We are taking some steps to ensure your customers are well informed with peace of mind before they travel.
Before we welcome them onboard, we need to let them know a few important details about their journey. Travel restrictions and screening measures are in place at all of the destinations we fly to, and they may need to take action several days before you head for the airport. We’ve also introduced some extra measures to look after traveller health and safety at every stage of their journey to help everyone fly safe and fly well with us. An example of the email they will receive can be found HERE Please note this is subject to change.
In order to ensure our mutual travellers are well informed, we ask that all passenger contact details are up to date within the booking in line with IATA Resolution 830d. A link to this can be found HERE. A reminder of the bulletin issued in 2019 can be found HERE
We appreciate your cooperation. Fly Safe, fly well. Your sincerely, Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd
Frequently Asked Questions Why are you contacting trade booked customers? Are you marketing to them?
The information we will be sharing will be for purely operational purposes. We have worked closely with data privacy specialists to ensure that we meet our legal obligations.
We, nor our partners will never use this information to market to customers.
The need for this type of communication in times of flight disruption was recognised by IATA in Resolution 830d HERE.
Research from IATA has shown that the number one priority for customers travelling during COVID is reassurance in their health and safety. This message allows us to outline the measures we’re taking to ensure customers feel safe and confident to travel by plane at this time.
In order that we as an airline, and your customers meet regulatory requirement
The CAA have requested that we clearly communicate to all customers pre-flight the requirement to wear masks both onboard and at the airport, therefore proactive direct comms are required to reinforce this and ensure broad passenger coverage
It’s an EASA requirement that passengers complete a pre-flight COVID symptom screener, to mitigate the risk of infected passengers arriving at the airport as a health risk. This message directs passengers to that health screener pre-flight.
It has been mandated by the FCO that we direct all customers to the latest Government Travel advice on the FCO page before they travel – link contained with the pre-flight service messaging.
What sort of information will the email contain? The e-mail will highlight, and links directly to, critical information that if not completed pre-flight would result in a passenger being denied boarding or denied entry to a country on arrival. For Example:
Travel eligibility e.g. only HKG nationals are permitted to enter HKG
Customers travelling to BGI must show evidence of a negative PCR COVID upon arrival. Failure to do so would result in a passenger being tested in BGI, which can take up to 12 hours to complete on site at the airport.
UK Gov Travel Locator forms must be completed before a passenger is permitted to pass UK Border Force. We’ve received feedback from LHR of significant volumes of customers having to do this in the immigration hall, risking queues and impacting ability to appropriately social distance.
We’ll also share information about the service they can expect at our airports and onboard so that they can be prepared for their trip. For Example:
With significant changes to our service (reduced F&B, requirement to wear masks) it’s critical to set customer expectations should they need to cater for e.g. special dietary needs in advance of their flight.
Terminal consolidation at LHR means we’re temporarily operating from T2. Without the ability to communicate this directly to passengers, there’s a risk that a passenger could miss their flight if they’re not aware and proceed to the wrong terminal.
Why can’t we share this information on your behalf?
Information will always be published through our trade channels, however, we recognise that the changing and sometimes unpredictable nature of operational communications means that time is often of the essence. To ensure that communications are made in a timely manner we feel that the most effective way is for us to directly contact the passenger.
We recognise that you will be receiving information from many airlines and ground suppliers and whilst we of course welcome you sharing information on our behalf, we believe sharing directly is the surest way to inform the customer