Will you be flying Virgin Atlantic with a baby or toddler? Or more important, will you have the choice between Virgin Atlantic and another airline for your flight with an infant or young child? The “Need to Know” airlines series for family travelers continues with some important points to be aware of when booking a flight with Virgin Atlantic. Updated for 2018.
Virgin Atlantic’s infant and child discounts:
Unlike many U.S. carriers that may serve the same or similar routes for your flights, Virgin Atlantic offers a 25% discount for infants riding in their own seats and also for children from 2 to 11 years. This can make a big difference in your family’s bottom line when comparing overall ticketing fees between airlines. Especially if you will be flying during a peak travel season when fare sales are few and far between.
To ensure the child discount is applied, make your reservation directly on www.virgin-atlantic.com or use one of these sites that factors in the child’s age and available discount by airline (warning: not all do!) and may also have special offers or promo codes for extra discounts:
Tip: Click “More Advanced Options” in the search box to enter the ages of your children and your preferred airline (eg. Virgin Atlantic).
Flying Virgin Atlantic with a lap child or lap-held infant:
Virgin Atlantic charges the customary 10% of the adult fare for infants and babies under 2 years riding on an adult’s lap. Each lap child is allowed one complimentary checked bag weighing up to 50 lbs. (23 kg.) and one carry-on bag.
Infant bassinets (AKA skycots) are available, but bassinet sizes vary by cabin class. Economy sky cots fit babies up to 20 lbs. or 29″ L, while Upper Class sky cots fit babies up to 25 lbs. and 30″ L.
You must call Virgin Atlantic in advance to reserve your airplane bassinet or skycot: +1 888 747 7474 or 0344 874 7747. You might also want to read Five Things You Should Know Before Flying with an Airplane Bassinet (AKA Skycot).
And one more reason to call after you’ve booked your flight with your lap child? It’s the only way to ensure children flying without paid seats will have meals provided.
Using car seats (child safety seats) on Virgin Atlantic:
Car seats are only allowed in the cabin for children in Virgin Atlantic’s Economy class and where their are not airplane air bags. Be warned that MOST premium and upper class seats on Virgin Atlantic flights. Check with reservations to avoid disappointment.
Car seats labeled with current U.S., Canadian, EU, New Zealand, or Australian standards marks will be accepted as long as they fit in the airplane seat and can be installed using safety belts (remember, no ISOFIX/LATCH on airplanes). As always, be prepared to point to your car seat’s certification label when boarding, if necessary.
Also accepted in Economy class: The CARES harness for children.
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Virgin Atlantic’s policy for strollers, car seats, etc.
When flying with a baby or toddler, Virgin Atlantic allows one fully collapsible stroller (or pushchair) and one car seat in addition to your regular checked baggage allowance. In most cases, you may opt to check either or both of these at the gate (recommended to avoid damage in the airport baggage system).
For help with gear logistics during travel, see Seven Easy Ways to Get Your Car Seat Through The Airport. You might also like Best Lightweight Travel Strollers, Best Car Seats for Travel, Car Seat Alternatives for Travel, and Best Car Seat Carriers and Transporters. And don’t forget, there’s also the Worldwide Directory of Baby Gear Rentals & Equipment Hire to help on the other end.
Other perks for families flying Virgin Atlantic with a baby or young child:
Virgin Atlantic also offers in-seat TVs with children’s programming and children’s meals. You must reserve your child’s meal online at least 48 hours before your flight. The option will be available under “My Booking” once your reservation is made.
Have your choice of airlines? Use the Airlines Comparison Chart in Travels with Baby: The Ultimate Guide… to compare the family-friendly perks, amenities, and available infant/child discounts between more than 40 airlines.
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More tips and advice are on the way! For help for planning travel of every kind–with babies and children of every temperament–in Travels with Baby: The Ultimate Guide for Planning Travel with Your Baby, Toddler, and Preschooler.
Shelly Rivoli, author of the award-winning Travels with Baby guidebooks
What?! Your kids aren’t babies anymore? Head over to Family Travel 411