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It’s been an exciting few weeks for new Business Class products here in the UK, with British Airways unveiling a much-improved Club World seat/’suite‘, and Virgin Atlantic getting in on the action now too. The big public reveal of the new Virgin Atlantic Upper Class cabin is scheduled for tonight, but The Telegraph has already got hold of the details.
The newspaper reports,
“In the Upper Class cabin – the top class of three – the decades-old seat/bed suites that face into the cabin in a herringbone pattern have been replaced with 44 all-new suites in a 1-2-1 configuration, all of which face forwards and outwards towards the huge windows. The colour palette is white, coral-pink with dark claret leather, which gives the cabin a bright, warm look.
The 20-inch-wide seat slumps down to create an 82-inch bed – no more folding over the seat. There’s a “half privacy” door – it only half closes – to maintain a link between staff and passengers. “The people who love us, we love them right back and that means we have to be able to see them,” says Shai Weiss, Virgin Atlantic’s CEO since the turn of the year.
New perks in Upper include an 18.5-inch TV screen; personalised mood lighting in each suite, with better reading lights; a deep mattress and the thickest pillow in the sky; pre-ordered personalised pyjamas – trousers or shorts and long-sleeve top or T-shirt; and toiletries in large sizes that you will be encouraged to keep, so you don’t have to pack any.
There is also a change to the iconic Upper Class bar, with a new lounge area called ‘The Loft’ replacing it,
“…a stylish lobby-style entrance at the main door with bench seats for eight people.
The space, called The Loft, also serves as the new bar for Upper Class passengers. Virgin has scrapped its trademark bar with stools (Emirates and Qatar do it better these days, anyway, on their vast A380 superjumbos) in favour of lower, lounge seats, meaning it is possible to install seat belts. Passengers enjoying themselves will no longer have to return to their seats when turbulence strikes.
A new “bowl food” menu enables passengers to eat in the lounge, too. There’s a 32-inch TV screen to watch films or live sports – using blue-tooth headphones – and a stand-up desk where two people can work using their laptops.”
New Economy and Premium Economy products have also been developed.
The new Virgin Atlantic Upper Class cabin sounds fantastic and will certainly be a substantial improvement on the current offering. Combining a genuinely competitive hard product with Virgin’s trademark style is exciting.
The problem is that the new product will only (initially anyway) be featured on the 12 Airbus A350-1000s that Virgin has on order, so however good the new cabin is, most passengers will still be stuck with something considerably worse for years to come…
What do you think about the new Virgin Atlantic Upper Class cabin?