Virgin Atlantic's new economy class

Virgin Atlantic has revealed a mega shake up of its economy offering, with three new ways to fly instead of one. From hand baggage only fares to the height of economy-luxury with a load of great extras included, there's something for every traveller in the new economy cabins.

Which Virgin Atlantic economy class to choose: Light, Classic or Delight?
Which Virgin Atlantic economy class to choose: Light, Classic or Delight? © Nick Allen - The Plane Picture Company

Virgin Atlantic economy: what's new?

Virgin Atlantic has made the bold yet inevitable decision to shake up its economy class cabins. From spring 2018, travellers will be able to choose from three different types of economy fare:

The change is aimed at pleasing everyone from budget long haul travellers seeking affordable fares worldwide with Economy Light*, to those who want a few extras including checked baggage with Economy Classic*, and the more discerning traveller after a little luxury in everything from priority boarding to seat pitch with Economy Delight*.

"We'll never compromise on excellent service, industry leading food and drink, and cutting edge inflight entertainment - regardless of which economy ticket our customers are travelling on, they'll be able to enjoy all this onboard." - Craig Kreeger, Chief Executive of Virgin Atlantic

On board, you can rely on the same great service for all, regardless of your fare. It is hoped that the difference in the fares will make Virgin Atlantic's long haul routes* more accessible, giving you choice, and letting you tailor your flight to include the extras that matter to you the most.

What comes as standard in economy?

While change is in the air, you will still be able to count on the same great basic benefits of flying economy with Virgin Atlantic. All economy passengers can look forward to using amenities such as a blanket, pillow and headphones, as well as enjoying hot food, snacks, and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks throughout the flight.

You asked: are drinks free in economy with Virgin Atlantic? Yes! Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are complimentary in economy when you fly with Virgin Atlantic.

Whether you opt for Economy Light, Economy Classic or Economy Delight, you will receive and enjoy the following when flying with Virgin Atlantic:

  • hand luggage (up to 10 kg)
  • drinks and snacks throughout
  • three course meal
  • inflight entertainment
  • kids' goodie bags (international flights)
  • blanket, pillow, and headphones
  • in-seat USB power
  • wifi (on selected flights for £4.99)
  • tier points can be collected

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Comparing Virgin Atlantic's economy fares

The easiest way of comparing the three different fares is to look at our table below. Here you can see quite clearly what is and isn't included with each fare.

Economy Light Classic Delight
Hand baggage up to 10 kg Up to 10 kg up to 10 kg
Checked baggage no 1x 23 kg 1x 23kg
Free seat selection at check in anytime anytime
Seat pitch 31" 31" 34"
Seat width up to 17" up to 17" up to 17"
Seat recline 5-6" 5-6" 5-6"
Screen size up to 9" up to 9" up to 9"
Headphone socket standard standard standard
Extra legroom seats no no* yes
Premium check in no no yes
Priority boarding no no yes
Fare refund/exchange non-refundable or changeable check terms of precise fare check terms of precise fare
Upgradeable with miles/money no yes yes
Miles earned 25% 50-150% 150%
Dedicated storage no no yes

*Economy Classic - Extra leg room in exit row can be purchased from £50 one way

"We know that one size doesn't fit all, and from spring our customers can afford to be choosy and still travel in the UK's leading economy cabin." - Craig Kreeger, Chief Executive of Virgin Atlantic

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Economy Light

  • Ideal for: light packers and budget travellers
  • Key features: hand luggage only + meals and snacks included

This is an absolute winner if you're on a tight budget, booking a last minute escape, or simply know you don't need extras such as checked baggage.

Virgin Atlantic Economy Light
Virgin Atlantic Economy Light © Virgin Atlantic Airways

You will still enjoy the same great food, drink, and entertainment in a comfortable reclining economy seat. Compare Economy Light with Classic and Delight before booking your flights with Virgin Atlantic.

You asked: when can I select my seat with Virgin Atlantic economy? This depends on your fare: with Economy Light*, you can either choose for a fee in advance or for free you check in; with Economy Classic and Delight, you can choose for free in advance.

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Economy Classic

  • Ideal for: travellers with luggage and looking for more flexibility
  • Key features: checked bag + meals and snacks included

From choosing your seat for free in advance to checking in your case, this is a wonderful option for those who want a bit of both.

Virgin Atlantic Economy Classic
Virgin Atlantic Economy Classic © Virgin Atlantic Airways

A spacious reclining seat awaits, along with food, drink, and plenty of films to choose from in Economy Classic*. You will also be able to upgrade using your air miles. Compare Economy Classic with Light and Delight before booking your flights with Virgin Atlantic.

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Economy Delight

  • Ideal for: those looking for a little bit of luxury
  • Key features: Classic + extra legroom, Premium check in and more

From premium check in and priority boarding to the most generously-sized seat in economy with extra legroom included, this is the option for those who want to guarantee certain facilities and amenities without breaking the bank.

Virgin Atlantic Economy Delight
Virgin Atlantic Economy Delight © Virgin Atlantic Airways

Choose Economy Delight* for peace of mind when it comes to your checked luggage, and know that you will be able to pick your seat in advance as well.

There's also added flexibility with the options of changing or refunding your fare (depending on your precise ticket - check Ts&Cs) if necessary. Compare Economy Delight with Light and Classic before booking your flights with Virgin Atlantic.

More about economy cabins >>

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Introducing Premium

Let us introduce you to Virgin Atlantic's Premium fare - you may know it as Premium Economy, but following the reconstruction of the economy cabin, Premium, as it is now known, is Virgin Atlantic's more business focused offering.

As well as spacious leather seats, 21" wide with a 38" seat pitch, foot and head rests, anyone booking a Premium fare will get to enjoy the following benefits when flying with Virgin Atlantic:

  • free seat assignment in advance
  • dedicated check in and bag drop
  • greeted with complimentary drink and newspaper on board
  • space for working with a laptop power point
  • amenity kit on night flights
  • fully inflight entertainment system
  • three course dining with crockery
  • wifi (for a fee on selected flights)

More about Premium >>

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Virgin Atlantic's Upper class

Of course, if ultimate luxury is more your cup of tea, then Virgin Atlantic's Upper class is for you. From your chauffeur driven transfer* to and from the airport, to the private security channel, Clubhouse access*, and priority boarding, the experience begins before you even board the plane.

Once settled in your comfortable lie-flat seat-bed*, you can expect top notch service with pre-flight Champagne, personalised dining*, and all the movies you could wish for at your fingertips. Busy bees can even work through the flight thanks to at-seat laptop power as well.

Virgin Atlantic' Upper class is designed with personal space and comfort in mind, so you can count on a hassle free journey with just a bit of Virgin Atlantic's trademark flare thrown in.

More about Upper >>

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Virgin Atlantic's new economy cabins aim to please a wide variety of travellers from budget savvy adventure seekers to those after affordable little luxuries. You're sure to find a fare that suits you, whether you're heading to the US*, Caribbean*, Asia* or elsewhere. Check out our selection of latest Virgin Atlantic fare offers on flights worldwide, and get ready to experience the economy class in 2018.

Kirsten Henton

Kirsten Henton

Kirsten Henton is's editor. Kirsten writes, commissions and edits our travel features, liaising with our contributors and ensuring copy is spick-and-span. A member of the British Guild of Travel Writers, Kirsten also freelances writing articles on travel, history and the outdoors for titles such as Scotland Magazine and BBC Travel.

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