Now bookable: Virgin Atlantic’s new A330neo and the new Upper Class seat
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A few weeks ago, Virgin Atlantic unveiled its new Upper Class cabin for its A330neo fleet. Click here for our report from the launch party.
The A330neo will be Virgin’s newest aircraft type, joining the existing fleet of A350s, 787-9s and A330-300s. Eventually, it will completely replace the older A330-300s.
Three A330neo aircraft are due to arrive by the end of the year with the first to be in service by early October. At the neo launch event, Virgin said that Boston would be the first destination to see the new planes.
The aircraft will have 30 of Virgin’s latest Upper Class seat, which looks impressive.
It also features The Retreat Suite which is a brand new concept from Virgin Atlantic. This comprises two enlarged Upper Class suites in the centre of row 1. Virgin says it is its “most spacious suite yet” with a 6’7″ (2m) fully flat bed, expansive 27″ touch screen with Bluetooth connectivity and wireless charging.
You can read my in-depth look at Virgin Atlantic’s new A330neos here. We will have to wait until October to see how the new Upper Class seat, The Retreat Suite and cabin performs in flight!
The good news is that the new planes will not be limited to Boston. Virgin Atlantic has just loaded the A330neo into its schedules for the winter and will operate to five US destinations from Heathrow, according to AeroRoutes.
All the routes are now bookable. Remember that Virgin Atlantic has recently made huge improvements in reward availability, guaranteeing at least 12 seats per flight including two in Upper Class.
You cannot book The Retreat Suite, for cash or miles, in advance but it will be offered to passengers for a cash upgrade close to departure. If no-one pays for the upgrade it will go to a high ranking member of Virgin Flying Club.
Virgin Atlantic A330neo destinations
London Heathrow – Atlanta
Although not regularly scheduled to Atlanta, the A330-900neo will be making an appearance on two days:
- VS103 and VS104 on 21st March 2023
- VS 103 and VS104 on 25th March 2023
Atlanta is home to Virgin Atlantic shareholder Delta, which also operates a fleet of A330neos, so the flights may be for familiarisation purposes.
London Heathrow – Boston
As previously announced, Boston is the first destination to welcome Virgin’s A330neos. The inaugural flight is currently scheduled for 12th October on VS11 and VS12. These flights will continue to see the A330neo until the end of March, at least.
There are a couple of exceptions:
- Flights between 18th and 21st October 2022 will be operated by the older A330-300
- Some Tuesday and Thursday flights between 1st November and 6th December will be operated by the older A300-300 and 787-9
- From 13th December 2022, all Tuesday flights will be operated by the older A330-300.
You can see which aircraft operates your flight during the booking process on the Virgin Atlantic website. Only flights marked as ‘Airbus A330-900neo’ will feature the new Upper Class seat; older A330-300s feature the 2003-vintage Upper Class seat (review here).
London Heathrow – Miami
Virgin will soft-launch the A330neo to Miami on VS5 and VS6 from 13th November 2022, when it shares flying duties with the older A330-300.
From 9th December, this will transition to an all-neo service on VS5 and VS6.
Note that the second daily flight to Miami – VS117 and the VS118 return – will be operated by older aircraft.
London Heathrow – New York JFK
Like Atlanta, New York will see the A330neo on just a handful of days.
- VS9 and VS10 on 7th November 2022
- VS3 and VS45 from Heathrow, and VS4 from JFK from 6th March 2023, with exceptions on the 9th, 13th, 20th, 21st and 25th.
London Heathrow – Tampa
Virgin Atlantic’s newest destination, Tampa, will also be one of the first to feature an all-neo service.
The route will launch on 3rd November 2022 and will be operated by an A330-900neo from launch.
Note that this route is only four times weekly from the 3rd, moving up to five times weekly on 21st November and going daily from 28th November.
If you want to fly Virgin’s brand new A330neo then these five routes are your best options, particularly as Boston and Tampa are scheduled to operate on the neo virtually exclusively.
Don’t forget that aircraft can be swapped out at any time, including at short notice, so you should not book based purely on the aircraft type. Virgin Atlantic is very unlikely to compensate or rebook you if you find out you aren’t on an A330neo after all.
If you want to book these flights you can do so on the Virgin Atlantic website.
How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (June 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):
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ card is doubled to 30,000 Virgin Points. Apply here.
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
30,000 points bonus (to 13th June) 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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points (worth 60,000 Virgin Points) – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.
The Platinum Card from American Express
60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! 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 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.)