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Latest Travel Updates

Latest updates related to Covid-19 (Coronavirus)

Please see our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page

 

Urgent travel advice regarding returning or entering the UK from 08 June 2020

The UK Government’s priority is to protect the public and stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). A key part of this is to ensure all passengers entering the UK are aware of the UK public health advice and duties, so that they can:

  • make informed decisions about whether to travel
  • arrive prepared to follow the necessary public health guidelines and comply with their duties to enter and stay in the UK 

More information regarding the UK Government's advice can be found on their website »

05 June 2020

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

Kenya - Nairobi

Please check the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for the latest information on security, local laws and the latest travel information on www.gov.uk/travelaware. We advise that you check this regularly as the advice can change.

24 December 2019

Thomas Cook 

We are very sorry to learn that the UK tour operator and airline Thomas Cook has been placed in to administration. Our thoughts are with all those affected by this announcement including customers on holiday, anyone due to travel with them and of course also their employees.

If your holiday been affected by the news of Thomas Cook we have further information available at: https://www.virginholidays.co.uk/savetheholiday

23 September 2019

Mexico - Cyclospora

Virgin Holidays are aware of reports of holidaymakers returning from 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 links:

https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/factsheet/44/food-and-water-hygiene

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cyclospora-advice-for-travellers

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

Updated – 21 October 2019

Zika Virus - Information update 

Customers who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare professional before booking and ensure that they have checked the travelhealthpro.org.uk and https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice websites for up to date travel advice to their chosen holiday destination.

If you wish to make any changes after booking, and have a doctor’s note confirming your pregnancy in line with the advice issued by NaTHNaC, you can do so without incurring a Virgin Holidays amendment fee. Any cancellation charges imposed by our suppliers will be passed onto you. Please be aware that in some cases, this may be 100% of the cost of your holiday.

Virgin Holidays standard Booking Terms and Conditions apply, please see https://www.virginholidays.co.uk/important/terms-and-conditions

10 September 2019

Sri Lanka - FCO Travel Advice

Following the attacks on 21 April 2019, The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have now amended the travel advice and are no longer advising against all but essential travel to Sri Lanka.

Customers booked to travel to Sri Lanka up to and including 31st October 2019, have been given a full refund or the option to amend to an alternative travel destination, subject to any additional costs.

For bookings from 1st November, we will continue to monitor the situation and will be in contact with customers should any changes to their travel arrangements be required. 

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call our Service team on 0333 920 4326.

Updated – 9 August 2019

Seaweed in areas of Mexico and the Caribbean

Please note that some hotel beaches in Mexico and the Caribbean are currently affected by an increased level of seaweed.

This is known as Sargassum which is a natural occurrence and is changing on a daily basis influenced by weather patterns and sea currents.

For safety reasons, from time to time the water sports/water based activities may not be available in these destinations due to this occurrence.

Please be assured that any hotels that are affected are working hard to remove the seaweed as quickly as possible.

Updated – 18 July 2019

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 https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov. 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 www.visitusa.org.uk where further information on the scheme and up to date fee can also be found.

17 December 2018

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Your holiday may be affected by travel restrictions or cancellations

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) 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.

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.
 

You’ll be away before you know it

Your next holiday is only a click away - our website has thousands of hand-picked options ready to book. But if you need more help, just give us a call on 0344 472 9499.

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.

For extra piece of mind, new bookings made before 31 August 2020 for travel up 30 April 2021 also have the flexibility to amend free of charge. If you need to change don’t worry, you can move your holiday as far out as 31 December 2021 subject to availability.

How would you like to talk to us?

With many customers needing our help, we are prioritising those customers due to travel before 06 October 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 prioritising those customers due to travel before 06 October 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.

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, and you are due to travel before 06 October 2020, please log in to Manage my booking to call or message us. 

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 good to go


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. Log in to Manage my booking to request a call back to amend your holiday. Please bear in mind we’ll work through requests in departure date order so may take longer than usual for us to get back to you

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

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 feedback.backhome@virginholidays.com 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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