Flight journeys can be exhausting on their own, and to avoid more waiting at the airport than there has to be, you must be well-prepared for anything that might stand in your way. The easiest way to ensure that you have a smooth check-in process is to be familiar with all the rules before starting to pack.
If you’re here, you must be traveling on a Virgin America airplane on your next trip. Let’s look at the baggage allowances on Virgin America, which was acquired by Alaska Airlines a few years ago.
Virgin America carry-on allowance
Like most other airlines, Virgin America allows its passengers to carry a personal item and a carry-on bag while boarding. However, the sum of length, breadth, and height, known as linear dimensions of your bag, must not exceed 50 inches or 127 centimeters.
Note that you must include the wheels and handles on your bag in these measurements. The carry-on bag should weigh under 30 pounds.
Your personal items, like a purse, laptop bag, camera, umbrella, or walking stick, should be smaller than your carry-on bag. In terms of linear dimensions, it must be under 36 inches, i.e., 90 centimeters. Both your carry-on bag and your personal item should fit under the passenger seat or the overhead bin on the place.
If you have an infant, the child safety seat or a diaper bag can also count as a personal item. However, it must be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration if you are going to use it during the flight.
Carry-on Baggage Allowance on Virgin America
Box cutters, Ice axes or Ice picks, razor blades, sabers, and meat cleavers can not be in your carry-on luggage. If you must carry them, wrap them safely and pack them into your checked bags. Knives that are not plastic or round-bladed are also allowed only in your checked baggage.
Cigar cutters and Metal scissors with blades shorter than four inches are allowed even in your carry-on baggage.
Musical and Sports Equipment
All sporting goods, like baseball bats, bows, arrows, cricket bats, pool cues, ski poles, spear guns, golf clubs, hockey or lacrosse sticks, fishing equipment, windsurfing equipment, dumbbells, or any hand weight are not allowed as carry-on baggage. However, sports kits are counted as checked bags.
Kayaks are not allowed even as checked luggage.
Musical instruments will be taken as checked baggage. You should, however, avoid putting them on the baggage belt and carry them by hand until the security screening.
Self Defense items
Billy Clubs, Black Jacks Brass Knuckles, and Kubatons cannot pass as carry-on baggage. Likewise, martial art weapons, nightsticks, nunchakus, throwing stars, and shocking devices or stun guns can also go in your checked baggage only.
Any self-defense sprays like Pepper Sprays or those containing Tear Gas can’t pass in your carry-on bag either.
Flares and Gun powder can not travel with you. You can have them neither in your carry-on bag nor your check-in bag.
You cannot take ammunition, BB guns, any kind of firearms, gun lighters, pellet guns, or starter pistols inside the cabin. Even replicas of firearms are not allowed if they look realistic. These items may be permitted in your checked baggage but must be declared.
E-cigarettes are allowed to be on you when you board the flight. Checked baggage cannot contain any electronic cigarettes or vaping devices. Anything powered by a battery cannot go into your checked bags, so make sure to include it in your carry-on baggage.
Explosives and Flammable items
Fireworks, blasting caps, dynamite, hand grenades, plastic explosives, incendiaries, or realistic replicas of the same are not allowed. You cannot carry aerosol unless it is a part of your personal hygiene product. Chlorine, for the sake of pools and spas, is not allowed. You cannot carry liquid bleach or spray paint either.
Decorative items like snowglobes will not be allowed no matter what liquid is inside them.
Gel-type candles and gel shoe inserts are not permitted. However, if you are wearing shoes made with gel heels, you can take them only after screening.
Even if it is meant for cooking, any fuel, and flammable liquid will not be allowed. Gasoline, gas torches, lighter fluid, strike-anywhere matches flammable paints are prohibited. Needless to say, fire extinguishers and other compressed gas cylinders are prohibited too.
In case you are taking a hand warmer, it has to be battery-powered or of a lighter fuel type. In addition, if it is either an air-activated or a crystallization type hand warmer, it has to meet the TSA 3-1-1 guideline.
Unless in a wheelchair, spillable batteries will not be allowed according to baggage allowance policy.
Standard lighters and small compressed gas cartridges may be allowed, but make sure to check with the Department of Transportation if the kind you wish to carry is permitted.
Axes, Hatchets, Cattle Prods, Crowbars, Hammers, Drills, drill bits, and Saws are not allowed as part of your carry-on baggage. Note that even portable power saws and power drills come under this category. Other tools which are greater than seven inches are not allowed either.
You must put them into your checked baggage only.
Powdered quantities above 350 ml will need some security screening at the airport. Therefore, it is always better to carry any powdered items like cosmetics, energy mixes, or baby powders in your checked bag.
Marijuana, though legal in some US states, cannot be carried on airplanes. This is because Marijuana remains banned federally, and the airspace is federal territory. Therefore, even if you are traveling two and from states where Marijuana is legal, you cannot travel via air with it.
This list is not final, though. The airport security officer has every right to determine whether or not an item in your luggage is prohibited.
You will be allowed to carry a small bag of liquids in containers of quantities lesser than 3.4 ounces each. Keep them separately for easy screening by the TSA staff. You can take baby food, breast milk, and medication in reasonable quantities, i.e., beyond 3 ounces. However, they have to be declared at checkpoints.
You’re entitled to carrying liquids in quantities larger than 100ml in your carry-on luggage if you are traveling internationally into the US, with a stop-over. As long as you buy the liquids at a duty-free shop and they are packed in secure, transparent, tamper-evident bags, you’re good to go.
If you’re traveling on a First Class ticket on a Virgin America flight, you will get complimentary meals and beverages.
Travelers of the Main Cabin Select category will receive complimentary meals and alcoholic beverages too. In addition, you can order snacks and alcoholic beverages of your choice from your own seat in the Main Cabin category.
Virgin America Checked Baggage Allowance
Virgin America is relatively liberal when it comes to baggage fees. Let’s look at the checked bag fees for different classes.
If you are traveling in the Main Cabin, your checked bags can not exceed 50 pounds, and every bag you check-in will cost you $25 each. Therefore, the maximum number of bags you can check is ten.
Also, the bags you check can not be more than 157 centimeters or 62 inches in linear dimension. Bags that exceed these size and weight limits will need an additional fee.
Main Cabin Select
If you are traveling in Main Cabin Select, you can take one checked bag (under 50 pounds) for free. All other bags will need excess baggage fees of $25 each, and you are allowed to check in a maximum of 10 bags.
Again, the linear dimension of your checked bags must be 157 centimeters or 62 inches. A bag beyond that will require you to pay an oversized bag fee.
Two bags, which are under 50 pounds and less than 157 centimeters or 62 inches in linear dimension, can be checked in free for first-class passengers. Every additional bag will cost you $25 per bag as excess bag fees, and you can check in a maximum of ten bags.
Overweight baggage fee
If your checked bags weigh between 51 and 70 pounds, you will have to pay an extra $50 per bag as an overweight fee. If a checked bag is heavier than 70 and under 100 pounds, you will be charged an additional $100 for it. A bag heavier than 100 pounds will not be allowed on the flight.
Oversized baggage fee
To check-in oversized bags, i.e., bags that measure beyond 62 inches or 157 centimeters in linear dimension, you have to pay $75 extra per bag. However, this is applicable only for those up to 80 inches. A bag with a higher linear dimension will not be allowed.
If you are currently a part of the military or are traveling on the orders of the Defense Department, the weight limit on your checked bags is released to 70 pounds. You will also be allowed to check a sea bag, b-4 bag, or a duffel bag with no extra charge, even if it crosses the linear dimension limit. They will simply be counted as two checked bags. They can also weigh 100 pounds each.
However, note that if the government pays for your ticket, you may not be eligible for free checked bags or any other free allowance. Instead, you will have to pay for your baggage according to the rules of the class your ticket is purchased for.
If you have any disability and need to take your wheelchair with you, it will not be counted in your baggage allowance. It can either be placed either in the overhead bin or accepted as checked baggage, depending on how much space it occupies.
Foldable and collapsible wheelchairs, non-folding manual wheelchairs, battery-powered wheelchairs, scooters, and other assistive devices fall under this category.
Restrictions on checked baggage
Sharp objects are allowed in your checked baggage, but they should be sheathed or wrapped safely to ensure that baggage inspectors and handlers do not get hurt. Among guns and firearms, checked bags cannot contain sun power, black powder, percussion caps, or flares.
All explosive and flammable materials mentioned in the restricted items section in carry-on baggage are not allowed in checked bags. However, standard lighters, which are permitted in carry-on baggage, cannot go into checked bags.
Gel-type candles, shoe inserts, and aerosol in quantities over 100ml are allowed in checked bags. Snowglobes and similar decorations are also allowed in checked bags.
Boarding with children or pets
If you are traveling with children who are under 2 years old, they come under this category. You can hold an infant in your lap, without any extra ticket, provided you are over 15 years old. One adult can only bring one infant.
If you want to bring another infant, you would have to buy an extra ticket for them.
If you are over 5 and under 14 years old, you are treated as a minor. A minor traveling alone will receive assistance from Virgin America staff throughout the journey, i.e., from departure to final destination.
Even if your parent or guardian is on the same flight but not in the same cabin as you, you will be classified as an unaccompanied minor. If they are in the upper class, they can come to visit you, but you won’t be able to visit them. In case of any emergency, the crew will attend to you to secure your seatbelts, et cetera.
The unaccompanied minors service has to be booked by contacting Virgin America directly, and a Declaration of Indemnity has to be signed by your parent or guardian. If this is not done, you will not be allowed to fly.
Your parent/guardian will be allowed to the boarding gate with you. Upon landing, you will be escorted and handed over to the adult identified on the Declaration of Indemnity.
Unaccompanied minors will not be allowed on stop-over flights with transit time over four hours or those that need traveling between airports at stop-over.
Pets cannot be checked as baggage. Instead, they are allowed to travel in the Main Cabin, with an additional $100 fee. First Class cannot allow pets since the space under the seats is lesser. Main Cabin Select seats are in spaces where pet carriers cannot be placed to avoid problems with emergency exits.
There is no limit to the number of pets on a particular airplane. However, you can only take one pet for a ticket and have to make sure that your pet is carried inside its kennel.
The kennel’s size must not cross 18 x 15 x 8 inches or 45 x 38 x 20 centimetres. Your kennel has to be leak-proof, escape-proof, and properly ventilated.
It must be such that any litter does not come out of the kennel and should have enough space for your pet to move around. The weight of your pet, including the kennel, must not exceed 20 pounds or 9 kilograms.
You must present a veterinary certificate that mentions your pet’s date of birth and details of shots given. This certificate must be less than 30 days old and show that your pet is older than 8 weeks.
Rules for pets in international travel
If you are traveling to Mexico, you can only take dogs and cats. The veterinary certificate you produce as proof of the animal’s age and shots can not be more than 15 days old. In addition, the certificate must contain evidence of distemper and rabies vaccination.
Flights from Mexico into the United States will not allow dogs not vaccinated a month before the date of journey. Dogs that don’t have proof of rabies vaccination will be confined, even if they are too young to vaccinate.
The rules are a little different for animals that aid patients with any kind of disability. An ID card has to be produced as proof of the status of the animal. In addition, harness tags must be marked.
Service animals can accompany you in any seat as long as the aisle or emergency area is not blocked. You don’t need a pet carrier for a service animal, and you also will not need to pay any extra charge.
Sometimes, service animals that may be of harm or public health concerns, like reptiles and rodents, may not be allowed on the flight.
Animals for Emotional Support
In the case of emotional support animals, documentation has to be provided to prove the disability of the passenger.
This could be a letter from a licensed professional such as a licensed clinical social worker, a psychologist, or a psychiatrist, stating that the passenger is in their care and needs the animal’s presence or assistance for their mental health.
Note that the letter must not be older than a year.
There are multiple options to check your bags on a Virginia America airplane.
You can check your bags through an online web check-in or mobile check-in. This can be done anytime between 24 hours to 60 minutes before the departure time.
When you check your bags online, you must drop them at the airport baggage drop well before the check-in deadline for the flight.
Virgin America does not offer curbside check-in. However, curbside bag drop is offered at Los Angeles, San Franciso, and Dallas Love Field. To use this feature, you should do online or mobile check-in, and your boarding pass will have to be presented.
You can also check in your bags at the Virgin America self-service kiosk. In all the cases mentioned above, you can pay the bag fees online or at the booth.
And the most common way to check-in, of course, is at the ticket counter.