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VSbulletin COVID-19 Ongoing Travel Disruption - 2 December 2021

  • 02 December 2021
  • News
  • Virgin Atlantic
It remains a dynamic time for international travel and we’re continually reviewing our flying schedules.

Cape Town Cancellations
Following the reinstatement of South Africa on the UK Government’s ‘Red list’, we’ve been actively reviewing our South Africa flying schedule and have taken the difficult decision to postpone the restart of our London Heathrow – Cape Town services, which were due to commence on 17 December. We remain committed to this seasonal winter route, and expect to restart services in the last quarter of 2022. We completely understand the disappointment caused to our customers planning to travel on this much-loved route and we can’t wait to return to this beautiful destination once restrictions have eased.

Customers have the option to rebook via Johannesburg on Airlink and then onwards from and to London Heathrow with Virgin Atlantic. All information on Airlink reprotections can be found here . Everything you need to know to assist our customers with date changes and refunds, including our flexibility policy can be found here .

Johannesburg Flight Re-times
We may need to change the timings on some of our flights between London Heathrow and Johannesburg. Bookings affected by these changes will be updated in your GDS.

We realise this retiming may have a knock-on effect to customers managed hotel quarantine booking and apologise for this. We recommend they contact CTM, the agent which administrates hotel quarantine, with any questions. CTM Managed Quarantine Phone: +44 (0) 207 429 9732 (lines are open between 09:00 and 17:00 UK time every day) or email:

Tel Aviv Cancellations
As a result of reduced demand for travel to Israel following the entry ban for foreign nationals, we’ve also reduced our London Heathrow to Tel Aviv schedule, which will continue on a temporarily reduced frequency. Customers booked to travel to or from Israel can check their flight status on, and wherever possible, for those with cancelled flights we will rebook them onto an alternative service.

New US Testing Requirements
Today (2 December 2021) the White House confirmed that the United States will be strengthening its pre-departure testing protocols to respond to the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

The official announcement can be found here, as part of a broader set of actions by the US Government.

From early next week (commencing 6 December - exact date to be confirmed) all international arrivals by air will be required to present a negative pre-departure COVID-19 test, taken within one day (24 hours) of departure to the US, regardless of nationality or vaccination status.

Pre-departure tests for the US can be at-home/remote, providing it’s via a telehealth service affiliated with the test manufacturer (i.e. video-observed) or administered in-person by a health professional. Lateral flow (antigen) and PCR tests are both accepted.

Please continue to check the  US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website which will be updated with the latest entry requirements. If you need a helping hand with testing options and providers, please refer to our help centre.

In line with existing rules, all foreign national visitors to the United States must be fully vaccinated.

LA Terminal Change
From 10 December, our customers at Los Angeles Airport (LAX) will enjoy a streamlined customer experience, as we temporarily move our full operation, including check in, into the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT), from our usual home in Terminal 2. To support a better customer experience during ongoing construction work, we will relocate to the world-class TBIT (also known as Terminal B), which boasts excellent facilities and amenities, many of which can be found in the central "Great Hall" in Departures and in the West Gates, a beautifully designed interior featuring extensive use of natural light.

As part of the terminal change, eligible customers will have access to the Star Alliance Lounge at LAX, in partnership with codeshare partner, Air New Zealand, which operates the lounge. From 10 December the lounge will be available to Upper Class passengers, with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Gold members welcomed from 17 December. The Star Alliance Lounge offers impressive facilities and services, including spacious areas to work, dine or relax, shower suites, plus a serviced bar with complimentary cocktails and refreshments. An outdoor terrace also offers views over the airfield and distant Hollywood hills.

Everything you and your customers need to know before travelling to the USA can be found here .

Heathrow Revivals
As a result of the new self-isolation requirement for all international arrivals in to the UK, we have taken the decision to temporarily close the Revivals lounge at London Heathrow from 30 November 2021. We look forward to reopening soon.
Before customers travel, please ensure they are checking the countries entry requirements for their destination. Everything they need to know before they head to the airport can be found here, but it’s also important to check the latest government travel advice and entry requirements here .

As a result of the fast-moving travel environment, we continue to make schedule changes, which will affect our Flying Programme
  • We are reducing frequencies on several routes, however to ensure impacted passengers can continue with their travel plans, they will be reprotected to the most suitable alternative departure.
  • Where a flight is cancelled, due limited operations to these destinations, there will be no reprotection option available, these sectors will appear as UN.

Bookings affected by these changes will be updated in your GDS on Saturday 4 December 2021
Effective until & including
South AfricaLHR-CPT25 Mar 2022
We are also making some frequency updates on selected routes.

During December, we plan to maintain operations on the following routes, subject to late changes:
Our flying programme
LHR-BOS-LHR4 per week
LHR-JFK-LHR3/4 per day
LHR-LAS-LHR4 per week
LHR-LAX-LHR12 per week
LHR-SFO-LHR4 per week
MAN-ATL-MAN1-19 Dec, 3 per week
20-31 Dec, 2 per week
CaribbeanLHR-ANU-LHR4 per week
LHR-BGI-LHR12 per week
LHR-GND-LHR (via BGI)2 per week
LHR-MBJ-LHR3 per week
LHR-NAS-LHR (via MBJ)2 per week
LHR-SVD-LHR (via BGI)2 per week
LHR-UVF-LHR2 per week from 18 Dec
MAN-BGI-MAN4 per week
EDI-BGI-EDI2 per week
South AfricaLHR-JNB-LHR1-12 Dec, 3 per week
13-31 Dec, Daily
PakistanLHR-LHE-LHR4 per week
LHR-ISB-LHR3 per week
MAN-ISB-MAN4 per week
Hong KongLHR-HKG-HKGDaily
IsraelLHR-TLV-LHR1-12 Dec, 2 per week
13-21 Dec, 4 per week
Our partners are also back in the skies, and here's a reminder of where they are flying long-haul from the UK in November.
Our partner Delta Air Lines flying programme
LHR-JFK-LHR10 per week
LHR-DTW-LHR4 per week
LHR-BOS-LHR3 per week

We will continue to keep our website up to date with all the latest updates to schedule and travel restrictions.

Please check here  regularly for updates and here for specific flight status.  

Please ensure the latest traveller contact information is available within the booking so the latest instructions reach the traveller via SMS and email.
Flexibility Policy
Our flexible booking policy gives customers the freedom to book with confidence, knowing they can make changes if they need to. For flights booked on or after 3 March 2021, for departures up to 30 April 2022, they can change travel dates up to 30 April 2023.

Our partner Delta Air Lines is also offering expanded flexibility and extended ticket validity through December 31, 2022.  Visit Delta’s Waivers & Flexibility pages on Delta Professional for more information.
Face Masks
For most flights, we expect all customers aged 12 and above to wear a facemask. On a flight to or from the United States, customers aged 2 and over must wear a face mask, in order to comply with slightly different rules set by the US authorities.

We need to remind you that if any of our customers require a mask exemption or have any pre-existing medical conditions, these need to be disclosed to Virgin Atlantic atleast 48 hours prior to travel. You can contact our Special assistance team at or by emailing
Please ensure the customer has their booking reference when they contact us.

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