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Virgin America Announces Policy Changes for Check-In, Bags, Pets and Minors

* Larger bag limits
* Fewer pets, more species
* Lower fees and more flexibility for minors

On the heels of announcing a future merger with Alaskan Airlines, Virgin America just updated their policies to make the passenger experience even better, especially as it pertains to check-in, baggage, flying with pets and unaccompanied minors.

While other airlines are placing restrictions and fees on baggage, Virgin just made it easier by increasing the size. While the linear measurement restriction was previously only 50 inches, the new limit will be 51 inches (10″x 17″x 24″). It might just mean the difference between squeezing in the carry-on for free versus checking in your bag.

As far as animals go, passengers can expect fewer pets and more species. Virgin’s current policy places no limit on the number of pets, but excludes all animals except cats and dogs. Under the new rules, passengers will be allowed to bring up to five pets, including cats, dogs, household birds and domesticated rabbits.

Finally, Virgin has updated its unaccompanied minors policy, raising the age range from 5-11 years to 5-12 years. The old rules charged unaccompanied minors a fee of $75-$125 (depending on the length of the flight) and they were not permitted on connecting/thru flights. Now children ages 5-7 will be allowed on nonstop and thru flights; children ages 8-12 will be allowed on nonstop, thru and connecting flights. The fee for unaccompanied minors has decreased to a flat rate $25 for nonstop/direct itineraries and $50 for connecting flights.

There are some downsides to the new policies. The cut-off for check-in has been moved forward, meaning you won’t make your flight if you don’t check in at least 40 minutes prior to departure. International passengers will be able to check-in 60 minutes prior to departure, regardless of baggage check.

Virgin’s current rules let passengers check-in up to 30 minutes prior to departure with bags.

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