Virgin Atlantic’s Second-Hand A330s Have New Livery, Old Air Berlin Seats
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Air Berlin’s 2017 demise was calculated and swift — unlike bankrupt Alitalia, which has been kept afloat by the Italian government time and time again, Germany’s carrier was all but abandoned immediately after declaring insolvency. It was at the same time impressive and painful to watch, given that customers were left stranded and many of the airline’s employees lost their jobs.
The carrier’s A330s haven’t been grounded for long, though — four have now made their way to Virgin Atlantic’s fleet, and the first just underwent a livery overhaul, emerging in Virgin Atlantic’s colors:
Virgin sent out a press release to celebrate its new acquisition, positioning the A330-200s as a new product, complete with “new seat styles” — which are really just the old Air Berlin seats with a bit of marketing magic. As the airline explains:
The unique Upper Class cabin introduces three new seat styles for Virgin Atlantic customers to choose from — the Love Suite, the Freedom Solo Suite, and the Corner Solo Suite — all with direct aisle access. Customers will also be able to select from a special barista style coffee menu; receive free messaging, and an improved amenity kit featuring ‘Happy Socks.’
Now, before you get excited about that “Love Suite,” it’s really just the same old (read: actually old) “honeymoon-style” center seats already installed by Air Berlin, which I reviewed toward the end of last year:
And here’s that “Freedom Solo Suite,” which Virgin Atlantic says “Lets customers unwind and stretch out with direct aisle access:”
And finally the “Corner Solo Suite,” which “Provides customers with extra privacy and a great view:”
While these seats have already been flying for years for Air Berlin, TPG considers them to be a step up from the older herringbone configuration on some of Virgin Atlantic’s existing fleet — although I haven’t flown Upper Class before, I’ve experienced a similar seat on Air New Zealand, and I do find these A330-200 seats to be more spacious.
There will be four “new” A330-200s in total. They will follow in the longstanding Virgin Atlantic tradition of giving its jets cheeky names and registrations, often with references to rock and roll. The first, “Daydream Believer” (registered G-VMNK), will enter service in March, followed by “Scarlett O’Hara” (G-VWND), “Honky Tonk Woman” (G-VMIK) and “Strawberry Fields” (G-VLNM) in the spring. They’ll be assigned to flights from Manchester to New York (JFK), Boston (BOS), San Francisco (SFO) and Barbados (BGI), offering 19 Upper Class seats, 45 extra-legroom economy seats and 222 regular coach seats, both in a 2-4-2 configuration with on-demand entertainment and Wi-Fi. A premium economy cabin will be added later this year.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees