rthrbeflying86
Posts: 241
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2003 12:31 am

VS Upper Class Suite Layout

Thu Jan 15, 2004 6:31 am

The layout for Virgin's new Upper Class suite is 1-2-1 on 744's and 1-1-1 on 340's. This rivals BA's first class, yet is being marketed as business class, with roundtrip US-UK fares around $3000. How is this possible and/or profitable for the airline?

R/T on BA in first is $12,000 (1-2-1) for the same trip, and a competitive fare of $3000 in Club (I looked at NYC-LHR for March). Yet BA's club is 8-abreast on 747's (2-4-2 w/ some rear facing seats). It just doesn't make sense to me.
I'd rather be flying.
 
pixuk
Posts: 305
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2003 8:44 am

RE: VS Upper Class Suite Layout

Thu Jan 15, 2004 6:46 am

The clever design of the cabin means they can still manage to get 44 seats onto a Suite-fitted 747 vs. 48 on the existing J2000-fitted 747s that operate out of Heathrow. That's only a drop of 4 seats, and I guess they can justify the loss of up to $12k per flight (making the unlikely assumption they were at 100% load on revenue tickets) with the competitive advantage it gets them.

Having tried the new Suites myself, I can say hand-on-heart, they are simply the best seat I have ever had on an aircraft.

A full seatmap for the new Suites is on http://www.virginflyer.com

Pix.
 
VS11
Posts: 882
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2001 6:34 am

RE: VS Upper Class Suite Layout

Thu Jan 15, 2004 6:51 am

The point of VS Upper Class is to provide first class service at a business class prices. Thus, VS is aiming at both BA's First Class and Club World pax.

Hope that helps,

VS11
 
Leezyjet
Posts: 3541
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2001 7:26 am

RE: VS Upper Class Suite Layout

Thu Jan 15, 2004 9:39 am

You are also entitled to 2 limos per full fare passenger (or 3 days car hire) which you don't even get with BA First !!!!. Also have the inflight masseur that BA don't have and the onboard bar as well. So it shows just how much of a rip off First Class on BA actually is.

 Smile
"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
 
rthrbeflying86
Posts: 241
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2003 12:31 am

RE: VS Upper Class Suite Layout

Thu Jan 15, 2004 10:57 am

They really are only losing 4 seats? That is some incredible engineering. I would definitely pick VS upper over BA club...although I don't really think im in either one's market...

Dan
I'd rather be flying.
 
zrs70
Posts: 3330
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2000 4:08 am

RE: VS Upper Class Suite Layout

Thu Jan 15, 2004 11:49 am

I am trying to figure the best way for two people to sit together. In the middle section on two seats, the seats face apart. Perhaps row 1 on the 744, where the seats in the nose face one another?
17 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2016
 
rthrbeflying86
Posts: 241
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2003 12:31 am

RE: VS Upper Class Suite Layout

Thu Jan 15, 2004 12:00 pm

Or sit across the aisle from eachother. Plus, you could enjoy a meal with your traveling partner using the ottoman.
I'd rather be flying.
 
pixuk
Posts: 305
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2003 8:44 am

RE: VS Upper Class Suite Layout

Thu Jan 15, 2004 7:17 pm

There's three obvious options;

(a) Opposite each other across the aisle
(b) One in front of the other in a row
(c) Back to back (on the main section of the 747 lower deck)

For me, either (a) or (b) are the preferred options, since you tend to find your traveling companion will find it easier to join you on the ottoman without have to trek around the cabin.

Pix.
 
Leezyjet
Posts: 3541
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2001 7:26 am

RE: VS Upper Class Suite Layout

Thu Jan 15, 2004 10:38 pm

In the research that has been done, over 90% of passengers travelling in Upper Class travel alone and on business.

The ones that do travel with someone are usually business colleagues and they stated they didn't want to have to sit and "chat" to someone they work with for the whole flight when they are more than likely going to be stuck with that colleauge for the duration of their business trip. They would rather be able to use the time on the flight to sit and relax and watch a movie or sleep etc etc.

The percentage of non business passengers travelling together is extemely low - and believe it or not are usually staff on staff travel !!!.

So for a majority of people the seating layout is pretty good, they have the privacy for the single passenger and for people travelling together there are a couple of rows where they can sit and face each other and for the business colleagues they have the option of using the ottoman if they do fancy a chat.

Obviously it won't appeal to everybody, but the current J2000 seats don't appeal to everybody either. No matter what an airline (or any company for that matter) does there will always be a small percentage that will complain.

As the old saying goes, "You can please some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time".

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