Because something called COVID became a word all too familiar to all of us just a few months after Virgin Atlantic started offering the new Upper Class suite, it took a lot longer than I had hoped before I got to fly in the new cabin. Thankfully, earlier this year and after many cancellations and rebookings, I managed to make the most of an exceptionally good Business Class fare between London and Los Angeles to finally try out the new Virgin Atlantic product. I'm not embarrassed to say, I was very excited.
Plaza Premium seems to be on a little bit of a roll. Recently, Capital One announced that its new lounge in Denver will be operated in partnership with Plaza Premium, and now we’re hearing that Plaza Premium has just taken over the running of all Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses outside of the UK. For holders of the Platinum Card® from American Express, and the Business Platinum Card® from American Express, this may turn out to be good news.
Earlier this morning, Virgin Atlantic announced that in honor of International Women's Day it will be naming two of its aircraft after "iconic women". As praiseworthy as that gesture is, another piece of news buried within the same announcement will probably be of most interest to flyers - Virgin Atlantic will be bringing its new and hugely improved Business Class cabin to Orlando and other leisure routes.
As global airlines slowly come to terms with the fact that travel will not be getting back to normal any time soon, and that a lot of people are still very leery of booking trips in the future, we're starting to see flexible booking policies being extended. Virgin Atlantic is the latest airline to have extended its flexible booking policy and it looks like the carrier now has one of the best policies around.
Virgin Atlantic can be a bit slow to process refunds from flights that it has cancelled (although it doesn't come close to being as slow as some airlines I could name), but the airline offers a couple of options in place of refunds and in instances where a traveler chooses to cancel a trip that are excellent and well worth highlighting.
A couple of weeks ago Virgin Atlantic hosted a very low-key farewell for the last of its Boeing 747 aircraft which, on December 21st, took off from Heathrow in Virgin Atlantic livery for the final time. I was one of just 42 incredibly fortunate people who were able to snap up tickets for the final goodbye and what follows are some of the pictures that I took on the day.
Airlines like British Airways and Virgin Atlantic were set to operate their 747s for a few more years before the coronavirus rolled into town. Then, with schedules pared to the bones and with passenger numbers going through the floor, there was suddenly no viable reason to keep the uneconomical 747s in the skies. The virus saw to it that the British Airways aircraft didn't get the farewell they deserved, but now Virgin Atlantic is giving a few lucky fans the chance for one last moment in time with the Queen of the Skies.
Virgin Atlantic appears to be the first of the major transatlantic carriers to come out with some truly spectacular Black Friday Business Class fares for travel from the UK to the United States, the Caribbean, and select destinations in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. With Upper Class fares starting at £999 for a wide variety of routes, this is definitely a way to get people's attention.
Virgin Atlantic has now published its flight schedules for the rest of November as the airline responds to the month-long lockdown that the British Government has imposed on England. With at most 14 routes operating between now and 2 December, Virgin Atlantic's schedule has been pared to the bone.
Virgin Atlantic may still be fighting for its very existence (alongside a host of other airlines) but that hasn't stopped it from announcing a new route between the UK and the Caribbean that, all being well, it plans to launch next summer.