News The third test flight of the commercial spaceship took it to a record 71,000 feet

The firm hopes to take first ever tourists to space later this year. Onboard cameras were able to capture its rocket-powered engine, the first time it has been used

£2,399 - Caribtours

Travel challenge

Winter sun in Barbados after Christmas

Bright Christmas: baggage boost from Little Red

Deals of the week - baggage boost, luxury Madeira, off-season Italy

Under £200... Extra baggage for the sales

Virgin Atlantic's domestic airline, Little Red, is doubling its baggage allowance between Aberdeen, Edinburgh or Manchester and Heathrow. Passengers can check in two 23kg bags from 26 December to 2 February. There's also a sale on fares, with returns from £88-£99. virgin-atlantic.com

Bitcoins in space: Virgin Galactic to accept payment in digital currency, says Richard Branson

6 minutes of weightlessness will now cost you $250,000 or around 326 Bitcoins

£1,099 - BA Holidays

Travel challenge

A city break in Cape Town

Letters: A missive from Sir Richard Branson

This letter appears in the Monday 14th October edition of the Independent

Sir Richard Branson lifted his Harris Tweed Kilt at Edinburgh airport in April to launch the new route from London

Virgin domestic flights a ‘disaster’ as passengers stick with no-frills rivals

Flights branded as 'Little Red' have experienced low sales

Proposed new rules on pilots’ working hours could lead to air crews flying while 'dangerously fatigued', union officials have warned

British pilots will be ‘dangerously fatigued’ under proposed EU law, says union

Proposed new rules on pilots’ working hours could lead to air crews flying while “dangerously fatigued”, union officials have warned ahead of a key vote by MEPs.

Travel agenda

From holiday snaps apps and photography workshops to watching wolves in Ethiopia

Virgin passenger jet forced to emergency land due to 'technical fault' between Heathrow and New York

Passengers on a Virgin Atlantic flight were left stranded in Canadian airport overnight after the plane carrying them was forced to make an emergency landing.

As Brazil hots up for next year's World Cup, Spanish carrier Air Europa has announced that it will start flying from Madrid to Sao Paulo on 16 December

Travel agenda

Where to go and what to know

Richard Branson, dressed up as an air stewardess

The end of the free upgrade: the great airline business upgrade auction is ready for take-off

A free move into business class could become a thing of a past as the major airlines look to raise extra revenue online

Max Kpakio, 36, has told an employment tribunal that he was discriminated against by Virgin Atlantic because of his name.

Liberian man who claimed he wasn't offered a job by Virgin Atlantic because of his African name loses race bias claim

A job hunter who accused Virgin Atlantic of racial discrimination has lost his case.

Max Kpakio, 36, has told an employment tribunal that he was discriminated against by Virgin Atlantic because of his name.

Liberian man claims he wasn't offered a job by Virgin Atlantic because of his African name

He claims when he sent a worse CV with an English name, he was offered an interview and treated differently

Branson claims Heathrow slots are 'crumbs off the table' as his new airline brand Little Red launches

Sir Richard Branson has claimed that his Virgin Atlantic carrier had been given just some "crumbs off the table" as he launched a new domestic airline brand.

News
Mickey Rourke celebrates his victory against opponent Elliot Seymour
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Gordon and Tana Ramsay arrive at the High Court, London
newsTV chef gives evidence against his father-in-law in court case
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Actor Burt Reynolds last year
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Johnny Handle, Northumberland, Ted Relph, President of Lakeland Dialect Society, and Sid Calderbank, Lancashire, founder of the National Dialect Day
newsMeet the enthusiasts determined to stop them dying out
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The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
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Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
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The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
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Independent Travel
Burgundy
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Lake Garda
Lake Como
Bruges
Paris
Prices correct as of 28 November 2014
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game