Choice of pair of Upper Class seats/beds ?

Old May 20, 19, 1:19 pm
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Choice of pair of Upper Class seats/beds ?

We'll be flying on Virgin Atlantic for the first time in about 3 weeks, in Upper Class (thanks, awards!).
This is a day flight, although we hope to sleep.

I'm having trouble figuring out the best pair of seats for the two of us. We prefer to be able to chat occasionally, or to see if the other is sleeping, etc. (if the other isn't already sleeping).

We'll be on the front cabin with the "3 across" seating, not the four.
And then... I saw a photo... It's almost like bunk beds, but horizontal?
So perhaps we want "side by side", where we could peer over the divider if one of us wanted to say something, or just see if the other is awake?

We had very little choice in flights, as we had to change travel dates entirely at the last minute, and thus reschedule on about 3 week notice... not at all ideal for awards F (or even J) seats, especially now that it will be more into tourist season.
We'll try to see if something else opens up (e.g., LH F ) as the flight date approaches.

For comparison's sake, the only premium cabins/beds/seats we have recently flown are JL F, CX F (glorious!), BA F, LH F, and JetBlue's MINT (a real surprise). The next best was the Prem Econ on AC's 787, but although that was quite nice/comfy, it's only a flying Lazy Boy, after all.
At first, given the diagram, I thought it would be like CX, with the two seats sharing an aisle and both angled forward would be a good pair.(On CX, we each had windows instead. On JL/LH/BA F's, we had the middle pair with the divider lowered, and we enjoy that when available.)

Ah, we did get on a short leg with AA's new transcontinental F/pods, and that was very nice, but very short.
We've been on AA and UA domestic F about 3-4 years ago, both of which particularly *failed* to impress us.

(A separate question is whether there is enough room to walk by the side to get "in", or does one really climb up and crawl forward to the head area!?)

Many thanks.

GC
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Old May 20, 19, 8:53 pm
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You didn't mention flight details, but this is on a 787, right?
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Old May 20, 19, 8:57 pm
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Originally Posted by DragonSoul View Post
You didn't mention flight details, but this is on a 787, right?
Very sorry. Airbus A330-300.
(I didn't realize the 787's also had only 3 across. We aren't at all familiar with Virgin Atlantic. Yet.)

Thank you.

GC
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Old May 20, 19, 10:24 pm
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Have you looked at the seat maps on the VS website?
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Old May 20, 19, 10:38 pm
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Originally Posted by GeezerCouple View Post
Very sorry. Airbus A330-300.
(I didn't realize the 787's also had only 3 across. We aren't at all familiar with Virgin Atlantic. Yet.)

Thank you.

GC
Ah... the 787 came to mind because that's what we looking at, but the seats...

Last edited by DragonSoul; May 20, 19 at 10:47 pm
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Old May 25, 19, 10:24 pm
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They’re all pretty much the same seats regardless of aircraft.
The only way in and out of the seats is by the feet at the aisle.
For a couple you’re probably best one behind another, but it’s still not very conducive to talking. That said, the ottoman doubles as a (not very comfortable) buddy seat so you can sit facing one another and chat for a bit. Similar to the CX F seat. You may be able to dine together, but it would probably be tight on the tray table (CX has an extension when you do this).
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Old May 25, 19, 10:48 pm
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
They’re all pretty much the same seats regardless of aircraft.
The only way in and out of the seats is by the feet at the aisle.
For a couple you’re probably best one behind another, but it’s still not very conducive to talking. That said, the ottoman doubles as a (not very comfortable) buddy seat so you can sit facing one another and chat for a bit. Similar to the CX F seat. You may be able to dine together, but it would probably be tight on the tray table (CX has an extension when you do this).
So there is, in fact, no room to the side of the "bed" to walk in, rather than crawl into the bed?

Also, how does the "ottoman" work as a buddy seat? There would be no back, correct? How does one climb over it if the bed/seat is in the "seat" position?
Can one be seat-belted in on the companion "seat"?

This doesn't seem at all like the CX F "companion" seat, which was actually very nice. The JL companion seat, at least in the aircraft model we had, had the hard TV screen (complete with rigid frame) as part of the "seat back". Not particularly comfortable.
The CX F flight was, thus far, definitely the best flight ever, in every respect, from space, that *wide* bed (amazing), the food, and also the terrific service. We definitely got spoiled. Even if we never have that chance again, we are very glad we had the experience It was a real treat.

I'm sure we'll be very pleased with this flight. It's not an ultra-long haul flight like 14++ hours, after all. Almost any way we can lie flat is a "win" for us.
Hopefully we'll use most of the time to get some sleep, and then it won't matter much whether we can talk or see each other.

Meanwhile, we'll also be checking for late availability on LH F, just in case, but we aren't expecting it given we are heading into prime tourist season. (We usually try to take trips like this a month earlier, in May, and we've had good luck. But we also were able to reserve the awards seats close to when they first became available.)

Many thanks!

GC
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Old May 26, 19, 8:57 am
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Upper class is business class, not first class, that’s the first thing you need to make sure you understand.
The only thing remotely first class-like is the ground service at LHR - the Upper Class Wing (especially if you’re arriving by car) and the Clubhouse.

There is no back to the ottoman, though on CX I found the back very confining for the shoulders. There is a seatbelt.

Google some pictures if you want a better idea of the seating configuration. Like I mentioned, the type of aircraft doesn’t matter.

ETA: arguably there is room on the side to “walk in” to the bed, but only down near the feet, maybe 2 feet of length. The rest of the seat is surrounded by seat walls on each side, giving you a wonderful coffin feeling.

Last edited by ijgordon; May 26, 19 at 9:09 am
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Old Jul 28, 19, 4:15 pm
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Upper Class on Virgin is so strange. Not conducive to traveling with a companion at all. I flew with my son next to me and my husband across from me. The pax next to my husband talked non-stop for 11 hours to her companions across from her. My husband was livid and rolling his eyes the entire time as he attempted to drown out the cacophony with noise-cancelling headphones to no avail. The woman's husband then decided to have his meals on the companion seat which was just awkward as my husband had to watch the man eat and talk nonstop with his wife. Now I know the trick is to sit side by side in the A seats which face the back of the center seats.

The ground experience at LHR is awesome, though and is almost worth the strange seating onboard.
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Old Jul 28, 19, 4:35 pm
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Originally Posted by ERtraveler View Post
Upper Class on Virgin is so strange. Not conducive to traveling with a companion at all. I flew with my son next to me and my husband across from me. The pax next to my husband talked non-stop for 11 hours to her companions across from her. My husband was livid and rolling his eyes the entire time as he attempted to drown out the cacophony with noise-cancelling headphones to no avail. The woman's husband then decided to have his meals on the companion seat which was just awkward as my husband had to watch the man eat and talk nonstop with his wife. Now I know the trick is to sit side by side in the A seats which face the back of the center seats.

The ground experience at LHR is awesome, though and is almost worth the strange seating onboard.
Thanks *very* much for the report of your experience and your recommendation. We'll definitely keep that in mind.
And it sounds like we should try to take it Westbound...
(We didn't end up on this flight, as we were able to get F seats on LH at the last minute, but it's likely we'll end up on this flight - or similar - in the future.)

GC
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Old Jul 29, 19, 1:06 am
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Originally Posted by ERtraveler View Post
Upper Class on Virgin is so strange. Not conducive to traveling with a companion at all.
Although that can make it quite nice for solo travelers!
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