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If you’re planning to travel with just a carry-on, you’ll need to be up to speed with airline carry-on policies. Specifically, the various rules and regulations each carrier has for what you can and cannot “carry on” to the plane. Each airline’s rules are different, so don’t just assume what works for one will work for all airlines.
If you are going to be flying Virgin, then here are the Virgin Atlantic carry-on rules you need to be aware of regarding carry-on size, weight, fees, liquids, etc.
Virgin Atlantic Carry-On Size & Weight Limit
Virgin Atlantic allows one carry-on bag and one personal item onboard, at no charge, for economy and premium class and they allow two carry-on bags plus a personal item for those flying in the Upper-class cabins.
The personal item must fit under the seat in front of you, and the carry-on bag must be stowed in the overhead bin.
Virgin Atlantic Carry-On Size Dimensions
Virgin Atlantic’s size requirements for a carry-on are:
- Dimensions for carry-on baggage: max. 56 x 36 x 23 cm (22 x 14 x 9 inches)
If you aren’t sure what size your carry-on is, Virgin Atlantic typically provides “size check templates” located at their ticketing counters and departure gates. But it’s too late if you wait until you get to either of these locations and have an issue.
If the bag is too big or too heavy, you’re going to have to pay a fee, so it’s always better to know your bag size and the limitations in advance.
Recommended Carry-On Bag
If you are looking for an international-sized carry-on bag, the Travelpro 20-inch Global Expandable Spinner Carry-on is definitely one to consider. It’s durable, reasonably priced, and holds enough for shorter trips (3-5 days). Plus the spinner wheels make it very easy to get through the airport quickly and effortlessly.
- H: 19 in. W: 15 in. D: 7.75 in.
- Weight: 7.3 lbs.
Fits 80% of International Airlines* as a Carry-On
A garment bag can only be used as your hand baggage in Economy or Premium if it fits the dimensions of the hand baggage allowance. If you’d like to bring one but it exceeds 23 x 36 x 56 cm, it will need to be as additional checked in baggage.
In Upper Class, your hand baggage can also include one garment bag, 20cm (8 inches) thick – again, this shouldn’t exceed 12kg. This will count towards your two bag limit.
Virgin Atlantic Personal Item Size
Personal items include a purse, briefcase, laptop, backpack, shopping bag, or a similar-sized item. They must be small enough to fit under the seat in front of you.
The following items may be brought onboard without counting toward your carry-on limit.
- Your handbag, small backpack/rucksack, 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 matters for the flight
- An infant’s food (for consumption on the flight)
- A small number of duty-free goods
- Headphones for onboard use (they’ll need the standard 3.5mm jack).
Virgin Atlantic Carry-On Weight Limit
All passengers flying in our Economy (Light, Classic & Delight) or Premium cabins can take one piece of hand baggage per person weighing up to 10kg (or 22lb)..
All Upper Class passengers can take up to two pieces of hand baggage per person, weighing up to 12kg (26lb) for one bag, or up to 16kg (35lb) combined weight.
However, they don’t weigh your carry-on items prior to boarding, so you’re generally not going to have a problem if it’s too heavy. The weight issue applies to checked baggage more than carry-on bags since they weigh your checked bags when you check in for your flight.
Related Content: Virgin Atlantic Flight Deals
Virgin Atlantic Flight Deals
Virgin Atlantic Liquid Allowance
The rules for carry-on liquids are set by the TSA in the US and the EASA and European Commission in Europe. Virgin Airlines doesn’t have its own specific Liquids Policy, they just enforce the rules and policies of the Authorities.
- Containers with liquids and gel-like substances may hold up to 100 ml (maximum capacity must be printed on the container).
- All containers must be carried in a plastic bag (transparent, resealable, max. capacity 1 liter). One bag per person.
- The bag must be presented separately at security. Take your liquids out of your carry-on baggage at the security screening point and present them separately. In exceptional cases, liquids may be opened in the course of security checks and removed from their outer packaging.
- Liquid duty-free goods purchased at an international airport or on board an aircraft outside the EU must be transported in a tamper-proof, certified bag on connecting flights via an EU airport. The proof of purchase must be inside the bag and the bag must be sealed by the retailer.
- Medicine and special food (e.g. baby food) can be carried outside the plastic bag and must also be presented at security.
Below is a table that provides some examples of Non-solid Food and Personal Items that are considered “liquids”:
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There are two different scenarios pertaining to food:
- The food you bring with you to the airport, and
- The food you buy at the airport after you have gone through security.
An important thing to note is the classification of liquid foods vs. solid foods.
The general rule is “If you can spill it, spread it, spray it, pump it, or pour it, then it’s considered a liquid or gel”. This means your food may be considered a liquid and will fall under the TSA 3-1-1 liquids rule, which mandates that any liquid, gel, cream, aerosol, or paste in a carry-on must be 3.4 ounces or less, and fit in one quart-size resealable bag (only one such bag is allowed per passenger).
The TSA website advises what food can be brought with you on your flight. This applies to food you are bringing from home through security. Once you get through security, you can bring just about any food on the plane that you buy at the airport.
Virgin Atlantic Carry-On Pet Policy
Virgin Atlantic does not allow pets in the cabin unless they are assistance animals. Pet travel is handled through the cargo department, you should contact them at your departure airport before you book your own ticket.
Here is a link to their pet policy.
Checked Baggage Allowance
If you have to check a bag on Virgin Atlantic, there are some rules you need to be aware of. All checked bags must weight less than 50 pounds (23 kg) for economy and premium economy fares and 70 pounds (32 kg) for Upper Class fares. The maximum linear dimensions are 35.5 x 29.5 x 16 inches (90 x 75 x 43 cm).
Checked Baggage Fees:
The amount you pay for your checked baggage will depend on the fare class you are flying in.
- Economy Light: No checked baggage included, you must pay to check a bag
- Economy Classic/Delight: 1 bag is included in the price of your airfare
- Premium Economy: 2 bags are included in the price of your airfare.
- Upper Class: 2 bags are included in the price of your airfare.
You can check in extra baggage beyond the limits outlined above, but you’ll need to pay for this before your flight. You’ll find all the details on our Additional baggage page.
Extra allowance for Flying Club and SkyTeam members
If you’ve reached Flying Club Gold or Silver or you are a SkyTeam Elite or Elite Plus member, you can check in an extra piece of baggage on all Virgin Atlantic operated flights for no extra charge (weighing up to 23kg). It doesn’t matter which cabin you’re flying in.
Prohibited Items and Dangerous Goods
There are certain items that are considered dangerous and classified as a hazardous material. Dangerous goods are prohibited from both your carry-on and checked bags on all flights. These rules are not specific to any airline and are mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency.
There are certain items that are considered dangerous and classified as a hazardous materials. Dangerous goods are prohibited from both your carry-on and checked baggage on all flights. These rules are not specific to any airline and are mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency.
Here is a list of items that are strictly prohibited on Virgin Atlantic flights:
- Firearms and ammunition
- Self-defense sprays, such as mace and pepper spray
- Explosives, including fireworks and flares
- Flammable liquids, including gasoline, lighter fluid, and kerosene
- Poisonous, infectious, or radioactive substances
- Knives and sharp objects (pocket knives, cutting instruments, razors, ice picks, carpet knives, metal scissors, box cutters, or similar items)
- Any alcoholic beverage with more than 70 percent alcohol
- Camping equipment containing flammable liquids or gasses
- Hoverboards, including electric skateboards, balance boards, gravity boards, and self-balancing devices
- Medical or liquid oxygen
- Torch lighters, lighter fluid, strike-anywhere matches, and fire starters
- Wet-cell batteries
The following items are not considered “dangerous goods” and are allowed when packaged properly, in accordance with FAA regulations
- Hiking or trekking poles
- Hair dryer/Straightener
- Hair spray
- Sunscreen/bug spray
- Food as a carry-on
- Fishing hooks
- Fragile glass items
It is important to note that this is not an exhaustive list and that the rules and regulations are subject to change. Additional prohibited or restricted goods and materials can be found in the following resources:
- IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations
- TSA Permitted and Prohibited Items
- EASA Dangerous Goods.
- FAA Packsafe List
One more way to find them is on the Virgin Atlantic summary of dangerous goods page.
Virgin Atlantic Carry-On Size and Fees
Virgin Atlantic does not charge a fee for carry-on baggage that meets their size requirements. If your bag is too large and doesn’t meet Virgin’s carry-on restrictions, you may be charged a fee to gate-check it.
Here is a link to the Virgin Atlantic Carry-On page to make sure you have the most up-to-date information.
More related articles….
- Virgin Atlantic Cancellation and Delay Compensation
- 5 Tips to Travel with Just One Bag
- How to Use Packing Cubes to Travel with Just A Carry-On
- The Best Carry-On Bags for Regional and Small Jets
Tim is a business road warrior and avid leisure traveler who has flown over two million miles in the air and spent well over a thousand nights in hotels. He enjoys sharing tips, tricks, and hacks to help readers get the most out of their travel experience and learn how to “travel like a pro”!