Whether you’re off on a long haul honeymoon or a short haul city break, you’ll need to check the baggage allowance before you pack. This guide covers all you need on baggage weight, size and restrictions when travelling with Virgin Atlantic.
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When you’re packing for your trip, you’ll need to think about the size and weight of your planned baggage.
Here’s what you need to know about allowed cabin luggage size, and hold luggage size and weight restrictions.¹
With an Economy or Premium ticket, you can take a hand luggage bag into the plane cabin with you, as well as things you might normally have with you like a coat or small handbag. This bag must be no larger than 23cm x 36cm x 56cm (that’s 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches), and can weigh up to 10 kilograms.
If you’re flying Upper Class you can take 2 bags, with a weight restriction of up to 12kg for one bag, or 16 for the combined weight of both. The bag size must be the same as for Economy customers, in order to fit into the overhead lockers.²
It’s worth noting that you’ll need to be able to put the bag into the overhead locker yourself, so don’t pack more than you can lift, even if you’re allowed to.
Most Virgin Atlantic customers can carry up to 23 kilograms of checked baggage. Here’s a run through of some key restrictions and limits:
- Economy Light tickets do not come with any hold luggage allowance at all. You’ll be able to carry a small bag onto the plane, but you can’t check anything into the hold unless you pay extra.
- Economy tickets allow one 23kg hold bag, which is no larger than 90cm x 75cm x 43cm (35.5 inches x 29.5 inches x 16 inches).
- Premium passengers can take 2 bags of the same weight and size as the Economy allowance.
- Upper Class tickets can take 2 bags of the same size as the Economy specifications, but these can each weigh up to 32 kilograms.³
Hold luggage refers to the bags you’ll hand over to the airline when you check in. These are transported in the hold of the aeroplane and retrieved after arrival from the luggage carousel.
Checked luggage is another term for hold luggage. You’ll hear the two terms used interchangeably, but the meaning is the same.
You can buy extra baggage allowance when you check in online or when you arrive at the airport.
If your bag is overweight, you’ll pay an extra fee of £65, if it is oversized, you’ll pay a fee of £200.
If you’re checking in bags in addition to those covered in the cost of your ticket, you’ll pay an extra charge depending on the number of bags checked. Here are the checked baggage fees⁴ for Virgin Atlantic:
|Bag number||Economy Light||Economy||Premium||Upper Class|
Don’t forget each airline has their own luggage policy, in addition to any legal restrictions applied. If you’re travelling on a codeshare flight, or have to make connecting flights with other airlines you’ll also need to check and comply with their rules.
There are UK government restrictions on what can be taken on a plane in hand luggage - and there may also be further rules imposed by the country you’re travelling to, or the airline. Here’s a run through of the most important limits and restrictions:
- Most liquids can only be taken in hand luggage if they are under 100ml, and can be stored in a resealable bag which is around 20cmx20cm. There are exceptions for duty free, some medicines, and baby milk.
- You can only take one lighter on board, which must be in a bag similar to your liquids, and kept separately from the rest of your luggage.
- Food items can be taken on board but may need to be manually checked by airport staff.
- Electronic items may be restricted according to the country you’re flying to - check specific information for your destination. Any electronics in your hand luggage must be charged as security may ask you to turn them on as part of their security checks.
- Bulky items like sports equipment or musical instruments may not be allowed into the cabin - check with your airline before you travel.
It’s also important to remember that there are different rules if you’re taking goods to sell or temporarily abroad for business reasons. This could be anything from sales samples to musical instruments for a performance.
The information here is for general guidance only. You’ll need to double check the full details for your flight before you travel.
There are some items which are not allowed into an airplane cabin under any circumstances. You’ll be able to find details of these items in the airport, or online. Here are some of the things you can’t take on a flight as hand luggage:
- Knives or large scissors, sharp work tools, or sports items which could be considered similar such as darts or martial arts equipment.
- Flammable items or fireworks.
- Firearms - including replicas - or anything which could be used as a weapon including cricket bats or golf clubs.
There are also items which are not allowed on planes at all - in hand luggage, or in the hold. These include corrosive agents, radioactive items or biological hazards. You can get full information of what can - and can’t - be taken on your flight, from your airline.⁵
You can include a bike as hold luggage if it weighs less than 23 kilos, or pay for extra baggage allowance to cover it. It’ll need to be in a protective case or bag and should be insured.⁶
You can make a booking for your cat or dog to fly in the hold - but there are some restrictions and fees to pay. Not all pets are allowed to fly, and not all flights accept animals. Cats and dogs can only travel in the hold - although assistance dogs are allowed in the cabin. As pet travel is handled by the cargo department, you don’t have to travel with your cat or dog if you don’t want to.⁷
There are different rules depending on where you’re flying to and from - get all the details online before you book. And, don’t forget to check to see if you’ll need a pet passport for travelling with your pet.
You can contact Customer Service by phone, online or using Twitter. If you want to call a customer service agent you’ll need to select the right number to use from the selection available on the Virgin Atlantic website.⁸
Save yourself hassle at the airport by checking the sort of luggage you can carry before you travel. You’ll also be able to save time and money when you’re overseas with a TransferWise multi-currency account and linked Mastercard. See how much you can save with TransferWise, today.
- Virgin Atlantic: Baggage allowance
- Virgin Atlantic: Hand baggage allowance
- Virgin Atlantic: Check-in baggage allowance
- Virgin Atlantic: Additional baggage
- Direct Gov: Hand luggage restrictions
- Virgin Atlantic: Sports equipment
- Virgin Atlantic: How to book your pet on a flight
- Virgin Atlantic: Contact
Sources checked on 13-February 2020.
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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You’ll need a pet passport for your pet if you want to bring them to the UK, or take them on your travels. Read this guide to find out more.