The fact that Virgin Atlantic Airways doesn’t have a cabin it refers to as “First Class” shouldn’t give you the impression they’re not paying attention to their big spending passengers. On the contrary – although their premium class is perhaps more akin to Business Class on other airlines, the fact that they call it “Upper Class” should give you some indication of how a trip in that cabin will make you feel.
Yes, the people at Virgin Atlantic really know how to treat their passengers well, whether they call it “First Class on Virgin Atlantic” or not.
Before you even arrive at the gate, First Class service kicks in with Virgin Atlantic. In some airports, there is a chauffeur-driven car available at no extra cost to ferry you to and from the terminal. When flying out of London’s Heathrow or Gatwick, you can opt to receive a First Class train ticket rather than the chauffeur service. Some airports also feature drive-thru check-in, getting you all checked in so you can head straight to the Virgin Clubhouse to relax before your flight.
Once on board the plane, the Upper Class amenity list is an impressive one.
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Seat & Bed
- Seats are 22″ wide, beds are more than 6′ long
- Seats convert to largest beds in Business Class in the air (and larger than some First Class beds)
- Seats flip over electronically to become beds (padded differently for sitting or lying down), & turn-down service is available
- Called “suites” because small divider walls offer more privacy
- Beds are fully flat
- All seats have aisle access (even window seats)
Food & Beverages
- No set meal times – eat what & when you like
- In addition to eating at your seat, you can also eat and drink in the onboard Upper Class cabin bar
- Each seat has a personal 10.4″ TV screen with on-demand selection of movies, TV shows, & games
- Each seat has in-seat power supply (you’ll need to bring your own adapter)
- Power cords for certain iPods available for in-flight use
- Complimentary “Snooze Pack” including toothbrush, toothpaste, eyeshade, and socks (sleep suits available upon request)
- “Snooze Zone” for those who don’t want to be disturbed through the flight so they can sleep
Unfortunately, it looks like Virgin Atlantic had to discontinue its “beauty therapy” services – including hand or back massages and in-flight mini-manicures – so you’ll have to make do with a nail file.
photo at top by garybembridge; photo of Virgin Atlantic Upper Class onboard bar from the airline’s website