Virgin Atlantic Fleet Best Seats – Upper Class edition

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Virgin Atlantic Best Seats - Upper Class Edition

Welcome to a three-part series covering the best seats on the Virgin Atlantic fleet. In this article i’ll be covering the Upper Class cabin, also known as Business Class. Let me start by saying that any use of the word “best” is a little dangerous, because what I think is good, others may not agree with. But the purpose of this article is to point out some of the seats I like and the reasons I like them. You can then make your own choice.

747-400

Virgin Atlantic 747 Upper Class seating plan
 The Virgin Atlantic 747 Upper Class Cabin Layout

The 747-400, soon to be retired from the Virgin fleet, appears mostly on the leisure routes from London Gatwick, Manchester, Glasgow and Belfast. It never flies from London Heathrow anymore. It has a limited Upper Class cabin with only 14 seats, but it is one of the most exclusive cabins as it sits in the nose of the plane on the main deck, under the cockpit. That means the lucky two people sitting at the very front of the cabin can look out of the almost forward-facing windows and get a view not too dissimilar to what the pilots see from the cockpit, which is totally unique.

All of the 747’s in the Virgin fleet have a small bar in the middle of the Upper Class cabin, except one aircraft, Tinker Belle (G-VBIG).

The seating in the Upper Class cabin runs from row 6 to row 14. There is no row 1 through 5. The toilets are all towards the rear of the cabin, as well as the galley.

6A and 6K are the two special seats at the very front of the cabin, that have a partial view out of the front of the aircraft. They’re great for couples as they are very close together.

My personal preference for this aircraft in Upper Class is 9A or 9K. They’re right in the middle of the cabin, so benefit from not being right in front of the bar, and not being too close to the seat opposite like row 6 and 7.

Best seats for sleep – 6A, 6K, 7A, 7K

Best seats for couples – 6A/6K, 7A/7K

Best seats for socialising at the bar – 11A, 12A, 13A, 13K

Best seats for a quick exit – 12A, 13A

Virgin Atlantic 747 Upper Class Interior
Virgin Atlantic 747 Upper Class Interior

787-9

Virgin Atlantic 787 Upper Class Cabin Seat Map
Virgin Atlantic 787 Upper Class Cabin Layout

The 787 Dreamliner was Virgin’s newest Upper Class cabin, until the A350-1000 arrived. It has 31 Upper Class seats as well as a bar at the rear of the cabin. The Upper Class galley is at the front of the cabin, and all toilets for the cabin are towards the rear, near the bar.

Generally speaking, the A seats are the better seats as they are not opposite any other seats. The A aisle has seats on the left and the backs of the other aisle of seats on the right which means there’s less foot traffic, it’s slightly quieter and there’s more overheard locker space available. 1G is the only seat with a bassinet position, which is important if you are flying with a baby.

My personal preference is 1A (for ego sake) and then 8A, 9A and 10A. The big benefit to being on the left-hand side at the rear of the cabin, is that you will be the first off the plane, as disembarking is almost always done through door 2L – the door just behind those seats. 11A is a risky seat as it is a little too close to the bar, meaning if there are people socialising there – it can be a little disturbing.

The rear right hand side of the cabin is also a good choice, but the cabin crew control the exit flow of people in such a way that the A aisle will disembark before the G/K aisle, so if being off quick is your objective, the A aisle is the one to choose.

Best seats for sleep – 3A, 4A, 5A, 6A, 7A (note – 7A and 7K do not have a window on the 787)

Best seats for couples – any G/K combinations

Best seats for socialising at the bar – 10A, 11A, 9G, 10K, 11K

Best seats for a quick exit – 10A, 11A

Virgin Atlantic 787 Upper Class Cabin Interior
Virgin Atlantic 787 Upper Class Interior

A330-200

Virgin Atlantic A330-200 Upper Class Cabin Layout
Virgin Atlantic A330-200 Upper Class Cabin Layout

The A330-200 only entered the fleet recently. It has a completely different Upper Class product to the other aircraft currently flying, owing to the fact that these aircraft were acquired from the defunct Air Berlin and Virgin needed to get them flying quickly due to issues with aircraft availability.

The 3 sets of double seats in the middle of the cabin are known as “love suites” and are ideal for couples of those travelling together.

The rest of the seats are referred to as either Solo Freedom Suites or Solo Corner Suites and are more ideal for passengers traveling on their own.

Due to not having a bar onboard, there isn’t really any issue with sitting right at the back of the cabin like there is on the other aircraft, so if quick disembarking is the goal, sit towards to back. 5A or 5K would be my choice on this aircraft.

Best seats for sleep – 3A, 2C, 2H, 3K

Best seats for couples – 1E/1F, 3E/3F, 5A/5F

Best seats for socialising – Not applicable as there is no bar onboard

Best seats for a quick exit – 5A, 6C

Virgin Atlantic A330-200 Upper Class Interior
Virgin Atlantic A330-200 Upper Class Interior

A330-300

Virgin Atlantic A330-200 Upper Class Cabin Layout
Virgin Atlantic A330-200 Upper Class Cabin Layout

The nice thing about the A330-300 over the -200 variant is that it has been a staple of Virgins fleet for quite a while and has an almost identical Upper Class cabin to the 787-9.

As such, my seating choices for this aircraft are exactly the same as the 787.

Best seats for sleep – 3A, 4A, 5A, 6A, 7A

Best seats for couples – any G/K combinations

Best seats for socialising – 10A, 11A, 9G, 10K, 11K

Best seats for a quick exit – 10A, 11A

Virgin Atlantic A330-300 Upper Class Interior
Virgin Atlantic A330-300 Upper Class Interior

A340-600

Virgin Atlantic A340 Upper Class Cabin Layout
Virgin Atlantic A340 Upper Class Cabin Layout

The A340 cabin is a little strange. It’s the largest Upper Class cabin currently in the fleet, at 45 seats. It also has a different layout, the middle row zig zags half way up the cabin. On the A330-300 and 787-9 the A aisle seats face the rear of the G/K aisle seats, whereas on the A340, the A aisle faces the D seats for the front half of the cabin and the rear half, the G seats face the K seats. It’s a little strange in my opinion. It does offer more capacity for couples though.

Anyway, the A row still has the best choice in my opinion, and I would opt for 9A to 17A as it does not face any other seats and the proximity to the bar isn’t too bad.

Best seats for sleep – 9A, 10A, 11A, 12A, 14A

Best seats for couples – 2A/3D, 3A/4D, 5A/6D, 6A/7D, 8G/8K, 9G/9K, 10G/10K, 11G/11K, 12G/12K, 14G/14K, 15G/15K.

Best seats for socialising at the bar – 16A, 17A, 16K, 17K

Best seats for a quick exit – 16A, 17A

Virgin Atlantic A340 Upper Class Cabin Interior
Virgin Atlantic A340 Upper Class Interior

A350-1000

Virgin Atlantic A350 Upper Class Cabin Layout
Virgin Atlantic A350 Upper Class Cabin Layout

The A350 is the newest addition to the fleet, featuring 44 newly designer Upper Class suites. This product does not exist on the rest of the fleet at the time of writing. Fortunately, the seating on the 350 is fairly consistent. The bar has been replaced with a lounge, at the rear of the Upper Class cabin.

Best seats for sleep – Rows 4-8 A/D/G/K

Best seats for couples – Any A/D or G/K combo

Best seats for socialising in the lounge – 11A/D/G/K

Best seats for a quick exit – 10A/D, 11A/D

Virgin Atlantic A350 Upper Class Cabin Interior
Virgin Atlantic A350 Upper Class Interior

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