I went to New York for work (what else?) on United's Premium Service Business Class in the Winter of 2011. As many of you have read my last TR on SFO-JFK on Virgin's domestic first class, you can see first hand the comparison between the two products. Well, who is better? I'll let you be the judge. However, I will give my 2 cents in certain areas:
Hanging up your coat: UA hands down. The service is fantastic. Non-existent on VX.
Food: Depends on what you like. If you want more "new american" cuisine, I'd say Virgin. If you like good ol American standard fare, UA
Service: I think the actual service is probably a little better on UA, but the attitude on UA is horrible. That is, they do lots of tasks for you (such as the coat, etc), but they are so cantankerous and miserable as they do it, it makes the experience unpleasant. On VX, they don't do as much for you, but when they do it, they're very pleasant about it.
Seat: If you get row 9, the legroom is "infinite", so I would give a slight edge to UA. If you get a row with a seat in front of you, it's probably a wash with regards to legroom. VX's seat is electronic, but UA's is manual, so VX may have a slight edge.
Lounge: UA hands down. VX has no lounge access (Yes, to all those who write in say that they do, remember, it's $35 to get access and you have to leave security to schlepp to it. On UA, you rest comfortably in the United club after security).
As to the overall experience, I'll let you decide for your self.
Here is my TR in video format (as it is always for me now), which remains commercial-free and pop-up free:
Here are some photos of the experience also:
SFO by sfflyer123, on Flickr
braised beef brisket by sfflyer123, on Flickr
seat by sfflyer123, on Flickr
leg room by sfflyer123, on Flickr
chicken by sfflyer123, on Flickr
I hope you enjoy the quick video report!
Thank you for watching!