Many of us have a holiday booked with Virgin Holidays for the next few months. With the uncertainty around Covid-19, do normal rules apply? Can you cancel? What are your options?

We have Las Vegas booked for 21st June for a week which we sadly will not be going on but Virgin Holidays have not cancelled it yet. What can we do?

UPDATE: Virgin cancelled our holiday on 30th May. Now to get the refund, see our guide how to get a refund for a cancelled flight or holiday.

If you have a holiday booked with Virgin Holidays or any package holiday that is not cancelled, but you don’t want to go. DO NOT cancel it yourself without reading the info below to find out why.

There is also a booked with LoveHolidays special guide here.

Virgin have announced some flights restarting from 20th July 2020

Keep your eye out for any of the situations which mean you can cancel for free. These are detailed in the How to get a refund for a cancelled flight post. Basically if any ‘significant change’ is made to your booking then you have the right to not accept the change and are due a full refund if you want.

Significant changes include:

  • Any change to your flight time of 3 hours or more.
  • Any change of Airport.
  • Significant change to your accommodation.

Have a look at the T&Cs to see what else is classed as a significant change. Virgins T&Cs are here.

So it’s worth holding on and see if any of these changes happen nearer to your departure date.

If you have a booking from Manchester to Las Vegas, or out of Gatwick, log in to Manage my booking. Many customers have had their flight auto moved to Heathrow. With cabin class downgrades and seat selection changes. No notifications have been received. There’s a special Booked from Manchester post here if you booked to fly from now pulled Manchester Airport.

Why would you need to cancel your holiday?

  • Safety. Even if International travel is allowed to resume, there are many places that we would not feel comfortable travelling to so soon. Las Vegas is one of those places.
  • Money. Finances have taken a big hit, even though we were prepared for a sudden drop in income, this is beyond preparation. Las Vegas spending money is not a priority.
  • Time. When our working life gets back to normal, we will be busy working (and earning much needed money) a week off is the last thing we need.
  • Family. There are family and friends that we have not seen now for so long, the first few months after lockdown will be spent spending time with them.
  • Other reasons. My youngest son is booked for Vegas too for his 21st birthday with a friend. He is joining the Army later this year, we don’t know when now as the recruitment process is on hold. He certainly will not be able to choose dates to rebook.
Virgin plane pic

What are the Virgin holidays cancellation rules?

If Virgin cancel your holiday then you receive a full refund.

If you cancel your holiday then normal cancellation rules for Virgin holidays apply. The amount of refund is based on the number of days before travel that you cancel.

 More than 84 daysLoss of deposit
57-84 days30%
37-56 days50%
22-36 days70%
7-21 days90%
Less than 7 days100%

Is there any Special Covid 19 cancellation help from Virgin Holidays?

Virgin Holidays are emailing customers with a ‘rebook with confidence’ letter. The email says;

Hello Tracy,     We hope you’re keeping safe and well at home. We’re contacting all our customers to let them know the current status of their booking, their choices at this time and the best ways to contact us.
We’re reaching out right now because, although your holiday has not been cancelled, our flexible policy does mean you are able to rebook your holiday for a later time with no change fee. If you’d like to take up this option, you can let us know by filling in this form, and we’ll call you back to get this changed for you.
It’s worth noting that if the situation changes and your existing holiday can no longer go ahead under our policy, you would then be eligible for a full refund and we will contact you again via email if this is the case.
Right now, our contact centre is only open to inbound calls from people who are due to travel in the next 72 hours, so we’re unable to help you right away. Rest assured, we will be in touch with you via email if there’s any information about your trip you need to know. Please be aware we’re working through an unprecedented number of rebooking requests. But we will get to you, we promise.
Many thanks for all your understanding and patience.

Is this any use if you need to cancel?

  • There is no cancellation option.
  • Well the fee that they have waived is £150 per person so that helps.
  • You have to pay the price difference for the new booking.

We looked at the same Las Vegas Holiday for the same dates next year and the price was £2000 more.

Why don’t they just cancel the booking and give refunds?

The whole travel industry is collapsing, cashflow is non existent and all travel companies are trying to protect their businesses by keeping hold of the money they have, whilst having no income from new bookings for the foreseeable future.

They will leave the cancellation until the last possible minute. This is really unhelpful as you have to plan, you have parking, excursions etc booked but you just have to be patient.

Will Virgin go bust?

Virgin Australia have already gone into voluntary administration. There is a chance that Virgin Atlantic will follow, Virgin have requested £500 million of government assistance. This has been rejected and a new request has to be submitted. If investors or the government don’t help then Virgin will go bust.

Surely we can’t allow that?

Virgin Atlantic employs over 30,000 people worldwide. The airline and holiday experience is excellent. For all those wonderful staff to lose their livelihoods would be devastating, and for us to have no better option than British Airways would be grim. We need healthy competition and choice for our travel.

Virgin is 50% owned by Delta, a US Company and the structure, including Richard Bransons involvement does not make it easy for the Government to get involved.

Virgin A350-1000 loft
A350-1000 loft

Richard Branson has published this open letter which needs to be read and acted on.

What happens to my holiday if Virgin goes bust?

  • Your holiday will be immediately cancelled
  • You will be due a full refund – as the holiday is protected by ATOL, though this will take a while.
  • You will be able to claim the refund quicker by doing a Section 75 chargeback on your credit card.

Can I claim on my holiday insurance if I decide to cancel?

This is where you will have to contact your insurer as terms and conditions vary. Have a read of our guides which cover travel insurance inclusions and cancellation info. However none of the reasons listed at the start would be covered unless;

  • Safety. The FCO advises against travel to the Country
  • Money. You are now unemployed from a job you have been in for over 12 months.
  • Time. No exceptions
  • Family / Health. You would be covered if you or a close family member is ill with a non pre-existing condition.

So what can you do if you still can’t go?

Wait it out and hope that Virgin Holidays cancel your holiday.

Don’t hope for them going bust (even though you’ll get a refund) as we should be doing all we can to save this fantastic, customer focussed Airline.

A world without Virgin Airlines would be a less fun world.

Let me know what you are doing with your Holiday, will you cancel or wait? Where were you going? Leave us a comment, share your experience as this will help other readers.

For other ways to travel smarter including, fights, upgrades and travel tips, check out our How to Travel Smarter guide.

Head on over to our about us page to find out about Mind over Money Matters, who we are and what our mission is.

Do subscribe for weekly updates of new articles with ways to help you Spend Smarter and Travel Smarter.

Follow us on  TwitterFacebook and Instagram for instant post notifications, shares and a bit of nonsense.

You can also get in touch via the contact us page and get involved with the comments, ask us anything, we are happy to help.

30 comments

  1. How do we go about cancelling our holiday in December we can’t call up as we aren’t travelling in the next 72 hours, there’s no email address and none of their stores are open! How do we cancel?

    1. Hi Ava
      If you cancel then you forfeit your deposit. I’d say wait until 85 days before you are due to go – this is just before the cancellation amount increases. Between now and then it is possible that either Virgin will cancel or make a significant change to your trip that effectively means they cancel and you can get a full refund (so you don’t lose your deposit)
      By that time (September I am guessing) then the situation is likely to be far more normal and you will be able to contact them by email or phone or on ‘Manage my booking’ to cancel. At the moment they are even taking 6 days to reply to WhatsApp messages. You will be able to cancel then.
      Definitely wait. If you really can’t then send a WhatsApp message (and save it and take a screenshot for evidence) They will eventually reply with confirmation.
      All the best, Tracy

  2. We have tried again and again to get in touch with virgin we were due to pay the full balance this week but cannot make any contact with them what so ever
    They have our money of over 1300 pounds
    Disney have cancelled Disney plan aswell as changes to parks so the holiday we booked is not going to be the same
    Virgin also took 200 pound for up trade to seats we’ve even lost that.

    1. Hi Christine
      Send a WhatsApp or Twitter saying – We have not been able to contact in any way to discus our booking ref xxxx – the balance of our holiday is due this week. However due to the significant change made by Virgin to our booking, we consider this holiday cancelled by yourselves. Therefore please arrange refund of our deposit and monies paid for seat upgrade. Please be clear that WE are not cancelling our holiday so we are not forfeiting the deposit. YOU are cancelling the holiday due to significant change. If you do not consider this to be the case then please contact me, I expect the balance due date to be extended should you not be able to contact me before it is due.
      You will not get a quick response but you have logged your issue and it will get resolved eventually. Please keep in touch, all the best, Tracy

      1. Hi Tracy – do you have the WhatsApp number I can use to do this? We are in the same boat though our balance is not due for another 3 weeks however due to the recent changes made at Disney the holiday will now be significantly changed.

        1. Im supposed to be going in October and due to pay balance end of July. I managed to successfully get through to VH via WhatsApp – key to getting a reply is to resubmit your response to their automated bounceback message.
          They confirmed back to me that my Disney hotel is no longer available in October nor is available for rebooking next year. They have offered the alternative for the dates I want to rebook for next year which I cant afford (extra £1500 for flights only!!!) and other dates I cannot go on. They wont cancel my existing holiday even though the hotel isnt available and are pushing for me to cancel and lose my deposit.

          *update* they are now potentially offering me a credit voucher for my deposit – I have asked for a refund instead

          1. Virgin are now giving the option to cancel your Disney holiday if you’re booked to go before end October 2020 with a full refund – 120 day refund process though.

          2. Wow that’s brilliant news, things change so often. Hopefully you can rebook next year at a decent price. All the best, Tracy

  3. My Florida holiday balance is due on 12 July £3,100. We should fly out on 4 October. I was thinking of changing the holiday to next October however the price for the same holiday is not £8,000 as opposed to £4,200. I now prefer to cancel and book with someone else. Do you suggest l pay the balance and wait for virgin to cancel as l very much doubt the holiday will go ahead or cancel now via any means l can WhatsApp, email or twitter and lose my deposit of £700. I’ve paid a further £500 too, would l get this back?

    1. Hi Zoe
      If you cancel now you will lose your deposit only. You will get the £500 back. Question to ask yourself is – Would you be happy to go on holiday on 4th October if it was not cancelled?
      If yes then pay the balance on 12th and keep your fingers crossed. If Virgin cancel you will get a full refund, if they don’t then you will be going on holiday.
      If your answer is no then you have to decide whether to cancel on 12th July by not paying the balance, losing your deposit. Or pay the balance and hope it will be cancelled, then you will get a full refund.
      If it is not cancelled, could you claim on your insurance?
      You have a couple of weeks to decide DON’T do anything now. By 12th July you may have a better idea whether it is likely to go ahead or not.
      I have friends with Florida booked for first week in September who have convinced themselves they are going. Personally I think September is unlikely. October more likely.
      Another consideration is that in August you will likely be given the option to take a voucher if you don’t want to go. Although prices are sky high now, that may not be the case early next year.
      Good luck, let me know what you decide, Trace

    2. Hi Tracy
      It would seem that virgin are sending emails saying you are able to cancel For holidays up to end October 2020
      but only to the people who are staying in Disney hotels or have purchased parks tickets through them. We have a Package but a villa n flights no tickets purchased as yet. Do you know if we will be able to cancel too?

      1. Hi Zoe, hmmm not really. I’d expect them to cancel all or at least make a significant change meaning it is effectively cancelled. It’s worth sending an email / WhatsApp saying you are aware hols are being cancelled and you’ve not been able to get confirmation that yours is still going ahead. Therefore you assume yours will be cancelled and the balance not payable. Say – If this is not the case then you expect them to to contact you and extend the cancellation dates accordingly so you are not liable for cancellation costs while you are waiting for contact to be made.

        Keep me posted

        All the best

        Tracy

  4. Hi there, great article!

    We are supposed to be going to thailand in october and booked through VH back in January.

    Ive noticed on my manage my booking VH still have us flying from Gatwick yet Qatar Airlines have us flying from Heathrow.

    Have been trying to get hold of someone ar VH for 2 months but like everyone else we cant get through & only standard messages are sent back.

    Having read your article am i correct in assuming this now constitutes as a cancelled flight? We have only paid the £600 deposit & the balance is due 29th july

    Regards

    1. Hi David. Thanks ? With a Virgin Holiday T&Cs state – Airport changes generally so Manchester to London yes but not London changes. I know it’s crap- Gatwick to Heathrow is a major change but not according to Virgin’s T&Cs.

      Keep a look out for flight time changes. With a package holiday anything over 12 hours (from the original time) is ‘significant change’ even if its done a few hours each change. Thats 12 hours total so if its 6 hours later going and 6 hours sooner coming back, that counts.

      (Flight only it is 3 hours change and any airport change)

      You have a bit of time till your balance is due so there may well be changes in the meantime.

      I will update the post to make this clearer, thanks for asking the question.

      Keep me posted

      All the best, Tracy

  5. Hi there!
    Im in a predicament, where Im due to pay the balance at end July for my Disney/Orlando holiday October 2020.

    From what Disney have released so far, my hotel (All Stars resorts) is not open and isnt even available if I choose to rebook for August 2021, so in effect Virgin cannot provide my booked accommodation.

    Of course Im still waiting on communication from VH, have submitted the ‘request rebooking’ form and have WhatsApped them several time but get the same old bounceback about priority customers date first etc.

    Do I go ahead and pay the balance, knowing that its likely my holiday will be cancelled but wont find that out til 2wks before flying and hope for a refund? I dont really want to rebook for August next year now as the hotel I want isnt available and im sure the cost difference will also be ridiculous.

    Decisions decisions!

    1. *update* Virgin are now allowing Disney holidays to be cancelled – I have now cancelled mine and will get my deposit refunded albeit in 120days

      1. Hi Nicola
        I’m in exactly the same boat as you!
        How did you go about the cancellation to get the full refund?
        Thanks

  6. Very helpful thread. How do you cancel a holiday please? I can’t find any email address to send cancellation to. I think I’d prefer to do that and lose a deposit rather than pay the full amount in 3 weeks time and have a really bad holiday in Orlando.

    1. Hi Margaret
      When is your holiday? Nicola in previous comment has said that Virgin are giving the option to cancel holidays up to end of October 2020.
      WhatsApp seems to be the best way to contact them, they take ages to reply.
      Best leave it till the day before your balance is due and decide then
      All the best
      Tracy

    2. Thanks Tracy. Holiday is 17-25 October but I haven’t heard/seen anything about being able to cancel. I’ve tried to contact VH today via WhatsApp thanks to this thread. Do I have to send a letter in the post to cancel? There doesn’t seem to be another option to make sure they have it in time before balance is due.

      1. Hi Margaret
        No you don’t need to send a letter. You can send a WhatsApp or do it through manage my booking. Please do it the day before your balance is due though – not before – as you may get lucky and have Virgin cancel – then you’ll get your deposit back (eventually)
        Keep me posted.
        All the best
        Tracy

  7. Hello I’ve booked all a package holiday to New York flying out 25th October. I have asked what I would lose if I cancel before the 84 days and have been told it will be over £1800 due to the hotel being non refundable. I never realised this when I booked and I paid in full as I booked on line. I definitely do not want to go as the virus is still bad out there and also there’s quite a bit of unrest in New York. Should I cancel and lose the money or hold out for Virgin to possibly cancel ? Obviously if they don’t cancel I risk losing the whole lot which would be £3500. Thanks

    1. Hi Karen
      This is outrageous and certainly not clear from looking at the T&Cs – you are supposed to ask if additional cancellation charges apply. This is definitely one that can be fought in court – unfair terms and conditions. Was this definitely not advised on on any paperwork when you booked? Personally I’d request an extension to the balance due date and say you do not accept the additional cancellation charges saying they were not clearly available on the website at the time of booking. Booking which have have terms which fall outside the published T&Cs should be clearly marked and customers directed accordingly. If you cancel now you will have less chance of getting your money back unless you get them to agree to the deposit only amount. It’s worth trying again. Failing that – I would expect them to cancel the holiday in September of offer vouchers if you don’t want to go. So I’d pay the balance (on credit card) and wait. And I would do that because my insurance will cover me cancelling my trip if Virgin didn’t. So check your insurance and see if there are any ways you would be covered. Good luck and keep me posted, Tracy

      1. Hello and thank you for your reply. So firstly Virgin said that when I booked this on line the fact that the deposit was larger was the indication that the hotel part was non refundable?? I have nothing to say it was non refundable. So they are saying that I should have known this ? Which I didn’t. There’s nothing in manage my booking that says it’s non refundable . I paid in full £3501.52 on the day I booked so I have no balance to pay. They have said if I cancel now before the 84 days then I will lose £1826.15. I’m devastated as this was money left to me when my mum passed away. I excitedly booked never realising I would be in this predicament. I also contacted my insurance this morning but they couldn’t help. I really feel at a loss. Should I just sit it out ? October is quite a way off . Thanks so much Alison

        1. Hi Alison. Oh that’s heartbreaking, so sorry that you lost your Mum. And that your trip (which you will get to go on sometime) is turning into a nightmare. It’s sly from Virgin, very sly, I can see how you wouldn’t have known this from the deposit amount – especially if you paid in full at the time of booking. What hotel is it? I’d find out whether they are open. If they are not then the no-cancellation does not apply anyway. Also check if your flight is still taking bookings. I would wait, but then I would also probably go in October if the holiday went ahead. It’s looking at which option would keep you awake at night least. Only you can decide. We would wait but that’s just us – it would make me sick to lose £1800 now for nothing when there still are options. Please make your own decision though – it’s your £3500. Trace

          1. Hello. Update. They’ve sent me an email this morning to reduce my loss if I cancel to £1289 instead of £1826. I complained that I had nothing to prove that the hotel was non refundable. What do you think
            Alison

  8. We have booked for Florida in feb 2021 only paid deposit virgin have said we must pay for park tickets now, we must decide which park we want to visit each day but don’t have a guarantee of getting in due to number restrictions, We paid a deposit of £1500 and they have requested the full cost of14 day park tickets. For a family of four. We booked in feb 2020 . What should we do . This is not the holiday we had planned .

    1. Hi Hilary
      Was this mentioned anywhere when you booked? Paying for tickets 6 months in advance seems unreasonable under the circumstances.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *