V-room in the North Terminal from the 25th January 2017, where you can start your trip in style.

Updated – 06 September 2016

 

Riviera Maya, Mexico - Cyclospora

Virgin Holidays are aware of recent reports of holidaymakers returning from the Riviera Maya region of Mexico suffering from a sickness infection called Cyclospora.

Cyclospora is an infection transmitted through the consumption of contaminated food and drink. Although symptoms are often unpleasant, it doesn't usually pose a serious threat to health and can be easily treated using antibiotics. Given the short lifecycle of cyclospora, person-to-person transmission does not occur.

You can find more information on the following link http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/food-and-water-hygiene/.

If you have any questions you can contact our Customer Service Team on 0344 557 4321 for assistance.  

Updated – 15th August 2016

 

Thailand Update

Following the recent events that have taken place in Thailand on 11th and 12th August, Virgin Holidays would like to reassure all of its customers that we are monitoring the situation closely. We are still operating a full holiday programme to Thailand. 

Security has been increased as a preventative measure to ensure the safety of tourists and local residents. Planned events and tourism activities continue in Thailand. 

The safety of our customers is our number one priority and we continue to follow government advice regarding travel safety.

Updated - 12th August 2016 

 

Maldives Entry Requirements

The entry requirements for the Maldives have recently changed. With immediate effect, your passport should now be valid for a minimum of six months from the date of entry into the Maldives.

Updated – 05 August 2016

 

Zika Virus - Information Update

We are monitoring reports of cases of Zika virus in parts of the Caribbean, Mexico, the Far East, Florida, and some South American destinations. The virus spreads via the bite of an infected mosquito, and may produce mild symptoms for 2-7 days such as skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain and headache. The best form of prevention is protection against mosquito bites.

Customers who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should speak to their healthcare provider for further advice if they are travelling to a destination where the Zika virus is present. Current advice is that pregnant women planning to travel should postpone non-essential travel to areas with active Zika Virus transmission until after pregnancy.

For the latest travel advice, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office guidance by destination, please follow the links below:

Travel Health Pro - Zika Virus 
Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Any Virgin Holidays customers who are pregnant have the option to amend or cancel their booking free of charge. Passengers in the UK who are due to depart can contact our Customer Service Team on 0344 557 4321 for assistance.

If you are currently in resort and have any concerns, our resort teams are contactable 24 hours a day and numbers are available under Customer Support on our website.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will provide updates where necessary.

Updated – 30 July 2016

 

Passport Requirements for the USA

Travel under the Visa Waiver program (ESTA) is restricted to travellers possessing passports with specified security features. Visa Waiver Program requirements are: 

The passport must have a machine-readable zone on the biographic page

The passport must have an electronic passport with a digital chip containing biometric information about the passport owner. 

As of April 1, 2016, all travellers must have an e-Passport to use the VWP. An e-Passport, denoted by a symbol on the front of your passport, is an enhanced secure passport with an embedded electronic chip. E-Passports are issued by the proper passport issuing authority and must meet international standards for securing and storing information corresponding to the passport and bearer. 

 

Seaweed in areas of Mexico and the Caribbean

Please note that some areas of the Caribbean and Mexico are occasionally being affected by an increased level of seaweed. This is an unusual natural occurrence and is changing on a regular basis with the currents. We will continue to monitor the situation carefully, but please be assured that any hotels which are affected, are working hard to remove the seaweed as quickly as possible to ensure the enjoyment of your holiday.

 

Virgin Atlantic seat requests

Virgin Atlantic have made some changes to the way you can request seats with them. Please take a look here for more details.

 

South Africa – Revised Immigration Rules when travelling with children (Under 18 years)

The new immigration rules for South Africa relating to travelling with children under the age of 18 comes into effect from 1st June 2015.

From 1st June 2015, parents travelling with children into or out of South Africa may be asked to show the child's unabridged (full) birth certificate, and where only one parent is accompanying, parental or legal consent for the child to travel (e.g. an affidavit from the other parent, a court order or – if applicable – a death certificate).

You should travel with these documents in case you're asked to provide them.

There are other requirements for children travelling unaccompanied or with adults who are not their parents. For more information, contact the South African High Commission or the South African Department of Home Affairs.

If you would like to find out more, you can get the latest information from the Foreign Office by clicking here

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 https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov. 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.

An ESTA is only valid for stays of 90 days or less.

If you need any further information on the ESTA or you have any other visa queries, then try the Visit USA Website at www.visitusa.org.uk 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