Virgin Atlantic spreads holiday cheer by upgrading eldest passengers after viral post
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Virgin Atlantic is spreading the holiday cheer to its eldest passengers this holiday season, after a random act of kindness on one of its planes went viral earlier this month.
The airline announced that it is upgrading the most senior customers on board all of its flights over the holiday season to the highest cabin available.
For more TPG news and tips delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
“This is in honor of Jack [Littlejohn], who recently gave up his Upper Class seat for 88-year-old Violet [Allison] on a flight home from New York to London,” a spokeswoman for Virgin Atlantic told TPG in a statement on December 23.
“On behalf of Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Atlantic, upgrades will be offered to the eldest customers on board all Virgin Atlantic flights from tomorrow, 24th December 2019 until 1st January 2020,” the statement continued.
Littlejohn and Allison became fast friends before a flight from New York JFK to London Heathrow, and Littlejohn decided Allison would have a better time in business class, according to the New Zealand Herald.
According to a retelling of the story in the Washington Post, Littlejohn walked up to Allison on board the flight and asked if she’d like to be upgraded. Allison, not thinking he was being serious, reportedly responded, “you’re joking.”
Leah Amy, who said she’s a Virgin Atlantic flight attendant, documented on Facebook the encounter between Allison and Littlejohn, whom she called her “[favorite] passengers ever.”
Littlejohn told the Post that he was in New York with his family for a charity event for global homelessness. He said that his mother surprised the family with business class seats, but he wanted to give away his seat because he felt there were inequalities between business and economy class.
“Jack and his family purchased seats In our Upper Class cabin for a flight home from New York, but when he got onboard, Jack went and found Violet in economy and swapped seats with her,” Amy wrote in her Facebook post, which has since been shared over a thousand times.
“He then sat on the row of seats directly next to the economy toilets and never made a peep or asked for anything the rest of the flight,” Amy continued. “No fuss, no attention, literally did it out of the kindness of his own heart, no one asked him too (sic).”
Violet seemed to have an incredible trip, enjoying business-class amenities such as dinner (with real silverware!) and lie-flat seating. It was Violet’s first time in business class, Amy wrote. She traveled to New York to visit her daughter, Amy wrote, but hadn’t been in a while because of a knee replacement.
“You couldn’t have found a sweeter lady,” Littlejohn told the Post.
Featured photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees