Extra entertainment time on Virgin Atlantic flights
Apr 18th, 2013 by elisa

Virgin Atlantic passengers will benefit from more than an hour of additional video and music on flights after the airline was granted permission to use the light entertainment system prior to take off and during landing.

The Civil Aviation Authority granted the permission, subject to the safety demonstration video being completed. Prior to this, in-flight entertainment systems on Virgin Atlantic aircraft were only allowed to be turned on 25 minutes after take-off, and switched off again 40 minutes before landing.

During taxi, take-off and landing, passengers must use Virgin Atlantic’s own headsets, after these times, they will be able to switch to their own headsets if they wish.

The possibility of watching films or listening to music during the times of take-off and landing may also come as some comfort and distraction to those who find these parts of a flight nerve-wracking.


Heathrow plans passenger price hike
Feb 15th, 2013 by elisa

Heathrow Airport has applied to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to increase charges by nearly £8 per passenger in order to fund a £3 billion investment programme.

If approved, the tariff charged to the airlines will gradually rise from the equivalent of £19.33 per passenger in 2012/13 to a maximum of £27.30 in 2018. The money will then be used to help fund the opening of the new Terminal 2 in 2014 and on improved check-in and baggage facilities, as well as the construction of new taxiways and stands so that the airport can accommodate the latest aircraft.

However, some of the airport’s largest airlines, including Virgin Atlantic and British Airways, are opposed to the price increases. 

A BA spokesperson said: “Heathrow Airport’s charges have already tripled over the past 11 years. The charges must be reduced significantly over the coming years, especially when the airport is cutting investment by around 25 per cent from next year onwards.

“Any investment plans between 2014 and 2019 should be targeted and efficient. We believe Heathrow Airport can make significant savings to its inefficient cost base while still investing £3 billion in improving the overall customer experience.”

Heathrow said it believed its plans would be beneficial to passengers and offer good value. It said: “Our investment will deliver a better journey for passengers, more efficient and reliable infrastructure for airlines, and additional jobs, trade and economic activity for the UK.”

The CAA will consider the application, and develop and consult on its own proposals. It will deliver its verdict on airport charges in January next year.

Virgin Atlantic first to use mobile phone boarding passes with Passbook
Dec 5th, 2012 by elisa

A new move towards paperless technology, Virgin Atlantic claims to be the first UK based airline to use the iPhone and iPod Touch application, Passbook, for its boarding cards.

Passbook allows users to store tickets, store cards and other forms of mobile payment on their devices. Customers can have their boarding pass sent straight to their phone when they check in online. This will then be scanned at the departure gate before boarding the flight, meaning no more last minute printing of boarding cards folded up and shoved to the bottom of the bag before leaving for the airport.

Simon Lloyd, Virgin Atlantic’s director of marketing said; “We continually look for ways to enhance our passengers’ experience when they travel with us and that begins before they even reach the plane.

“Passbook integration works seamlessly with our website – and will enable a speedy check-in and ensure your boarding card is stored safely and securely in the Passbook app on your iPhone or iPod touch.”

Passbook stores the boarding card data in an industry standard barcode which can be scanned and read at departure gates at all Virgin Atlantic UK departure airports – Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester. The airline says that it can also be used at selected airports around the world, with more in the future once authorities approve it.


Virgin Atlantic announce Manchester – London flights
Aug 21st, 2012 by elisa

Virgin Atlantic has announced its decision to launch domestic flights between Manchester and London three times daily using Airbus A319 from March 31st 2013.

The move means that people in the north, whose closest airport is Manchester, will be able to fly to London Heathrow and connect to a larger number of international flights. It will also give competition to rival British Airways.

Chief executive of Virgin Atlantic, Steve Ridgway said: “Flying between Heathrow and Manchester is just the start for Virgin Atlantic’s new short haul operation. We have the means to connect thousands of passengers to our long haul network as well as to destinations served by other carriers. Our new service will provide strong competition to omnipresent BA; keep fares low and give consumers a genuine choice of airline to fly to Heathrow and beyond.”

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