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Is Virgin Atlantic planning to move to 1-2-1 seating in Upper Class?

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Virgin Atlantic will be receiving the first of its new A350 long-haul aircraft in 2019.

I have long argued that the current Upper Class seat is no longer fit for purpose.  Revolutionary at the time, it never caught on with other airlines apart from Air New Zealand.  The trend in recent years, which I agree with, is a move towards ‘cubby hole’ seats where extra personal space is created by slotting your feet into a gap under the seat in front.

One Mile At A Time reports that Virgin Atlantic has scheduled an A350 flight to Newark for 9th September 2019.  This is a test flight and is not bookable for cash.  The flight comes with an accompanying seat map:

New Virgin Atlantic seat map A350

I am not an expert on how these maps are presented, but One Mile At A Time uses examples to show that this implies one of two things:

a herringbone layout – similar to what Qatar Airways has installed on its 787 and A350 fleet, see below – in what is effectively a \ /\ / format, or

forward facing seats with alternating positions, so your seat faces the storage area of the seat in front, and vice versa, ie the SWISS seat shown below

SWISS business class seat

Hopefully we can get an early opportunity to see the real thing early next year.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (January 2023)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, the Reward+ card has a bonus of 15,000 Virgin Points):

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

A generous earning rate for a free card at 0.75 points per £1 Read our full review

You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for a year and comes with 20,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 20,000 Virgin Points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Points

(Want to earn more Virgin Points?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

Comments (119)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • idrive says:

    I am having this problem frequently these days. It happened already 3-4 times, got offer on email, immediately checked for the offers but nothing there.

    Plus, if you replace your cards and the offer was saved before the replacement, you would assume it is linked automatically to the new one right? anyone experienced spending/offer not working with new cards?

    • the_real_a says:

      The offers are transferred to the new cards automatically – at least in my case.

  • Sandra says:

    OT/Bits – Had Amex (BAPP) email this afternoon with 3 offers for spend by 14/12/2018:
    WH Smith – £5 back on £15 spend limited to first 40k to save to card
    Wilko – £10 back on £40 spend limited to first 30k to save to card
    Superdrug – £10 back on £40 spend limited to first 35k to save to card
    When I clicked and logged in they didn’t appear in my account so had a quick online chat and they were manually added. Not sure if it was too soon from email arriving as I can’t imagine the save limits have been reached yet!

    • Sandra says:

      Oops just seen trail above – sorry, sure that wasn’t there when I first looked!!

  • jamie says:

    O/T Has anyone signed up to the Emirates family pool? I have some family travelling down to Melbourne who basically don’t need points, so I set them up in my family pool. 2x passengers travelling first class… looking like over 100k emirates points heading my way!!

    Quite annoyingly, it doesnt seem to be the same like BA where you can use both pooled points plus your own points for reward flights. Actually, am I correct that BA allows you to do that? Been a while since I even looked at BA points since leaving London last year. Thanks Y’all

    • BlueHorizonuk says:

      Yes, I am confused as to how this works on Emirates. How do you spend the family points?

      BA takes a percentage of points from everyone in the family membership so everyone contributes.

      • Jamie says:

        I called up because I wasn’t sure. From what the agent said, based on I want to use it for an upgrade to business one way from Melbourne to London, all the points must be enough to cover that upgrade, you can’t take any out of your own personal Emirates skywards account to top it up.. which sucks!

  • Jtz says:

    @ Rob we share the same birthday!

  • Sue says:

    The concept of being able to jump the queues at Twickenham did not turn out to be a reality!

    Seeing the massive queues to get in to Twickenham for the England v New Zealand game yesterday I remembered this article and made my way to the clearly labelled BA Executive Club entrance. Unfortunately the queue was not being used exclusively for BA members – it was as long as all the others and no one was showing BA credentials. Giving the weight of people trying to get into the ground I completely understand why this happened but therefore think BA should remove it as a perk.

  • KP says:

    Thought the virgin upper class product was best in the air. Never understood the opposition. Unrivaled privacy and don’t feel like you’re sitting on the aisle. And one of the longest legroom offerings in business. What is not to love???

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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