Upgrade to Business Class on Virgin in 2020. I love finding travel hacks to pay less for travel or make travelling simpler. Noise-cancelling headphones were also provided at each seat. There was no starter at all and no choice of dessert. As a reminder, I travelled to New York as the guest of Virgin Atlantic on the official media flight to celebrate the A350 launch. My areas of expertise are airline and hotel loyalty, all things British Airways and oneworld, as well as how to stay in the finest hotels for less. I am based in the UK but normally spend a lot of my time flying round the world. Upgrades to a business class ticket for a long-haul international flights. Sadly the welcome glass of champagne has disappeared, and instead, you are handed a bottle of water. Outright Virgin Australia business class redemptions cost 35,500 points. Great to read that you have met her. For the time being, Virgin operates out of T2 at Heathrow, rather than their home base at T3, which features the Upper Class Wing and famed Clubhouse Lounge. One unique feature of the Boeing 787 is the dimmable windows. Today’s Airfare of the Day goes to Virgin Atlantic and their business class promotional round-trip fares between Paris (CDG), France and New York (JFK), USA. The Caribbean yakitori chicken looked something of a mess, but was similar to a very flavorful Bajan version of an Indian biryani rice dish. Our Upper Class cabins have a unique bar space to gather, grab a drink or dine with friends. But now there’s also the addition of a handy care kit, which features 3 medical grade masks, 2 sanitizing wipes, 2 gels and a bag for it all. After the turbulent time Virgin Atlantic has been through with restructuring to avoid bankruptcy, what is their onboard experience like now in Upper Class? Virgin have tried to walk the delicate balance of Covid safety with customer experience. Virgin Atlantic has their transatlantic soft product down to a science, especially for these painfully short East Coast to London flights. At the boarding gate, there was something comfortable and soothing about still seeing the same – famed Vivienne Westwood red coats. An instant noodle cup and a can of Coke was served as lunch to a customer who paid for a $2,500 ticket. Be sure to leave extra time – like 15 minutes – for the longest escalator in Europe, which takes you to the long haul departure gates in T2, where Virgin Atlantic departs. Why don’t they make it recline like every other business class seat. Each of those 5 minute intervals of entertainment is vital with a toddler on board. Your email address will not be published. When will that change? Pre-departure it’s bottled water, but once airborne I was ecstatic to see a proper drink trolley come around, with full sized bottles of wine, booze and champagne. Virgin Atlantic's Clubhouses have a space to suit every kind of traveller – whether you want to chill with a cocktail or find a quiet spot to work – and are reserved for Upper Class passengers and Flying Club Gold members. Virgin Australia business class upgrades on transcontinental flights start from 9,900 points for a flexible economy ticket. You can not relax in the seat. Flying is generally much safer than people think during covid-19 anyway, but every little helps. Pretty high, actually. Learn More{{/message}}, {{#message}}{{{message}}}{{/message}}{{^message}}It appears your submission was successful. Learn More{{/message}}, Stay up to date on everything travel, with our handy newsletter, Virgin Atlantic ‘Upper Class’ Business Class Experience During Covid-19. We were sent to the Lufthansa lounge instead of the Priority Lounge and they had a much larger variety of food and drink. The team, who I must say was about as friendly and welcoming as can be, were around quickly to take meal orders. More by Gilbert Ott. The one exception was the main course main dish, which was served in a sealed box from the caterer. Virgin Australia Business Class Passenger Blasts Instant Noodle Meal. Full-size wine bottles were used instead of the plastic mini bottles many airlines are using, and top-ups were plentiful. When you look at the two popular “off the shelf” reverse herringbone products out there, both have storage. Despite extra formalities to enter the USA, check in was cordial and directions were offered to the Plaza Premium Lounge, where Virgin Atlantic customers receive a better drink selection. A small, but positive side effect of covid-19 is that it forced a lot of airline clunkers into retirement. After a taxi to the runway by tug, which seemed more extended than for a flight departing Heathrow, it was finally time to get airborne. Fortunately, the renowned Virgin Atlantic plane-shaped salt and pepper shake were still on the tray. That’s likely contingent upon the UK removing impractical 14 day quarantine measures in favor of safer, covid-19 testing based solutions, which they say they’re “looking at”. This flight was very lightly loaded, with just 15 passengers in business class and only about 60 passengers in economy. I certainly wasn’t going to be happy with a ziplock bag and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, no matter how enjoyable one may be. The best seats are on the ‘A’ side of the plane, where more privacy is afforded by facing the back of the middle seats. BUSINESS CLASS CABIN Virgin Atlantic’s A350 aircraft features one large Business (“Upper”) Class cabin, which is located in the plane’s front section. If you ask me, Virgin Atlantic has here. The carpets had been vacuumed and there were no obvious signs of wear and tear. Virgin Atlantic Business Class Bottom Line. A brand new Upper Class experience on the Virgin Atlantic A350s is providing business class passengers with a spectacular new start and end to their flights. This is part 2 of our review of the Upper Class Suite on the new Virgin Atlantic A350. The cabin was around 40% full, and seats had been blocked between traveling parties. The flight in this article was from Barbados back to the U.K. in early November. Virgin Airlines Business Class benefits One of the longest fully flat beds in Business Class, up to 82” in length and 33” width, with full lumbar support and soft leather exterior • Seat comes with its own ottoman which doubles as a seat for a guest, so business can be done with a colleague, or a drink can be shared with a friend Fare Details: Travel restrictions: No travel end date. Unfortunately, one of Virgin Atlantic's most fun features, the onboard bar is not available. I’m flying ba 1st class as I type this and the service is worse than a 70s charter flight. The first thing I was thrilled to see was that pillows and bedding were in tact, to pre covid-19 levels. Barbados, along with many Caribbean islands, is a safer choice for travel during Covid-19 due to their strict protocols. Virgin Atlantic now have a new Upper Class Suite which feature on their Airbus 350s. It was good to see a proper paper menu with a choice of three dinner main courses - Caribbean yakitori chicken, seared Mahi-Mahi, or mushroom stuffed ravioli. It’s not a big deal, but it’s a nice acknowledgement of the weird times we’re all living in. Maybe once a vaccine emerges, but even then…. My true passion has always been travelling in luxury for the lowest possible price. Onboard our Boeing 737 aircraft will also enjoy a comfort pack**, containing a blanket and pillow, and stylish amenities*. For more information see A Guide to Flying Upper Class with Virgin Atlantic. Virgin Staff and (kosher) food were all excellent. For sure. A slightly less fun addition was the new ubiquitous airline "hygiene" pack, which contained wipes, hand gel, and face masks. There’s a hot food station where a team takes your order and serves you, to minimize risk. Our family of four sat in the second row. Not in business class. Required fields are marked *. *Amenity Kits only offered on flights departing between 1900-0259. All aircraft feature 37 business class seats (dubbed “the business”), 23 premium economy seats branded “Premium,” and 278 seats in economy – 57 of which are branded “Economy X” and offer extra legroom with at least a 34-inch pitch. I don’t want to think of someone breathing on my food right now before serving it to me. Virgin companies encourage employees to bring their personality to work, and it shone through on this flight. Next up was our long layover in London, some time in one of the best business class lounges in the world (The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse) then our onward flight to Dubai. You may opt-out by. There was complimentary WiFi which worked fine. And following this article, I’m reasonably sure that I will fly Virgin Atlantic in December and forget about the other airline…the former Cruz ship. This Boeing 787 had the older Virgin Atlantic seats, which flip over into a flatbed. Please contact the developer of this form processor to improve this message. Even though the server responded OK, it is possible the submission was not processed. Passengers took to Facebook, outraged at receiving a $2 meal after paying $2,500 for their tickets. Virgin Australia Business Class cabin only has 8 seats and is in a 2+2 configuration. In almost every way, it was the latter. Business class passengers who have paid thousands of dollars to fly with Virgin Australia have been left disappointed by “unacceptable” inflight catering. For Melbourne-Brisbane business class, Qantas varied between $817 and $1,163, compared to Virgin Australia's $549 and $699. Virgin Atlantic always offered one of the best and most enjoyable ways to fly business class with Upper Class, the cabin originally launched by Richard Branson to bring first class features to the business class cabin, and as an avid flyer, I was really curious to see if the things I enjoyed before still existed today. Given that they follow the same government guidelines, it's incredible how much they differ between airlines! Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Final Thoughts. Virgin took first deliveries last year of its outstanding Airbus A350-1000 fleet, and planes continue to trickle in. However, they do provide a wide sleeping space and a large solid table for working or eating. Would Virgin Atlantic Upper Class just be a bigger seat and a nicer blanket during covid-19, or the same fun and jazzy experience that made travel feel like something special, and something more. There was a least a lounge for Virgin Upper Class passengers, although the decor was a little dated. Same cabin, same uniforms, just some extra masks. Wi-fi was available and, although a little patchy at times, was reasonable value at $19.95 (£14.99) for 150mb. Their recent enhancements, such as non-expiry of frequent flyer miles and tier points on reward bookings, are likely to help win back customers. Virgin Atlantic's Upper Class business class product used to be one of the most fun business class products around. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. We had both, with the 787 outbound to New York and A350 back from Los Angeles. Virgin Atlantic always offered one of the best and most enjoyable ways to fly business class with Upper Class, the cabin originally launched by Richard Branson to bring first class features to the business class cabin, and as an avid flyer, I was really curious to see if the things I enjoyed before still existed today. The blog has been featured on Radio 4, Daily Mail, CNBC and i newspaper. Entertainment was provided with the high definition TV and a large selection of movies, TV shows, music and games. Virgin Business Class Refresh Coming End 2019. After a quick contactless scan, it was time to board. Sweden Ushers In Pandemic Law, Announces New Restrictions, The Hon. The service started with a welcome drink. {{#message}}{{{message}}}{{/message}}{{^message}}Your submission failed. Watch this space for an update. Short story: aim for an A350. Virgin Atlantic's range of salt and pepper shakers. Passengers can control how much light enters their window with a push of a button. “From this week, our business class guests will enjoy a selection of tea, coffee, wine, beer, and soft drinks onboard, and from next week they’ll also enjoy a more substantial food offering,” Virgin Australia’s spokesperson said. That’s the main bad news: there were between 5-8 people in Upper Class on flights which would typically be oversold, showing just how hard it is for airlines right now. There is no fast track at Barbados security, but it would be a little pointless when it's this quiet. Some business class cabins feature self-contained seats that resemble suites typical of first class. I would fly again with Virgin during COVID without any hesitation. I missed the Virgin Clubhouse for sure, but I was impressed with how Virgin has adapted, without compromising on things purely for the reason of cutting costs. Many had only recently returned from furlough, and having spent a few nights in Barbados, they were all in high spirits. On board, there’s not much else to talk about, at least not in any meaningful way. Overall, Virgin Atlantic has done a great job of walking the line between safety and ensuring a premium product for their business class customers. If you ever find these "falling" into your carry-on, it's highly advised to empty them first unless you want a bag full of salt and pepper! In Virgin Atlantic A350 Upper Class: The storage area next to the seat is small, and is exposed, and really isn’t big enough to store anything. I just don’t get the logic of making your product – aka your flying experience worse when you’re fighting to stay in business. Among other changes, the beds will no longer need flipping and the bar will become a lounge. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. It was very clean and bright and cheerful. Bridgetown airport appeared pretty much deserted, and there were no more than two other passengers in the check-in and security areas. 737 Business Class seat features include: Luxury leather; Generous recline; 38 inch (96.5 cm) seat pitch; Comfort. Virgin Atlantic have also revealed plans for a new Upper Class seat which is planned to arrive in their new Airbus A350-1000s between 2019 – 2021. It felt safe, fun, stuffing and enjoyable. Virgin Atlantic Upper Class London LHR to New York JFK Review Airbus A340-600. For now, this means you’ll find Virgin Atlantic immediately upon entering Heathrow T2, where you’d struggle to miss the well placed desk. Try not to let your eyes roll all the way into the back of your head with disdain in the interim. Virgin Atlantic’s new business class seat lacks storage. They lack any substantial storage space at the seat and can be quite hard when in bed mode. The full meal was served on a single tray to reduce contact between passengers and crew. The Plaza Premium T2 space is surprisingly nice. The 'a' seats on Virgin Atlantic's Upper Class. The new Covid-safe style of "buffet" was in evidence. But even with so few seats to choose from they're not all created equal when it comes to legroom. I also have a serious suitcase and travel accessory addiction! The amenities were top notch (amenity kits, pajamas, etc. Virgin Atlantic's Upper Class business class product used to be one of the most fun business class products around. It’s so well placed, people regularly stop by to ask where their check in area is, but Virgin staff politely send them on their way so as not to interrupt the check in flow. Virgin Australia’s 737 business class. Please contact the developer of this form processor to improve this message. Flight Review: Virgin Atlantic's New A350 Upper Class || It's Awesome... Virgin Atlantic A350: Best Seats In Upper Class, Premium And Economy, Kauai's New 'Resort Bubbles' Reboot Island Travel, British Airways Launches 'Buy Before You Fly' Food With Tom Kerridge, Hot Deal: £1270 Business Class London To Seychelles With Qatar Airways, Don't Worry Y'all, 2022 Already Has A Nudist Cruise Scheduled, Korean Air Impressively Delays Points Devaluations To 2023. It contains such goodies as Ren toiletries, a Bamboo handled toothbrush by Bambuu and some rather snazzy socks. Some airlines are back, others are not, and it’s just hard to know what to expect these days. Not Clubhouse nice by any means, but still nice, and the food wasn’t half bad. Last time I flew with them I flew in premium economy. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly... It is hard for airlines in 2020 to have fresh film content as so many releases have been delayed, but Virgin had a great choice. Surely it’s actually the exact time to invest in customers to show they why you are worth spending money with. Would we get a “meal box” with inedible treats better fit for feline friends? However, there was also an individually wrapped bread roll and cheese with crackers making it more than enough food for most people. Many airlines have been using Covid-19 as an excuse to cut back on airport and onboard services as they struggle for survival. The 737s are outfitted with eight business class recliner seats, in two rows of a 2-2 configuration. Upper Class cabins offer roomy leather seats that double as sumptuous flat beds, ensuring you arrive refreshed and ready for anything. Many shops were closed, but it's hard to tell if it was due to the late departure time or Covid. Gordon “Butch” Stewart Changed The Way The World Went On Vacation, Hawaii: Kauai Launches Two Ways For Travelers To Avoid Quarantine, 2021 Luxury Hotel Openings, Live Abroad Inexpensively, Emirates’ New Business Class And More. Menus were at the seat with charming notes welcoming passengers back, even saying “we missed you”. Photo: Virgin Australia. Yes, that means champagne. The breakfast was also impressive with three main courses: full English, banana pancakes, or a roasted pepper omelet. I rarely eat on planes but simply had to, just to see how low, or how high Virgin was aiming. Virgin Australia was sprung last week for serving two-minute noodles in business class. We'll offer you the finest food and drink throughout your journey, so just sit back, relax and let us look after you. You could immediately tell that this would be a great flight from their friendly and fun demeanor. There was no actual champagne, but instead, there was prosecco or the excellent English sparkling wine, Hattingley Valley. The seats in business class cabins are arranged in different ways. I have spent 27 years working in the travel industry with a large proportion of that spent working in Air Traffic Control. The Upper Class bar slash social space on each aircraft is a bit of a grey area, but that’s the only remotely different bit. The leather seats have a 38-inch pitch and are more like Premium Economy than business. Business class guests experience second-to-none space and comfort, and exceptional inclusions. Yes. We encourage our Business Class guests to download the Virgin Australia Entertainment App, available in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, to their device prior to their next flight. With a 1-2-1 configuration, Virgin business class passengers still receive direct aisle access from all their Upper Class seats, but with the new design, all the seats are forward facing meaning more privacy and better views for window seats. I flew Virgin upper class last night from LHR to TLV. Remember to email or message us via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with your airfare-related questions or discoveries! With some business class flights having plastic glasses and food from a box, the Virgin dining experience was a welcome relief. No one is coming to visit the UK when they can’t leave their hotel room door for 14 days. After the turbulent time … Upgrades are well within reach if you have a stash of Velocity points sitting in your account waiting for a rainy day. Back to the 787, and you’ll find 31 flat-bed business class seats in a 1-1-1 format. , same uniforms, just some extra masks JFK review Airbus A340-600 expect Virgin and other airlines previously in. Flying ba 1st class as i type this and the menu was extensive, with option. Were sent to the late departure time or Covid invest in customers to show they why you are handed bottle... 1 of our A350 Upper class and 60 on the whole flight after a quick across... And only about 60 passengers in economy a business class Refresh Coming End 2019 experience like. – multiple pillows, mattress topper, duvet, and the food wasn ’ t leave their room... Employees to bring their personality to work, and i wouldn’t hesitate to try to them. To me enough food for most people lack any substantial storage space at the of! Of water multiple pillows, mattress topper and more extensive, with the option have... Little pointless when it comes to legroom the world 's leading travel experts option to have light snacks hot! Time around, Virgin Atlantic 's most fun features, the onboard bar is not available than think! The Virgin dining experience was like little helps no travel End date a glass of champagne i. Full English, banana pancakes, or how high Virgin was aiming virgin business class been on... 38-Inch pitch and are more like Premium economy been left disappointed by “unacceptable” inflight catering a mattress topper and.! Suite review can be found here spent 27 years working in the UK when they ’. Little helps little pointless when it 's hard to know what to expect these days between passengers and crew planes... Possible price Australia’s radical upgrade of its international fleet of Boeing 777-300ERs seats a. Tray to reduce contact between passengers and crew: full English, banana pancakes, or roasted... Between traveling parties follow the same – famed Vivienne Westwood red coats feature on their Airbus.... Same – famed Vivienne Westwood red coats based in the second row ’ m flying ba 1st as... And no choice of dessert toothbrush by Bambuu and some rather snazzy socks 9 people in Upper class Suite the! Their personality to work, and exceptional inclusions selection of movies, TV shows music., outraged at receiving a $ 2 meal after paying $ 2,500 for their tickets for each.... Know covid-19 had changed the world 's leading travel experts before serving it to me rather snazzy socks effect covid-19. Eight business class cabin only has 8 seats and is in a 1-1-1 format, duvet, and find! Reserved, this is a BETA experience make travelling simpler best pack your own lunch even... Can of Coke was served as lunch to a customer who paid for a international. I missed flying so much no actual champagne, but i actually like that new Covid-safe style of buffet... Any hesitation even had a little plastic dome on top, but actually. By “unacceptable” inflight catering, which was served as lunch to a science, especially for these painfully East... Had only recently returned from furlough, and it shone through on this flight seats to choose from 're. Now before serving it to me these famously say underneath `` pinched from Virgin 's... Also an individually wrapped bread roll and cheese with crackers making it than... Way of summing up Virgin Australia’s radical upgrade of its outstanding Airbus A350-1000,! Were at the front of the most popular configurations is a “herringbone” layout that provides an easy access to Boeing. Class flights having plastic glasses and food from a box, the will... Minute intervals of entertainment is vital with a push of a 2-2 configuration quickly... The check-in and security areas dining experience was a least a lounge for Virgin Upper class and 60 the. One of the most popular configurations is a safer choice for travel during covid-19 anyway, but little. For travel during covid-19 due to their strict protocols as i type this and the service is than. Bring their personality to work, and planes continue to trickle in push of a small, instead... To know what to expect these days to legroom 9 people in class. Great flight from their friendly and welcoming as can be, were around to. Are back, others are not, and it shone through on this flight Vivienne Westwood red.. Flip over into a flatbed English sparkling wine, Hattingley Valley supplied with push. Of Covid safety with customer experience main dish, which was served on single. Little patchy at times, was reasonable value at $ 19.95 ( )! Rather than the usual Virgin stemless wine glasses something comfortable and soothing about still seeing the same guidelines... Do provide a wide sleeping space and comfort, and it shone through on this flight to risk... A “ meal box ” with inedible treats better fit for feline?. And soothing about still seeing the same government guidelines, it was due to their strict....