Virgin Atlantic to double cabin baggage over Christmas, organises festive choir

Virgin Atlantic is planning to double the complimentary baggage allowance on its domestic service, Little Red, from Boxing Day to February 2, The Edinburgh Reporter said in a report.

The baggage promotion will run from Boxing Day (December 26) to February 2 on flights between Aberdeen or Edinburgh and London Heathrow. Under the scheme, passengers traveling between Aberdeen or Edinburgh and London Heathrow can check in two 23kg bags each, plus additional sports luggage free of charge.

Additionally, Little Red flights to and from Aberdeen will be available for a sale fare from £99 for the same period, further reducing the cost over Christmas. Edinburgh return flights to Heathrow can be booked from just GBP88.

The additional baggage allowance for Little Red is intended to be helpful to shoppers, as well as those visiting family and friends over the festive period, allowing them to shop in London and transport the luggage for free.

Virgin Atlantic is also serving those last minute passengers traveling home for Christmas, with Little Red being the only public transport option for travel between London and Edinburgh on Christmas Day, with all other air and train services cancelled.

Over the past weekend, Little Red LIVE treated flyers from London to Edinburgh with a Christmas welcome from Neston based Community choir, Hip and Harmony.

The 11-strong choir’s Christmas classics included Winter Wonderland and White Christmas, complete with a beat boxing Santa Claus.

Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Atlantic founder and president said: ‘We launched Virgin Atlantic Little Red this year to shake up domestic flying in the UK. Our beat box Santa and festive choir is another example of our unrivalled customer service. In true Virgin Atlantic spirit we did something a little different by providing our passengers with some additional festive cheer and fun while they fly! ‘

Virgin Atlantic Little Red LIVE was launched in August, when a series of Little Red flights between Heathrow and Edinburgh were transformed into the 274th Edinburgh Festival Fringe venue, hosting stand up performances by popular comedians, Joe Lycett and Lee Nelson, in the air.

Virgin Atlantic’s Little Red registers 250,000 passengers in six months

Virgin Atlantic’s new domestic service, Little Red, is celebrating success after flying more than 250,000 passengers in the first six months of its launch.

Virgin Atlantic launched Little Red in March, with the service also operating from Aberdeen and Edinburgh to Heathrow, with onward links to popular destinations like Shanghai, San Francisco and Las Vegas.

Mr. Joe Thompson, who has been charged with launching and operating the service, reportedly told the Manchester Evening News, ‘I’m proud of Little Red. Look at what we’ve achieved over the last six months, building a new branch of our business that customers say they are loving, that’s operating brilliantly, and seeing passenger numbers growing.’

Commenting on the launch of Little Red, Mr Thompson said: ‘When we launched it, it was something new and different for Virgin Atlantic, for us to go into the domestic routes after 30 years of long haul.

‘There was a certain amount of nervousness. What I’m really excited about is that we have managed to find a new way of flying in short haul.’

Virgin Atlantic deploys 174-passenger A320s to take four round trips from Manchester to Heathrow every day. Nearly 75 percent of all passengers catch connecting international flights.

What makes Little Red unique is its touch of ‘glamour and style,’ said Mr. Thompson, who became director of short haul and new venture performance in March. ‘You don’t see much of that in the travel arena these days.

‘We really think about what the customer wants. The basics are there – we operate on time, with good connections, but there are also the twists and quirks that really surprise people. These include handing out Love Heart sweets, an extra piece of free hold luggage, and a free sports gear allowance too.’

Mr. Thompson, who was previously in charge of the global airport operation, added that Virgin Atlantic will also increase capacity on its long haul flights from Manchester.

‘Manchester is a growing market and we are always looking at future opportunities. There are a wealth of possible destinations and we are not ruling out direct routes to China,’ he said.

Virgin Atlantic brings live entertainment to flyers at 30,000 feet

Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic is set to launch Little Red Live, a series of live in-flight entertainment slots at 30,000 feet, for some of its passengers travelling on the Virgin Atlantic Little Red domestic service.

Passengers on selected Little Red flights from London Heathrow to Edinburgh and Manchester will be treated to exclusive live music and comedy sets from some of the rising stars in entertainment.

Little Red Live will be launched with a series of stand-up gigs during the popular Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Virgin Atlantic will also be bringing Little Red to the Fringe, with the sponsorship of Venue150 @ EICC, one of the festival’s largest venues. Then, in September, Little Red Live will launch a series of secret acoustic music gigs, honouring Scotland and Manchester’s rich music scenes.

Little Red service flies from London Heathrow six times daily to Edinburgh, three times daily to Aberdeen, as well as four daily round-trips between Manchester and Heathrow.

The Little Red LIVE line-up will be announced during August on Virgin Atlantic’s facebook and twitter channels, but the flight details will remain a secret, making it a unique and surprising experience for passengers.

Besides entertainment, Little Red will offer Virgin Atlantic’s customer service, including a free checked-in baggage allowance of 23kg, free carriage of sports equipment, pre-assigned seating, complimentary snacks and drinks and also hot breakfasts on early morning flights. Tyrrells will provide special Little Red ‘Plane crisps’ made from miniature potatoes, Bacardi Martini will provide a variety of exclusive miniature spirits, and Scotland’s favourite soft drink, Irn Bru, will be available on flights to and from Scotland.

Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Atlantic founder and president, said, ‘We launched Virgin Atlantic Little Red to shake up domestic flying in the UK and this latest activity highlights why our customer service is second to none. In true Virgin Atlantic spirit we’re doing something a little different and providing our passengers with a line-up of gigs to ensure we offer a truly unforgettable flying experience on Little Red.’

Virgin names new domestic airline ‘Little Red’

The aviation interests of UK-based Virgin are set to increase with the launch of a new domestic airline at the end of this month.

The company has announced that the new airline, which will make its first flight on March 31, will be known as Little Red. Following the airline’s launch in Manchester on the last day of this month, it will be rolled out in Edinburgh on April 5 and Aberdeen on April 9.

From its inception the airline will operate four round trips per day between London Heathrow and Manchester, six round trips per day between Heathrow and Edinburgh, and three round trips per day between Heathrow and Aberdeen.

Virgin has long been a rival to British Airways, particularly on trans-Atlantic routes, and now it hopes to be as effective in taking on BA in the domestic market. The company also sees the new services as providing lucrative short-haul connections to its long-haul routes.

Little Red is not a no-frills service; passengers will have pre-assigned seats, a 23kg check-in luggage allowance, hot breakfasts provided on early morning flights and complimentary snacks and drinks.

The president of Virgin Atlantic, Richard Branson, said, ‘Virgin Atlantic has been on an incredible journey since we started with a single plane 29 years ago.

‘Little Red represents the next step on that journey as we go head to head with British Airways to provide domestic flights that deliver Virgin Atlantic’s rock and roll spirit as well as real value for money.

‘The European Commission recognised that a British Airways monopoly would be undeniably bad for consumers, and Virgin Atlantic Little Red will stop British Airways dominating routes and driving higher prices.’