Why do people find working for Virgin Atlantic so special? The answer, according to the official Virgin Atlantic blog is: ‘It’s the people’. And it’s true – Virgin Atlantic employees are some of the happiest and most satisfied in the industry.
But this isn’t because the team of cabin crew at Virgin are paid huge sums of money. Virgin Atlantic has always paid a wage that can sometimes be considered slightly below the industry norm. Not just for cabin crew but for all their employees – including pilots.
That’s not to say the overall salary and benefits package is bad. Although if you look just at the basic salary you might wonder how you could possibly afford to live. But don’t worry. We’ve got the full details of the Virgin Atlantic salary and benefits package for cabin crew:
Virgin Atlantic hire new cabin crew on a six-month fixed-term contract. At the end of the six-month period, Virgin can end your employment or extend the contract for a further six months. They are allowed to employ you on a fixed-term contract on three occasions before they have to offer a permanent contract.
So far, Virgin Atlantic has offered extended contracts and eventual permanent employment to all their new Cabin Crew (apart from some individuals who did not meet standards).
That’s not to say that the airline will be in a position to continue doing this in the future. After all, the very point of the fixed-term contract is to give hiring managers the option to quickly terminate staff if the business starts underperforming. Virgin Atlantic expects to make a loss in 2017 but managers say the airline is well prepared for this with plenty of cash reserves to see them through the difficult period ahead.
One more point to add on this – The Virgin Holidays division is one of the biggest drivers of passenger traffic into the airline. But that business can be very seasonal. So there’s the small risk that during quiet periods for the airline, you will be asked to stop flying and then rejoin the airline after a couple of months unpaid leave.
Virgin Atlantic Cabin Crew Pay / Salary
- Basic Monthly Salary: £17,074 – increasing to £18,551 by year four
- Trip Pay: £96 per round trip (two sectors)
- Overnight Allowance: Here’s the bit where Virgin Atlantic Cabin Crew start to make some money. Paid in U.S. dollars, tax-free to pay for food and drink during layovers. The amount paid is dependent on the length of stay and destination. The allowance is loaded onto a debit card, dubbed the ‘Little Red Card’ which you keep – what you don’t spend, you get to keep.
- Example: A two-day trip to New York would see $180 – $210 loaded onto your Little Red Card. A layover in Shanghai would give you about $400.
- Duty Free Commission: You’ll receive commission on all Duty Free sales made onboard. This could boost your salary by £110 per month.
- Typical Roster: You’ll complete about 5-6 trips per month which could be anywhere within the Virgin Atlantic route network. The roster for the next month is decided on the 10th of the current month.
- Roster Preferences: After six months you’ll be able to select destination preferences but there is no ability to ‘bid’ or ‘swap’ flights.
- Heathrow or Gatwick: This is also the time when you get to select a preference of which airport you would rather fly from. However, you will still be expected to work from both Heathrow and Gatwick dependent on the needs of the airline.
- Standby: One trip per month is a ‘standby’ duty. You need to be within 2 hours journey time of both Heathrow and Gatwick airport.
All employees of the Virgin Group receive a ‘tribe’ card which gives discounts across a wide variety of activities including shopping and dining. As Cabin Crew, you’ll also have access to one of the most generous concessionary travel schemes in the industry.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.