VIRGIN A330-900 – NEW UPPER CLASSBack to Forum
First of all, I should declare that I’m not a VS regular – apart from a couple of flights over the years following a trip on a very old B747 back in 1984 just after Virgin came into being, the trip that forms the subject of this “review” is possibly my fourth ever with VS. This trip came about as a result of the last of a multi-sector on an AF ticket.
I was particularly looking forward to this flight as it was to be operated by one of Virgin’s new A330-900s which had been delivered to the airline only two weeks previously, as we were reminded on various occasions during the flight. I also learnt that this aircraft was kitted out with Virgin’s new Upper Class cabin.
So, here goes. On boarding through Door 2, you enter the cabin from the rear and the first impression is a mass of cubicles and very narrow aisles. The aisles are so narrow that you can just get a roller bag along – two people can’t pass unless they’re doing imitations of Mr Lowry’s matchstick men. When it comes to putting your bag in the overhead locker, this is not easily possible without stepping into the “suite” on the opposite side of the aisle as the lockers don’t drop down and you need leverage to hoick the bag up.
So, not a great start. Now the “suite”. This follows the general pattern now of a self-contained space with a sliding door. However, the space is very cramped; it doesn’t have the feel of spaciousness as found with BA’s Club Suites, for example. This feeling of being in a tight space becomes more obvious when the bed is extended into the cubby-hole alongside the seat in front. I am 5’10”, so hardly what would be considered tall, and yet I filled the bed lengthwise completely. Again, the cubbyhole was so confined that it was difficult to turn from one side to the other. I suspect that this is all the result of trying to cram in as many bodies as possible thereby compromising the Suite space.
Moving on to the more positive aspects, I have to say that the onboard catering was excellent both in terms of choice and quality. The cabin crew, if not that polished, were attentive enough even if they didn’t particularly look that cheerful – but, of course, they would not be alone in this!
Overall – it was fine but there are many better hard products out there – BA, KL, AF…16 Jan 2023
Thanks for the review, interesting read.
I have never actually flown with VS despite my appetite for trying new long haul J products.
I am curious that you add KL to the ‘many better hard products’. I just flew on KL’s 787-9 with the ‘new’ seat which is essentially what CX installed around fifteen plus years ago. I agree, it is a great product. But the sad reality is with KLM, as much as I love a lot about them (especially their staff) you will usually end up in a woefully outdated 2x2x2 seating arrangement. Only the 787’s have the new seating and KL has 18 of them currently versus 42 777/330 aircraft with the older seats.17 Jan 2023
I’ve NOT yet flown the new VS Club Suite, however I have flown the VS Upper Class product many times.
I arrived this morning on the VS178 from Barbados, having sat in 1K. I was travelling on a miles ticket, having booked it in June 2022. I’m 58 years young and 6’2″ tall, but I am clearly getting larger in size, as I found the seat more cramped than ever. Departure from BGI was at 21,45, ideal to sleep, so VS ‘speedy supper’ of soup & a toasted sandwich was ideal, although the filling in the sandwich was non existent. With the help of a sleeping aid I managed about 6 hours sleep for which the current VS is an ok product.
Sounds like the A330 product isn’t any better in terms of space. Feedback on the VS A350 would be useful.
The bar area for Upper Class passengers is a useful space, but it is not the place for VS staff to moan about their employer !
Happy flying !17 Jan 2023