Per this FlyerTalk thread, it appears as if Virgin Atlantic has updated their seating policy page, and will soon begin charging for advance seat assignments:

Between 18 December 2013 and 30 January 2014 you will only be able to assign seats for flights departing on or before 01 March 2104.  For most flights between 01 February 2014 until 31 May 2014 seats will be available to select 30 days before departure and from 01 June seats will be available from time of booking.  Seats can be assigned through Manage Flights which is available up to 24 hours before departure.

• From 01 April 2014, customers flying between London Gatwick and Las Vegas will be able to pay to choose seats up to 336 days in advance. If you’re travelling to or from Tokyo you’ll also be able to choose seats 336 days in advance, free of charge.

• From 01 April 2014 exit row and extra legroom seats will be available to choose and buy from the online seat map up to 336 days in advance, on all routes.

• From 01 May 2014 customers flying to our Africa, Asia, Caribbean and Australian destinations will be able to pay to choose seats up to 336 days in advance.

• From 01 June 2014 customers flying on all routes will be able to pay to choose their seats up to 336 days in advance.

Please note: If you already have a seat selected for a flight that departs either before or after 01 April 2014 you will be able to keep it.

How much will advanced seat assignment cost?
The cost to assign a seat will be from £25 per person per flight (£50 per round trip) on Virgin Atlantic long haul flights.  This is with the exception of our Tokyo route which will remain free of charge.  There is no charge on Virgin Atlantic Little Red UK domestic flights.

Please note: For now you won’t be able to pay to choose your seat using Miles or Miles plus money, but we hope to be able to offer you this soon.

It’s disappointing to see them following in the footsteps of British Airways. They didn’t explicitly state whether they’d also charge for Upper Class seat assignments, though my assumption is that they will, since British Airways also charges for business class seat assignments. They also didn’t clarify whether any elite members are exempt.

Lastly, could they really roll out these changes in any more confusing of a way?!

  1. December 16th, 2013 at 4:06 am

    johnny5a said,

    BA do not charge for FF on OW Sapphire and Emerald. If you’re OW Ruby you can assign seats 7 days in advance. If you’re travelling with infant there’s no charge either.

    Will Virgin allow free assignments for their FF’s?

  2. December 16th, 2013 at 4:24 am

    ABC said,

    Great for families with kids! I love that stress free environment when you wonder if your toddler will sit next to you or a stranger.

  3. December 16th, 2013 at 4:52 am

    Steve said,

    Lucky,

    Either I read this wrong or you read it wrong, but from my understanding, if you are on a mileage ticket you can pay to choose a seat but regardless of if you are on a mileage ticket or not, you can’t pay the cost of getting a seat assignment with miles.

  4. December 16th, 2013 at 5:06 am

    IdahoSt said,

    typical Delta partner…take, take, take

  5. December 16th, 2013 at 6:40 am

    Dov said,

    Lucky – There is no mention about not being able to select a seat on a mileage ticket, rather they are talking about being able to pay with miles or miles + cash for a seat which they will not offer at this point

  6. December 16th, 2013 at 11:02 am

    lucky said,

    @ Steve @ Dov — Whoops, looks like I interpreted it wrong. Thanks for the correction!

  7. December 16th, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Robert Hanson said,

    This just in: Spirit Airlines to charge for seat belt rental on all flights. :)

  8. December 16th, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    robert said,

    Lucky — you’ll be ok — they’re not changing anything for Upper Class Passengers ..

    https://www.virgin-atlantic.com/gb/en/manage-your-flights/seat-assignment.html

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