British Airways Club World vs Virgin Atlantic Upper Class – What’s Best?

Trying to choose between Virgin Atlantic Upper Class and British Airways Club World flights? Look no further. We’ve broken down the prices, service, amenities, entertainment, and dining for you to make your choice as easy as possible.

British Airways or Virgin Atlantic?

Introduction

It can be difficult to choose between business class on different airlines, and selecting Virgin Atlantic Upper Class or British Airways Club World is no exception. With so many different amenities and pricing models, it might seem like they’re virtually equivalent. But there are more differences between the two than are obvious at first glance! We’ve taken an in-depth look at fares, entertainment, food, drink, and service to help you come to a decision.

Fares

One of the first aspects of air travel that frequent flyers tend to compare is price. Though fares vary greatly based on the season, your miles, and the specific flight you’re booking, we got a general idea of the comparison between Virgin Atlantic Upper Class and British Airways Club World prices by comparing randomly selected flights during the week of September 6th-13th, 2018. Let’s take a look.

New York City (JFK) to London Heathrow

Virgin Atlantic: $6,434/£4,856

British Airways: $8,797/£6,640

Los Angeles (LAX) to London Heathrow

Virgin Atlantic: $8,210/£6,197

British Airways: $10,707/£8,081

Manchester to Las Vegas

Virgin Atlantic: $11,161/£8,425

British Airways $11,179/£8,439

Manchester to New York City

Virgin Atlantic: $8,185/£6,178

British Airways: $8,230/£6,212

Lagos, Nigeria, to New York City

Virgin Atlantic: $7,792/£5,882

British Airways: $7,792/£5,882

Johannesburg, South Africa, to London Heathrow

Virgin Atlantic: $4,309/£3,252

British Airways: $3,859/£2,913

Dubai to London Heathrow

Virgin Atlantic: $3,855/£2,909

British Airways:$3,855/£2,909

*Prices as of July 9th, 2018.

As you can see, overall, British Airways Club World tickets are often significantly pricier than comparable Virgin Atlantic Upper World flights. Virgin Atlantic wins out in terms of affordability.

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With either airline, however, you can earn 2% back on your travel expenses when using the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, and new users also stand to earn $625 worth of points when they spend $4000 on travel in the first three months. That’s less than one of many of these tickets!

Seat Specs

So, we know which airline is cheaper. But which one is comfier? Let’s take a look at the seating details to find out.

British Airways Club World bed

British Airways:

Pitch: 72 inches

Width: 20 inches

Virgin Atlantic:

Pitch: 78 inches

Width: 22 inches

Your British Airways Club World seat converts into a 6-foot flat bed with an adjustable head rest and lumbar support.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class leather seats also fold out into long, flat beds.

Virgin Atlantic obviously wins out here, with more space and comfort for your purchase.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class seating configuration

Food and Drink

The British Airways Club World menu includes three courses on the average flight, including entrees, salads, appetizers and sweets. Complimentary snacks, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, and cocktails are also available. Desserts and cheese plates are served restaurant-style with silverware.

A sample Club World menu might start off with fresh pea panna cotta and a seasonal salad, followed by slow-braised Herefordshire beef cheek and potato au gratin with cheddar cheese, gingered carrots, and baby shallots. The meal would end with raspberry and lemon sponge, a fruit selection, and tea, chocolates, and coffee.

British Airways Club World meal

The Virgin Atlantic Upper Class menu includes a full English breakfast for overnight and morning flights, with a full range of vegetarian choices. The express menu is available at night so you can order quickly and chow down before drifting off to sleep. An afternoon tea trolley includes finger sandwiches and sweet treats, while the Graze menu is available at all times and includes cold and hot snacks.

The main Virgin Atlantic Upper Class menu might include an appetizer like a tomato, basil, and mozzarella salad, followed by lemon and thyme chicken with a potato cake, vegetable pearls, and Girolle mushrooms. You would finish up with warm chocolate salted caramel pudding. An onboard bar, free champagne as you board the flight, and pre-dinner drinks service are also available on nearly all flights.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class meal

Service and Amenities

Both British Airways Club World and Virgin Atlantic Upper Class come with a variety of extra-special perks and amenities for travelers.

British Airways airport lounge

With your British Airways Club World ticket, you’ll be able to relax and refresh yourself in a business class airport lounge with wine, cocktails, snacks, and comfortable seating. You’ll also be able to speed through lines ahead of the crowd with priority boarding and a special check-in desk just for Club World flyers. At London Heathrow, you’ll get even more special treatment, such as access to massages and facials at the airport spa, showers and clothes pressing at the Arrivals lounge, and onboard skincare products from Elemis.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class customers start and end their trips with a complimentary chauffeur car service to and from the airport. Upper Class Clubhouses offer massages and other spa services, along with cocktails, full-service dining, business services, breakfast, and showers. 10 different international airports have full Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses, while many others have lounges with slightly fewer amenities.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class lounge

Entertainment and Wi-Fi

Club World customers each have access to a personal 10 1/2 inch flat screen and headphones, with which they can enjoy a range of books on tape, games, television shows, and movies. On British Airways Club World, you will also get onboard access to Wi-Fi and a power outlet.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class customers also have access to Wi-Fi, music, movies, games, and TV, as well as a “suite” perfect for doing business inflight, with dedicated power outlets and laptop storage room.

So, should I fly on Virgin Atlantic Upper Class or British Airways Club World?

My first choice is always going to be Virgin Atlantic.

With greater affordability, a wider range of amenities, and wider seats, it’s a better choice for your money. And of course, I can always make up a lot of the difference through credit card rewards when booking on one of my favorite travel rewards cards. See our comparison here.

Regular British Airways flyer?

The British Airways Visa Signature® Card might be the card for you:

  • Up to 100,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
  • Earn 3 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases.
  • Earn 1 Avios for every $1 spent on other purchases.

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Jon Champs

Virgin Atlantic every time. Upper Class wing, lounges at other airports, food, service in Lounge and on board, better overall seat.