Virgin Atlantic Begins Flying A330 With New Upper Class ‘Suites’

Dec 6, 2018

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.

Virgin Atlantic operates some of the world’s best business-class lounges, with a-la-carte dining, complimentary spa treatments and more, but Virgin’s Upper Class seat has been in need of an update, especially on some of the carrier’s oldest planes.

Earlier this year, the airline added four Airbus A330-200s to its fleet, with “new” seats in business class. Problem is, while they were new to Virgin Atlantic — and had fun “new” names like “Love Suite” and “Freedom Solo Suite” — they had actually been flying with defunct Air Berlin for years.

Staggered business class on the refreshed A330-200. Photo courtesy of Virgin Atlantic.
Staggered business class on the refreshed A330-200. Photo courtesy of Virgin Atlantic.

Fortunately, these particular A330s are currently undergoing a sub-fleet retrofit project, and the first refreshed plane, G-VMNK, recently returned to service with the new seats. G-VWND will likely be the next retrofitted A330-200 to re-enter service, perhaps by the end of 2018, with G-VLNM and G-VMIK following a few weeks behind.

After the update, each A330-200 will offer 19 brand new staggered 1-2-1 seats in business class, a dedicated 35-seat premium-economy cabin and 212 coach seats arranged in a 2-4-2 configuration.

Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic’s new premium-economy cabin. Photo courtesy of Virgin Atlantic.

The rest of the interior is being redesigned as well, from the mood lighting to the lavatories — most passengers won’t have any idea they’re boarding an almost 20-year-old plane.

Currently, these A330-200s are being used to operate flights from London Gatwick (LGW) to the Caribbean, including Antigua (ANU), Barbados (BGI), Grenada (GND), St. Lucia (UVF) and Tobago (TAB). They’re also expected to operate service between Manchester (MAN) and Los Angeles (LAX), once that route launches in May 2019.

If you’re hoping to land this new configuration, keep an eye out for the aircraft’s subtype — while Virgin’s A330-300s have a mix of two entirely different seating arrangements, all four A330-200s will have these new forward-facing staggered seats by Jan. 2019.

American Express® Green Card

WELCOME OFFER: 30,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $600

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: up to $100 annual CLEAR statement credit, up to $100 annual LoungeBuddy statement credit, 3x points on travel and transit, 3x points on restaurants worldwide

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points at restaurants worldwide.
  • Receive up to $100 per year in statement credits when you use the American Express® Green Card to pay for your CLEAR® membership at select airports and stadiums across the U.S. and Permissible Biometric Scanning Technology terms: eye scanning, irises scanning and fingerprints scanning.
  • Use the American Express® Green Card to purchase lounge access through LoungeBuddy to any of the lounges in the LoungeBuddy network – no memberships, elite statuses, or first class tickets required. Earn up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year on your LoungeBuddy purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $150 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
See Rates & Fees
Annual Fee
$150
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.