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The trend is obvious… and Virgin Atlantic have joined the crowd. From Spring 2018, Virgin Atlantic customers will be able to choose to fly “Economy Delight”, “Economy Classic” or “Economy Light”.
What Will Change?
Probably not much… although I couldn’t help noticing this tidbit at the bottom of the press release (click here to read):
Virgin scent: Virgin Atlantic has partnered with leading British candle maker Rachel Vosper to create a new scent called “Air.” Designed to evoke wellbeing and inspire future travel it will be available across check in, the gate and upon boarding the aircraft.
Err… thanks Virgin Atlantic… I’m assuming they aren’t really intending to have open flame candles on-board their aircraft or circulate perfume scents for the entirety of a 12-hour flight…
In all seriousness, Virgin Atlantic already allows Economy passengers to pre-select Economy seats with additional legroom, for an additional fee. (for the avoidance of doubt, this is NOT Premium Economy, which remains as a separate cabin) So this change appears to be marketing fluff to cover for the introduction of hand baggage only fares, especially since there appears to be no mention of earning additional miles in “Classic” or “Delight”.
The Bottom Line
I suppose that the success of Norwegian has made it inevitable that British Airways and Virgin Atlantic would introduce hand-baggage only fares on long-haul flights. And will eventually squeeze ever more seats into Economy class.
Ultimately this is because marketing departments have a problem… BA and Virgin can claim to have a “better economy class” than the likes of Norwegian or LEVEL, but many Norwegian travellers, like our Joe, can’t see much of a difference, except in the fares…