Virgin Atlantic has an all around great brand, and I particularly enjoy their Upper Class Clubhouse locations in JFK and London Heathrow. Virgin, now a partner with Delta, is a strong competitor in the transatlantic market. I’ve flown their Upper Class (Business Class) product several times, and each time enjoyed the experience…except for one thing…the seat.
I really hate Virgin’s Upper Class seat. Really. To give you a bot of background, Virgin’s Upper Class is in a reverse herringbone set up, where all seats face inward towards the aisle. Each seat turns into a fully flat bed, which, by most accounts is actually very comfortable. A mattress topper, comforter and pillow are provided for each passengers.
To turn the seat into a bed, you physically have to get up out of your seat to press a button which will then flip down the seat back. So, instead of having the seat back and bottom slide down into a bed, as does most products including Delta, British Airways and American, the seat back needs to flip down. While it’s a minor thing to have to stand up, often times you have things on your lap, a comforter, etc., and are comfortable enough to want to go to sleep. Standing up forces you to remove everything, and is another layer between comfort and sleep. Cabin crew are more than happy to turn your seat into a bed, but sometimes I just want to fall asleep without any additional assistance and formality, and this is where I think the Virgin product fails for me.
If I have a choice of airlines across the pond, I’ll actually avoid Virgin just because of this one aspect. What do you think of the Virgin product?
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