Earlier today I wrote about the fact that Virgin Atlantic will be introducing a new Business Class seat and revamped Premium Economy and Economy Class cabins when it unveils its Airbus A350-1000 aircraft scheduled to be delivered in 2019. At the time of writing that was all the information that was was generally available but now we may know a little more. Virgin Atlantic hinted that the first routes the A350-1000 will be deployed on will be its routes to Asia but that not may turn out to be the case - it looks as if New York will be getting the first Virgin Atlantic A350-1000 service.
Virgin Atlantic has a solid Premium Economy product, a pretty reasonable Economy Class product (or so I'm told - I haven't flown it in years) and a truly terrible Business Class product. I tried out the Virgin Atlantic A330 Upper Class (Business Class) seat on an overnight flight not all that long ago and it's one of the only Business Class seats that has ever made me wish I was back in British Airways Club World. I genuinely have no idea how a modern, European airline gets away with such a bad seat....but deliverance may be on the way.
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Right now there’s a very good Economy Class fare available between Los Angeles and Europe which isn’t on a low-cost carrier and isn’t a Basic Economy fare either so you’ll have a carry-on and checked luggage allowance included in the cost.
Virgin Atlantic has made a large number of changes to the type of aircraft it will be using on flights out of London and Manchester so if you have reserved specific seats on a flight for late this year (or early 2019) I would check to see if those reservations are still in place.
Towards the end of January I wrote about the new Airbus A330-200 aircraft Virgin Atlantic has brought into its fleet and, at the time, I focused my thoughts on the lack of a Premium Economy cabin and the different Business Class cabin that the aircraft currently have. I should have looked closer at the Economy Class cabin.
Delta, Air France/KLM led the way with transatlantic Basic Economy fares, last week the oneworld airlines joined in and now Virgin Atlantic has also announced that it will start offering Basic Economy (aka "hand baggage only) fares across the Atlantic within the next few months. Virgin Atlantic is actually doing things slightly differently to the other legacy airlines in that it's sub-dividing its Economy Class cabin into three separate offerings each of which offers a little bit more that the last.
I'm not exactly a fan of Virgin Atlantic's Upper Class product (at least not the A330 product I tried) but the airline's Premium Economy product is actually pretty good (for what it is) and, as I'm keen to give Virgin another go across the Atlantic, it was with interest that I noted that the airline is taking delivery of four new aircraft.
Every now and again I find myself taking a path that I'm not sure too many other people would take given similar circumstances. It's no secret that I like to travel in premium cabins wherever possible (at least on long-haul routes) but sometimes not even a great price can persuade me to pull the trigger on a fare when something doesn't feel quite right.
I really don't like Willie Walsh. I've never met the man and I have no wish to meet him, but anyone who thinks it's a good idea to stand up at a investors briefing in front of a slide that reads "show me the f*cking money" and then repeats the phrase is an idiot in my book.