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Virgin Atlantic makes further improvements to on-board food and drink

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Virgin Atlantic has announced further improvements to its on-board catering, with hot meals and special meals back in all classes.

Virgin Atlantic has also confirmed it would be restarting flights to Delhi, Tel Aviv, Atlanta, Mumbai and Lagos this month. Here are the planned schedules:

Virgin Atlantic makes further improvements to on-board food and drink

Hong Kong – 3 weekly
New York – daily
Los Angeles – daily
Barbados – 1 weekly
Shanghai – 2 weekly
Miami – 3 weekly
Delhi from 1st September – 3 weekly
Tel Aviv from 6th September – 3 weekly
Lagos from 10th September – 4 weekly
Atlanta from 15th September – 3 weekly
Mumbai from 16th September – 4 weekly

Further destinations are likely to be added in late September and October. This article outlines the schedules Virgin appears to be planning but has yet to fully announce.

You can book on the Virgin Atlantic website here.

Virgin Atlantic improves its Covid catering

Virgin has announced further changes to the meal service in all cabin classes.

Virgin Atlantic already offered a decent temporary meal service. Whilst it initially launched services in July without alcohol service, it quickly moved to implement improvements.

The latest iteration sees all passengers receiving a choice of hot meals as well as an improved choice of alcoholic drinks.

Virgin Atlantic coronavirus catering

Economy and Premium meal service

Economy and Premium passengers get a choice of three hot meals with cheese, biscuits and a dessert pot. These come in a ‘Fly safe, eat well’ cardboard box.

A choice of alcohol is also improving with the addition of miniature liquors and mixers in addition to beers and wines.

Virgin Atlantic coronavirus catering

Virgin is reintroducing its second meal service in the form of Eric Lanlard’s Mile High Tea. On night flights you get a breakfast box with yoghurt, fruit and a warm pastry.

‘Wander Wall’ snacks will return for Premium passengers whilst economy passenger get an additional snack in their meal boxes.

Virgin Atlantic coronavirus catering

Upper Class meal service

Upper Class passengers will now receive a choice of three hot meals (in addition to any special meals – see below) on all flights. This includes a ciabatta roll, dessert and cheese plate and crackers.

Meals in Upper Class are delivered on a single tray rather than a box.

Champagne, miniature liquors and mixers will also be joining the alcohol provision which previously only included beers and wines.

The second meal service is being re-introduced with Eric Lanlard’s Mile High Tea returning accompanied by a glass of champagne. On night flights, the second meal service will be a choice of hot breakfasts accompanied by a selection of fresh fruit and pastries.

On board snacks are also returning, with a selection of Corkers crisps, Olly’s Olives, Sweet & Salty cloud corn and more.

Special meals

Virgin is reintroducing special meals on its flights, starting with kosher and lacto-ovo vegetarian meals which are now available. Vegan, halal, low lactose, gluten friendly and other choices will follow from 1st October.

It goes without saying that this is a BIG and necessary improvement for many passengers who aren’t able to eat the ‘default’ meals. British Airways is still not catering for the dietary and religious requirements of many of its passengers.


These changes appear to have left British Airways in the dust when it comes to on-board catering. Crucially, Virgin Atlantic is offering hot meals in all classes and offering special meals.

British Airways, on the other hand, has yet to update its initial Covid catering and is still offering the same boxes filled with mostly cold food. The airline is not offering special meals and only provides a hot meal selection to First class passengers.

That said, BA told us back in June that it intented to look again at its offering during September. Hopefully Virgin Atlantic’s catering improvements will encourage British Airways to step up.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (December 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, the Reward+ card has a bonus of 15,000 Virgin Points):

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

A generous earning rate for a free card at 0.75 points per £1 Read our full review

You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for a year and comes with 20,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 20,000 Virgin Points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Points

(Want to earn more Virgin Points?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

Comments (34)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • GaryC says:

    I love all these comments about “switching over to virgin”, “voting with your feet” and contrasting dining on a plane to experiences at the Ivy.

    I seriously doubt anyone, when it comes to it, is really going to abandon BA because they’ve prioritised a warmed up chicken korma in Y or cheese board in J, over BA’s route network, superior FF program, lounge network and financial stability, not to mention the fact that BA actually refund your money without waiting many months.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love flying Virgin, have had great onboard experiences and the T3 Clubhouse is the best lounge in Heathrow (including the CCR in this). But I wouldn’t trust them with my money at the current time, and even pre-Covid they were only the airline of choice if travel policy dictated, or as a novelty if BA EC status was achieved.

    • AndyGWP says:

      Spoke to BA about my refund earlier – they’re quoting 12 weeks for those requiring ‘manual calculation’ (ie. in my case, an Avios 2 for 1 booked at 355 days)

      • GaryC says:

        Sounds unfortunate. I’ve had numerous bookings cancelled, normally refunded in under 7 days.

    • cinereus says:

      Sadly it seems a lot of readers of this site do exactly that on a regular basis. The amount of people who get excited about the bog standard free crap you get at an airport lounge or the pre covid meals on F flights beggars belief.

  • Tom says:

    This surely means that BA now has the worst F on the planet?

    Flew BA long-haul F yesterday. Food and drink were a joke, little better than Economy. No pre-takeoff champagne, no turndown service. Everything served on paper, in plastic or in cardboard.

    BA figures you are paying for the distance between you and the other pax.

    • Jennifer says:

      I flew club class on 5th August from Kingston, Jamaica, approximately 20 hours. The food was cold, served in a plastic tray with plastic cutlery. No pre drink, except warm bottled water. I asked why plastic cutleries and was told that they have not used them since 9/11. Breakfast wasn’t any better.

      With the terrible good and lack of alcohol, I dread to think what was served in economy.

      • Tom says:

        Some other airlines have maintained their standards. For BA this is all about saving money.

  • Plane Flyer says:

    “British Airways, on the other hand, has yet to update its initial Covid catering”

    Incorrect. The initial Covid catering was introduced in March, and was a cold snack in a bag in all cabins. Updated catering (hot elements and class differentiation) happened in June, so we’re on the 2nd version of Covid catering.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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