Wow: New Virgin Atlantic A330-900neo Upper Class, Retreat Suite

Wow: New Virgin Atlantic A330-900neo Upper Class, Retreat Suite

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Update: Virgin Atlantic has now loaded the A330-900neo into the schedule, and you can find the details below.

Virgin Atlantic has 16 Airbus A330-900neos on order, the first of which will be delivered soon. We knew that Virgin Atlantic would be installing a new business class product on these planes, and we now know what to expect. There’s even an additional surprise, as Virgin Atlantic is introducing something better than business class for the first time.

Details of Virgin Atlantic A330-900neo interiors

Virgin Atlantic has been nicely updating its onboard product in recent years. Virgin Atlantic’s 787s feature herringbone seats in business class, which at this point are pretty outdated. Virgin Atlantic’s A350s feature a hybrid herringbone and reverse herringbone product in business class, which is a significant improvement over the old product.

The A330-900neo isn’t quite wide enough to install the A350 business class product, but Virgin Atlantic is getting creative, and has come up with some impressive interiors for these jets.

Virgin Atlantic A330-900neo Upper Class

Virgin Atlantic’s A330-900neos will feature 30 Upper Class (business class) seats. They’re a customized vantage XL product with privacy doors, and will be staggered and in a 1-2-1 configuration. Virgin Atlantic will have a very similar product to what joint venture partner Delta has on its A330-900neos.

The seats will feature passenger-controlled mood lighting, 17.3″ touchscreen TVs, mirrors, bluetooth connectivity, and wireless charging.

Virgin Atlantic A330-900neo Upper Class

Virgin Atlantic A330-900neo Retreat Suite

There’s an added surprise, as Virgin Atlantic is introducing a product that’s better than business class. Each Virgin Atlantic A330-900neo will have two Retreat Suites. This consists of two exclusive suites at the front center of the cabin, and creatively utilizes space that would otherwise be wasted.

These special seats will feature 6’7″ fully flat beds, and will have 27″ touchscreen TVs with bluetooth connectivity and wireless charging. Each of the two suites will also feature an ottoman that doubles as an extra seat, so that you can dine with a travel companion.

Virgin Atlantic will allegedly sell these seats as an upgrade over the standard Upper Class seats. Initially they’ll be made available 14 days before departure at a cost of £200 one-way, which seems reasonable. That’s nice, because it sounds like anyone who booked an Upper Class ticket should be able to upgrade to these seats.

I’d say the major downside here is that Retreat Suites are only the center seats, so that’s not ideal if you’re traveling alone (since you’d probably prefer sitting in a window seat).

Virgin Atlantic A330-900neo Retreat Suite

Virgin Atlantic A330-900neo The Loft

Virgin Atlantic is the only airline to have social spaces on all of its aircraft, and the A330-900neo is no exception. Much like the A350, the A330-900 will feature The Loft. It consists of space for eight people, with four chairs. There will be a self-serve fridge and drink dispenser.

Passengers will also be able to connect Bluetooth headphones to the dual panoramic 27″ touchscreens or utilize wireless charging facilities here. Virgin Atlantic is obviously just creatively utilizing space around the second set of exit doors here.

Virgin Atlantic A330-900neo The Loft

Virgin Atlantic A330-900neo Premium

Virgin Atlantic’s A330-900neos will feature 46 premium economy seats, in a 2-3-2 configuration. Seats will feature 38″ of pitch and calf rests. The seats will have 13.3″ touchscreens with bluetooth audio, as well as in-seat wireless charging pads.

Virgin Atlantic A330-900neo Premium

Virgin Atlantic A330-900neo Economy

Virgin Atlantic’s A330-900neos will feature 184 economy seats in a 2-4-2 configuration. This includes 28 extra legroom seats — standard seats will have 31″ of pitch, while extra legroom seats will have 34″ of pitch. Economy passengers can look forward to 13.3″ personal televisions, bluetooth audio, AC and USB power outlets, and more.

Virgin Atlantic A330-900neo Economy

Virgin Atlantic A330-900neo rollout & routes

Virgin Atlantic will be taking delivery of 16 Airbus A330-900neos between 2022 and 2026. The first plane is expected to join Virgin Atlantic’s fleet in the coming weeks, and should start flying as of this fall. As noted by @IshrionA, the airline has now loaded the A330-900neo into the schedule for the following destinations from London Heathrow:

  • Boston (BOS) as of October 12, 2022
  • Tampa (TPA) as of November 3, 2022
  • New York (JFK) as of November 7, 2022
  • Miami (MIA) as of November 13, 2022

Flights on those routes now show the A330-900neo into the schedule, so you can go about reserving seats, etc. In the long run, the A330-900neos will primarily be used to replace existing Airbus A330-300s, as the -900neo has much better fuel economy.

Virgin Atlantic Airbus A330-900neo

My take on Virgin Atlantic’s new A330-900neo cabins

Color me impressed by Virgin Atlantic’s new A330-900neo cabins. The A330 has a narrower fuselage than the A350 and 787, so airlines are somewhat limited in terms of the products they can introduce on these planes. With that limitation in mind, I’d say Virgin Atlantic has done a great job here:

  • The A330-900neo will be Virgin Atlantic’s first plane to feature privacy doors in Upper Class; I find these Vantage XL seats to feel a bit narrow on the A330, but this is still a huge improvement over Virgin Atlantic’s old Upper Class
  • The new Retreat Suite concept is unique, and it sounds like Virgin Atlantic plans on charging a pretty reasonable premium to reserve these seats; it’s just too bad that these are center seats and not window seats
  • In economy the A330-900neo is generally a great ride, as the 2-4-2 configuration limits the number of middle seats compared to other aircraft
Virgin Atlantic Airbus A330-900neo

Bottom line

Virgin Atlantic has finally revealed its A330-900neo cabins, including the introduction of an all new Upper Class, as well as the new Retreat Suite, which will offer a better than business class seat. You can expect to find the A330-900neo flying to several destinations in the United States before the end of the year.

What do you make of Virgin Atlantic’s new A330-900neo cabins?

Conversations (34)
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  1. Craig Guest

    Ben did you get concierge key like Gary?

  2. Steven E Guest

    Clearly , If they could have logistically placed the extra space seats in a window location do you not think they would have done that - ‍♂️

  3. Joe Guest

    Virgin really is one of the best airlines in terms of "thinking different" in my opinion. Yes the club house isn't quite what it used to be (in LHR) but everything about the experience is a little different and interesting. It's refreshing to fly with them if you usually trudge around on British Airways. I also find the cabin crew consistently excellent.

  4. Gugs815 Guest

    Initially I kind of dig this concept. As someone on the taller side a longer bed is always a plus. A lot of business class footwells are also a bit tight nowadays too. I’d gladly pay the upgrade fee even for a shorter East coast flight.

  5. DEE Guest

    I hope these new seats come with air-vents as that is a problem with Virgin biz seats too hot and no vents!!!

  6. Jordan Member

    This is just a jazzed-up version of DL's One on it's A330, with a door.

    The retreat seats will garner miles of press and attract people to the cabin in general, but the regular J seats are just Delta's config.

    1. Khatl Gold

      Other than the fact that they look way better than Delta's sterile 1990's blue and gray office color scheme, and have better connectivity options

  7. Sel, D. Guest

    Why is Virgin the only airline that understands lighting?

    1. red_robbo Guest

      They must spend too much time studying windows in Amsterdam!

  8. Bob Guest

    When will those god awful 787 biz seats be replaced? I will never (never ever!) ride in those 787 biz seats again. I will gladly fly a competitor with a superior seat.

    1. Sergio Guest

      That how all the airline have the 787, some worst than others. The real winner is Japan airlines which 2-4-2 on them. Main reason why airlines have 3-3-3 is because it gives them more profit and if you want more comfortable seats of course, you have to go to premium economy or up. That how it works.

    2. Jordan Member

      You might be confused by what he is referencing.

    3. Sergio Guest

      I know what he is telling, just that what we can do?‍♂️ Virgin Atlantic and other airlines which the 787 haven't use the proper seats. That all I was telling

    4. Julia Guest

      No, he is referencing their business class seats, which isn't how all the airlines have the 787. Air France, KLM, and Air Canada have much better business seats.

    5. Khatl Gold

      Agreed. They may as well just black out the windows on planes with that config given you're never gonna be able to look out of them

  9. Alonzo Diamond

    Seats look great. But I'm curious where Virgin is getting all of the money to fund this. It's not as if they're flush with cash. Branson can only fund so much of the Virgin brand.

    1. reddargon Diamond

      I mean, they already ordered the planes, a while ago, and they have to put some seats on them.

    2. Alonzo Diamond

      Ordered typically means they made a down payment. These planes ain't paid in full.

    3. reddargon Diamond

      Sorry, thought we were just talking about the seats themselves. As for the planes, not sure but I do remember Virgin Atlantic got a cash infusion late last year (partially from Delta I think), which probably helps. And even though the planes aren't paid in full upon order they usually have financing arranged a few years in advance.

    4. Khatl Gold

      LOL. Could otherwise wet lease them to Frontier or Ryanair for their new seat concept of just stack the passengers on top of each other ;-)

    5. Jordan Member

      This is not how airline finances work.

  10. Bobo Bolinski Guest

    Doors, schmoors, don't give a rat's arse about this weird fetish. The seats look decent enough.

    But that in-flight "lounge"/bar space is an anti-feature. The last thing I want is to have a party of drunken idiots making noise and barfing all over a shared space near my business class seat. STFU and go back to your seats.

    1. Emily Guest

      Agree on both counts. Don't get this fascination with doors. The "lounge" is less so and more so a "bench." However, the "Bench" doesn't sound as sexy as the "Lounge."

    2. F Goodman Guest

      Yes, 100%. My last flight on Virgin I had exactly that. BTW the flight attendants were just pouring and pouring the bubbly non stop, actually encouraging the drunken feast!

  11. Scott Guest

    Hopefully the standard J seat will have more storage than the new A350 seats. Flew one recently and there was hardly anywhere to put your stuff.

  12. David Guest

    I predicted a while ago that VS's A330neos would basically use the same type of seat concept as DL's A330neos.

  13. Anthony Diamond

    I'd like to echo the other comment on the Loft - it is purely a cost savings initiative that removes the cost of a fun bar. On my recent A350 flight, the Loft was more or less empty (aside from me) all flight. They should bring back the bars.

    Otherwise the plane is fine. Economy and premium economy look increasingly like good options on the LHR to JFK flight given it is about 6 hours and they devalued Upper Class meaningfully by getting rid of the bar.

    1. David F. Guest

      I just flew UC LHR-AUS on a 787-9 - judging by that trip, the "bar" is just now basically a desk/office for whomever is first/fast to jump out of their seat fast enough when the seat-belt sign turns off, so they can spread out among the space there, and the crew enable it, by setting them up for meal service etc.

  14. Sergio Guest

    Economy is what it calls me the attention of course. I'd the NEOs would replace the older CEOs, that means I would see them on Orlando Florida and Fort Lauderdale in the coming time :)

  15. LOA Member

    Looking forward to the seat, however, I'm bummed that they're still going with the loft concept. I tried it out a few months ago on the A350 and found it to be a huge disappointing dud. The space is not inviting at all.

    I flew on a connecting flight to tel aviv on the 787 and the cabin ambiance was way better. The 787 bar was way more inviting. Found it to be a good distraction through out the flight.

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Bobo Bolinski Guest

Doors, schmoors, don't give a rat's arse about this weird fetish. The seats look decent enough. But that in-flight "lounge"/bar space is an anti-feature. The last thing I want is to have a party of drunken idiots making noise and barfing all over a shared space near my business class seat. STFU and go back to your seats.

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Khatl Gold

Other than the fact that they look way better than Delta's sterile 1990's blue and gray office color scheme, and have better connectivity options

2
Sel, D. Guest

Why is Virgin the only airline that understands lighting?

2
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