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Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy

I probably shouldn't even be asking this question but am going to anyway. My husband and I always fly United because we have miles. I have waited so long to book our trip that when we called United yesterday we couldn't get the flight date/time we wanted. So, for the first time we decided to go with Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy. I've always heard that Virgin is a great airline, so we were very excited about trying them out. We are booked so that's what we will be doing. Perhaps I should have checked customer feedback ahead of doing this but only looked after I booked. There are many people who have been happy with Virgin and Premium Economy but also many who are not. What are your experiences with flying them? As I said, we will be doing it, but just want to hear what the experiences have been. Thanks!

Posted by
117 posts

We flew Virgin Atlantic 2 years ago direct from LAX to London, Preimum Economy and was very happy with the space and experience.

Posted by
1 posts

My wife and I flew twice on Virgin from Vancouver to London Heathrow. At the time, VA was cheaper than British Airways, our usual carrier. We flew once in First, once in Premium Economy. In First, the seating arrangement was just bizarre with seats sort of facing each other diagonally. We didn't care for it as there wasn't much privacy. Service was fine. In Premium Economy, seats were good but the service was not that great. Once dinner service was finished, the flight attendants basically disappeared; it was a challenge to get an extra glass or two of wine. They always seemed to be rushing some where else far more important! The entertainment was also poor: a movie had to be watched from the beginning, but you couldn't just start it when it was convenient for you. BUT, they didn't tell you when the movie was scheduled to begin. Duh! After checking frequently, I gave up. Luckily I had a great book.
Virgin no longer flies out of Vancouver. Perhaps their passenger share declined and the route wasn't profitable. We happily switched back to British Airways and will be flying this summer in their Premium Economy and Club World. I expect our experience will be much more positive as in the past.
Ron

Posted by
9363 posts

I have flown with VA several times from Chicago. They are my favorite airline to the UK. Good food, little goodie bags (even in economy), great entertainment options, comfortable seats.

Posted by
795 posts

I don't know about Virgin Atlantic's premium economy but we have used their Upper Class Suites (in business class) and it is great experience. If you book an Upper Class Suite, they will send a limo to pick you up and take you to your airport and then when you return home, they will send a limo to drive you home from the airport. The seats make into comfy beds, you have your own mini-office, and the food is remarkable. I don't know though what it would be like in the economy or premium economy. Our experiences with the Upper Class suites have been excellent.

Posted by
1446 posts

Wow, Terry Lynn! That's quite an experience. From all I'm learning, Premium Economy will be nothing like that!! I'm told it's really not different from United's Economy Plus which is what we typically fly. I was hoping it would be a bit better, but I'm getting the idea it won't be.

Posted by
1199 posts

I usually fly United Economy Plus as well for the same "miles" reason, and have not flown VA before. However, from looking at their website, it appears that VA's Premium Economy is actually a different class of service, and not just a regular economy seat with more legroom, as United's E+ is. The seats are wider, recline more, and have footrests. It appears that the meal service is of a higher quality than economy, and they include and amenities kit. I would think it would be a noticeable improvement over United, even without the chauffeur (geez...)

Posted by
1446 posts

That's what I thought too, Eric, when we read the website. I do hope that's true. Some very negative feedback has come in. If it's good, I'll let everyone know.

Posted by
2765 posts

Airline reviews are very unreliable IMHO. There are several reasons. The most common is that most people only review when they are unhappy leaving you with a very biased view.

Then there are some other factors. For example "rude" often means "they would not let me do what I wanted". This ties directly to one of the top reason for complaints which is failure to understand what they purchased. (AKA. Non refundable means just that, not "well in my case I am special". ). Another reason is that people don't understand the reality of airfare today and think they get free seat assignments, gourmet meals, etcetera...

All airlines have a bad day Sometimes it's just not your lucky day :).

Posted by
10358 posts

I have the same opinion as Carol in regards to the airline reviews for the major carriers, including Virgin Atlantic. Everyone has war stories, and no airline is without a lot of complaints. You can see that if you check on the other carriers, too.

Posted by
693 posts

For what it is worth, Virgin Atlantic came in much higher than United in the 2014 world airline awards. In fact, not a single American airline was in the top 30. Australia, with one tenth of the US population managed two in the top twenty.

Posted by
1446 posts

Thanks mph. I've received enough positive feedback that I am again excited about flying them.