UnitedFirst
Topic Author
Posts: 451
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2001 12:16 pm

Virgin Atlantic 747-400 Upper Deck

Thu Apr 10, 2003 1:24 pm

Maybe someone can explain the idea behind this, because this concept makes NO sense to me at all:

Why has Virgin Atlantic divided the Upper Deck into two cabins: PremiumEconomy in the rear and UpperClass towards the front (near the cockpit)? It seems to me that this would only serve to cause confusion amongst passengers, and also a great deal of shuffling between the two cabins. I see this being a bit of a mess when the flight attendants are doing the meal service, as well.

Does Virgin justify it by simply saying that some UpperClass passengers want to fly on the upper deck?

UpperClass


PremiumEconomy


Any and all info is greatly appreciated!

Derek
 
speedbirdyvr
Posts: 166
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2003 11:54 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic 747-400 Upper Deck

Thu Apr 10, 2003 1:41 pm

UnitedFirst, if you read some of the trip reports here and on flyertalk and airlinequality.com, this is one of the major gripes of Upper Class passengers. It tends to loose the "exlusivity"! Anyway, EVA has the same problem on some of its 744's, with Super First and Super Business classes on the upper deck.
 
Ikarus
Posts: 3391
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2001 10:18 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic 747-400 Upper Deck

Thu Apr 10, 2003 6:16 pm

Perhaps to put some air marshals close to the cockpit in Upper Class, as opposed to Premium Economy?

I thought the upper deck was meant to be entirely Premium Economy... When did they change that?
 
steady eddie
Posts: 182
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2002 6:43 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic 747-400 Upper Deck

Thu Apr 10, 2003 6:21 pm

not sure, but if youre travelling Premium Economy make sure you request those front row seats by the upstairs emergency exit, masses of legroom and you're sat 3 feet away perople in F who's paid loads more than you have. For night flights I always seem to get more sleep in Premium than First
 
Ikarus
Posts: 3391
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2001 10:18 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic 747-400 Upper Deck

Thu Apr 10, 2003 6:30 pm

Are those perhaps just the LGW based former Alitalia 744s? Those that are only used on holiday destinations, with the poorer IFE and seats? I mean those Upper Class seats in the pictures don't look anything like the flying beds I thought VS is using these days, in their LHR based fleet...
 
jettrader
Posts: 580
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2001 5:19 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic 747-400 Upper Deck

Thu Apr 10, 2003 7:07 pm


When I flew VS Upper Class I was "downstairs" in the third row...actually seat 7A I think. Much more room down there and no benefit, as far as I could see, being "upstairs" where there is much less room.

As mentioned...so far as I was aware it is all Premium Economy upstairs...

Regards,
JT
Life's dangerous. Get a f**king helmet!
 
lapper
Posts: 1537
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2002 6:42 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic 747-400 Upper Deck

Thu Apr 10, 2003 8:51 pm

Ikarus, those aren't pictures from an LGW aircraft, unless they have just had new seats fitted. I was on 2 last in Premium on the upper deck, and they still have the stupidly small screens. Those do look like the "proper" Upper Class seats too.
 
Shamrock105
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2000 9:55 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic 747-400 Upper Deck

Thu Apr 10, 2003 8:56 pm

No, I flew Premium Economy in February last from LHR to SFO, I sat downstairs just opposite the stairs to the upper deck, and two rows down from the plane entrance in row 76A There were about four rows of Premium economy downstairs on either side of the plane - with the galley in the middle.
 
airchabum
Posts: 754
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2001 8:21 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic 747-400 Upper Deck

Fri Apr 11, 2003 1:28 am

Just one quick correction....the captions on the above pictures are the wrong way round, ie the blue/red ones are in Premium and the purple ones are the J2000 Upper Class ones.

The LHR based 744s definitely have mixed Upper/Premium on the top deck (as well as on the main deck) but I'll have to check at work on the LGW based a/c.

I've no idea why VS do mixed seating though.....
Biggidy biggidy bong
 
N863DA
Posts: 1140
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 6:36 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic 747-400 Upper Deck

Fri Apr 11, 2003 2:13 am

LGW-based ex-Alitalia aircraft have all premium Economy upstairs, and Alitalia-style Upper Class (Magnifica seats downstairs. The images above are both non-Florida route aircraft. They are of the config used to fly to the Northeast, etc.

Florida-style aircraft have five rows of Upper Class ahead of Door 1, then two rows behind door 1 and then four rows of Coach between that and door two.
The upper deck is entirely Premium Economy on these aircraft.

The pictures above are the OTHER configuration.

N 8 6 3 D A
 
Leezyjet
Posts: 3541
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2001 7:26 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic 747-400 Upper Deck

Fri Apr 11, 2003 2:25 am

The LGW 744's have all Premium seats on the upper deck.

The LHR 744's have both seats on the Upper Deck for a number of reasons. These include:-

Some passengers prefer to sit on the Upper Deck as they think it's more of a status thing to be upstairs and it's also offers more privacy up there so it's popular with the rich and famous, as there are only 12 seats up there in Upper Class.

On Eastbound TransAtlantic night flights we offer "Snooze Zone" in Upper Class, where the lights are turned out once the a/c is airborne and no service is offered in that section so it gives the passengers chance to get a good nights sleep. The forward part of the upper deck is the best place for this, as it's the quietest part of the a/c and also has the least people wandering through.

There is also the fact that by adding Upper Class seats on the upper deck it gives us more capacity for economy seats on the lower deck.

"Why has Virgin Atlantic divided the Upper Deck into two cabins: PremiumEconomy in the rear and UpperClass towards the front (near the cockpit)? It seems to me that this would only serve to cause confusion amongst passengers, and also a great deal of shuffling between the two cabins. I see this being a bit of a mess when the flight attendants are doing the meal service, as well." ......... Works just fine actually. Upper Class pax can eat whenever they want, so the crew just take the meal to them when they are ready. Premium pax just get served in same was as econ. Just means that Upper pax on Upper deck have to walk down to the bar and beauty therapist should they wish to utilise those services, otherwise don't need to leave that part of cabin as it has its own toilet.


"Are those perhaps just the LGW based former Alitalia 744s? Those that are only used on holiday destinations, with the poorer IFE and seats? I mean those Upper Class seats in the pictures don't look anything like the flying beds I thought VS is using these days, in their LHR based fleet..." ...........Umm nope. The top picture shows the rear of the new Premium seats with the largest IFE screens in the world on the V:Port system (or were when they came out last year). The bottom picture shows the J2000 seats. they don't look like beds as they are in the upright - seat position, but they do descend all the way to the floor.

"When I flew VS Upper Class I was "downstairs" in the third row...actually seat 7A I think. Much more room down there and no benefit, as far as I could see, being "upstairs" where there is much less room." ..... actually the seat space is the same. There is only the perception of more space as the cabin is wider and higher, the seat and personal space is the same, just on the upper deck you get the handy lockers beside the window seats.

"No, I flew Premium Economy in February last from LHR to SFO, I sat downstairs just opposite the stairs to the upper deck, and two rows down from the plane entrance in row 76A There were about four rows of Premium economy downstairs on either side of the plane - with the galley in the middle." ...... That was only introduced last year, until then all Premium seats used to be on the Upper deck, but due to new disability laws they had to put some on the lower deck so that disabled pax were able to buy them too, also increased the capacity in Premium by an extra 12 seats too (6 on each side on the lower deck). Caused loads of problems though as the check-in system does not show the galley in the middle and also does not state that those seats were downstairs, so the check-in agents were giving pax seats that they thought were either side of the aisle on the upper deck, when in fact were on the lower deck with a galley in between, but most agents seem to be aware of that now.

Hope that answers your questions.

 Smile

"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
 
ContinentalEWR
Posts: 3619
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 2:50 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic 747-400 Upper Deck

Fri Apr 11, 2003 3:50 am

I have flown Tinker Belle and Lady Penelope in 1998 and 99 and they had the forward section of the upper deck all Upper Class seating. The back half of the deck was Premium Economy. Both Belle and Penelope are among the orig. four 747-400's ordered by VS, and not the ones originally destined for Alitalia.

 
UnitedFirst
Topic Author
Posts: 451
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2001 12:16 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic 747-400 Upper Deck

Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:02 am

Airchabum:

Thanks for the correction! Sorry about the mistake  Smile

Derek
 
aq737
Posts: 540
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2000 10:47 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic 747-400 Upper Deck

Fri Apr 11, 2003 2:02 pm

It must be cool top get the upper deck Y+ because look how wide the aisle is! Doesn't it make the Upper Class seats not so special because the configuration (2*2). I think it is kind of like the 330/340 standard configuration of 2-2-2 first and 2-2-2 business. It kind of takes away from F.

Anyway, thanks for the info.

Aq737
 
LH423
Posts: 5868
Joined: Sun Jul 11, 1999 6:27 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic 747-400 Upper Deck

Fri Apr 11, 2003 2:17 pm

I second that Aq737. At BA our Club World and World Traveller Plus cabins are both 2-4-2 on our 747 and 777 aircraft, and you kinda wonder where all that space goes to if you're paying so much for for a Club ticket. Then again, The Club World seats are set up so that it's more of a front-back layout and that you don't need things on the side.

LH423
« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
 
SQ772
Posts: 1647
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2001 5:16 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic 747-400 Upper Deck

Fri Apr 11, 2003 2:47 pm

The forward part of the upper deck is the best place for this, as it's the quietest part of the a/c and also has the least people wandering through

I assume like all 744s, the toilets are all located in the front of the upper deck cabin. If that's the case, won't Upper Class lose its exclusivity with all those Premium Y passengers milling around after meal times? Or did VS install toilets in front and behind the upper deck cabin?
There's always a better way to fly...
 
Leezyjet
Posts: 3541
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2001 7:26 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic 747-400 Upper Deck

Sat Apr 12, 2003 12:55 am

"Or did VS install toilets in front and behind the upper deck cabin?"

Sure did. The LHR 744's have 2 $hitters at the front of the u/deck and one at the rear for the premium pax. The LGW 744's however just have 3 $hitters at the front of the u/deck.

 Smile
"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
 
vermeer
Posts: 433
Joined: Fri May 12, 2000 6:21 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic 747-400 Upper Deck

Sat Apr 12, 2003 5:57 am

aq737,

generally configuration of 340's-330's in F class is 1-2-1 and NOT 2-2-2 which is only for biz class.

furthermore the space available in club world is more than appropriate for a business class product clearly distinguishing it from the various premium economies...

 
Ex_SQer
Posts: 1351
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2002 5:43 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic 747-400 Upper Deck

Sat Apr 12, 2003 5:26 pm

Isn't having three $hitters on the upper deck a waste of space? I've flown upper deck on SQ, UA, CX and NZ, and all had two $hitters. NZ's are at the back of the upper deck, by the way.
 
Leezyjet
Posts: 3541
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2001 7:26 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic 747-400 Upper Deck

Sun Apr 13, 2003 3:31 am

Ex SQer,

I'm sure it is, but it only takes up the space of about 2 seats, so it's not that much of a loss. Most flights never operate at absolute max capacity anyway.

There is also the f/deck crew to consider too, so having the 2 toilets at the front means that neither they or our Upper Class pax have to wait for one to free up.

 Smile
"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"

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