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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:
Virgin Atlantic Carry-On Rules and Bag Guidelines
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.
What does Virgin Atlantic consider a Personal item?
Personal items include a purse, briefcase, laptop, backpack, shopping bag or a similar sized item.
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 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).
Virgin Atlantic Carry-On Dimensions
Virgin Atlantic size requirements for a carry-on are:
- Dimensions for carry-on baggage: max. 56 x 36 x 23 cm
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 if you wait until you get to either of these locations and have an issue, it’s too late.
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.
Carry-On Weight Limits
Virgin Atlantic requires carry-on bags to weigh less than 10 kg (22 lbs.). However, they don’t weight 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 you flight.
Prohibited Items and Dangerous Goods
There are certain items that are considered dangerous and classified as 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.
One more way to find them is on the Virgin Atlantic summary of dangerous goods page.
The rules for carry-on liquids are set by the TSA, EASA and FAA. Virgin Atlantic doesn’t make the rules, but they must enforce them.
- Containers with liquids and gel-like substances may hold up to 100 ml (maximum capacity must be printed on container).
- All containers must be carried in a plastic bag (transparent, resealable, max. capacity 1 litre). 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.
- Medicines and special food (e.g. baby food) can be carried outside the plastic bag and must also be presented at security.
The TSA 3-1-1 Rule
Each passenger may carry liquids, gels and aerosols in travel-size containers that are 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters. Each passenger is limited to one quart-size bag of liquids, gels and aerosols. Common travel items that must comply with the 3-1-1 liquids rule include toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash and lotion.
Any liquid that does not meet the TSA 3-1-1 rule will either have to be checked with your luggage or will be thrown away at the security check point.
Here is a little video to help illustrate:
There are two different scenarios pertaining to food:
- Food you bring with you to the airport, and
- 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.
Virgin Atlantic Carry-On 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 Virgin Atlantic Carry-On page to make sure you have the most up to date information.