My guess is that Premium Economy was introduced because so many companies stopped being willing to pay for Business. Whenever possible I try to book SkyTeam and other Delta partner flights directly through Delta.com. Virgin Atlantic aircraft consist of three cabins: Economy, Premium (formerly Premium economy) and Upper Class (business). These seats all have personal air vents which means that the cabin temperature is comfortable for the flight to Seattle. Overall, very happy with this Premium Economy experience and Virgin Atlantic has struck a fine balance between Business and Economy Class for the product and service offer. It was good enough to occasionally load a web page and email. In July 2017, Virgin Atlantic announced its intention to form a joint venture with Air France–KLM, but in December 2019, it was announced that the joint venture would not include a … Each seat also had an adjustable, inflatable lumbar support and a rather large footrest. While I managed to run off a single 40MB on this 9-hour flight, this was achieved by disabling any auto updates/uploads on my phone and only using the service for messaging and a very small number of emails. Get Global Entry or suffer. Hope you can try Premium Econ again on the 787 or A350. We will get this straightened out in no time.”. I love this, as the excruciatingly long taxi times at Heathrow are perfect for catching up on the news. Virgin Atlantic was one Delta partner I was dying to try out. Note: on a later, evening time Premium Economy flight, Virgin did hand out amenity kits with socks, lip balm, toothbrush kits and a pen. Your email address will not be published. There are many great reviews of Virgin’s home base Clubhouse lounge, so I’ll be brief. There’s also a roof deck but it was closed given the January gloom outside. I’ve flown in eight different premium economy seats on long-haul flights, but never on the original. American Airlines trials COVID-19 app to make travel safer (and why that’s a good thing), Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy: A Review. Travel + COVID-19: Travel Technology Survey Results, Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy: A Review – InsideFlyer – IAM Network, Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy: A Review - My Blog, Masks in-flight are not the way to go, expert says, A Plane Ticket Urban Myth That Really Should Be Banished Forever…, IHG Rewards Club FINALLY Fixes Their Worst Flaw, KLM seat types in Economy; overview and discounts, Marriott Bonvoy publishes 2021 elite policy, London loses its name as ‘Best connected city’. Virgin Atlantic have 3 Class types, Economy, Premium Economy and First Class. However, overall, this is genuinely one of the more enjoyable Transatlantic experiences I have had with any airline, in any cabin. It took me about 45 seconds to get through, past actually friendly security screeners (there were smiles and one friendly agent assisted me lifting my bag into a bin). While the style of food provided is broadly aligned with the back cabin, the hardware on which it is delivered is nicely upgraded, and it is these small touches that one is now seeing more in Premium Economy. If passengers pay extra for wider recliners on domestic flights, wouldn’t they be more inclined to do so on a 10-hour haul? I like it. There is some coffee-ring staining to the tray table when this is pulled-out but the fact that the mood lighting is quite subdued and dark means that this is only seen after departure when there is more illumination. Virgin Upperclass passengers, Delta One passengers, Virgin Gold Card elites and Delta Platinum and Diamond Medallion elites can visit. The tray table deploys from the armrest and covers the full seat width – this is bi-fold but sturdy and gives excellent utility for my planned work during the flight. I arrived in Europe 9 days earlier via SWISS’ solid business class throne seat. After dozing off I decided I needed a coffee (though I could have ordered another cognac, if my mood was a bit different). Virgin Atlantic hails 22 per cent reduction in aircraft carbon emissions. There are separate check-in desks for economy passengers, premium economy passengers, Delta SkyPriority customers and Upper Class passengers. » News Headlines The blanket is black with brown trim, and this is constructed from the thinner fleece-style material that is becoming popular amongst many global airlines. The one and only area where Virgin’s premium economy cabin stood out was seat comfort. The sheer thickness of the padding on these seats was something I hadn’t experienced before. She phoned the Clubhouse lounge to advise my impending arrival. Additional fares (fuel surcharges) are also much less in premium economy. The jam was from a British supplier. Virgin Atlantic Premium on the A350. Cabins include seating in Upper Class, Prem Economy, and Economy. Passengers received free headphones. If you don’t have bags, being able to use the Virgin Atlantic mobile app to download a boarding pass is even better. He is wearing a blue coat, black jeans and boots and should arrive in about 5 to 10 minutes. Harper is a very pleasant gentleman whose boarding pass incorrectly says he’s a Delta gold member. Today’s flight is on a 4-year old Boeing 787-9 in Premium Economy which is configured with 35 seats in a 2x3x2 format. And it was a very nice liqueur to serve in conjunction with something ending in “economy”. Immigration processing is quick today, and bags begin to arrive shortly after this. Overall, it is a positive start for today’s flight to Seattle, and not too dissimilar to a decent regional Business Class flight in Asia or the Middle East. It is a bit flat if one is to be highly critical, but it is pleasing nonetheless to have a proper cotton cover. This is one of the better mid-flight snacks I’ve had. The headphone jack was worn out and the plug needed to be situated just right for stereo sound. All in all, I earned over 13,000 points and miles on the trip (American Express Membership Rewards points can also be transferred directly to Delta SkyMiles). The system is branded up as Vera – Virgin’s trendy moniker for the interface and accompanying IFE guide. The Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747-400 operates in a three class configuration. The obvious inconvenience of the bulkhead is that this is just behind the galley, Business Class bar and washrooms, so there is high-potential for intrusion. Virgin’s premium economy seats, at 21 inches wide, are as wide as any domestic first or business class recliner on the market and set the international standard in premium economy. If Virgin Atlantic has any such guarantee they weren’t anywhere close to meeting it this evening. The roll was pre-packaged, rather than heated and fresh in baskets, as one might expect in business class. However, I get it that for most others, and especially those younger than myself, the low res screens and those wonky controllers for the A340 seatback entertainment system, are far less desirable than the crisp resolution and touch pad IFE found on newer aircraft. It was a nice presentation. After my first flight, I sense that Virgin Atlantic is a great airline with a unique culture of service and style. Thanks for posting this amazing information. » Special features. I was in need of a return flight from Berlin to New York. Those extra few inches of space, a glass of bubbly as you board, and a tasty meal served on china crockery with proper cutlery. Even Delta Comfort+ economy passengers receive ear plugs, toothbrush kits, lotions and eye masks on transatlantic flights. I felt disappointed with the condition of the A340, though. Service presence and energy does decline somewhat as the flight progresses, litter clearance is not as frequent, the second meal tray is slow to be removed, and perhaps most importantly washrooms become quite messy and stocked low with tissues and towels. There was a good diversity of options, though. There was no mood lighting, no Wander Wall and no power outlets. Let the battle commence! Just, wow. Virgin Atlantic Carry-On Allowance: Passengers in Economy Light, Economy Class, Economy Delight, and Premium are permitted to bring 1 piece of carry-on luggage plus 1 personal item, such as a handbag or small backpack. A handbag, rucksack or laptop bag is permitted in addition to the above. The Premium Economy cabin crew had plenty of adapters on hand, but they only supported U.S.-style plugs (ahem, isn’t this is a British Airline???). A bottle could run you about $70 on the ground. Anyhow, we chose the spicier options for our meals in Virgin’s PE – and found all of our meals quite tasty and satisfying! I requested compensation SkyMiles through both Delta and Virgin Atlantic, but haven’t yet received a response. But it was so un-memorable that, as of sitting down to begin this post, three days after the flight, I can’t remember what I ate. Otherwise, the airline’s A340s are in dire need of a retrofit. She waved over a supervisor. The wing has a dedicated security checkpoint and I was literally the only passenger in line. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Boarding begins 45-minutes before departure with priority customers called first. There was no way Virgin would allow this small clerical imperfection to compromise my experience, even one iota. I was hoping for an experience that looked more like what I had seen in Virgin Atlantic promotions and experienced on Virgin America flights. Still, the whole place elicited a peculiar sense of British refinement and hospitality that I haven’t encountered elsewhere. There is a bar snack of sour cream pretzels from a well-known global brand. The bulkhead wall panels are enhanced with a modern geodesic design. Introduction: Having flown both British Airways World Traveler Plus cabin and Virgin Atlantic’s premium economy cabin tens of times across the Atlantic, I am going to be comparing pricing, seating and comfort, service, food and drinks, entertainment. Virgin Atlantic check-in is positioned in Zone A at Terminal 3 at Heathrow. However the Business class on Virgin Atlantic is a very high end premium product way out of the reach of most. It’s unfortunate you got stuck on one of the A340 dogs. It is important to note, due to restricted space on the terminal train between customs and the arrivals building, International passengers going to the city must put bulky luggage back into the baggage handling system to be recollected on a second delivery belt in the domestic area. those new to the blogosphere. About 90 minutes before arrival flight attendants served scones, cakes and sandwiches with a variety of spreads and creme fraiche clotted cream. See the Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy service on the new Airbus A350-1000 aircraft. I was one of the last passengers onto the aircraft. For those customers connecting, the transfer and re-check counter is positioned just after customs, so the process is as easy and streamlined and as one can expect in the US. Enjoy 3 more inches than the rest of economy. As a benefactor of frequent flier status, I am tied to Delta Air Lines. Having upgraded service and an adequate seat is enough to make a trip like this extremely pleasant. With Global Entry I was able to pass immigration in just a few minutes. The Upperclass wing actually features an entirely private check-in area, which I did not visit, as its accessed from a private driveway outside. Virgin Atlantic Airbus A350 Premium seat map (Image courtesy Virgin Atlantic) Bottom line. We didn’t have enough miles for Upper Class (and it wasn’t available, anyway), so we chose Premium Economy. Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club frequent flyer redemptions are easy to use. And I always come away feeling fine and ready to hit the town. Brown hair and a brown laptop bag.”. Over 20 years after Virgin introduced its premium economy, the product has a solid lead over competitors in at least one respect: the seat. Every time I returned to the seat I delighted in the sensation of sinking into thick, lush padding. The food is quite excellent, and the product sits somewhere between long-haul Economy Class and regional Business Class for flavour, texture and presentation. Treat yourself to Premium. Unfortunately, delicious only appeared in the menu on this flight. The seats reminded me of an actual recliner, a-la lazy boy. I am quickly seated in the bulkhead row, and the cabin crew are swift to provide drinks (prosecco, water and orange juice), and these are kept topped up throughout the boarding process. Domestically, this works out great. Each seat is outfitted with a pillow and blanket during boarding. I did appreciate the exceedingly clear preliminary and final boarding announcements made in the clubhouse. InsideFlyer is a privately funded venture based in Colorado Springs, CO (affectionally—the House of Miles). View details, » London Gatwick Airport gets the 3-Star COVID-19 airport for coronavirus procedures. While the private entrance was gorgeous, it seemed that even economy passengers flying Virgin out of Heathrow can expect prompt service at check-in. They called it Champagne but I’d beg to differ. I flew Biz on the A340 last year due to 787 issues. Meandering through the premium economy section on the way out, thinkin’ that this very much looks like something I wanna try. Disappointingly, I didn’t receive an amenity kit. Impressively, every beverage I received arrived in glassware. 26 Jun 2017. He asked if it was my first time visiting and then offered to take me on a full tour of the facility. For hand carry, this should be 1 item at a maximum of 23x36x56cm (9x14x22-inches) and 10kg. I was effortlessly on my way to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse. Loading... Be … Today we are announcing… Continue Reading. The content is reasonably interesting and obviously gives an excellent overview of the system content. She then called over a red coat to escort me through the Upperclass wing. The Upperclass Wing really shined during the security screening process. Consider that across the tarmac, passengers in United’s Polaris business class were drinking from plastic cups. The space is easy to identify with massive logos visible from the drop-off forecourt, and once in the terminal, there are numerous signs with the various check-in counters, as well as an abundance of self-service units. » Rome Fiumicino Airport is the first airport in the world to be Certified with the COVID-19 5-Star Airport Rating. Virgin Atlantic has not only drastically reduced its business class prices, but also its premium economy prices!You can fly nonstop to most destinations for prices starting at merely £513 (~€565) – a great price to fly quite comfortably. They weren’t great, and I ended up using my iPhone headphones instead. It’s a means to earn full elite qualifying dollars (MQDs), rather than a partial percentage if I’d have booked through Virgin or through a third-party. Cabin cleanliness appears satisfactory onboarding and all primary contact areas around the seat are clear and free of debris. Virgin Atlantic launched its new premium seats this week, and they let you recline seven inches. If you decide on upgrading your next trip with Virgin Atlantic to Premium instead of economy, this guide should help you in some way to make sure you pick the right seat to get the most out of your experience. Virgin Atlantic A330-300 premium economy. All the passengers from Premium Economy and Upperclass gathered at the carousel to search for their bags among the economy bags. View airline, airport, seat, and lounge photos. Staff service begins well during boarding with much of the well publicised, spirited approach on full display. Cheese and crackers are also present, and the butter portion is from a high-street brand. Major hubs such as Heathrow T3 have the dedicated Virgin Atlantic Economy Delight check-in desks. » Flying London to Rome return with British Airways during COVID-19. You should have done the math on the MQD because oftentimes you get more MQD booking direct on VS than on DL, since it’s a percentage of miles travelled rather than dollars. I paid for the flight using my Platinum Card from American Express. Richard Branson and company were right. Virgin Atlantic’s Clubhouse is exclusive to the airline’s most prized clients. I’ve enjoyed premium economy flights on other airlines to and from Europe and even across the Pacific. Together, the A350s & A330neos will replace all of Virgin Atlantic’s remaining quad-jet A340s and () her majesty the Queen, aka Boeing 747s. “I am so sorry about this. Curiously, there isn’t a traditional inflight magazine, but the IFE guide is extensive and contains some articles so serves a quasi-option for this item. There is a useful route update and welcome from the flight deck in advance of the safety display which is most welcome. London to Newark was Virgin Atlantic’s inaugural route (the flight numbers on this route are still VS1 and VS2). Alternatively, you can opt for an Exit row seat from £49, which offers more room in front of you to stretch out in. But I still had to wait an hour for my “Premium Economy” tagged bags. Some amenities I barely had time to experience; delightful work spaces and a cool loft area with games for kids and a pool table. In an instant, she had read up on my entire Delta frequent flier history — all while making the sincerest apologies, repeatedly. The cabin design is contemporary with dark seat covers and carpets, and the main colouring is from the mood lighting which is well used for this late morning departure. The functionality is quite simple with the core categories of movies, TV, music and games on the top banner and a with a further “more” menu which is a catchall for most other items (think destination guides, flight map, seat chat, news and suchlike). I’m not going to say that my meal in Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy was bad. Instead, I entered a cabin with great seats, but dingy interior appointments otherwise. The legroom was adequate. Premium Economy enjoys its own dedicated check in area, which can be huge if you’re in a rush. Always the rebel, Virgin is bucking the industry trend of airlines that are maintaining the conventional inflight publication but ditching the entertainment guide. Here you can discover and share your experiences related to travel and frequent flyer programs with leisure travelers, infrequent flyers and road warriors alike. The pillow is white and has a white cotton cover with a small cut out to fit more ergonomically around the neck. Welcome to Virgin Atlantic. In the bulkhead, the USB location is an annoyance as to use and customers must either deploy or semi-deploy the PTV screen for access. The pasta was bland, and the salad greens, while fresh, were under-ripe and bitter. After departure the cabin crew provide large leather footrests for those customers on the front rows – other seats have the more traditional fold-down facility. In hindsight, the concept seems obvious. Virgin Atlantic Airbus A350 Premium seat map (Image courtesy Virgin Atlantic) Bottom line. I have no idea what premium economy or Upper Class boarding is normally like, since I was given the dreaded SSSS on my boarding pass. The new cabin was a hit. For standard seats, the seat pitch is 38-inches with a width of 20 inches between the armrests. First Virgin Atlantic came out with some fantastic premium cabin fares for travel between London and New York and then Amex came out with an offer of $200 off a $1,000 spend with Delta…..and it doesn’t really get better than that. A lone, vested doorman warmly greeted me. Passengers could choose between the London Times, Financial Times and The Guardian. This is quite strange and embarrassing. Will new transatlantic competition lower ticket prices? The tea biscuit was beautifully moist and the sandwich was far more flavorful than the pasta I’d had for dinner. First class would be your business class equivalent. There is no live TV news – however, there is a pretty decent news feed which is updated regularly during the flight with various business, sports and entertainment stories. One disappointment is the lack of amenities in the toilets, and this constitutes basic pipe soap for today’s flight, and one might expect a little more for this premium cabin. Prices were comparable to Delta’s Gogo inflight service, though I was unable to use my monthly Delta Gogo pass (seriously, is this a joint venture or not). Proper quality metal cutlery is in the napkin roll, and as discussed, glassware is used for water and wine. There are some meet and greet staff available to deal with immediate enquiries, and for Premium Economy customers there is the benefit of dedicated priority check-in which is simply branded up as “Premium”. I could have transited Heathrow without ever passing through security or U.K. immigration, but I’d heard great things about Virgin’s Upper Class and Elite ground services, and I decided to wait an extra 30 minutes in the immigration line to check out the situation. Considering the value that can be had for redeeming miles for a Premium experience on this route, the product is a huge step up from standard economy and worth it on a route like this, a seven-hour jaunt between New York and London. For this particular flight there was quite a queue for economy, but premium check in took no more than 10 minutes from queueing to boarding pass. The discipline and skills are not at the level one will see in Asia and the Middle East and sitting close to the galley numerous items are being dropped during the meal service which is sometimes followed by rather colourful language. An American Express Platinum card won’t get you in here, nor will a wad of cash. On a recent return from Europe to the U.S., I decided to give it a try. This netted me an additional five points per dollar, on top of the nine SkyMiles per dollar I would earn as a Platinum Medallion. WiFi was provided by Gogo, also known as NoGo and SlowSlow. Were our meals something to write home about? The washrooms are outfitted with the usual design for the B787, and like the cabin, this is finished to a good standard. Like Delta’s cards, bonuses on the Platinum Card from American Express and Chase Sapphire Cards can score you a seat in Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy. This is an appreciably better selection of wine than I’ve experience on any premium economy flight before this. Personally, as an old school “avgeek”, it was love at first sight for the four-engine Airbus A340 (of which three were flown on that trip, two on Virgin Atlantic and one on South African Airways), so while, yes, the 787 was much newer and had a far better seatback entertainment system than the old, clunky, difficult to use one on the aged A340s, I’d have no problem flying the older A340s as long as they’re still flying. From a food standpoint, I actually would have preferred my economy meal on Air France to this premium economy meal. Find our best fares on your next flights to the US and beyond, with a fantastic choice of food, drinks, award winning entertainment and onboard WiFi. You can transfer in rewards from both Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express. Virgin offers 3 classes of service between NY and London: Economy, Premium Economy, and Upper Class. The cabin staff during boarding are chatty and effusive, and there is a sense of the party vibe that is often portrayed in the airline’s marketing. They even included cute airplane-themed salt shakers similar to those I’ve seen in Virgin Upperclass reviews. In the movies section, there is a fair mix of new films as well as older classics, around 20 world films and 14 for kids. The bathrooms were basic, boring and offered no amenities beyond foaming soap. The internet service was, well, there. Over 20 years ago, Virgin Atlantic introduced something found nowhere else in the sky, a Premium Economy cabin. In recent years, transpacific carriers have come to match many of the services Virgin pioneered here. The meal arrived plated just as one might expect on a domestic first class flight in the U.S. They are timed to account for the precise walking distance to various gates. Hello you. 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