Virgin’s new A350-1000 is shaping up to be a great way to cross the Atlantic. With an all new IFE system, onboard WiFi and a revamped menu, whichever cabin class you’re in promises to offer a great experience. But which seats are the best? If you’re getting ready to pick your perch for a transatlantic trip, let us help you out with your seat selection!
Down at the back of the plane, the two expansive economy cabins offer more legroom and much bigger IFE screens than have ever been seen before on Virgin. All the seats are a comfortable 17.4” wide, which is pretty standard if not at the wider end of the range for an economy cabin. However, legroom ranges depending on the seat.
Within these cabins, regular economy seats are advertised at around 31”, whereas some are economy ‘Delight’, which offer a little more space, up to 34” of pitch. However, you need to pay extra to book the Delight class.
If you are doing so, by far the best seats are 54A and 54K, both of which have no seat in front of them, so basically limitless legroom. The only downsides to these seats are that the tray table and IFE screen are located inside the armrest, so the width of the seat is very slightly reduced.
Another good choice for economy Delight is anywhere in row 53. This is designated as an exit row, so you’ll need to be able-bodied and not be traveling with kids. However, due to it being in front of the bulkhead, again the legroom is pretty much unlimited. This row does face on to the lavatories, however, so might be busier with loitering passengers than elsewhere.
If you’re not keen to pay for the Delight upgrade, then rows 45 and 52 are your go-to choices. Row 45, in particular, has endless legroom to stretch out, thanks to the bulkhead in front. 52 has nothing behind it, so if you’re keen to avail of your 5” recline early on in the flight, this would be a good choice. It’s just in front of the lavs though, so be aware it might be busy.
The only row to really avoid is the last one. Row 70 A, B, C, H, J and K are all up against the bulkhead, so the recline is limited. Row 71 only has three seats, but it’s again up against the bulkhead of the galley. This large galley at the back of the plane is likely to be busy, and there are toilets on the port side too, so expect it to be busy and noisy throughout the flight.
In premium economy
While Virgin’s premium economy cabin on the A350-1000 has come under fire for its compact nature, the airline has gone some way to making it up to us. Although the seat widths have reduced to just 18.5” in order to cram in a 2-4-2 arrangement, the bespoke leather seats and giant 13.3” screens make it a much more bearable proposition.
Of the 56 recliner seats in premium, all are pretty good, but the first and last rows have the edge for me. Row 21 is an ideal spot if you want to make a quick getaway on landing. Being against the bulkhead means your screen is on an arm, giving a greater range of angles and no issue from the person in front reclining back.
It leads directly on to the toilets and galley, so might be a little bit busier than some other seats, but you’ll be first through The Loft and off the plane at the other end. However, be aware that this wall is where the fittings for bassinets are, so there’s a possibility you’ll be traveling next to a baby.
Alternatively, the rearmost row of the cabin is a good pick. Row 27 has a bulkhead behind, so you can recline to your heart’s desire without irritating the person behind you. As it backs onto a bulkhead but no toilets or galley, it should be a relatively quiet spot if you’re looking to get some decent shuteye too.
In Upper Class
The redesigned Upper Class cabin brings a lot to love with it. All the seats have a 44” pitch whilst sitting and recline fully into a six foot bed for naptime. I can vouch for them being super comfortable (so much so I completely missed breakfast on my way back to London), but if you’re picking a seat, there are some that have the edge.
If you’re looking for the very best of the best, the first row in the plane is the one to pick. 1A, D, G and K all have extra length and width, due to being up against the bulkhead itself. Bear in mind, however, that they are quite close to the lavatories and galley, so might experience a bit of passing traffic.
Back in row 11, you’re a mere pace away from The Loft, Virgin’s new social space for Upper Class passengers. This means it could potentially be noisy, but if you’re keen to get to know your fellow travelers, or to disembark first, then this could be a top pick.
Otherwise, I’d recommend any seat in A or K for solo travelers, while couples and friends will enjoy the proximity of the middle pair of seats at D and G. If you’re flying from London to JFK, a seat in position K will give you the best chance of seeing the northern lights, if you’re on the high end of the NATs.
Overall, while there are a few seats that are a cut above the rest, you’re unlikely to be disappointed with any of the seats on board Virgin’s A350-1000. If you’re taking a trip, don’t forget to check out that awesome tailcam, particularly for take off and landing. Let us know what you think!