Virgin Atlantic Reveals Incredible New Business Class Suite

Virgin Atlantic has today revealed the new Upper Class suite which the airline’s new A350-1000 aircraft will be delivered with. The new Suite offers business class passengers complete privacy in a 1-2-1 configuration. While the suite will initially be exclusive to the A350, it may be retrofitted to other aircraft in the future.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class
The new Virgin Atlantic Upper Class. Photo: Simple Flying

New Suite features

The new Upper Class seats are 20 inches wide. The full flat beds stretch to a length of 82 inches. IFE is provided through a massive 18.5″ touchscreen which can even be controlled via Bluetooth on your phone.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class
The new seat features an 82″ long lie flat position. Photo: Simple Flying

Around the seat, there’s a ton of storage space, as well as plenty of power outlets to keep devices charged up. As well as one UK/US/EU outlet, there are also two USB ports for direct charging of mobile devices.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class
Plenty of storage around the seat. Photo: Simple Flying
Virgin Atlantic Upper Class
Plenty of space to stretch out. Photo: Simple Flying

Lie flat can be activated at a touch of a button, which is a huge improvement over getting out to flip the seat into bed mode.

Virgin Upper CLass
Get into bed mode at the touch of a button. Photo: Simple Flying

While the suite will be a huge step up from the current product, it is not entirely concealed. In fact, the privacy door only half closes in order to keep crew and passengers connected. Virgin commented that they are a ‘social airline’, who doesn’t want to cut passengers off with doors. What this means, in effect, is that you can close the door a bit, but there’s a good 1ft gap at the bottom.

Shai Weiss, Virgin Atlantic’s CEO, is quoted as saying that, “The people who love us, we love them right back and that means we have to be able to see them”.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class
The privacy door only goes half way. Photo: Simple Flying

The seat itself is a highly modified Rockwell Collins Super Diamond. It’s the same seat being used in the new BA Club suite, and is also used by Qatar and many of the Chinese airlines.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class
The seat. Photo: Simple Flying

The mood lighting is controllable by each individual passenger, allowing them to tailor the hues to suit their needs. Every passenger travelling in the new suite will be treated to customised pyjamas.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class
The Upper Class cabin will have 44 suites. Photo: Simple Flying

44 suites will be arranged at the front of the aircraft in a 1-2-1 configuration. Each seat will face forwards and towards the window. This, of course, means that every seat will have direct aisle access.

Redesigned bar area

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class
The bar area. Photo: Simple Flying

The bar area, dubbed ‘The Loft’, which is available to Upper Class passengers has also undergone a redesign. While this previously saw passengers perched on high bar stools, these seats have been replaced with couches. This has the advantage that passengers do not have to leave the bar during turbulence as they can fasten the couch’s seatbelt.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class
The bar area has a gold plated overhead light. Photo: Simple Flying

The new area has a 32″ television which can show films or live sports games, with audio piped into Bluetooth headphones. There are seats all around the bar area, both for groups to sit together and for solo travellers. There are also charging points so passengers can relax and stay connected too. There’s even a gold plated overhead light!

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class
The Upper Class cabin. Photo: Simple Flying

Speaking of ‘The Loft’, Virgin said that it “extends its renowned Clubhouse experience to the skies, offering a wide range of cocktails, and the option for customers to dine together and enjoy Mile High afternoon tea by Eric Lanlard and a selection of delicious new dishes by Donal Skehan.”

What about the rest of the A350?

If Upper Class is a little outside of your reach, don’t despair as the rest of the A350 is looking pretty awesome too.

Premium economy Virgin Atlantic
The new premium economy. Photo: Virgin Atlantic

Premium Economy comes equipped with a sizeable 13.3″ IFE screen, as well as seats with 7″ of recline. Width-wise, there’s 18.5″ of space, and the pitch is a generous 38″.  There will be 56 Premium Economy seats laid out in a 2-4-2 configuration, all furnished in luxurious leather.

Economy virgin atlantic a350
Economy class on the A350. Photo: Virgin Atlantic

Back in Economy, the seats have been revamped with more luxurious fabrics and six-way adjustable headrests. IFE is provided on an 11.6″ screen, and all seats come with two USB charging ports. Dimension-wise, the seats have up to 17.4″ of width and 31″ of pitch. A handful of seats, dubbed the ‘Delight’ seats, will have additional legroom to the tune of 34″. The 235 economy seats are arranged in a 3-3-3 configuration and recline up to 5″.

How to fly Virgin Atlantic’s new Suite and the A350

The A350’s are expected to be equipped with the latest in-flight wifi, large windows and a lower cabin altitude pressure to reduce the effects of jet lag.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class
The new suite will be seen initially on London to New York. Photo: Simple Flying

Virgin confirmed to Simple Flying that the A350 will initially work on the London to New York (JFK) route. Other routes will be announced later in the year, with additional routes expected to start in July.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class History

Virgin Atlantic was founded by Richard Branson back in 1984. The airline has always had a key focus on being high quality while offering value for money. As such, Upper Class has played a key role in the airline’s history.

The airline’s current business class seat was first introduced in 2003. The seat, described by Virgin as “the longest and most comfortable flat bed and seat in business class”, has not been updated since. Virgin also offers a number of other distinctive perks to Upper Class passengers:

  • Virgin currently offers a bar in the Upper Class cabin;
  • Full fare Upper Class passengers are entitled to a complimentary transfer to the city in London. This can even be arranged on a motorbike to avoid traffic according to the airline.
  • Similar to the First Wing at Heathrow’s Terminal 5, Virgin offers the Upper Class wing at Heathrow’s Terminal 3. This sees passengers travel through a dedicated check-in and security facility, where they are deposited straight into the Upper Class lounge. The airline states that they “aim to get you straight through security and into the Clubhouse in less than 10 minutes.”

British Airways A350 Club Suite vs Virgin Atlantic’s New Suite:

The new suite announcement comes exactly three weeks after British Airways announced the details of their new business class product on the Airbus A350-1000.

British Airways

Virgin Atlantic

Number of Seats


Video of the day:


All Direct Aisle Access



Full Privacy



Seat Width

21 inches

20 inches

Bed Length

78 inches

82 inches





18.5 inches

18.5 inches

What will happen to Virgin Atlantic’s current Upper Class?

Virgin Atlantic’s new Suite will initially be seen on the A350, as the aircraft will be delivered with the product in place. The airline hasn’t confirmed whether there are plans to retrofit the suite in older aircraft too, so for now you’ll have to watch out for those A350 flights to see it.

Virgin also revealed that the A350 will replace all their 747 fleet in the future. They have said that all eight of their current 747’s will be phased out in favour of the Airbus by 2021, as all 12 should be in service by this time.

What do you think of the new product? Are you excited to fly the new Virgin Atlantic Upper Class suite? 

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Brenda Lewis

I am a senior who just wants to take my last trip back to the old country. Are there any options on any flights for just seats to fully recline? i don’t need gold plated light fixtures or 32 in TV or bar service. I just need space to stretch out and be comfortable with some decent food. You can keep all the frills I just want comfort at a decent price. I find it hard to accept that from a standard seat to first class can justify a $7,000 increase in the fare for 2 people.



Only Business and First Class seats fully recline. You can take a look at Premium Economy which offers a very good recline, not fully flat, but certainly better than regular economy.

Take a look at if you want to compare seats on different airlines.

Good luck and safe travel!

DR Paul K.

I fly either Korean Air or Asiana Airlines from Cebu, Philippines to Dallas, Texas., and have to have a lay front seat due to a Back problem, and yet their First Class Seats leave a LOT to be desired in ALL sorts of way’s ? Come on Both You Airlines lets give what the other Airlines give to their high paying passengers a FIRST CLASS UPDATED SEAT on long haul 777 & A330 flights…..


So, here we have a new product that is nearly (but not quite) as good as the new BA seat.
To cover the shortfalls we have the typical Virgin smoke, mirrors and PA spin “we love our passengers so want to see them??” Gag!
Seems rather indicative of the two airlines as a whole!!


Wow,cool,luxurious and impressive.I think that British Airways might lose a segment of its market with Virgin ‘s new move.


Caro -No they won’t!
Regular BA customers and experienced flyers will see through the ‘smoke and mirrors’ that Sharon quite rightly mentions and understand that (a) the BA cabin is better and (b) the miles you earn on a BA flight has more flexibility and routes where you can use the miles.
Virgin Atlantic are sadly no longer original.


Am I reading this right that PE seat width will go from the current 21″ down to 18.5″? That’s quite a big reduction in width, especially as “roomier seats” is one of their own reasons for booking in PE rather than economy. Disappointing – I really hope this has not replaced the 747 scheduled for my next trip with VA!

Arran Rice

That is correct, though the arm rests do go down on the new PE seats, so the width with the arm rests down will be similar.


Well , theres no doubt about who has got the better seat between the two. Well done BA , their new Club Suite seat way ahead of Virgins choice of new Upper Class seat.
It is like night / day the comparison.
BA got an elegant classy looking product.
VS , Im a bit suprised in their choice.looks cheap , flashy, doesnt look like much privacy about the suite.