Virgin Atlantic Upgrades Seniors Following Passenger’s Good Deed

Following a good deed by a passenger on a seven-hour flight from New York to London, Virgin Atlantic is spreading the holiday spirit by upgrading the seats of senior citizens.

The Crawley based airline announced that it would upgrade elderly passenger’s seats to their highest class following a random act of kindness by a complete stranger earlier this month.

Virgin Atlantic Dreamliner
Virgin is doing a good deed this Christmas. Photo: Virgin

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.

Jack Littlejohn gave up his Upper Class seat to a stranger

When talking about the airline’s decision a spokesperson for Virgin Atlantic told aviation website The Points Guy how they came up with the idea, saying,

“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.

“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.”

Jack Littlejohn was on his way back to London after taking part in the Worlds Big Sleep Out a charity event to help raise awareness about the thousands of people who are homeless. While on his way home, the 29-year-old from Sterling in Scotland offered 88-year-old former nurse Violet Allison his seat so she could enjoy a bit of luxury on the flight.

Jacks gesture was recorded on Facebook

Virgin Atlantic flight attendant Leah Amy was so impressed by the young man’s kind gesture that she took a photo of Jack and Violet for her Facebook account.

Along with the photo, Amy wrote:

“He 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. No fuss, no attention, he literally did it out of the kindness of his own heart.”


Virgin Atlantic Upper Class seats. Photo: Josh Friedman via Flickr

The story of Jack giving up his seat caught the attention of the press and led to The Huffington Post reaching out to him for more information. When talking about why he gave up his seat to a stranger Jack said,

“I’ve never liked the idea of first class because I don’t like the inequality side-by-side and I don’t think it’s healthy for people who have to walk past all the nice seats to the normal seats. It’s also a metaphor for how society is going, with the inequality just rising and rising.”

Jack had just taken part in The Worlds Big Sleep Out

Jack’s mother had purchased the Upper Class seat as a surprise following her son’s sleep out in Times Square and when Jack realized he was flying business class he decided to gift the seat to a stranger.

“Before the flight was about to take off, I went for a jaunt through Economy,” Jack recalls. “I was searching for someone cool to give it to – and then I saw Violet, an elderly Jamaican woman, who you could just tell was really sweet.” When Jack saw Violet he asked her if she was traveling alone and when she said she was, Jack said: “I’d like to give you my seat.”

After explaining how the food and drink were better in Upper Class, and that the seat could be made into a bed, Violet agreed somewhat reluctantly still to swap seats.

Jack Littlejohn and Violet A
Jack Littlejohn and Violet Allison. Photo Leah Amy Facebook

Jack remembered that there was a girl in the seat next to Violet, who urged her to swap seats saying:

“There was a girl beside her who nudged her and said, ‘it’s very nice up there, I think you should take it’. So she said, ‘ok I’ll do it’. We gathered up her bags, told the hostess and then jaunted back down the plane to the seat.”

Virgin Atlantic obviously saw the chance to use this as publicity and while Jack’s kindness should be applauded there is no reason why all airlines could not upgrade elderly passengers to first class if there are seats available.

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