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Virgin Atlantic Connecting Flights


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This is a Virgin Atlantic connecting flights guide.

This guide provides information about Virgin Atlantic connecting flights, baggage rules and air passenger rights. In this guide, you’ll also find information about flight delay and cancellation compensation, as well as flight cancellation refund. Virgin Atlantic is a British airline, headquartered in Crawley, England. It operates flights to a number of destinations in the U.S., Caribbean, Africa and Asia.

Did you miss a connecting flight? File a compensation claim online.

Virgin Atlantic Plane
Virgin Atlantic Airplane – Photo by James Anthony


Is It Protected?

Yes, it’s a protected connection.

Traditional airlines sell airline-protected connecting flights. It’s more convenient and more safe than self-transfer flights. You don’t need a visa for connecting flights like this.

Unless you book flights separately.

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Baggage Rules

Airline takes care of your baggage.

Mostly, you will check in baggage only once — you won’t have to recheck baggage for every flight. This is how it works with full-service airlines and airline-protected connecting flights.

Baggage allowance depends on the ticket, destination and occasionally some other factors. 


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1. Virgin Atlantic Connecting Flights

Virgin Atlantic is a full-service traditional airline.

Just like any other full-service airline, Virgin Atlantic offers airline-protected connecting flights. These kind of flights are one of the main reasons why people prefer flying with full-service airlines. Airline-protected connecting flights are better than self transfers. Self transfers are more common with low-cost airlines. 

Airline-protected connecting flights are:

  • More safe. Your airline takes care of flight problems.
  • More convenient. Baggage transfer is automatic.
  • Easier to book. You book several flights as a single journey.

Yes, Virgin Atlantic sells airline-protected connecting flights.

1.1 Connecting Flights, One Airline

You have booked a connecting flight with Virgin Atlantic.

But it doesn’t mean that it will wholly be operated by Virgin Atlantic.

There will be situations when you will fly only with Virgin Atlantic — on a Virgin Atlantic plane manned by Virgin Atlantic staff. But it’s not the case with every of their flight. You can see the operating airline of a particular flight when making a booking and also by looking at booking confirmation.

1.2 Virgin Atlantic Codeshare Partners

Sometimes airlines share their flights.

This is done to provide a wider flight network. 

What does this mean for you as a passenger? You have booked a Virgin Atlantic connecting flight. A part of it (or even all of it) is operated by another airline. Just because Virgin Atlantic doesn’t operate this particular flight, the company shares a flight with another airline, which has a flight to this particular destination. Connecting flights with different airlines is very common in aviation industry. These kind of flights are called codeshare flights, and airlines collaborating — codeshare partners.

What you should know is that:

  • If you miss a connecting flight through no fault of your own, it’s the responsibility of Virgin Atlantic. Contact Virgin Atlantic to get a new plane ticket. As long as it’s a Virgin Atlantic connection booked from Virgin Atlantic (they are called marketing airline) — they must get you to your destination.
  • If your flight is heavily delayed, cancelled or overbooked, compensation is paid by airline operating this particular flight. If it’s operated by some other airline, not Virgin Atlantic, then they are called operating airline — they have to pay compensation when it’s due.

See a list of Virgin Atlantic codeshare partners here.

Escalator in a metro station
Airport metro station

2. What If Virgin Atlantic Cancels a Flight?

Why is Virgin Atlantic cancelling flights?

Just like any other airline, Virgin Atlantic cancels their flights due to a number of reasons: staff shortage, technical problems, airport congestion, bad weather, security issues. These are just some of the most popular reasons.

2.1 One of Your Flights Is Cancelled

Virgin Atlantic is a British airline (European airline).

According to the EU Regulation 261/2004, they must:

  • Offer you a choice between a new flight and full refund.
  • Offer you assistance at the airport (you have a right to care).

The rules are the same on all their commercial flights.

It applies to all cancelled Virgin Atlantic flights.

If your Virgin Atlantic flight is cancelled, and as a result you miss your connecting flight, it’s the airline’s responsibility to provide you with a new plane ticket. They must get you to your final destination.  If you don’t wish to travel anymore, you can choose a refund instead.

You may have a right to compensation (more on this below).

Did you miss a connecting flight? File a compensation claim online.

2.2 All Your Flights Are Cancelled

Overall, for you as a passenger, the options are the same.

According to the EU Regulation 261/2004, Virgin Atlantic must:

  • Offer you a choice between a new flight and full refund.
  • Offer you assistance at the airport if it’s a last-minute cancellation and you are already at the airport (you have a right to care).

This applies to all their commercial flights.

Refund must be paid within seven days.

You may have a right to EU/UK flight cancellation compensation.

2.3 Virgin Atlantic Refund for Cancellation

Yes, you have a right to ask for a refund.

If you don’t wish to travel on an alternative flight, you can ask for a full refund. This refund must be paid by bank transfer. You don’t have to accept any vouchers. Refund must be paid within seven days.

Hong Kong airport layover
Hong Kong airport

3. Virgin Atlantic Missed Connecting Flight

Why people miss their flights?

There are a number of reasons. Anything from a simple mistake to a cancelled or delayed previous flight. You may miss a flight because of airport congestions and long queues. And, sometimes, you may simply wait at the wrong gate or fall asleep while waiting for your flight. Mostly missed connections are caused by flight delays or cancellations.

3.1 What Happens If You Miss Virgin Atlantic Connection?

If it’s your fault that it happened — it’s your responsibility.

If it’s not your fault, then your airline has to take care of that. If you booked a flight from Virgin Atlantic, it doesn’t even matter if the flight is operated by Virgin Atlantic or not, you should contact Virgin Atlantic. It’s their responsibility to find a solution. You missed a connecting flight, and the airline must offer you a solution.

According to the EU Regulation 261/2004, they must:

  • Take you to your final destination as soon as possible.
  • Offer you assistance at the airport (you have a right to care).

Read more: Missed Connecting Flight Due to Delay 

3.2 Right to Compensation from Virgin Atlantic

Sometimes you have a right to compensation.

If your flight is late, and you arrive 3+ hours later than scheduled, you may be entitled to EU, EEA or UK flight delay compensation. As long as the delay was due to the airline’s fault. 

This applies to Virgin Atlantic flights.

Flight cancelled less than 2 weeks before the trip?

You might be entitled to flight cancellation compensation.


File a Claim Online

3.3 Right to Care from Virgin Atlantic

On all Virgin Atlantic flights you have a right to care.

According to the EU Regulation 261/2004 airline should provide:

  • Free food and drinks in a reasonable relation to the waiting time.
  • Free hotel accommodation if a stay of one or more nights is necessary;
  • Free airport transfer to hotel and back.
  • Plus, two telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or e-mails. So that you can contact your loved ones and notify them about changes in your travel plans. 

It applies to all domestic and international flights with Virgin Atlantic. Again, it’s because Virgin Atlantic is a European airline. With non-European airlines it applies only to flights departing from European airports.

EU/UK to EU/UKEU/UK to Other countriesOther countries to EU/UK
EU airlines+++
UK airlines+++
Other airlines++

In some cases with Virgin Atlantic you are protected by the Regulation UK261. What you should know is that it’s basically the same regulation as the EU Regulation 261/2004. That’s why on this website, for simplicity, we often refer to EU, EEA and UK simply as Europe.

When it comes to air passenger rights, unless otherwise stated, we talk about air passenger rights in the EU, EEA and UK. When we say Europe or European, we mean EU, EEA or UK. This is done for the simplicity, since the according laws in these countries are about the same.

Istanbul Airport
Istanbul Airport

4. How to Book Connecting Flights with Virgin Atlantic?

You can do it directly from Virgin Atlantic or via a third-party.

Visit Virgin Atlantic website to book connecting flights. Alternately, you can book them from a third party site, such as or

How to Book?

Airline website (directly).

This is the easiest way to book a connecting flight. It’s also the safest way to book a connection. You make a single booking, have a single reservation code and the booking includes several flights. Sometimes they are all with one airline, other times – two or more. Anyway, in this case, you can be 100% sure that you have a proper connecting flight.

Other Option

Flight booking websites.

Few examples:,,

Pay attention to the details. Because some of these sites are only search engines, and sellers are other websites. Apart from that, they often sell both airline-protected connecting flights and self-transfer flights. If it’s a self-transfer, know that it comes with its own risks, and there are things you should take into account. Self-transfer is not the same thing as airline-protected transfer. 

For extra protection, buy also a travel insurance covering flight disruptions, or book with sites like, who offer extra protection.

With you are more protected than normally.

Read more: How to Book Connecting Flights?

Two backpacks

5. Virgin Atlantic Connecting Flights: Baggage

Since Virgin Atlantic is a traditional airline, everything’s very easy.

Baggage rules on connecting flights with Virgin Atlantic are simple.

In short, Virgin Atlantic takes care of your baggage. In most cases, you’ll need to check it in only once — before your first flight. You don’t have to collect and recheck your bag between flights. Unless you have a self-transfer — separately booked flights, or you’re traveling through a country that requires everyone to collect and recheck their baggage (e.g. the U.S.). You also need a visa or ESTA for layover in the U.S.

If you aren’t sure if your bag is going to be checked in all the way to your final destination, ask the staff at the check in desk.

5.1 Baggage Transfer: Different Airlines

What happens if there are several airlines?

What if one of your flights is operated by different airline, not Virgin Atlantic? As we already talked, you may experience this, because Virgin Atlantic does share some of its flights with its codeshare partners. In this situation the rules are the same — your baggage is being taken care of by an airline. In most situations you won’t have to worry about it.

Read more:

5.2 Virgin Atlantic Free Baggage Allowance

Baggage allowance varies — it’s not the same on all flights.

Baggage allowance depends on the airline, travel class and destination. Check your booking confirmation to see what is your baggage allowance. If you haven’t booked your flight yet, you can see the baggage allowance when you choose a flight — it’s always somewhere there, airlines want you to know this. 

5.3 Economy Light

This is the cheapest option for long-haul flights.

Economy Light comes without free baggage allowance.

We see this all across the industry. Full-service traditional airlines are offering also tickets without free checked baggage allowance. The wording is also often the same — Economy Light. So, if you see this, most likely it’s without checked baggage (carry on baggage only).

When you see cheap Virgin Atlantic flights, pay attention to this. Because Virgin Atlantic also offers Economy Light tickets. If you carry more than one cabin bag, this option is not for you.

New Orleans, the US
New Orleans, the U.S. – Photo by KEN COOPER

6. Connecting Flight Examples

Here are two connecting flight examples with Virgin Atlantic.

6.1 Protected Connecting Flights with Virgin Atlantic (Most Common)

For this example I’ll be using the website of Virgin Atlantic.

For example, I want to fly from Edinburgh (Scotland) to Orlando (the U.S.).

I search for flights for September 1, and these are my options:

Edinburgh - Orlando connecting flight with Virgin Atlantic
Edinburgh – Orlando connecting flight with Virgin Atlantic

On their website Virgin Atlantic sells only airline-protected connecting flights. However, as we can see, in this case connecting flights are not operated by Virgin Atlantic. Most flights are operated by Delta Air Lines, KLM and Air France which are Virgin Atlantic’s partners. 

Do not forget to check what is the total flight duration and number of stops / layovers, and always compare the price.

If you are looking for the cheapest option, choose the first flight on the list. Total flight duration is 13 hours, and there’s one stop in JFK, New York. Both flights are operated by Delta Air Lines.

6.2 Self-Transfer Flights with Virgin Atlantic

Now, let’s assume, that your itinerary is longer and more complex.

You want to fly from Edinburgh to Orlando, and from there, onwards to New Orleans. But before that you also want to spend a couple of days in Orlando, to have fun at the city’s theme parks.

  1. You book a connecting flight to Orlando, like in the example above. Let’s say, you’re taking the cheapest option, the first one, which arrives in Orlando at 9:14 pm. 
  2. And then you go to,, or some other flight search website, and book a flight from Orlando to New Orleans. Leaving yourself, let’s say, 2 days in Orlando (a stopover). 

Until Orlando you have an airline-protected connecting flight. If your first flight is delayed or cancelled, and you miss your connecting flight, Virgin Atlantic will provide you with a new ticket free of charge. However, the last flight, Orlando – New Orleans, is a separate flight. Take this into account. Never book a self-transfer connecting flight with a very short layover!

What is your experience with Virgin Atlantic? Have you ever missed a connecting flight with Virgin Atlantic? How did the airline solve this? Did you receive compensation from Virgin Atlantic?

Featured photo by James Anthony

About the author:

Co-founder and Editor at Connecting Flights Guide

Una is an organized globetrotter and foodie who’s been living a digital nomad lifestyle since 2013. She always starts her day early with a good book before diving into work. Apart from traveling and aviation, her other passions include gym, hiking and cycling. Una is also a strong proponent of AI technology. She firmly believes in its potential to simplify life and has often advocated for its wider adoption in our day-to-day activities. Her favorite airlines are Qatar Airways, Emirates, and KLM.


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Connecting Flights Guide

Your go-to guide to air travel rules and regulations. Connecting flights, self transfer, onward tickets and more – we want you to understand air travel better

This article may contain compensated links. Learn more in our disclaimer.

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