Air Partner - 03 Oct 2019
Virgin Atlantic has long been a popular airline with our clients booking scheduled flights for groups, through our dedicated team. With the airline’s reputation for innovation, service and variety of long-haul routes, it’s not difficult to see why groups love Virgin Atlantic.
Constantly evolving their product, the airline has now introduced the A350 to their fleet of aircraft. Our Senior Consultant, Rebecca McIntosh recently flew on the inaugural flight to New York and tells us what makes the A350 a great choice for group travel.
“I was fortunate to be invited on the first Virgin Atlantic A350 flight to New York (JFK) on 18th September, on-board the brand-new Red Velvet (G-VLUX).
Red Velvet is one of the first 12 Airbus A350’s that Virgin Atlantic have ordered which started operation in September, flying between London Heathrow and New York, JFK. The second Aircraft, Mamma Mia, has also joined her in flying this route. The A350 itself has 335 seats, 44 in Upper Class, 56 in premium economy, and 235 in economy.
On boarding the aircraft, it was amazing to see the new look of the product across all the cabins, particularly Upper Class which has had a complete redesign. From Upper Class, to Premium Economy and Economy, there’s a great option to suit all budgets for groups.
I was seated in the Premium Economy cabin for the outbound flight to New York. Here the configuration is a two-three-two with the seat having 38 inches of pitch and reclining up to seven inches. The seats are very comfortable, sporting a brown leather upholstery with plenty of leg room to stretch out. There is also a small armrest/table between the seats which was useful for placing drinks on. The food served on board in Premium Economy is delicious. There was a good selection of meals, with choices including a chicken & mushroom casserole, stir fried pork with asparagus and ricotta gnocchi. Additionally, for this special flight out, Master Pâtissier Eric Lanlard had paired up with Virgin Atlantic to provide a ‘Mile High Tea’. He created the ‘Red Velvet Macaron’ which was amazing!
As for the economy cabin (pictured), the seats are laid out 3-3-3 configuration with generous legroom (31 inches of pitch) and 18 inches wide seats. The inflight entertainment screens have been upgraded and are now 11.6 inches. The aircraft also fields a suite of jetlag-fighting features like better cabin pressurization and humidity, quieter engines, and more natural light than conventional jets.
Virgin’s new Upper Class of the A350 is a great choice for VIP groups flying to New York. The configuration in this cabin is 1- 2- 1 with all seats fully accessible to the aisle and offering privacy screens. The luxurious seat is 20 inches wide, has 44 inches of pitch, and reclines to an 82-inch flat bed. A new feature here is an app where you can order food and drinks on-demand served directly to your seat. And for small groups looking to socialize on-board, the loft bar offers a relaxed and comfortable place to congregate.
A further highlight is the upgraded technology across all cabins. Think high definition screens offering very good picture quality and an excellent variety of movies and programs on the inflight entertainment system. This can also be controlled via your phone by simply pairing with Bluetooth. And if you need to charge your phone, there are also USB charging points. As a self-confessed ‘aviation geek’, I particularly enjoyed the new feature of the tail cam and front-facing camera on the underside of the aircraft. Great to watch, during take-off and landing
From my experience on flying on Virgin Atlantic’s A350, it’s clear that the airline has put a lot of consideration into the customer experience and I really do think it’s a great choice for groups travelling to New York”
Virgin Atlantic’s A350 is currently operating daily to New York (JFK) from London Heathrow, with plans to increase to four flights a day by the end of the year.
Our team work with a number of airlines globally and are experts in finding the right scheduled flight solution for your group. Your dedicated Account Manager will take care of all the details, including allocating the seating and meal requests and our Customer Operations team are on-hand 24/7 for assistance and support.