Virgin Atlantic’s Cabin Refresh: No Business Class Doors, But A Swish On-Board Lounge

Filed Under: Virgin

As expected, Virgin Atlantic has just revealed their brand new Upper Class seat, which will debut on their newly delivered Airbus A350-1000s this year. The airline is expected to take delivery of 12 of these planes, with all the planes joining their fleet by 2021 (hopefully the newly ordered A330-900neos also get these seats).

This comes just a couple of weeks after British Airways revealed their new Club Suite, which will also debut on their A350-1000s this summer.

So, what should we expect from Virgin Atlantic’s new A350s?

New Virgin Atlantic Upper Class experience

Virgin Atlantic is not only introducing a new business class seat, but they’re also modifying their onboard bar concept.

New Upper Class seats

Virgin Atlantic’s new Upper Class product will consist of modified reverse herringbone seats.

They’ve selected a Cirrus NG seat reverse herringbone seat, which is similar to the seat you’ll find on many American and Cathay Pacific planes, though the configuration of the center seats is different.

While these are heavily modified seats, disappointingly they won’t feature doors. Rather they’ll just feature partitions that give you a bit of extra privacy, but it’s a far cry from a door.

I’ve seen some people refer to them as half doors, but that seems quite generous. Virgin Atlantic says that this is a way to maintain a social interaction between passengers, and also with the crew.

Virgin Atlantic’s new A350-1000 Upper Class cabin will feature a total of 44 seats, spread across 11 rows in a 1-2-1 configuration.

The seats will recline to create an 82″ bed, so unlike the old Upper Class seat, you’ll no longer have to flip the seat over to turn it into a bed, which I’d consider to be great news.

Each seat will also feature an 18.5″ TV screen. Since this is Virgin Atlantic, they’re also introducing personalized mood lighting at each suite, and better reading lights. Furthermore, they’ll introduce a deep mattress pad, and what they call the thickest pillow in the sky.

In many ways this is very similar to British Airways’ new seat, except it doesn’t have nearly as much privacy.

New Upper Class lounge

Virgin Atlantic is known for their Upper Class onboard bar, though I’d argue that nowadays they’re no longer actually that great. Other airlines have more impressive bars, and personally I find that they can be quite bothersome, as people tend to get quite loud and drunk, and it can disturb those trying to sleep in seats nearby.

With that in mind, Virgin Atlantic is instead creating an eight person lounge, known as “The Loft.” The company behind the lounge is the same company that designed their original onboard bar, as well as Emirates’ onboard lounge.

This will also be located near the entrance to the plane, so the area will also act as a lobby of sorts for those boarding.

Personally I’m a big fan of this change, since it allows passengers to still be social, while hopefully encouraging them to be a bit quieter.

Virgin Atlantic premium economy & economy cabins are all new too

Virgin Atlantic is also introducing new premium economy and economy products, though again, don’t get too excited.

New premium economy seats

Virgin Atlantic’s new premium economy cabin on the A350-1000 will feature 56 seats, which will be in a 2-4-2 configuration (which seems quite tight, given that economy has just nine seats per row). Each seat will feature a 13.3″ screen.

Virgin Atlantic has chosen the Collins Aerospace MiQ seats, which are perfectly fine, though hardly revolutionary.

New economy seats

Virgin Atlantic’s new economy cabin will be in a 3-3-3 configuration. The first four rows of seats will feature 34″ of pitch, matching their concept on other planes, where they have an extra legroom economy section in addition to premium economy. The rest of the cabin will feature 31″ of pitch.

Virgin Atlantic has selected the Recaro CL3710 seat for the cabin.

What routes will feature the A350?

Virgin Atlantic says that their first A350 will be flying in August between London Heathrow and New York JFK, though no exact flight info has been given yet. The airline plans to increase A350 service on that route over time, so you can expect that New York is their initial focus.

This contrasts to British Airways, which is putting their new A350s on flights to Toronto and Dubai.

My take on Virgin Atlantic’s new cabins

Given the amount of hype surrounding these cabins, I’m a bit disappointed. Economy seems about what you’d expect, premium economy is fine though nothing innovative, and Upper Class isn’t quite as good as British Airways’ new Club Suite.

They’re essentially introducing reverse herringbone seats in business class, except they have Virgin Atlantic touches, like personalized mood lighting. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t bad at all, but it’s nothing to get excited about.

Virgin Atlantic does say that they’ll eventually reconfigure existing planes, though no timeline has been given for that yet.

What do you make of Virgin Atlantic’s new A350 cabins?

Comments

  1. The details and finishes make it look like a rejected Singapore Airlines concept, throw some orange in there and you have SQ.

  2. I thought they said that their seats will be fully forward facing and not angled? This seems a bit off from that description.

  3. “While these are heavily modified seats, disappointingly they won’t feature doors. Rather they’ll just feature partitions that give you a bit of extra privacy, but it’s a far cry from a door.”

    These seats look perfectly private. God forbid you make eye contact with a passenger/FA passing through the aisle. This door obsession needs to stop.

  4. I don’t get the timing of the announcement here. Why announce you will announce a new seat so close to British Airways new seat announcement if the end product isn’t as good as British Airways? Maybe Virgin will beat British on the roll-out schedule? I do really love the loft concept though.

  5. Overall quite disappointing vs. the hype. The Upper Class cabin while better than the current product, is hardly anything revolutionary and the half-door is half-hearted. Likewise the Premium Economy cabin is completely me-too (same seat as AA PE?) and doesn’t even feature leg or foot rests.

    What a shame Virgin – you had a chance to regain your crown but missed completely.

  6. I don’t understand the desire for doors in business class. Why is it necessary? I understand you want your seat to be more private, but honestly the seat presented seems incredibly private. You will not be able to notice anyone while you are in your seat. At worst you will just get a view of someone’s midsection.

    Honestly, having a door does not make it much more private. It like these doors go up to the ceiling and anyone who is standing and walking past will able able to see into your doored suite.

  7. Ben – one major difference vs AA or CX is that the middle seats face outwards rather than inwards. I can’t immediately think of any other airline that operates this configuration.

  8. They’re actually flying the A350 first to Newark. Also, this is not a disappointing product, in fact, this is very well done and can compete with other European Airlines and it’s quite good when you look at other airlines with the same product.

  9. Come on it’s basically the same as BA and you guys are complaining. When seated it will provide the same privacy. It looks like it has more interesting finishings than BA. BTw when DL came with the doors everyone said it was just a gimmick BA copies 2 years later now a door is good?

  10. @Chris: where did you read this? If so, it would be a unique forward/reverse herringbone combination. I suppose you can save more space with outer facing seats in the center since you don’t need dedicated space to ‘enter’ the seat.

    Also why did they go with a few rows of 34 inches and then the rest of 31? 31 is tight-ish; wouldn’t it have been better to go with 32 all across?

  11. @HT – see Headforpoints on instragram. Or Australian Business Traveller. As to the legroom difference, they upsell the 34″ seats – no different to economy+ on the legacy US carriers.

  12. I have a soft spot for Virgin Atlantic. It was my first International Business Class (Upper Class) Experience. I’ve never had a bad experience flying them. With the exception when Stephanie Powers yelled at me for sneezing and wanting to move her seat. I’ve always had fun crew, decent food and love their departure experience at LHR. I was never a fan of their seats. I think we all hated the fold down back. And I’m less than wow’d at these seats. A bit improvement over the old ones, but I feel meh about them.

  13. Hmmm I wouldn’t call this revolutionary. Overhyped in my opinion but I am glad they got rid of their current business class seat.

  14. @flyer: I absolutely agree. This obsession with doors is totally misleading and distracting from a decent review.

  15. “God forbid you make eye contact with a passenger/FA passing through the aisle”

    Seriously. The only people who really need doors are people watching porn and/or masturbating.

  16. While it’s a PITA to have the attendants flip the existing Upper Class seats over to make a bed, I have to say I’ve gotten better sleep on VS beds than on almost any other business class bed in the sky because the bed surface is intended to be a bed, and doesn’t have the nooks and crannies of a fully reclined seat. I won’t really miss it per se, but I do think there’s something to be said about purpose-built bed surfaces on planes.

  17. The seat is actually a Cirrus NG which I believe no other carrier uses. It’s definitely an improvement over the current seat but a step below the BA seat. I think that with a good crew, the experience might be better than BA’s.

  18. Flyer & Oscar: Agree a door isn’t needed in J. I rather have those extra inches in seat length to be honest. Unless you have the space (and privacy) of The Residences, I don’t see the need for a door.

  19. @ Ben — Nice to see them going with reverse herringbone. The current seats are horrific, making their business class one of the absolute worst.

  20. Can you watch IFE gate to gate? Looks like the monitor is likely going to have to be stowed for taxi / take-off and landing.

  21. Far be it from me to agree with Nick, but I agree. If you’re sleeping the current Virgin Atlantic seats are really, really nice. Your head is far from the aisle so you won’t get much disturbance, and it’s wide enough that you can sleep in just about any position. The bedding is plush. Only thing that’s really problematic is storage.

  22. Lucky or somebody else who may know…

    Please tell me if they are keeping the 21 inch wide seat width in premium economy?

  23. It certainly looks like an improvement over their current seat, though I’d agree with everyone who’s used the word “hype”. But Virgin has always been a bit style-over-substance. They must be furious that BA’s J product looks like it will outclass them – though I guess we should wait to see how both seats perform in the flesh.

    As to all those who don’t like doors: I bloody love them. And no, I’m not spending a 12 hour flight masturbating or watching porn; I’m just not an exhibitionist.

    Frankly I don’t see why you’re complaining: if you want everyone to look at you just leave the damn door open. But for those of us who value privacy, it’s better to have the option.

  24. @ Debit

    When it first launched Virgin used to have an on-Board masseur. It was a ridiculous idea: the massage chair was completely exposed in the middle of the J cabin. Although I guess some of the commenters who like people staring at them would have enjoyed it.

  25. Also, quite funny how everyone is saying it’s worse then BA new seat when no one has even sat in any of them.

  26. Are doors absolutely necessary? No, of course not. However, they are claiming to have doors and calling the seats ‘suites’. And not only that, but then to say that they are not having the doors close to provide better service. Well, if that is the reason, have doors that close and if I want better service, I will keep it open. Virgin had really hyped this as something new and revolutionary and they just are not. And even in their mock-ups, the seat seems to be blocking the window so you can’t see out. Add to that that the seats have the foldable screens, meaning you won’t be able to enjoy content gate to gate and I would say that this just doesn’t seem like a great reveal to me and while it is undoubtedly and upgrade on their current product, there are enough similar or superior products that have been around for years, so it doesn’t give me any incentive to go out of my way to try this product.

  27. Just coming to say that while no believed me that it would be a Cirrus NG, it indeed was 🙂

  28. What many on here might not know. Back in the 1990s… I suspect 80s too, they had a seated massage area and onboard masseurs (not FA’s). You could also get the massage at your seat. Manicures etc. VS Upper class was on another level!!!! Yes, recliner seats of the time, but the cabin felt luxurious – true luxury, not the plastic of today…and full on service. It WAS an experience. VS was the Etihad of its time. I flew them alot in J class to/from JFK, LAX – LHR. Good times.

    I would not consider this a “refresh” its a new seat.

    The door on seats is helpful when sleeping. Sometimes I wake up and my PJ’s are revealing a little underwear or even some bum crack (nothing major) but for me its for that. I like to be covered… its not about not being visible at all.

    The half door is thanks to DELTA bean counters!

  29. The article on businesstraveller.com states they will NOT be retrofitting the seat onto any other aircraft. I’m surprised by this move given that the new BA seat is not only superior (well in my opinion) to the VS seat but also that BA have said they will retrofit it to most of their exisiting aircraft.

  30. I am quite disappointed of most or all airlines. The real revolutions will happen in Economy and Premium Economy. Beyond the Qsuites what can be done more for Business Class? Beyond the fully enclosed EK First Class cabins, what else can be offered? The revolutionary airline (there’s no sight yet) will be the one offering a new economy class and premium economy with a proper leg rest which is now appearing in the first row of AA and Lufthansa. I loved the old BA PE that kept the old J class seats for PE but I can also understand why tall chaps didn’t feel comfortable. I’m short enough to say that for me was a dream seat.

  31. 20 inches wide … 4 inches narrower than Delta’s seats on the A350.

    Wow. That’s going to be tight.

  32. So
    I think seasoned travelers will opt for bulkhead seats which come with more foot space.
    No mention of the IFE control only that users can use their smart phones
    The half door is a gimmick but as the mock up didn’t have functional doors the jury’s out
    The loft looks more practical and inviting than the bar and is an area not offered with BA

    I think anything is better than the current offering and I look forward to trying it out

  33. Not that impressed tbh. As regards upper class, a door would seem natural these days (agreed they are not a necessity but nice to have the option), while that loft area looks tiny and awkward.

    8-across PE seas on the A350 are terrible – CX and SQ both regrettably went for this layout and the width is not much different than standard economy in 9-across layout on a 777. Without footrests as well can’t imagine that will be a very competitive product.

    Overall the service on Virgin is friendly – maybe too much so given I personally don’t like to chat or interact more than necessary – and the purple/red nightclub-style lighting they always use tends to stress me out. Can’t imagine I will be chasing this unless it’s by far the most convenient timing or use of miles.

    As someone else has pointed out, in fact VS reportedly have said there are NO plans to retrofit other aircraft to this seat – all the 789’s were delivered new with their old herringbone ‘coffin’ seats for some reason and it wil be a good decade before they need a refit, A330s were just refurbished, and the 744s and A340s are being retired soon, so this product will only every exist on a minority of the fleet anyway, it seems.

  34. Are there any advantages of using this seat type with essentially herringbone configuration instead of reverse herringbone in the middle seats?! Why didn’t they just go with regular reverse herringbone? Such a shame.

  35. I don’t know why anyone would rave about Virgin Atlantic. They have been irrelevant for such a long time. These seats are a step up from the awful current seats it shares with Air New Zealand where you see feet first through the aisles. For so much hype as Branson gets Virgin Atlantic not only has lost money more years than not in the last ten and offers nothing special. At least with British Airways you get somewhat traditional service.

    As for doors: whatever makes business class like first class I’m all for it. I understand for a family wanting to have contact but unless it is a really beautiful woman sitting next to me I don’t want to have that much contact especially since the point of business class is to lie flat in bed and relax during a day flight or sleep at night. I had a couple of pretty people seated next to me in business on American which is a great product and has a lot of privacy without a door. But at 11:00PM at night and for the 10.5 hour flight everyone self included is focused on getting sleep. Nothing cooler than being able to lie flat and sleep on a plane.

  36. Also what is with this trend of blocking out half the window space or more with privacy guards on the window side of the seat as well? Kind of like ANA first class – so strange…. seems like it will be very hard to look out the window in some rows based on those renderings…

  37. I wonder if Air NZ will license this update for its BusinessFirst class as it did with an earlier VS herringbone layout?

  38. Ditto Ditto Ditto Ditto: God forbid you make eye contact with a passenger/FA passing through the aisle. This door obsession needs to stop.

    Not all airlines need to cater to those who choose burka.

  39. @The nice Paul

    Different people different opinions.

    Yes having a door is better than nothing.
    Does it give extra privacy, I don’t feel so. On the contrary, I would stand and stare at your closed door seat all flight long to make a point.
    Is it a tie breaker, no never.
    Is not having one viewed as negative, definitely not.
    I just feel a lot of people here are just annoyed of a door making a product much better (or lack of worse) and being used as a sales pitch for ‘innovation’.

    Now if it is enclosed like the new F on EK, yes that makes a difference.

    And yes P&M is a good test for privacy.
    LOL, Will a seat pass the Porn & Masturbate test. EK failed because there are cameras.

  40. I don’t think the door in British airways new seat sets it apart that much. That’s the only special thing about it and I think there’s too much hype about the door.

  41. The herringbone layout – which no-one else has – is interesting.

    It is essentially / /\\ instead of /\/\

    This means a) you can talk to the person next to you if you choose and b) your head is away from the aisle to minimise noise from trolleys etc whilst trying to sleep.

    The BA seats are fairly high sided. The VS ones are lower and a full door would have had minimal impact.

    (I mean, who is looking in? The person in the adjacent seat can’t see your seat anyway because of the curved headrest. Anyone who is standing can see in perfectly well.)

    There is a risk that a) the BA cabin which is all-grey is simply dull and b) the high sided seats are unpopular. Remember that you cannot talk to anyone in the new BA Club Suite.

  42. I really like “The Loft.”

    “Virgin Atlantic says that this is a way to maintain a social interaction between passengers, and also with the crew.”
    Just say you weren’t able to fit a door.

    It’s true. They’re not doing anything that’s never been done before. But I like the effort they are making.

  43. Thoughts

    + what idiot decided to block the windows? (#fail)

    + why is the upperclass lounge so bloody small? (I guess the idea is to be playing footsie with fellow travellers!) and,

    + why no photos of the the “revolutionary” premium and economy cabins? (methinks DELTA / VIRGIN has something to hide!)

    #failfailfail

  44. Virgin has the worst most outdated seats on their fleet. When they added the 787s (Although most were pulled two years) and still have not been repaired, they use the SAME Crummy seats as the A300s. Wat was the thinking on that Branson always talks big and claims to know what is going on. I would love to ask him the decision process to put a 20 year old outdated seat into a newer model plane like the 787? So expect little to nothing from them. The only thing worse? British Airways business class seats on the A380s. Those suck. Flat out suck.

  45. sure looks like a lot more fun than the new BA seat that is a crossover between a flying senior management cubicle and the cigar lounges at Mayfair and Savoy, but both are far more enticing than the boring ones from US3.

    Heck, if you’re not flying nonstop to LHR to begin with, even Air Canada’s J is more appetizing than US3.

    But, sometimes you gotta give credit for how hard trolls like spin88 try and whine and bitch about 787 being “so narrow” cuz DL doesn’t have any on order, but forgot DL’s *major* JV partners like AF KL VS AM KE all have substantial 787 fleets.

  46. I wonder how hard it would have been to fit a miniature version of a bar/counter in the loft. Also, I can’t help but notice that curtains are still missing between the loft and the upper class cabin. EK style noise dampening curtains would have gone a long way.

    I like how stylish the new upper seat is, as others have pointed out the finishes do look very SQ-ish which is far from being a bad thing. Mood lighting really shines here.
    The half door in a good idea to be honest, blends the east of access of the QR herringbone (without the wing like shield near the head) with the privacy of the CX one. In the end, the seat is mostly private and that little bit won’t make much of a difference.
    IFE and storage have improved considerably and that is greatly appreciated.

    Am I the only one that finds the Y seat very … ugly ? I don’t know the pattern just looks like a recycled rug.

  47. “Frankly I don’t see why you’re complaining: if you want everyone to look at you just leave the damn door open. But for those of us who value privacy, it’s better to have the option.”

    That must indicate a certain narcissistic vanity on one’s part, to assume that the people around you in a premium cabin would have nothing better to do but stare at you during the whole flight. I mean, I’ve never had it happen to me nor have I heard anyone else complain “My 12 hour flight in business class was ruined because the person across the aisle was staring at me the whole flight!”

  48. @ Aaron

    Of course, you’re right, there’s every chance there’s some Narcissistic vanity motivating my near-pathological desire to, er, stay away from other people.

    Maybe I shouldn’t insist that my *hotel* room is for my exclusive occupation and, instead, I should be thrilled at staying in a dorm room with a group of complete strangers because, you know, what have I got to hide? I mean, am I planning to spend the whole night in my hotel room either masturbating or watching porn or probably both?

    These people who prefer to have a bit of privacy when they’re getting a night’s sleep, eh…?

  49. “I mean, am I planning to spend the whole night in my hotel room either masturbating or watching porn or probably both?”

    Whatever gets you through the night.

    And also, something else as a better comparison than airplane seats and hotel rooms, please.

  50. Forget doors. I want a roof over my seat. Seriously, the seat does not face straight ahead as they hyped (Ben did not even comment on that laps). Also, how do you look out the window?

  51. I don’t understand why One Mile at a Time and others are not picking up on the width. This “new” seat is 4 inches narrower than what Delta uses in business-class. More importantly, it’s 2 inches narrower than what Virgin Atlantic currently uses on the A330 and 747.

  52. @FNT Delta Diamond
    Because numbers don’t matter until you fly the product. I mean it does but not until you feel how tight it is.

    @The nice Paul

    You’re missing the point. The door doesn’t give you more privacy, it just makes you think so.
    To your comparison, it’s like a hotel room with no curtains, your private room not a dorm. Yes, you have four walls, a closed door, and all alone but everyone can still see inside.
    Room with no curtains would fail the P&M test.

  53. In response to the several comments re doors……..they are a godsend so that you can’t see nearby passengers screens flickering non stop all night.

  54. I actually really like this concept as its a sleek reverse herringbone seat with a half door and the service I sort of agree with a door makes it a bit awkward for the crew and can negatively impact service.

    Secondly Lucky aren’t these seats supposed to be “fully forward facing” (to quote you and Virgin Atlantic)

  55. For all of us complaining about the imperfections of the new seat, try sitting in a 31″ Y cabin. Suddenly the lack of a full door won’t matter.

    Also, is the goal to retrofit the seat onto the A330s and 787s? How would this translate, given the latter aircraft have slightly narrower cabins? I’m assuming the 747s and a340s will be retired, so won’t get them.

  56. It’s better than the disasterous upper class seat on the a330 (remember those? -ugh!). But BA seems to have strangely stayed ahead of virgin with their new business product. At least they understand the need for privacy – the VS designers don’t seem to be listening to passengers – seems they think they know what’s best!

  57. @ Eskimo

    You are missing the point – contrary to your assumption, I don’t actually want to masturbate and watch porn. The levels of privacy offered by a Qsuite are absolutely fine by me.

    See @efembe’s post below yours for the killer argument in favour of doors.

    I once stayed in a cutting edge boutique hotel in Spain. The bathroom had floor-to-ceiling glass walls with vistas over the city, and no way of stopping anyone looking in – even during my, er, morning movements. I found it excruciating. No doubt there are posters on here who think that’s just my Narcissism poking through.

  58. Anyone who has sat in business class seats with doors will know that it doesn’t give you privacy. They are too short to do so. Its a gimmick, like a new toy given to an easily wowed child.

  59. I just flew Delta One Suites to Paris a few weeks ago and while the new design is a big improvement, and the doors nice, I wouldn’t discount the new Virgin Atlantic seat because it doesn’t have them. The seat looks great, much better than the current Upper Class seating, so I’m looking forward to booking with them.

  60. I’m actually angry at Virgin here and I wonder if they are stupid. As their own website confirms, PE seats are a whopping 2.5 inches less wide than on other aircraft ( 18.5 vs 21 ) and UC has declined 2 inches ( 20 vs 22 ).

    With all the nice cabin width to play with there is no need to reduce UC seat width to current BA and Lufthansa mediocrity size. There are airlines running the A350 who show what can be done with business class. Even now BA, with the current poor 20 inch BA product is to be replaced with seats substantially wider ( 23 or 24 I read ) and I hope they do well with them, whereas I hope Virgin get the reaction they deserve and do badly.

    What causes me real anger though is what affects me – the terribly reduced PE seats. No, they are not ‘fine’ as the article states. 2.5 inches less is robbery. Of course, they had to cut them if their UC seats are coming down too, but I just don’t see the arithmetical justification for losing seat width in a four abreast A350 UC cabin in the first place ! So now the PE seats have an extra 1.1 inches over economy ( oh wow ), which is hardly premium and certainly a big come down on previous Virgin PE seats. Bear in mind too, because of the hard sides in PE, you really have to be able to fit in that space, unlike in Economy where there is a degree of ‘spill thru’ possible. To my mind, Virgin’s PE is/was their best judged, sweet-spot product and a draw to use themhands down over other airlines. Now they have spolied it. The 21 inch PE seats are great for coping with larger people who won’t waste their money on UC. The old product is brilliant and now they have eliminated the core reason to use Virgin, certainly on the A350 and if they fit them on other types, then in general too.

    And by the way, on an A350, you can have 18 inch seats. Virgin states 17.4. Haha of course 18 would be to close to PE’s 18.5. See how they box themselves in here. They reduce the width of UC and PE can’t embarrass that so they have to get tighter, then conversly the possibilty of having wider economy seats that an A350 allows for cannot be taken as that would be to close to their new PE width.

    How stupid in the first place to narrow the UC seats. They should have widened the product if anything, like BA will offer on their A350. They should have had wide UC seats, maintained the established PE width of 21 and utilised the nice cabin width to offer 18 in economy. These products would be great incentive to buy instead of other airlines. Instead Virgin have been stupid. Indeed, the only densification benefit to them is perhaps an extra seat in PE. Wow, what a gain eh,at the expense of going backwards with both UC and PE and limited what might have been done in Economy. How stupid.

    I ordered a lovely diescast metal 200 scale A350 in Virgin colours, excited for Virgin and pleased to have in my collection the best airliner in the colours of the transatlantic routes best airline. Now having found out the reality of Virgin’s one step forward two steps back cabin changes, I feel somewhat, meh.

    So yeah, Virgin are stupid and I am disappointed if not angry.

  61. @ Bagpuss, you worded it perfectly for me, as a PE traveller, with a disability that requires a back brace on a less than slim frame, the backward move from Virgin will likely mean I am unable to fly in the future, especially if, as stated, they refit other aircraft to this backward standard, I am so very disappointed. VA refitted the four A330-200 brought in to fill the Dreamliner gap, PE has a 17.7″ seat width (same as economy) and 36″ of pitch, this is nothing more than extra leg room seating, if those PE seats have the hard sides they’ll only suit those who are extremely thin. As a previous poster commented, the A350-1000 is devoid of a foot rest too, perhaps due to a loss of 2″ of pitch. I too am disappointed that One Mile at a Time have skimmed over the substantial loss of seat width, likely they have their reasons why.

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