Virgin Atlantic Baggage Fees Guide (Carry-on, Checked, Economy Light) [2019]

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. UponArriving has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. UponArriving and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. 

Virgin Atlantic is known for its Virgin feel with onboard bars, brilliant advertising, and trendsetting premium economy. Nonetheless, Virgin Atlantic is not trendy when it comes to Economy Light baggage allowance and fees.

In this article, I go over Virgin Atlantic Economy Light, Economy Classic, Economy Delight, Premium Economy, and Upper Class baggage allowance and fees. Then I explain other goodies that you might want to bring onboard like musical instruments, sports equipment, and pets.


What are Virgin Atlantic baggage fees?

Virgin Atlantic primarily has long-haul flights making Virgin Atlantic one of the few airlines that offer free baggage in most fares, except Economy Light. Economy Light checked baggage fee goes for $60/£45. Luckily, Economy Classic and above fares offer free baggage. I go into more details down below.


How can I avoid Virgin Atlantic baggage fees?

Virgin Atlantic makes it pretty easy to avoid their baggage fees.

Fare options

There is only one Virgin Atlantic fare, called Economy Light, that requires you to pay for one checked bag. Economy Classic, Economy Delight, Premium Economy, and Upper Class allow at least one checked bag for free weighing up to 50 lbs/23 kg.

  • Economy Classic: 1 bag
    • US/UK to India/Lagos: 2 bags
    • US to Johannesburg: 2 bags
  • Economy Delight: 1 bag
    • US/UK to India/Lagos: 2 bags
    • US to Johannesburg: 2 bags
  • Premium Economy: 2 bags
    • US/UK to India: 3 bags
  • Upper Class: 3 bags (70 lbs/32 kg)

As you can see, the fares above come with a decent baggage allowance, especially for Premium Economy and Upper Class passengers.

For your reference, it’s $60/£45 when you want to check a bag flying Economy Light. If you pay $60 each way for checking one bag, that would be $120 roundtrip. So, keep that in mind when booking Economy Light and knowing you have to check a bag.

Elite status

For the most loyal Virgin Atlantic fliers, you are given special benefits each time you fly Virgin Atlantic and select partners. 

No matter what class you are flying, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Gold members are allowed one extra carry-on bag and one extra checked bag. The extra bag can be up to 50lbs/23kg.

For example, if you are flying Economy Light, Gold members are entitled to a free checked bag plus an extra carry-on bag. Plus, Gold members can select their seat at booking, which isn’t allowed if you aren’t a Gold member booking Economy Light.

Other Gold benefits include Clubhouse access when flying Virgin Atlantic or Delta Airlines, arrivals lounge at Heathrow, priority boarding, priority check-in, and extra miles when you fly Virgin Atlantic.

Partner elite status

If you are a Delta SkyMiles Silver Medallion or higher, you’re entitled an extra checked bag in any class whenever you fly Virgin Atlantic. The extra bag can be up to 50lbs/23kg.

You will also get other benefits like priority boarding and check-in. If you’re a Delta SkyMiles Gold Medallion or higher, you are also entitled to priority baggage, Clubhouse access, and priority security.

Credit Cards

You can utilize certain credit cards to reduce or eliminate your baggage fees on Virgin Atlantic.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the hottest travel rewards credit cards. It earns 3X the points on dining and travel and comes with a host of valuable benefits. One of these perks is a $300 travel credit that can be used on anything that codes as travel, including your baggage fees. You also have travel insurance built into the card, which includes delayed baggage insurance.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

One of my favorite cards to use to cover miscellaneous travel purchases is the Capital One Venture card. It’s a popular credit card that comes with an early spending bonus of $500 after you spend $3,000 in the first three months.

It earns 2% cashback on all purchases toward travel, and the points can be used to cover virtually any travel purchase. The cashback you earn can be used to erase any travel purchases you made, including baggage fees.


Virgin Atlantic personal item and carry-on restrictions

When flying Virgin Atlantic, you are allowed to bring on one personal item and one carry-on in Economy and Premium Economy. For Upper Class passengers, you are allowed to bring one personal item and two carry-on bags.

Personal item

Each passenger in any class can bring one personal item on any Virgin Atlantic flight. Virgin Atlantic doesn’t disclose the max dimensions and weight for personal items.

So, if you bring a personal item, you must make sure it can fit under the seat in front of you. If not, you can put your personal item in the overhead bin, but do note that space can be limited. Some examples of personal items would be a briefcase, purse, laptop, and small backpack.

Carry-on

Economy (Economy Light, Economy Classic, and Economy Delight) and Premium Economy passengers can bring one carry-on bag. The max weight and dimensions are as followed:

  • 22lbs/10kg max weight
  • 9in/23cm length 
  • 14in/36cm width 
  • 22in/56cm height 

Upper Class can bring two carry-on bags. The max weights and dimensions are as followed:

  • 26lbs/12kg for one bag weight
  • 35lbs/16kg combined weight
  • 9in/23cm length 
  • 14in/36cm width 
  • 22in/56cm height 

Most of the time, Virgin Atlantic is flexible with weight, but you must be able to put your own baggage in the overhead bins without any help.

For your carry-on item, you can bring a suitcase, bag, garment bag, carrycot, pushchair or child seat for infants, and any required mobility aids, such as a wheelchair. Some items will be gate checked for free. As long as it doesn’t exceed the dimensions above, you will be fine.

Children’s carry-on baggage

Babies and toddlers under the age of 2 years old (aka lap infants flying on the lap infant fare) are only allowed to bring a bag that is 13lbs/6kg or less. They are entitled to the same amount of baggage as what is shown above.

Liquids

The same TSA standards apply to Virgin Atlantic flights arriving or departing from the US. You can review a list provided by the TSA of permitted and prohibited items which may be included in carry-on baggage including the 3-1-1 Liquids Rule.


Virgin Atlantic checked baggage fees

Virgin Atlantic fees structure is actually straightforward and not route-specific. So, all the fees, no matter the route, will be the same.

 Economy LightEconomy Classic and DelightPremium EconomyUpper Class
1st bag$60/£45IncludedIncludedIncluded
2nd bag$100/£65$100/£65
(US/UK to India/Lagos and
US to Johannesburg have 2nd bag included)
IncludedIncluded
3rd bag$200/£140$200/£140$200/£140Included
4th bag$200/£140$200/£140$200/£140$200/£140

Economy and Premium Economy bags can weigh up to 50lbs/23kg. If the checked bag is weighing more than 50lbs/23kg, then it will be charged as an overweight bag, too. Upper Class bags can weigh up to 70lbs/32kg. Bags over 70lbs/32kg won’t be accepted. Bag dimensions can be up to 35.5 x 29.5 x 16in (90 x 75 x 43cm).

Lap infants receive one free checked bag for Economy Class, Economy Delight, Premium Economy, and Upper Class.

Remember, with Virgin Atlantic or Delta status, you will get one extra checked bag on top of your original allowance.

As you can see, it’s very different for some of these destinations. It’s best to check before you pack your suitcase.

In comparison to other international airlines, United charges the following rates:

  • $30 for the first checked bag
  • $40 for the second checked bag
  • $150 to $200 for the third checked bag
Get extra baggage allowance when flying Upper Class.

Virgin Atlantic checked baggage allowance

Checked bags flying Virgin Atlantic in any seat must not exceed 35.5 x 29.5 x 16in (90 x 75 x 43cm). In Economy and Premium economy, bags must not exceed 50lbs/23kg each. For Upper Class checked bags, they must not exceed 70lbs/32kg each.

For elite status members, bags can be up to 50lbs/23kg.


Virgin Atlantic excess baggage fee

Overweight and/or oversized bags are a thing. Sometimes we might pack too much and have to pay an overweight fee. So, being aware of the fees that are associated with overweight and oversized bags will help us out.

Overweight and/or oversized bag for Virgin Atlantic

If your bag exceeds the baggage allowance max weight or the dimensions quoted above, your bag will be subject to excess baggage fees.

Virgin Atlantic will apply fees for each way.

  • Overweight: $100/£65
  • Oversized: $100/£65

If your bag is both overweight and oversized, you will be charged both of the fees.


Sports bags on Virgin Atlantic

If you have sports baggage that you want to bring on your Virgin Atlantic flight, you might need to register your sports bag no later than 24 hours before departure.

To learn more about the fees associated, packing instructions, and if you need to register sports baggage, click here.

UponArriving has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. UponArriving and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *