NEWS: Virgin reopens onboard bars & US grades the UK as “Do not travel”

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As England marks “Freedom Day” with the lifting of most of the Government’s Covid restrictions, bars and restaurants across the country are not alone in offering customers increased freedom.  From today, the world’s highest bars on-board Virgin Atlantic’s aircraft will also reopen for the first time in 15 months. They have been closed to customers since almost the start of the pandemic. Virgin’s bars are an iconic part of their Upper Class service. A chance to stretch your legs away from your seat or chat to fellow travellers with a drink or two. 

The Loft bar – photo by Virgin Atlantic

The airline’s social spaces, which are open to those travelling in Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class cabin, will reopen on all Green and Amber Virgin Atlantic routes across the airline’s worldwide network today, including Antigua, Barbados and Grenada. 

All of Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class cabins have a unique bar space to gather, grab a drink or dine with friends. Customers travelling on Virgin Atlantic’s newest aircraft, the Airbus A350, will have the latest concept, known as The Loft.  As the largest social space in the airline’s fleet, The Loft offers a relaxing social area with sofa like seating where customers can settle in to watch a show or the live tailcam on the 32 inch TV. 

Bar options are also on board the airline’s Airbus A330 and Boeing 787s. 

Redeeming using miles on Virgin Atlantic Upper Class availibility

Upper Class on board bar B787


Corneel Koster, Chief Customer and Operations Officer at Virgin Atlantic said,

“Our on-board bars and social spaces are a signature part of our Upper Class experience so I’m delighted we’re finally able to reopen them to our customers, where they can enjoy a drink and catch up with friends.  I know our cabin crew teams can’t wait to get back to providing our customers with the full Upper Class service we’re famous for and that’s been missed by many over the last 15 months.”

To ensure the continued safety of its customers and people masks will still be required within the social spaces unless eating or drinking, with social distancing remaining in place where possible.

Last week, Virgin Atlantic moved back to its home in Terminal Three, following a 15 month absence, allowing its customers to enjoy Clubhouse once more. You can read more about what’s on offer in the Clubhouse here. 


US downgrades the UK to level 4 – Do not travel – what does this mean for reopening the border?

The US’s CDC has changed the warning level on the UK almost as much as the UK has done with Portugal! After being given level 3 in May, we have today now been downgraded to level 4 which means do not travel to the UK due to the Covid situation. This may sound alarming but it is not the same as the FCDO warnings here. It does not affect travel insurance and it doesn’t prevent people travelling here. 

We are expecting an announcement about when the UK-US border could reopen after Joe Biden’s comments last week. However, while this is not necessarily a good turn of events, it doesn’t mean all hope is lost. There are several countries on the level 4 list which are not banned such as the UAE which is why the whole edict is so ridiculous. Either do it based on the Covid situation in all countries or get rid of it completely! Time will tell which direction President Biden goes in, hopefully in the next few days.