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Virgin Atlantic to launch hand baggage only fares

The British-based carrier, founded by Sir Richard Branson, will offer cheaper fares on routes, where passengers can only take cabin luggage and aren't able to choose their seat in advance.


Virgin Atlantic is to launch its first hand-baggage only ticket in a huge revamp of its economy service.

The British-based carrier, founded by Sir Richard Branson, will offer cheaper fares on its routes that are similar to low-cost competitors, where passengers can only take cabin luggage and aren't able to choose their seat in advance.

In addition, Virgin Atlantic plan to offer three new types of economy ticket that they say will allow customers to choose a fare that suits their budget and travel style.

Virgin Atlantic is to launch its first hand-baggage only ticket in a new fare called economy light

The first is the economy light option, which is the cheapest fare and only allows passengers to take hand-luggage on board.

The airline say this will make long-haul travel affordable and accessible for millenials and those going on city breaks.

Another ticket is economy classic, similar to the current economy option only it will now offer a free seat assignment.

Meanwhile economy delight tickets will come with a seat with 34 inch legroom, priority check in and boarding as well as advanced seat assignment.

Virgin Atlantic plan to introduce the new fares in the spring but has so far not revealed any ticket prices.

Craig Kreeger, the airline's chief executive, said: 'We’re unveiling the biggest change to our economy cabin in over a decade – launching three new ways to fly, and a host of innovations on the ground and in the air as part of a wider £300 million investment in our customers.

Economy classic tickets will be similar to the current economy option only it will now offer a free seat assignment

In economy delight, passengers will get a seat with extra leg room and an advance seat assignment

'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.

'We always want flying with Virgin Atlantic to be more special than other airlines, and 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.'

While Sir Richard Branson added: 'When I started Virgin Atlantic I wanted to challenge the status quo and make flying amazing – regardless of which cabin you’re in - and that’s still true today.

'We’re unveiling a multimillion pound investment to make Virgin Atlantic’s economy cabin the best of any UK airline and setting the bar for others to follow.'

Virgin Atlantic's announcement comes just days after British Airways also revealed they would be offering super-cheap no-frills fares from April onwards on their transatlantic flights.

Again these fares are for hand-baggage only and passengers won't be able to choose their seats in advance.

Virgin Atlantic plan to introduce the new fares in the spring but has so far not revealed any ticket prices

However, the size of BA's long-haul seats will be reduced by 1.5 inches, but will see 12 more seats added, according to industry experts.

The World Traveller section – the company’s full-service economy class on flights beyond Europe – will now have ten seats in every row, instead of nine.  

The new fares on both BA and Virgin Atlantic will see them go head-to-head with the likes of Norwegian and Wow Air.

Norwegian's no-frills fares include a 10kg cabin bag allowance. For an extra £50 passengers can check in a bag, reserve a seat and get a meal.

Likewise, Wow Air's bargain basement fare does not include meals or baggage. 

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