Best seats on Virgin Atlantic – Upper Class

Best seats on Virgin Atlantic – Upper Class

Best seats on Virgin Atlantic – Upper Class 640 640 Joe Bleasdale

Yesterday I shared my favourite seats in Premium across each aircraft in Virgin Atlantic’s fleet. I’m lucky enough to have spent a fair chunk of time in their Upper Class cabin too. My most recent experience was my trip to Austin. So, today I’ll share my seat picks for Upper Class.

There are two vastly different versions of Upper Class currently in operation. The version on the 787-9 and A330-300 and the next generation product on the A350-1000.


787-9 Dreamliner

The 787 Dreamliner was Virgin’s newest Upper Class cabin until the A350-1000 arrived. It has 31 Upper Class seats as well as a bar at the rear of the cabin. The Upper Class galley is at the front of the cabin, and all toilets for the cabin are towards the rear, near the bar.

Generally speaking, the A aisle seats are the better seats as they are not opposite any other seats. The A aisle has seats on the left and the backs of the other aisle of seats on the right which means there’s less foot traffic, it’s slightly quieter and there’s more overhead locker space available. 1G is the only seat with a bassinet position, which is important if you are flying with a baby.

My personal preference is 1A (for ego sake) and then 8A, 9A and 10A. The big benefit to being on the left-hand side at the rear of the cabin, is that you will be the first off the plane, as disembarking is almost always done through door 2L – the door just behind those seats. 11A is a risky seat as it is a little too close to the bar, meaning if there are people socialising there – it can be a little disturbing.

The rear right-hand side of the cabin is also a good choice, but the cabin crew control the exit flow of people in such a way that the A aisle will disembark before the G/K aisle, so if being off quick is your objective, the A aisle is the one to choose.

  • Best seats for sleep – 3A, 4A, 5A, 6A, 7A (note – 7A and 7K do not have a window on the 787)
  • Best seats for couples – any G/K combinations
  • Best seats for socialising at the bar – 10A, 11A, 9G, 10K, 11K
  • Best seats for a quick exit – 10A, 11A


A330-300

The nice thing about the A330-300 over the -200 variant is that it has been a staple of Virgin’s fleet for quite a while and has an almost identical Upper Class cabin to the 787-9. There are some minor differences in the seat itself. In addition, the A330 is quite old now, in fact, it’s about to be replaced. This age is noticeable in the older lavatories, smaller windows and smaller overhead lockers.

Like the 787, the A330-300 also has a bar at the rear of Upper Class. The layout is different, but it’s essentially the same. It’s a good place to socialise. The crew will even serve you your meal there too (if you ask nicely).

As such, my seating choices for this aircraft are exactly the same as the 787.

  • Best seats for sleep – 3A, 4A, 5A, 6A, 7A
  • Best seats for couples – any G/K combinations
  • Best seats for socialising – 10A, 11A, 9G, 10K, 11K
  • Best seats for a quick exit – 10A, 11A


A350-1000

The A350-1000 is the newest addition to the fleet, featuring 44 newly designed Upper Class suites. This product does not exist on the rest of the fleet at the time of writing. Fortunately, the seating on the 350 is fairly consistent. The bar has been replaced with a small lounge, at the rear of the Upper Class cabin.

For anyone who has experienced the new British Airways Club Suite, this seating will be familiar. Virgin and BA use the same underlying seat product to base their Business Class product. It’s been highly modified, but the overall layout and feel are the same.

  • Best seats for sleep – Rows 4-8 A/D/G/K
  • Best seats for couples – Any A/D or G/K combo
  • Best seats for socialising in the loft – 11A/D/G/K
  • Best seats for a quick exit – 10A/D, 11A/D


Bottom line

Even though the 787 and A330 have what are now “dated” Upper Class products, they’re still excellent to spend a long-haul flight in. If you’ve never flown Business Class before, you’ll still have an amazing first experience.

I expect that over time, the new seat on the A350-1000 and A330-900neo (when it arrives) will possibly make its way onto the 787. This will bring back some consistency to the fleet, but that’s pure speculation on my part.

Ultimately, all the seats in Business Class are great. For me, it’s a case of which ones are greater!


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