Virgin Atlantic or Delta

Old Jul 10, 19, 1:45 pm
  #1  
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Virgin Atlantic or Delta

Would you prefer Delta One or Virgin Upper Class on a flight from US to Europe and why?

Still trying to decide what to do and we may not have a choice anyway but if we do I want to make the right choice.

Thank you!
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Old Jul 10, 19, 2:33 pm
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In my experience VS has somewhat better food, better service and when compared to older DL configuration VS has better ambiance, better TV screens and overall more upscale feel. The bar is kind of cool too. But I find 787/330 seats not very comfortable both for daytime and overnight flights (I hear new VS
​350 are supposed to get new/better seats).

VS 350 > DL 350 /330neo > DL 330 > VS 787/330 > DL 767.
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Old Jul 10, 19, 3:05 pm
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We just flew to LHR from BOS in Delta One and back in Upper Class. Both A330.

Catering on DL was horrendous, quite simply the worse on any Delta long haul flight in any class of travel since the NW merger 10 years ago. The food on VS was better by default.

The seat is overall better on DL than VS, but there were some technical issues with audio and AC.

The level of service was significantly more friendly on VS.

That said, I’m chalking the experience up to one off poor catering and a surly crew that was not what I normally experience on DL. It’s my first longhaul flight in a year, so I’m not sure if there has generally been a decline of service quality in Delta One in recent months.

if you want a great seat to sleep in with few expectations beyond that, definitely fly Delta

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Old Jul 10, 19, 3:16 pm
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I think it depends. I just flew ATL-MAN in VS UC. This was on an old 747 in the nose, and the whole experience was one of an old airplane, old style decor, inferior IFE. Food was OK, service was good but I think their newer aircraft would offer a much better experience (I have not flown new VS UC, but VA business is stel
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Old Jul 10, 19, 3:16 pm
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Agree with @AntonS on aircraft hard product

VS 350 > DL 350 /330neo > DL 330 > VS 787/330 > DL 767
You didn't mention your originating city but if a connection is required you may want to consider routing through a city with a VS clubhouse (e.g. JFK, SFO, LAX, etc.) as I find they're superior to Skyclubs and you would have access as long as you're in J flying to the UK on VS or DL.

I personally prefer the style and service of VS but that's highly subjective. The onboard bar is also a unique feature of VS over DL but is not something I value.
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Old Jul 10, 19, 3:40 pm
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Agree with the rest of the commenters. If all you care about is sleep then DL wins, the rest of the experience on VS is better. VS is quite a bit more limited in destinations though, I'm lucky in that MAN is my main airport which has good VS service.

That said I wouldn't adjust my routing too much one way or another.

The clubhouses are nice, I am frequently ex-LAX on VS and it's a nice place to relax and the LHR clubhouse is fantastic of course.

If I was going anywhere else in Europe though I would take DL and avoid the UK rather than connect through.
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Old Jul 10, 19, 4:10 pm
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I like DL much better. I don't do great sleeping on planes so I tend to take naps here and there. The fact there really isn't much a recline option on the VS planes is a dealbreaker. It's either seat or bed. Plus you physically have to get out of your seat to turn it into a bed. Very, very annoying.

Flight crew on DL is always usually pretty friendly but on VS can border on a bit snobby IMHO. Catering is different, but probably about the same quality on both.
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Old Jul 10, 19, 4:47 pm
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I assume it's the same for everywhere that has a Virgin clubhouse, but the food at all clubhouses I've been to (LAX, SFO, EWR, JFK, LHR) is fantastic. You order whatever you want off a menu. You're not dealing with a standard buffet. So, if you eat at the clubhouse beforehand, you needn't worry about the main meal onboard, which I always find annoying anyway since service takes so long. Plus, the clubhouses are usually quite nicer than the Sky Lounges.

I haven't eaten on a Virgin flight in sometime, so I can't comment on the current state of the food, but I can say that Delta One food is usually quite forgettable unless you get one of the special menus out of LAX or JFK. The Jon and Vinny meatballs out of LAX, in particular, are great.

If you're booking with Virgin directly, at no extra cost, Virgin will arrange transportation to and from the airport. At LHR, Upper Class has a private airport entrance that leads to private security.

Virgin's seat has fairly limited recline (far more than a standard seat, but it can only be adjusted so far). So, if you plan on being awake most of the flight, Delta is more comfortable. Delta, while not offering much storage, still offers far more than Virgin. Virgin basically gives you a tiny shelf. I don't find Virgin's storage to be a problem when traveling lightly with an iPad only, but if you're working on a computer, it's going to be an issue.

When it comes time to sleep, I prefer Virgin over Delta. Yes, you're required to flip over your seat on Virgin (not difficult), but once laying down, the bed is plenty comfortable, and I find the open footwell to be much more comfortable than Delta's too-small closed footwells (unless you can snag a bulkhead seat).

When booking on Virgin, for more privacy, you'll want to book on the row of seats that faces the wall rather than the seats that face each other.
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Old Jul 10, 19, 5:34 pm
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Originally Posted by enoscabell View Post

If you're booking with Virgin directly, at no extra cost, Virgin will arrange transportation to and from the airport. At LHR, Upper Class has a private airport entrance that leads to private security.

.
Only if your UC ticket is in the right fare bucket - i.e. the more expensive J, C and D. And there is a 70 mile limit in the UK (other limits apply elsewhere)

Anyone flying in UC and D1 can use a private car (taxi etc) to use the Upper Class Wing
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Old Jul 10, 19, 5:36 pm
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Originally Posted by enoscabell View Post
I assume it's the same for everywhere that has a Virgin clubhouse, but the food at all clubhouses I've been to (LAX, SFO, EWR, JFK, LHR) is fantastic. You order whatever you want off a menu. You're not dealing with a standard buffet. So, if you eat at the clubhouse beforehand, you needn't worry about the main meal onboard, which I always find annoying anyway since service takes so long. Plus, the clubhouses are usually quite nicer than the Sky Lounges.
Whether the OP books VS or DL, they can use the Clubhouse either way. D1 pax can use them on any same day itinerary between North America and the UK.
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Old Jul 10, 19, 5:47 pm
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by AntonS View Post
VS 350 > DL 350 /330neo > DL 330 > VS 787/330 > DL 767.
I think it would ultimately come down to which equipment it operating the route. This is a pretty good order to follow. Not sure exactly where the VS 747 and A340 would fit in, but I would probably slot them in between the VS 787/330 and DL 767.

OP, if you want to mix it up, you could probably try both as the VS codeshare fares often price out pretty close to the all-DL metal fares. Fly DL on the outbound and VS on the return or vice-versa.
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Old Jul 10, 19, 6:17 pm
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I too like the Virgin seats as there is no foot well. Looking out of the window is tricky but one usually does that for just a few minutes on a TATL route.
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Old Jul 10, 19, 6:47 pm
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Maybe an unpopular opinion, but as someone who ordinarily does not sleep well on planes, I’ve actually come to prefer Virgin’s bed configuration. Yes, it’s a slight detour to get up and flip over the seat into bed mode, but I find the bed to be more comfortable: it has more cushion, isn’t lumpy around the seat joints like with seats that recline into a bed, and has more room. I’m a little bummed they’ll be doing away with this seat design with their A350s; I suspect Delta had something to do with that decision.
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Old Jul 10, 19, 6:57 pm
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I prefer VS on the red eyes. I like the beds, even on the 330/340/787s, particularly my head away from the aisle for privacy and the additional shoulder room in bed mode. The “flip over” is a little annoying, but gives you a good “solid” sleep surface.

Daytime westbound, I much prefer DL. The VS 330/340/787 Seats are tight in the shoulders, have minimal recline as others have mentioned, and have very little space for “stuff.” I’d take a DL 767 over VS on a daytime flight, but would prefer VS on a red eye.

Earlier this year I was “forced” to do LHR-JFK on VS (it was a VS-only fare that included BA segments), and the catering was kind of disappointing (including the selection). That said, on a more recent JFK-LHR flight I was quite surprised by the extent of the menu offerings on the short red eye, including lots of savory snack items. Of course I had eaten in the clubhouse and so didn’t eat anything on board, but it was certainly a better-looking menu than my previous westbound.
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Old Jul 10, 19, 9:31 pm
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For us it is all about the seats and we do not like the seats in Upper Class. IMO the only time that Virgin rates any consideration is if Delta is flying a 767. That sucks almost as much as the VS flip-overs.
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