The first route it will be used on is New York JFK from August, It is ‘reverse herringbone’, but not as you know it, There are 44 suites in the A350 Upper Class cabin, The bar has been replaced by a larger social space called ‘The Loft’ (see Part 2). Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. The stitching looks great and there are little flashes of Virgin red popping out in unexpected places. Virgin Atlantic has unveiled its brand new Upper Class suite which will launch on the carrier’s A350-1000 aircraft this summer. These two articles focus on the new Upper Class Suite. As it stands, although it is still early days, Club Suite is a superior product. Being able to watch airport snafus, and even the queue for take off, keeps the passenger informed of their progress and makes flying a less frustrating experience. If anything, it looks even better than it did when they unveiled it at the launch party: the nat… Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points. You can block cookies via your browser settings. The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies to improve your experience. The A350 cabin will have 44 Upper Class Suites across 11 rows in a 1-2-1 format. Is IHG Rewards Club the best hotel loyalty scheme? The third variation is only present in row 1, and is clearly the best seat on the entire aircraft. As usual with seats like this, each row aligns differently to the windows. Each seat comes with two USB ports as well as a universal plug socket and aux socket, which is great. Despite the issues with seat build quality, Virgin appears to have cut fewer corners than British Airways, choosing to install the tail cam, adjustable air vents and mood lighting. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Virgin Atlantic's 'Upper Class' suites. Wi-fi connectivity comes in at £20.99 for the entire flight although there are incremental packages starting at £2.99 for messaging.  This is generally inline with the market, although Qatar Airways charges just $10 for its high speed ‘Super Wi-Fi’ on London-Doha and offers all passengers one hour for free. There is a lot of colour used, but nothing too bright. I have not seen the British Airways Club Suite in the flesh, only via a VR simulator. ), Maximise your frequent flyer miles and hotel points by signing up to our emails, “It is hard to deny Virgin Atlantic doesn’t have style,”. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. The new Virgin seats are also not as high around the sides as the new BA Club Suite, and without high sides a full width door really is pointless. This is the best toilet you’ll find anywhere in the world! Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points. In March, British Airways unveiled its update to the significantly dated Club World seat with the Club Suite, and just on Monday, Virgin Atlantic introduced its Upper Class suite product. The new Suite offers business class passengers complete privacy in a 1-2-1 configuration. Early 2020, I flew with Virgin Atlantic in Business Class (or Upper Class, as it’s called by the airline) from London to New York. The ones under the shelves are a little hard to spot but it is an otherwise convenient place. The leather appears to be high quality, with the seats clearly sharing some DNA with luxury cars. Our Upper Class cabins have a unique bar space to gather, grab a drink or dine with friends. Having more detailed look, it seems like it the price we’ll be paying to have more space open above our legs. As a reminder, I travelled to New York as the guest of Virgin Atlantic on the official media flight to celebrate the A350 launch.  As well as providing my ticket, Virgin Atlantic paid for two nights accommodation and organised social events for the entire party. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. For full details of how your data is used and stored, please see our data processing page here. Is Hilton Honors the best hotel loyalty scheme? The new Virgin Atlantic Upper Class suites are a massive step up for Virgin that instantly makes their business class competitive with other top airlines. Whether you're with us for business or pleasure, travelling in Virgin Atlantic Upper Class makes your journey something to look forward to. Let’s just look at the general layout for now. High walls, a fully closeable door, no ability to speak to anyone else. For the centre-seats, I hope they put some noise insulation between each headrest to help reduce the impact of snoring neighbours…. There are 44 suites in the A350 Upper Class cabin. See a whole year of reward seat availability on one page at SeatSpy.com. Welcome! Virgin Atlantic has, very wisely, decided to fit the tail and belly cameras on the A350. There were already signs of wear and tear. The traditional format is that your head is next to the aisle and your feet are angled inwards. Photo: Simple Flying Virgin Atlantic Upper Class. The Eric Lanlard afternoon tea and the new Donal Skehan menu items will continue. The HfP chat thread – Saturday 9th January. On our arrival into JFK it turns out the aircraft was parked on the wrong spot thanks to incorrect markings. Just a bit confused by the image of the seat from above. Its clear that it will block some of the side of the aircraft – https://headforpoints.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Virgin-Upper-Class-A350-1-400×235.jpg, This is also clear in the real life pics doing the rounds, so will definitely be a feature. Toiletries are supplied by Ren.  There is nothing special about A350 loos in terms of size, unlike on an A380. The flight was operated by a brand new Airbus A350, nicknamed Red Valvet. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. A couple of weeks ago we wrote about the refurbishment that Virgin Atlantic is about to undertake – at a cost of £10m – on the four A330-200 aircraft it has leased from the remnants of airberlin.. What American Express bonuses are you still eligible for? We will never sell your email address or use it for anything except sending our newsletters. Pinnacle of your career, i’m sure! The other option would be to take the Delta One suite that Anika reviewed here – remember that Delta has a 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic – and modify it to their needs. Virgin Atlantic has unveiled its brand new Upper Class suite which will launch on the carrier’s A350-1000 aircraft this summer. To your side is a small console with two shelves, personal reading light and plug and headphone sockets. These cookies do not store any personal information. Part 1 of our A350 Upper Class Suite review can be found here. It does feel like the airline has ‘grown up’. A list of partners is here. The carrier has moved away from its current herringbone Upper Class layout (where seats face into the cabin), to a new 1-2-1 configuration with seats facing outwards towards the windows. You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too. Virgin Atlantic is pulling its unique staggered herringbone 2012-released Upper Class Dream Suite business class seats off its Airbus A330 fleet and replacing it with an updated version of its 2003 product, which was the first fully flat business class bed with direct aisle access. Safran, the seat manufacturer, has a bit of a reputation for these issues – Cathay Pacific experienced similar problems with its own A350s (see this article) which are also fitted with Safran cabins. One of my potential criticisms of BA’s Club Suite is that it looked very grey on the VR simulation, with no colour at all apart from a few touches of navy. Whilst this wasn’t working on the mock-up cabin, you can apparently pair your phone with the IFE screen to use as a remote control. Looking forward to 2021, I suspect that any future aircraft will most likely be fitted with an evolution of this seat, improving upon the current design. Even from a PR perspective the camera is a godsend, allowing passengers to watch what is going on at the gate. Today (December 30, 2020): Review of Virgin Atlantic A350’s (new) Upper Class from London to New York. Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Points, our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club, our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points, https://headforpoints.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Virgin-Upper-Class-A350-1-400×235.jpg, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-6901935/Inside-Virgin-Atlantics-new-Airbus-A350-cabin.html. You can unsubscribe at any point by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. What are the most valuable credit card sign-up bonuses? In Part 2 of this article, I will introduce you to ‘The Loft’, the new social space that Virgin Atlantic is introducing on the A350-1000. Rob, have you seen that you are heavily quoted in the Daily Mail: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-6901935/Inside-Virgin-Atlantics-new-Airbus-A350-cabin.html – why should they bother writing something when they can just include what you wrote. But I doubt anyone so obsessed with privacy has been flying either Club World or the current Virgin Upper Class suite, given how open they are. Virgin Atlantic has today revealed the new Upper Class suite which the airline’s new A350-1000 aircraft will be delivered with. Every seat faces towards the window and comes with enhanced privacy, plenty of space and storage, adjustable mood lighting, and an 18.5 inch screen – all with inimitable Virgin Atlantic style. Rhys also sat in it at the launch event at Crawley. The team told me it was inspired more by hotels, high end retailers and luxury cars than other airline cabins. On Monday, Virgin Atlantic unveiled the Upper Class suite at its London Gatwick headquarters. we didn’t get a red carpet welcome! Perhaps customer focus groups were of the occasional leisure variety and thus a little bit less discerning than the frequent business flyer? The seat pitch is 44 inches and extends to 82 inches in bed mode. One unique feature of the Boeing 787 is the dimmable windows. We’re the UK’s leading source of business travel, Avios, frequent flyer and hotel loyalty news. Is Hilton Honors the best hotel loyalty scheme? Virgin Atlantic is receiving four new A350-1000 aircraft this … It was a serious lack of oversight and Virgin are now having to spend the money to fix it. Whichever seat you prefer, the real winner is you, the passenger, since both airlines have taken major steps forward. It looks a bit like a whiteboard. The tailcam is especially useful for those sitting in the centre pair with no view outside, since you get a view of the outside world. What are the most valuable credit card sign-up bonuses? Part 2 of this article has an image of ‘The Loft’. The new Virgin Atlantic cabin feels substantially richer in tone, with ‘The Loft’, which I will come to in Part 2, decorated in deep purples and golds. As a reminder, I travelled to New York as the guest of Virgin Atlantic on the official media flight to celebrate the A350 launch. As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards. Seems like if this were removed, you’d have a much better view out of the window. The new Upper Class Suite is manufactured by Safran, via the Zodiac Aerospace business it acquired in 2018. You can find out more on Virgin’s official A350 website page here. Is IHG Rewards Club the best hotel loyalty scheme? Thankfully, Virgin Atlantic appears to be rectifying these problems as quickly as possible and the A350s should have different tray tables and other modifications by the end of this year. It is virtually impossible to talk to your seat neighbour with Club Suite, because your head is so far away. You can unsubscribe at any point by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. Regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker (FRN 690573). This includes using an affiliate tracking cookie if you click an external link. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses! Click for details. How does GHIC, the EHIC replacement EU travel insurance card, work? It is a sophisticated palette of soft golds, chocolate browns, ‘polished’ whites and the traditional Virgin Atlantic red and purple. You can block cookies via your browser settings. You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, one has a bonus of 15,000 Points): The UK’s most generous free Visa or Mastercard at 0.75 points / £1 Read our full review, 15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending Read our full review. You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, one has a bonus of 15,000 Points): The UK’s most generous free Visa or Mastercard at 0.75 points / £1 Read our full review, 15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending Read our full review. I don’t mean that it only goes half-way up. The IFE screen is 18.5 inches – the biggest Virgin has ever installed. As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards. The new Upper Class suite is the perfect retreat at 30,000 feet. Virgin Atlantic has chosen the Cirrus NG product from manufacturer Safran for the new Upper Class Suite. ©2021 Head for Points. Part 1 of our A350 Upper Class Suite review can be found here, the Delta One suite that Anika reviewed here, Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Points, our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club, our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points. Thank you to the Virgin Atlantic team for inviting us and for their hospitality throughout. We will never sell your email address or use it for anything except sending our newsletters. The picture below is a PR shot …. I have to admit that the Upper Class cabin looks fantastic. Whilst it is a clear improvement compared to the existing Upper Class Suite there are still issues. No-one else is flying it. How does GHIC, the EHIC replacement EU travel insurance card, work? Nice extensive review. We'll offer you the finest food and drink throughout your journey, so just sit back, relax and let us look after you. Part 1 of our A350 Upper Class Suite review can be found here. Let’s take a look! See a whole year of reward seat availability on one page at SeatSpy.com. If you obsessed with privacy above anything else, you will prefer Club Suite. Virgin Atlantic's new A350 aircraft features the completely redesigned Upper Class suites with a lounging area as well as a bigger in flight entertainment screen. Let’s take a look at a few other key points: There is a huge increase in both personal space and storage space. REVIEW Upper Class Suites, Virgin Atlantic A350-1000 with Business Traveller magazine. Both are in a 1-2-1 layout, both have an 18.5-inch IFE screen, and both have a privacy door (of sorts). Virgin Atlantic operates some of the world’s best business-class lounges, with a-la-carte dining, complimentary spa treatments and more, but Virgin’s Upper Class seat has been in need of an update, especially on some of the carrier’s oldest planes.. Learn more on our About page. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. I mean that it only goes half-way across. We were given free wi-fi access on our flight to test it out and it worked averagely well by in-flight standards.  I was able to browse social media, emails and web pages without any problems, although I did have to re-connect midway through the flight. Fly with us to over 30 destinations in style, including our award-winning Premium cabin. All seats will be forward facing toward a window. The HfP chat thread – Saturday 9th January. As well as the pictures below, some more should appear on our Instagram feed (click here) during the evening from the launch party. Our luxury hotel booking service offers you GUARANTEED extra benefits over booking direct. Flight review: Virgin Atlantic A350-1000 Upper Class Suite. This will see seats replaced with suites in a 1-2-1 configuration. Among the 19 seats are three new suite styles with titles as intriguing as the ones given to the planes themselves: Love Suite, Freedom Suite, and Corner Suite. Here is a PR photograph: and here is the real thing: The seats have been styled in typical Virgin Atlantic fashion with chocolate browns, dark reds, white and gold accents. 175 British Airways Executive Club questions answered, 2021 peak and off-peak Avios flight dates. The Premium cabin – image below – continues the riff on automotive inspired leather and trim, with smart ‘marble-look’ finishes on the tray tables and surfaces. Virgin Atlantic has reversed this model. Virgin Atlantic. The bar has been replaced by a larger social space called ‘The Loft’ (see Part 2) The new Virgin Upper Class cabin layout. Safran is responsible, amongst other things, for the Cirrus seat which features on the Air France Boeing 777-300ER, the American Airlines Boeing 777-300ER and Cathay Pacific’s Boeing 777-300ER and A350 fleets. The centre pair of seats is the opposite: you are facing towards the aisle so that your head is in close proximity to your neighbour, although obviously separated by a partition.  This is, I believe, a deliberate decision by Virgin Atlantic due to the high proportion of coupled leisure passengers it carries.  The tray table is on the inside whilst the IFE screen is on the aisle side. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies to improve your experience. As the screen can be adjusted and folded back you are not forced to stare at it for the entire duration of the flight. While the food was disappointing, the crew’s fantastic service more than made up for it. The new Upper Class suite has half a door! Upper Class has always featured prominently across the airline’s advertising since its formation in 1984. What is the best Virgin Atlantic credit card? This move is a response to the engine issues that Virgin is having with its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. Virgin Atlantic also has a higher percentage of leisure customers, and these passengers are looking for a more social travel experience. The Virgin Atlantic A330 Upper Class Suite. The two forward Upper Class bathrooms both have a window overlooking white, fluffy clouds.  (I didn’t check the other bathrooms so this be aircraft-wide). It is easier to have a chat to the person across the aisle than it is to chat to the person next to you in the middle block. Click here for Part 2. It feels sturdier and the design is slightly more functional, with vastly more storage than the new Upper Class seat which has virtually none. What American Express bonuses are you still eligible for? That’s a serious question for the more knowledgeable on here, not just rhetorical. Whilst this is good news, it’s a shame that these issues were not identified sooner.  We look forward to taking another look in a few months when the changes have bedded in. Take a look at our Instagram page – click here – because Rhys has already posted a ‘story’ video (click on our logo to see it) from the event. However, unlike the new suites from British Airways, these will not be private, as the door only half closes. Rhys is at the official launch event tonight and will bring you his thoughts on Wednesday on the party and the changes to the rest of the aircraft, since this is a complete makeover. Earlier this year, the airline added four Airbus A330-200s to its fleet, with “new” seats in business class. These cookies do not store any personal information. Alternatively, the outstanding new ANA seat is apparently also available for licence according to discussions Rob had at the launch last week (see his article here) ….. if Virgin Atlantic chose that particular model it would almost certainly have the best business class hard product of any European airline. We've considered every detail, starting with our chauffeur driven car service, which will take you to and from the airport in style. To be honest, I don’t understand why the market continues to accept charges for wi-fi, especially in premium cabins.  I know why the airline does not want passengers hogging the bandwidth for gaming or videos, slowing down speeds for those who want to work, but this does not explain why Business Class passengers should pay.  Some airlines consider themselves generous for giving First Class passengers free access. Is Marriott Bonvoy the best hotel loyalty scheme? Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. On Monday 8 April 2019, Virgin Atlantic is expected to unveil its new Upper Class suite for its forthcoming Airbus A350-1000 aircraft. This is an exciting time for UK business travellers, with both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic launching new business class seats within weeks of each other. There is no shortage of places to put your bits and pieces. Enjoy our Upper Class cabin which is rammed full of luxury. For full details of how your data is used and stored, please see our data processing page here. Here are the key facts, which I will expand on over two articles: The seat is a bespoke Virgin Atlantic design, manufactured by Safran. (Want to earn more Virgin Points? As Virgin Atlantic’s top tier cabin. The build quality is poor.  The British Airways Club Suite feels far more solid and less plasticky. Regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker (FRN 690573). 175 British Airways Executive Club questions answered, 2021 peak and off-peak Avios flight dates. There is also a different IFE screen which pops out, James Bond style, from a concealed slot. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. The privacy screen, in particular, is difficult to operate: it needs a big tug to shift. Is Marriott Bonvoy the best hotel loyalty scheme? We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. The tray table has an interesting feature that, as a tall person, I appreciated. You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too. Many of these come down to the Cirrus NG product by Safran.  Whilst it looks flashy, the problems are within the bones of the seat – the lack of storage, inconvenient tray table and privacy screen. How do BA American Express companion vouchers work? The tray table, which folds down and slides across, is next to the aisle. If you are sitting next to a window you are facing towards it (always a bonus!) This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. Background. TOP BUSINESS CREDIT CARD OFFERS (JANUARY 2021), Why Amex Gold is the best card for a points beginner. I can see the pop-up IFE screen, but what is the other rectangular thing to the right of it? In the middle rows, things are different. The first is that a full width door would have meant the loss of some personal space and a smaller seat. In other aircraft designs, this space would be open but covering much of the passengers behind legs. Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class may, on first look, appear similar to British Airways’ new Club Suite. How do BA American Express companion vouchers work? Besides offering generally so… These are arranged in a semi-reverse herringbone 1-2-1 arrangement, which is pretty much the standard layout for business class seating these days. The A350 cabin will have 44 Upper Class Suites across 11 rows in a 1-2-1 format. Works with Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, The Ritz Carlton, St Regis and more. These seats have a slightly wider ottoman/foot-shelf, which creates a larger surface when in lie flat mode. Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. You will be able to pre-order pyjamas on night flights in your preferred size! TOP HOTEL BONUS POINTS OFFERS (JANUARY 2021), Get exclusive benefits on luxury hotel bookings via HfP, How to get free hotel elite status from UK credit cards. This is still in negotiation, however, and Virgin hopes that it can get approval. What is the best Virgin Atlantic credit card? Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Probably only tested with internal staff which, in the airline industry, skews mostly towards the skinnier end of the spectrum (cabin crew etc). Not sure if that was a bulkhead seat though which operates differently. It is worth mentioning that the different seat fabrics in Economy have also been designed in-house, with each one a mix of warm colours. The new Suites have some interesting features which I focus on in a minute. These are tucked away under the shelving unit and down the side, next to the privacy door. Works with Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, The Ritz Carlton, St Regis and more. We’re the UK’s leading source of business travel, Avios, frequent flyer and hotel loyalty news. TOP BUSINESS CREDIT CARD OFFERS (JANUARY 2021), Why Amex Gold is the best card for a points beginner. The level of craftsmanship and finish is very high end. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses! This is as Virgin insists they are a “social airline”, so they don’t want to place a divider in between staff and passengers. There are, fundamentally, three variations of the A350 Upper Class Suite across the cabin. Have taken major steps forward watch what is the switch from seats inwards... I will cover in detail in part 2 of our A350 Upper cabin... Walls, a fully closeable door, no ability to speak to anyone else category! You fly unveil its new Upper Class Suite on the new Upper Class review... Miles and hotel Points seen and tried the seat is facing is build quality is poor. British. 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