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Latest Travel Updates

Update on England’s lockdown restrictions

On 22 February 2021 the UK Prime Minister announced a new roadmap to ease Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in England. Covid-19 Response Spring 2021 can be found here

Regarding international travel, the UK Government has confirmed that restrictions will remain for the near future, easing no earlier than 17 May 2021, which means that unfortunately we’ll be cancelling all holidays up to and including 16 May 2021.

Please note, in order to manage the volume of cancelled bookings, we’ll be contacting customers in departure date order to confirm your cancellation and the options available to you. This will be on a rolling basis and so far we’ve contacted customers due to depart up to and including 21 March 2021. If you haven’t heard from us just yet, please don’t worry as we will be in touch. We’re grateful for all our customers’ patience as we contact everyone affected. We kindly ask that customers wait for us to contact them with their cancellation details and refrain from calling the Customer Centre while we deal with much higher call volumes than normal.

To simplify the options and to provide immediate peace of mind, all customers whose holidays will no longer be going ahead will be provided with an ATOL-protected digital voucher for the value of their trip, redeemable up until 30 September 2021, which can be used to rebook a holiday, giving you the time and flexibility to decide what to do next. The digital voucher can be redeemed for any holiday on sale through to 30 April 2023. This can either be to the same destination or we can look at alternatives, as well as different times of the year. Of course, customers with a cancelled holiday will also be able to request a refund at any time via Manage my Booking.

UK Government announcement regarding testing on arrival and hotel quarantine

The UK Government has confirmed new mandatory testing requirements for all international arrivals to England from 15 February 2021. Customers arriving in England will be required to have two PCR tests, on day 2 and day 8 of their 10-day home quarantine. If arriving from a 'red list’ country, they will need to quarantine in a government-approved hotel and also arrange two PCR tests. 

On Thursday 11 February further UK Government guidance will be published and an online booking portal will go live, enabling customers to book their arrival testing or hotel quarantine package. 

The testing on arrival requirement is in addition to the existing mandatory requirement for all international arrivals to provide a negative Covid-19 test result before departure for England, taken up to 3 days before departure. 

It is vital that all arriving customers comply with the new testing requirements and complete the online Passenger Locator Form before arriving at the airport, to uphold the health and safety of our people, customers and wider public, with the Government implementing financial penalties for non-compliance.

We will continue to review any UK Government guidance and update our customers accordingly. Please continue to check our website and GOV.UK, including the Entering the UK section. For more information you may wish to refer to the health secretary’s statement on 9 February..

UK Government announcement on border controls

On 27 January 2021 the UK Government announced new border controls, which you may need to be aware of if you have upcoming travel plans. The start date for these controls has been confirmed for 15 February 2021, however the final details of the new requirements have not been confirmed. We will continue to review any UK Government guidance and update our customers accordingly. Please continue to check our website and GOV.UK.

The new measures will require arriving travellers from selected countries with international travel bans (listed here) to isolate in government-approved hotel accommodation. Please note, Virgin Atlantic passenger flights from South Africa were temporarily suspended on 23 December 2020 and this suspension remains in effect. No other countries currently in the ‘red list’ are served by Virgin Atlantic flights.

The Government has also announced a new ‘reason for travel’ declaration, which will be required for all departing customers from the UK. The introduction date for this is not confirmed and we will notify customers directly if they require this.

Our priority, as ever, is the health and safety of our customers and people. If you’re travelling for a permitted reason – we're here and ready to make sure you fly safe and fly well. 

For more details, please refer to the UK Government news story:

Mandatory pre-departure testing for UK arrivals

The UK Government has confirmed that from 04.00 GMT on Monday 18th January, all international arrivals, including UK nationals, will be required to provide a negative Covid-19 test result before departure for England, taken up to 72 hours before departure.  

The new rule will come into effect later for Antigua, Barbados and St Lucia – at 0400 GMT on Thursday 21 January – to allow additional time due to limited testing infrastructure in those countries.

Please refer to the UK Government website for more information:

Virgin Holidays is reviewing the information published by the UK Government on the new arrival testing requirement and will be contacting customers booked to travel to England who need to arrange a test. 

Latest updates related to Covid-19 (Coronavirus)

Please see our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page


Optimising our network and fleet to become greener and more efficient

We’ve announced plans to reshape and resize our business to ensure that is it fit for the future, in response to the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the global economy, our nation and the travel and aviation industry. 

We’re making some changes to optimise our network and simplify our fleet, as we aim to establish ourselves as the sustainability industry leader. As part of these changes, we’ll be moving our flying programme from London Gatwick, flying modern twin-engine aircraft from London Heathrow and Manchester – with the intention of retaining slots at London Gatwick, to allow us to return in the future. We've recently said goodbye to seven 747-400s, and four A330-200 aircraft will be retiring in early 2022 as planned.

For customers booked to fly with us from Gatwick, over the next couple of weeks we’ll be working to rebook your travel to ensure you can still get away as planned, including on flights from London Heathrow where possible. We’ll contact you directly to discuss changes to your booking and alternative options – you don’t need to call us. Our teams are receiving a high volume of calls at the moment, so please do bear with us – we'll be in touch as soon as we can. 

Log in to My Booking on Virgin Atlantic's website to see any changes to your flight and choose your seats. If you have paid for a seat in our 747 upper deck, you will be refunded. There is no v-room at London Heathrow, so any bookings will be refunded automatically. Entry to the No1 lounge is available here

Our teams are receiving a high volume of calls at the moment, so please do bear with us – we'll be in touch as soon as we can. 

19 May 2020

São Paulo route launch cancelled

In response to the rapid acceleration and severe impact of Covid-19, we are continually reviewing our flying programme in order to deploy our fleet most effectively.  As a result, we have made the incredibly difficult decision to withdraw our London Heathrow to São Paulo service which was due to launch on 6th October 2020.

If you are impacted by the route cancellation, we will be in contact with you to offer rebooking and refund options.

22 April 2020

Flybe ceases trading

Virgin Holidays is saddened to hear news that Flybe has entered into an administration process.

The Virgin Holidays customer team will be contacting impacted customers directly to offer advice and discuss their travel options.

Should customers have any queries about their travel options, Virgin Holidays would encourage them to contact our customer care team via our SMS messaging system via our website, or by calling us on 0333 920 4326

05 March 2020

USA Travel - ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization)

It is mandatory for everyone travelling to, or transferring through the US under the Visa Waiver Program, to obtain approval via an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation). This must be applied for no later than 72 hours prior to travel by completing an online process. Virgin Holidays strongly recommend that our customers obtain ESTA approval as soon as possible - travellers can apply for an ESTA even if they have no firm plans to travel to the US.

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

An ESTA is a paperless visa, the cost is approximately $14 per person, and it can be obtained by visiting Once completed & approved, the ESTA is valid for two years and allows multiple visits for stays of 90 days or less in the US, without the need to reapply.

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.

17 December 2018


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Latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office repatriation travel advice

Over the past few weeks, we have repatriated our customers from overseas who wanted to come home.  

Please visit this page to keep up to date with the Government’s travel advice on returning to the UK, and to register for email alerts.

Your holiday may be affected by travel restrictions or cancellations

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the  Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know as least 21 days before travel.

You’ll be away before you know it

Your next holiday is only a click away - our website has thousands of options ready to book. But if you need more help, just give us a call on 0344 472 9646.

Looking for inspiration? Explore our destinations and holiday types and save your faves to your very own Wishlist. Or dive right in to our 2021 holiday offers.

How would you like to talk to us?

With many customers needing our help, we are prioritising those customers due to travel before 31 December 2020. Log in to Manage my booking where you can message us about your options or you can give us a call. Bear in mind you may have to wait longer than expected. We continue to review this and working to open up these options to more customers. In the meantime check out our FAQs to see if this can help answer any immediate questions.

Stay tuned for the latest updates

Rest assured; we will notify you as soon as we know if your holiday has been affected.  

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know as least 21 days before travel.

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

Let’s talk

If you need to speak to us to change or cancel your booking you can call our team on 0344 472 9646.

For the latest information on Covid-19 you can check our FAQs here.

Payment flexibility

Don’t worry if you’ve missed a payment or just need a little more time to pay; we have options available to help you. If your holiday is going ahead as planned, you can continue to pay for your holiday in Manage my booking, even if travelling in less than 12 weeks. If you’re unsure, you can delay any additional payments by choosing a new time to travel by requesting a call back in Manage My booking for one of our team to look at options. If your holiday is more than 6 months away, you may wish to set up a Direct Debit to spread the cost. This can be arranged whilst rebooking or afterwards in Manage my booking.

We're flexible with your holiday plans

We understand that you may wish to change your holiday plans and we appreciate the need for flexibility. 

We'll be in touch by email letting you know how to register to change your holiday plans. You can also log into Manage my booking to find the details there. 

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

You're holiday is going ahead as planned

If we haven’t notified you of any changes, your holiday will be going ahead as planned but if you prefer to move your holiday to a later time we can help. You can call our team on 0344 472 9499 who can look at options for you.

Thank you for your patience and understanding

Payments are being prioritised based on when the request was made, working in order from March 2020 onwards. We will always try to process refunds at the earliest opportunity, for requests before August our maximum timeframe is 120 days. As we are steadily reducing the maximum processing time for each new request, for refund requests made in August, we expect the maximum processing time to be 80 days, from the date the refund is requested. For those requesting a refund in September, we expect it to be processed within a maximum of 60 days, and then reduce to 30 days for refunds requested in October, before returning to normal levels.

We'll be in touch soon

To finalise the amendment, one of our customer advisors will phone you. We need to work through amend requests in departure date order so we can prioritise those with the most imminent travel plans, so you may have a longer wait than usual until we’re able to ring you back. We will help everyone that wants to move their holiday.

I returned early from holiday and have further questions?

You can contact our team by emailing to discuss options on unused portions of your holiday. If you need to contact our team about amending an existing holiday or requesting a refund please log in to manage my booking.

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