Virgin Atlantic unveiled new a new business class product for its A350-1000 aircraft yesterday and there’s a lot to like about it. But talk about an anticlimactic moment…
Let’s start with the positive. The new business class seat appears to be a huge improvement over the old seat. The old herringbone seat (that I recently bemoaned on a London to LA flight) is rather uncomfortable in all positions. At least that was my experience, with the important disclaimer that it was still a business class seat.
But a new reverse herringbone seat is coming, specifically the Cirrus NG seat, which will be easily adjustable and far more comfortable in all positions.
The cabin will have a total of 44 seats (11 rows in a 1-2-1 configuration). All seats will be forward-facing. Beds will be 82″ long in full-recline.
And that’s not all. The iconic onboard bar, a staple of every Virgin Atlantic flight, is morphing into a “Loft”, which will feature seating for up to eight (with seatbelts and IFE) and encourage onboard socialization.
Speaking of socialization, that’s the “cheeky” reason Virgin gives for why the new business class seats do not have closing doors. As if doors cannot retract…
Look for the new A350-1000s on routes between London Heathrow and New York beginning this August.
I spoke of the anticlimactic moment not because the business class seats are bad or the new cabin, with individualized mood lighting at every seat, will be half-baked, but becuase Virgin Atlantic had prepared us for this day as if it was introducing a revolutionary, game-changing product.
It is doing neither. But it’s still a great-looking new seat that I look forward to trying out.
images: Virgin Atlantic