keesje
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New Virgin Upperclass

Wed Jul 16, 2003 9:35 pm

Virgin is launching a new upperclass.





All info can be found at http://www.upperclasssuite.com/index.php?page=18

What do you think about it ?
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
teahan
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Wed Jul 16, 2003 9:41 pm

Goodness now that is something different.

Jeremiah
Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
 
keesje
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Wed Jul 16, 2003 9:54 pm

The current seat is not a big succes. You are laying on the ground, you get locked in when in the sleeping mode etc.

This one surely is completely different.

I think Virgin takes a major risc ...

Sleeping comfort will be very good (probably), however the cabin is very full of seats & privacy dividers, if you are looking for space & relaxation ...

Also the cabin configuration is very much tailored for individuals it seems ...

However you have to admire them for taking the risc & trying something new ..
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
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RayChuang
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Wed Jul 16, 2003 10:08 pm

Why does this new Upper Class seating remind me so much of BA's Club World seating?  Confused

Mind you, it looks less confining that Club World, though. It appears these pictures are from the Upper Class configuration on the A340-600.
 
teahan
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Wed Jul 16, 2003 10:15 pm

My main reservation is the inability to really look of the windows (but how much do passengers value that?)

RayChuang,

Those pictures are actually from the B747-400 since the A340-600 will only have 3 seats per row (1-1-1).

Jeremiah
Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
 
AF-A319
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Wed Jul 16, 2003 10:16 pm

Just One Word :

FANTASTIC!!

The creative team really made a good job. However, I don't know how the typical biz traveller will react.

[Edited 2003-07-16 15:29:25]
 
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RayChuang
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Wed Jul 16, 2003 10:19 pm

Teahan,

If that is from a 747-400 these must be very wide seats!  Wow! They look bigger than the First Class seats on BA.

However, the need to literally flip over the seat to get the flat bed might not be such a good idea, though.
 
UN_B732
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Wed Jul 16, 2003 10:21 pm

The dark lighting must add to the ambience.
-UN
What now?
 
SInGAPORE_AIR
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Wed Jul 16, 2003 10:41 pm

This is very intersting.

I am going through the website now. Regardless of whether it actually works, innovation does seem to have been at work at Virgin Atlantic.

Virgin Atlantic is 49% owned by Singapore Airlines Pte Limited.
Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
 
dutchjet
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Wed Jul 16, 2003 10:41 pm

Looks new and exciting - they are certainy innovative.
 
SInGAPORE_AIR
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Wed Jul 16, 2003 10:55 pm

Well the Experience part was very informative though the picture angles are a bit confusing and it's hard to really see how big it is.

And damn them for making it 1.5" longer than the Singapore Airlines SpaceBed! But it is 5" narrower.

The aisle access feature obviously shows that Virgin have listened to customers. Unfortunately it's a little difficult for certain airlines' passengers who have seats that convert to sleeping positions of a certain angle to step over a seat next to them which is in that position to get to the aisle.

All seats forward facing? Looks like a jibe.



The comparison against other airlines can be misleading as All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines System and another airline all have flat beds in Business Class and this should have been included in the comparison. However, one notable omission is the comparison against Singapore Airlines. Good show considering they own 49% of them.

Also apparently the seat does not have to be upright on landing. You could sleep on landing?!

Anyway, very nice.

Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
 
jaysit
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Wed Jul 16, 2003 11:14 pm

Fabulous !
Cant wait to try it out.
However, I must add that the current Virgin product is very good too. However, although they have excellent hardware, their young cabin crew can often be lackadaisical, bored, and rather nonchalant about delivering service.
Atheism is Myth Understood.
 
shamrock104
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Wed Jul 16, 2003 11:31 pm


Not only is the comparison against other airlines business classes misleading, it is also factually incorrect. Cathay Pacific's new business class features an inflight bar, on flights to london, even though Virgin says they don't have such a feature.
 
airchabum
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Wed Jul 16, 2003 11:50 pm

Here's some info from the VS website. Note this is a comparison with BA First as opposed to Club World.

Comparison with British Airways' First Class product:

........................VAA Upper Class Suite...BA First Class.......................
Length_________________79.5"_____________76"
Shoulder space/width_____33"______________19.5"
Lower bed width_________22"______________19.5"
Limo to/from airport______Yes_______________No
Drive thru check in_______Yes_______________No
Onboard bar_____________Yes______________No
Inflight beauty therapy____Yes______________No
Return ticket to New York__£4631___________£7603
Return ticket to New York on Concorde £9223

Biggidy biggidy bong
 
kjet12
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Thu Jul 17, 2003 12:24 am

I have to say that the seat looks to be a dissapointment. I don't see what makes it any more special than other airlines first or business class seats other than maybe the dimentions. I don't like the way the seats face. They should have done what UAL did and make the window seats face the window. I don't like that one must get out of the seat to convert it into a bed. The suites also look quite confining. I didn't understand why they compared it to the competetors Business class instead of their First class. My opinion could change though if I had the opporotunity to fly in it. But for now, give me a UAL first suite.

Kris
AA - Doing what we do best.
 
mbmbos
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Thu Jul 17, 2003 12:30 am

Is it just me or do these seat seem a tad creepy? Looks like David Lynch could have designed them for one of his movies.
 
keesje
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Thu Jul 17, 2003 12:43 am

What I like in business class ; watch a good movie, with the seat in a 45 degrees recline seems not possible. The recline seems limited.

The fact that everyone can step out easily and get a cocktail, champagne & snack at the bar a few meters away is excellent of course.

"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
jaysit
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Thu Jul 17, 2003 12:47 am

"But for now, give me a UAL first suite"

Yes, but Virgins Upper Class is less expensive than UAs First Class. And for all the flightiness of their crew, they are still better than UA's.
Atheism is Myth Understood.
 
StarG
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Thu Jul 17, 2003 1:34 am

Why can't I open the page? Anybody else encountering this problem?

StarG
 
portcolumbus
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Thu Jul 17, 2003 2:08 am

I too cannot access the page, and all the pictures posted are X's.
 
mel
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Thu Jul 17, 2003 2:48 am

Only 17 J-class seats on the 346? Are they missing more seats in that picture? That's down from near 40 J-class seats if not more.
NO URLS in signature
 
Greg
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Thu Jul 17, 2003 3:16 am

Uh...you have to get up and fold down the seat back to make it into a bed?!
It should have been a reclinable design.

Interesting...but not too practical.
 
asbg
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Thu Jul 17, 2003 3:40 am

I love the design!!! Very funky  Laugh out loud

What is the purpose of the round chair?


Sam.
 
Ikarus
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Thu Jul 17, 2003 3:42 am

Is it just me or is Virgin Atlantic introducing new seat layouts twice as often as any other airline? I guess with a smallish fleet they can afford it...

But still, in a few years every single plane will have a different seat map!  Wink/being sarcastic
 
SInGAPORE_AIR
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Thu Jul 17, 2003 4:35 pm

Branson gives an inch to increase passenger miles
RICHARD ALLEN
THE great transatlantic liners fought for passengers by selling luxury and speed.

Yesterday their modern successors, the airlines, launched a new war of words on whose cabins were more luxurious for the first-class passenger.

Sir Richard Branson, chairman of Virgin Atlantic, fired the opening shots by dressing as rapper Eminem to take a chainsaw to a British Airways' first-class seat.

The dungaree-clad tycoon demolished the polystyrene model of the BA seat.

Sir Richard was launching his airline's £50m revamp of its most expensive seats, called Upper Class after a relaunch in 2000 and yesterday renamed Upper Class Suite.

The Herald.
Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
 
StarG
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Thu Jul 17, 2003 4:54 pm

I think it is a very nice J-class seat/bed.
BA's is flat but narrow. This looks spacious.

Can the seat recline or just be stuck in two positions: upright and flat bed?

StarG
 
djmatthews
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Thu Jul 17, 2003 6:23 pm

Will there be any improvments made to Economy and Premium Economy?
 
Jmc777
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Thu Jul 17, 2003 8:34 pm

The new seats have airbags built into the seatbelts which allows pax to sit in any position.
 
airchabum
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Fri Jul 18, 2003 12:55 am

Hello all

I've just been over and had a go on the new seat in a cabin mock-up. I have to say I'm very impressed and it's a vast improvement on the current J2000 Upper Class seat. The cabin looks nicer than in the pictures, and the grey finish is more like the pearl/silver of the fuselage.

To answer a few questions.... The A340-600 will also be 4-abreast but due to the narrower cabin the seats will be at a more acute angle. With only 20-odd planes VS can revamp the cabins more often than say BA, but the main reason for the new seat is the fact that we were losing a lot of premium business to BA's flatbed seat. All the 744s and 340s will be done (in theory) by Autumn 2004 so there will be commonality of seat configs. It does recline quite a long way and is not set in one or two positions. No plans for improvements to the Premium/Economy cabins at the moment.

The idea is that the hostie will 'make your bed' for you while you go to the bar/toilet whatever so that it's ready when you come back. It doesen't take long though and is pretty comfortable, even for someone over 6'. It is very secluded which is fine for people travelling on their own but not so good if you're travelling with a partner, although they can join you on the 'ottoman' seat at the end. And you can still look out the window but you might get a sore neck if you did it for too long!

Cheers
Biggidy biggidy bong
 
aussiestu
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Fri Jul 18, 2003 1:16 am


No guys and girls cannot say it is great. I think the BA Club world is better and more private, maybe the pics on here are not that great. I too am amazed that VS is redesigning their seats, proves that they did make a mistake and were losing premium passengers to other carriers. It may take a lot to get them back! Has the amount of seats changed? Nice try but nothing outstanding me thinks!
 
FLY777UAL
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Fri Jul 18, 2003 1:16 am

Amazing! It will be interesting to see how the flying public reacts to this!

If they had not done it in such a weird design with the inward facing herring bone seats, could they possibly have done it in the same manner in which they have their current seats? I don´t see why not, but then again, it´s Virgin, and they always have to do something different!

F L Y 7 7 7 U A L
 
gotAirbus
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Fri Jul 18, 2003 1:37 am

Hmm...

If I have to describe it, it's like privacy and elegance...


...with the idea that airlines are trying to cram more seats together on an aircraft.

Oh and btw, away from the window. Huh??

(gotAirbus?)
(gotAIRBUS?) - (Got Commonality?) - (Have A Nice Flight!)
 
GVRGN
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Fri Jul 18, 2003 2:09 am

They are going to have to change more than the seats to get upper class back to it's original success. The VS service in all classes has slipped considerably in recent years, with the last J class re-fit a complete disaster.
Time will tell, but they have lost a lot of passengers since the last 'revamp' and the travelling public will take a lot of convincing, now that there are better options on other carriers.

 
airchabum
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Fri Jul 18, 2003 2:27 am

Aussiestu

Don't knock it 'til you've seen it!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy I can assure you it's much more impressive in the flesh. Also I disagree about the privacy thing...I've flown in Club World and spent most of the flight looking up the skirt of the girl opposite! (it's not a complaint as such  Wink/being sarcastic) Also having to climb over someone if you're sat by the window isn't great, but all in all it was much better than the current VS seat. Whilst management will not admit it, this new seat has been in development for 2yrs so the complaints of pax and cabin crew were obviously being listened to. Apparently there will be 4 less seats in a 744 than at the moment.

FLY777UAL

If the seats were in normal mode then there would either have to be a lot less in the cabin or you would have to climb over people, which wouldn't make it as innovative as it is.

Cheers
Biggidy biggidy bong
 
teahan
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Fri Jul 18, 2003 5:28 am

Airchabum,

To answer a few questions.... The A340-600 will also be 4-abreast but due to the narrower cabin the seats will

That's interesting because the diagram on Virgin's website (and in the above Reply 10) clearly shows the A340-600 as 3-abreast.

Jeremiah
Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
 
airchabum
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Fri Jul 18, 2003 6:54 am

Jeremiah

Yes I know what it says above, and I thought it was odd that VS would sacrifice potentially 1/4 of their Upper Class revenue on every A340 flight, which is why I asked the question at the demo and was told that it would be 4 abreast. So who knows?!!  Confused

[Edited 2003-07-18 00:02:28]
Biggidy biggidy bong
 
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airzim
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Fri Jul 18, 2003 6:59 am

Are they still planning on having these new seats in the Upper Deck of the 747-400's? If so what would be the layout? Perhaps one on each side going the length of the cabin.

Be a shame if they didn't. Wouldn't be much of an Upper Class without Upstairs seating.
 
shankly
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Fri Jul 18, 2003 7:05 am

sitting sideways during t/o & landing?...that'll play havoc on the senses...a gimmick too far i think

L1011 - P F M
 
baldguy
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Fri Jul 18, 2003 9:11 am

A lot of guys on airliners.net are crazy about IFE and PTVs....I see a problem with this seat in that the window (for 1/2 the pax) is directly opposite the monitor, and you would have to climb out of your seat to adjust the shade.

As a devoted out-the-window-gazer, I find the face-away-from-the-window aspect of the design distressing !
 
luv2fly
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Fri Jul 18, 2003 9:17 am

Well I am not sure how the experience will actually translate experience wise, the pictures make it sure look GREAT!
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
LH423
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Fri Jul 18, 2003 9:52 am

I have to agree that the angle that the seat faces out, doesn't provide much in the way of privacy. I think it's definitely a great idea...but one that may have to be tweaked just a bit to be perfect.

Also, the only time you have to climb over someone in Club World is if the aisle passenger in the row behind you is sleeping and has his/her legs up and even then it's not very hard stepping over someone's legs while they sleep. Furthermore, the window views are superb.

LH423
« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
 
Cathay Pacific
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Fri Jul 18, 2003 10:09 am

The lighting looks great, however, I have some concern over the angle of the seat.
cathay pacific, now you're really flying
 
V1-Rotate
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Fri Jul 18, 2003 12:45 pm

Ater what I've seen,don't see BA too worried over this(even though VS bangs " on and on" about BA on the website)
The J2000 seat was appalling in my opinionon(travelled on it 3 times and would rather of sat in economy,even with lack of legroom,I would have been more comfy sat upright than that "never,never" land 45 degree angle.
Plus points--Better than J2000.
Minus points--All seat face inboard.
What about couples travelling together?
Copied from every other airlines' F & J seats(nothing "innovative about that)
This doesn't give VS any distinct advantage over any other airline,only brings them up to "scratch" with the current market(at a cost of £50 mill) when it should have been done in the first place.Shows Branson for what he is........an average businessman,with average acumen,who relies on publicity to get results(when the REAL business people behind the scenes make the REAL decisions) I refer you to TOM BOWERS' Biography( of which R.B.threatened to sue over.......and then realised that maybe only 1-2 million people would read the book.......as opposed to maybe 10 million people if he decided to sue and it made national headlines.....obviously more people would read it if it went to court.(I have that info from someone extremely close to R.B in his "Office")
Sorry to "rant on" about R.B, but I once had great respect for him.......but my friend who works very "close" to him has tainted my feelings with her very explicit revelations on his business "PRACTICES".
 
QANTASforever
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Fri Jul 18, 2003 12:55 pm

I for one and absolutely sick and tired of these pods. When I sit in them I feel like I'm about to have a severe attack of claustrophobia or be beamed up to the mother ship. I don't want to feel like I'm in one of the pods from the matrix. - Bring back the classic first class seats!!

QANTASFOREVER
Fighting for the glory of the Australian Republic.
 
HPA318
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Fri Jul 18, 2003 1:00 pm

They should have made them like AA FLagship suites, that swivel around so that if your want to look out the window you can and straight forward also.
this seems very akward looking. The actual seat back s dont look like they have much lumbar support..Very refreshing and modern though..like VS...
But still I love AA Flagship suites, they're the best!!
 
HPA318
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Fri Jul 18, 2003 1:04 pm


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Greg Vaughn
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Greg Vaughn



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Greg Vaughn

 
shankly
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Sat Jul 19, 2003 8:50 pm

...also forgot to seek opinions as to what would be the brace position? Seems like you've got a fair chance of having your pelvis crushed in a survivable incidemt/accident
L1011 - P F M
 
ratrap2001
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RE: New Virgin Upperclass

Sun Jul 27, 2003 12:27 pm

Im back *again* hehe I like never post anymore cuz Im always busy but WOAH! Now there's umthin u dont see every day...but why does nobody ever do anything like this to an ECONOMY CABIN?? I mean you can re tool first and buisness classes all u want but god forbid u make the vast majority of your travellers COMFY...

Just my 2 cents

Adam