For the entirety of Virgin Atlantic’s existence a signature part of the Upper Class experience has been a complimentary transfer to and from the airport.
Virgin also has a dedicated Upper Class Wing Check-in area at London Heathrow Terminal 3 for passengers arriving by car.
Complimentary transfers are currently available for any Upper Class passengers booking tickets in J, C and D booking classes.
It encompasses a complimentary chauffeur car to and from the airport and, for those passengers travelling to/from London airports, the additional choice of a complimentary limo bike or Gatwick/Heathrow Express tickets.
Virgin Atlantic has now decided to withdraw all complimentary ground transfers for Upper Class passengers who book flights from Wednesday 1 July 2020.
Passengers can still choose to purchase a car transfer service through Virgin Atlantic, as those passengers who are not eligible for a complimentary transfer can do at the moment.
For the avoidance of doubt, all existing bookings will be honoured. As will any eligible bookings made up to 1 July 2020. The Upper Class Wing at London Heathrow Terminal 3 will continue to operate.
Virgin has cited evolving customer needs and the fact that of the 20% of Upper Class passengers who are eligible for a complimentary transfer, only 50% take advantage of it.
Virgin has also cited the desire to provide a consistent experience with its transatlantic joint business partners Air France, Delta and KLM.
Undoubtedly, cost is also a factor. It also has to be said that with increasing environmental scrutiny of aviation, complimentary chauffeur transfers are out of step with the times.