It’s Now Possible to Buy Tickets for Virgin Atlantic’s New Business Class, and Fly it In September!

Virgin Atlantic announced their brand new business class in April but it wasn’t yet possible to buy a flight with these news seats.

The product will debut on the airline’s new Airbus A350 aircraft. Every seat is angled towards the window, has power, and the center seats in the 1-2-1 configuration have privacy screens. All seats are fully flat with direct aisle access.

Credit: God Save the Points

Virgin Atlantic’s Airbus A350s will be delivered with the new seat, to debut on London Heathrow – New York JFK. Inititally we were told to expect the plane in August, but it’s now been added to the schedule effective September 10 so that’s your first chance to fly their new business class in real life.

Virgin Atlantic on Friday (05JUL19) opened reservation for its planned Airbus A350-1000XWB service, currently scheduled for London Heathrow – New York JFK route. From 10SEP19, the A350 operates 6 weekly flights, initially as VS153/138, switching to VS137/138 from 25SEP19.

The plan to continue rolling out the aircraft with these seats will be follwing with additional JFK service next before ultimately (eventually) spread to the rest of the fleet.

Ultimately this seat will be a notch better than United based on spaciousness though it doesn’t appear to have very much storage space, and probably isn’t as good as the best American Airlines business seat. It’s a modified Cirrus seat, first pioneered by US Airways and ultimately adopted by carriers like Cathay Pacific and EVA Air and by American Airlines for their Boeing 777-300ER.

The basic Cirrus product is probably a top 5 seat but not the equal of the Qsuite or Delta’s Thompson Vantage XL seat with doors (which I had sort of expected or hoped Virgin would use, since China Eastern is moving forward with it and Delta owns a much smaller stake in China Eastern than Virgin Atlantic). It’s in a class with the Super Diamond and Apex Suite. So ultimately what they’re doing isn’t at all revolutionary.

There are modifications to the seat to be sure, including a privacy slider that goes part way and an 18.5-inch screen controllable via smartphone using bluetooth and personalized lighting.

Credit: God Save the Points

Credit: God Save the Points

Credit: God Save the Points

Instead of a bar is a space in the entrance to the aircraft with drinks and snacks that will be available for up to 5 passengers on stools and a few people standing around.

Virgin Atlantic says instead of being disappointed at the lack of doors in a new business class product, you should see it as a benefit because they’re a social airline want want connectedness between passengers and with crew.

I’m excited to experience the seat in person – rather than just based on the airline’s descriptions – and to compare it to the new British Airways business class suite with doors also debuting first on their Airbus A350.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. The Virgin new 3350 looks great but will they have air vents over the seats??The last 2 Virgin BIz seats did not..and it was warm

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