Last year I flew LHR
in Economy with United Airlines and I was very dissapointed. You still had to pay for alcoholic beverages, you just had bigger seats, no amenity pack or anything. Considering the price difference, you really didn't have much more!
Last week I flew out to SFO
in Economy with Virgin and I was impressed by the standard Economy offerings, and, upon exiting the aircraft in SFO
, the Economy cabin looked really nice, as nice as some Business class cabins I have travelled in.
On my return, I decided to upgrade myself and my partner, and it was just an extra £200 each.
Considering it's an overnight flight and I was driving when I got back, I thought it would be a good idea, a chance to catch a few winks!
Our baggage got Priority loading and unloading. The onboard service was faultless.
The seats are very comfortable, loads of leg room, mood lighting, cocktail table between seats.
Cabin crew passed through the cabin with sparkling wine or orange juice before departure, as well as 5 different newspapers and magazines.
In our seat back pockets there were purple Economy plus blankets, Pillows, Eco + amenity pack with eye shades, toothpaste, toothbrush, socks etc.
There were also 4 toilets reserved especially for Economy Plus behind the Eco plus cabin.
Dinner was served on beautiful china, with metal cutlery, proper glass wine glasses and water cups. Cabin crew offered out oven baked gourmet bread rolls.
We were offered refills of red and white wines.
After dinner, we were offered fresh fruit from a basket and after dinner liquors!
It was very civilised. The seats reclined quite far and proved very comfortable.
Cabin crew came through the cabin with water at 30 minute intervals, topping up water glasses left on our cocktail table.
Before landing at Heathrow, we were offered a choice of two hot breakfasts, another tea coffee service and juices.
Boiled sweets were also offered out from a basket to the Economy plus cabin.
All in all, I found the service fantastic, much better than some airlines' fully fledged Business class offerings. The service, the seats, the onboard catering and especially Virgin's IFE made the flight back wonderful.
I would upgrade again on long haul flights, but for short flights, it's probably not worth it.
However, if you want to have a decent rest and a good standard of comfort on a long haul flight, go with Eco +!