Additional items you can take with you

To help with baggage conundrums, we’ve compiled the following list to clarify the bits and bobs you can take onboard in addition to the allowances above:

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  • Your handbag, pocketbook or purse, as you would normally use it (in other words, not just being used to contain items that would otherwise be regarded as baggage)
  • Your overcoat or wrap
  • Your umbrella or walking stick (these cannot be pointed or sharp)
  • A small camera and/or pair of binoculars
  • A reasonable amount of reading matter for the flight
  • An infant’s food (for consumption on the flight)
  • A small amount of duty free goods
  • Headphones for onboard use (they’ll need the standard 3.5mm jack).

If you bring large electrical items with you (such as laptops), please remember that you’ll need to remove them from your bag for security screening. You’ll be asked to place them in a tray so they can be clearly scanned.

Mobility aids such as walking aids and manual collapsible wheelchairs can also be taken on-board some of our flights. Where space isn’t available onboard your wheelchair will be placed in the hold and brought out first after landing so that it is ready for you at the gate or baggage reclaim area, depending on the security rules at the airport. Bear in mind that they’ll need to be x-rayed or searched thoroughly at security, though.

  • Here’s what you can’t carry onboard…, 1 of 3accordian

    In the interests of passenger safety, we can’t allow the following items in hand luggage:

    • Torch-style cigarette lighters
    • Non-safety matches
    • Toy or replica guns (plastic or metal)
    • Catapults
    • Sharp items – this includes household items such as household cutlery, knives (of any length), paper knives, razor blades or darts
    • Hypodermic syringes – unless you have a medical condition that requires you to inject on the flight (see below)
    • Scissors (scissors with blunt/round-ended blades, metal or plastic, less than 6cm in length or scissors with metal blades and pointed tips under 3cm are permitted)
    • Sporting bats
    • Billiard, snooker or pool cues
    • Tradesmen’s tools (however, US airports will allow screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers and other tools (but not crowbars, drills, hammers or saws), as long as they are seven inches or less in length)
    • Any dangerous articles such as flammables, corrosives, poisons, radioactive materials, ammunition, firearms or explosives.
    For further restrictions on dangerous and restricted items, please see our dangerous articles page.

    Hypodermic syringes

    We realise it’s essential for some of our passengers to carry hypodermic needles and other medical equipment in order to treat a medical condition. If you have a medical reason that requires you to inject during the course of a flight, naturally you can carry your syringes in your hand baggage.
    However, please ensure you’re able to provide adequate medical evidence in the form of a doctor’s letter and prescription. You’ll be asked to show this when you check in and at security screening, and you should keep it with you at all times. We also ask that you bring your own sharps box so you can dispose of your needles safely and hygienically. For more information, please refer to our page on flying with medication.

  • …and here’s what you can, 2 of 3accordian

    • Cigarettes
    • Cigars
    • Electronic cigarettes (including e-cigars, e-pipes and other vaporizers)
    • Rolling tobacco
    • Cigarette papers
    • Cigarette lighters including butane, absorbed fuel (Zippo style), battery-powered and novelty lighters can be on the person, except on flights to Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Tobago, Havana and Delhi.
    You can carry these items onboard, but you can’t smoke them.
  • Taking a musical instrument?, 3 of 3accordian

    If you’re planning on bringing a musical instrument with you, bear in mind it may not fit within your hand baggage allowance.

    If it exceeds the hand baggage allowance measurements, you’ll need to check it in (and pay an additional baggage fee, if it takes you over your check in allowance).

    However, rather than checking it in on the spot we’ll still ask you to carry it through to the airport security checkpoint (subject to relevant Airport Security approval). As instruments are especially fragile, this ensures safer carriage. It will be taken at the departure gate for loading into the hold of the aircraft, so please make sure it’s suitably protected when you pack it.

    Alternatively, you can book a maximum of two extra seats for your instruments.  They cannot exceed 75kg (165 lb) and their centre of mass should be no more than 30cm (12 inches) above the top of the seat cushion.

    For any questions about bringing a large musical instrument, please contact us in advance of your flight.

Flying to Key West from US mainland?

If you’re flying to Key West from the US mainland, you’ll only be able to take one check in bag up to 32kg (70lbs) – this is due to runway restrictions at Key West. The normal overweight baggage charge in excess of 23kg (50lbs) still applies. This doesn’t affect your hand baggage allowance.

If you do have more than one check in bag, please make arrangements for your other bags to be transported to and from Key West once you’re in the US, otherwise you can leave them in the Left Luggage facilities at the UK airport you’re departing from.

If you booked your travel before 17 February 2017, you’ll be reimbursed by Virgin Atlantic Customer Relations if you keep any receipts.

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A word of warning

If your flight is to or from the USA and operated by one of our partner airlines (like Delta) and the ticketed flight number starts with “VS”, then the Virgin Atlantic baggage allowance will apply. If your ticketed flight number is not “VS” then our partner airlines’ baggage allowance will apply.

If your flight is not to or from the USA and you are travelling with one of our partner airlines, their baggage allowance will apply. Please take a moment to check their baggage allowances: