Virgin Atlantic will charge for preferred seats in the economy cabin on travel booked March 15 or later for flights beginning July 5.
The airline said the move will align its transatlantic product with joint venture partners Delta, Air France and KLM.
Preferred seats will be located near the front of the economy cabin, in
exit rows, or in rows that have only two seats rather than the standard
three, Virgin said.
Customers who book standard economy tickets, which Virgin Atlantic calls Economy Classic, will be charged 30 pounds (roughly $41.50) to select preferred seats. Classic ticket holders will still be able to select less-desirable seats in advance free of charge.
The carrier's basic economy, Economy Light, ticket holders will pay 40 pounds (about $55) for preferred seats.
The fee won't be applicable to Virgin Atlantic's Flying Club loyalty program members who have Gold status or to Delta SkyMiles members with Diamond or Platinum status.