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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.


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How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (November 2020)

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

As well as the two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (see here, one has a bonus of 15,000 Points), you can also earn from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.

(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)

  • Geoff says:

    OTT: Could I ask for some advice please? We are flying Lufthansa F to Mumbai on Friday via Frankfurt with a 2.5 hour layover. Should I use the F lounge in pier B (which promises a car ride to pier C for Mumbai) or go through passport control and walk to the F terminal. I hear that they are largely the same, but the lounge in pier B has tarmac views and a Spa.
    Any thoughts and experiences welcome! Thanks in advance

    • Benylin says:

      Massage shop

    • Gail says:

      Takes so long to walk from one terminal to another in Frankfurt, especially if you have to go through passport control and security twice between flights, it makes the transit hard work if you try to fit in a lounge as well in this amount of time.

  • GRIMZ says:

    OT – I have a return flight to add into a Lloyds upgrade voucher via Avios.com but I am aware that all my Avios points have to be moved over to BA executive club by the 20th November. Is anyone else in the same situation as me? If they are what do we do to book the return?

  • Nate1309 says:

    OT, are people still paying their brighton based bill, with curve, linked to a HH card?

    • Stuart says:

      Don’t expect an answer. IF this were still working, those doing it won’t share it with you here, as they are too scared it will get pulled. They will also get offended if anyone else tries to share it with you, and petition Rob to have the comment removed.

      I don’t have HH card, so can’t answer your questions, but your scenario does work with IHG cards.

      I’m sure this comment won’t last long until it is moderated away…

      • Nate1309 says:

        Thanks, I did think that. Will risk it and see.

        • Jonathan says:

          Is it really worth risking your Curve account for ~1% cash/points return on a credit card bill that you’ve already earned points on? It’s been explained already that this “loophole” is causing Curve significant issues with Visa/MC as it breaches their T&C’s as well as Curve’s. I’m all for maximising returns but when it risks your (& potentially everyone else’s) ability to use a valuable service moving forward then I question the morals & thought processes of those involved.

      • RakishDriver says:

        Ah, comment still here I see 😉

        Limited on IHG now to couple hundred a pop.

        • Stuart says:

          £250 per day or £500 in a rolling 7 day period.

          Did I mention “no fee” already?

    • Bazza says:

      Oh good a OT curve comment, it’s been all of a couple of hours. Yes, you should pay all your Amex bills linked to HH IHG

  • @mkcol says:

    Did Air Canada not also have those pretty awful Virgin seats?

    • Rob says:

      Now you mention it …

    • Anon says:

      I did LHR-YYZ few months ago with Air Canada in J, was much better than the equivalent trip in BA. I think it was the 787 with 1-2-1 layout. Lounge in Toronto is also nice.

  • Lev441 says:

    OT – Have a £35k invoice I need to pay into an account using BACS. Are there any alternatives to Billhop – I have been given best rate of 1.9% if using a MasterCard or visa. It is for a work related invoice.

  • Zed says:

    OT, my wife and I have 100,000 Skywards miles each which we build up with Amex cards. I would like to travel in the Singapore Airlines suite. Is there a way I can convert these miles to do so? Perhaps convert into Amex points and then convert to krisflyer miles? Or something else? Thx

    • Rob says:

      No. One option is to wait until Emirates starts to release its new F suites for redemptions (currently blocked), the other is to use them for Emirates A380 Business Class which is not a bad experience in itself.

      • Steve says:

        Rob, I can usually find availability on F 777 STN-DXB if booking last minute, usually at least one day is open when looking at the next three days.

        • Rob says:

          Interesting – I have looked at this for long term availability and there is nothing. This is good because I’ve got a Middle East business trip lined up for January so if I can swap to this at short notice it would be a great result.

        • Steve says:

          I was unable to take advantage unfortunately because of work, spent extra on flex tickets for a Friday on a A380 with hope of switiching to 777 if seats opened up. In the end only had the Thursday and Monday show up with availability on the 777. Friday availability appear to be non existent even close to the date Mon-Thu and Sat are best days from the checks I carried out religiously in September. The 777 F cabin had 3 empty suites from what I gathered trying to persuade emirates CS to open two up for us in the afternoon that day and then later checking cash tickets as I boarded at LGW

      • Zed says:

        Thanks Rob, I flew Business and First on the A380 with Emirates recently and loved it. So am moving onto Singapore Airlines suite as that looks awesome. I do also have 200k of Virgin Flying Club miles, would that somehow convert into kris flyer miles either via Virgin or by converting into a 3rd party points and then over to kris flyer?

  • Lumma says:

    Didn’t virgin have 1-2-1 seating using their current seats on their A330 planes that everyone hated?

  • Nick says:

    Rob, any chances of an urgent article on the Amex Travel £200 off £600 spend promo?

    We are 2 adults, 2 kids. I have this voucher across 6 cards…

    Best way to get a holiday in? (flights, hotel, ideally all-inclusive)

    Any tips/ hints please from anyone?

    • Anna says:

      Book the elements separately on as many cards as possible? Plenty of people books flights plus all-inclusive hotels separately, it’s not an issue. You could book the flights as 2 x 2, each for one adult and one child.

      • Nick says:

        Thanks. If I do as a single transaction – coming to say £2000 – can I somehow make the payment across 3 cards? perhaps over the phone?

    • Richard says:

      I did 7 nights at a hotel over 3 cards (2 x 2 nights and 1 x 3 nights) and emailed the hotel to link them all together. easy.

      • @mkcol says:

        Precisely what I did on a previous offer & the hotel was grateful they didn’t have to do a full housekeeping as often as the bookings would have suggested.