Virgin Atlantic is launching a new leisure space onboard some of its Airbus A350-1000 aircraft. Known as ‘The Booth’, the new seating option will be placed in the same area that ‘The Loft’ bar area occupies on the airline’s current aircraft. The change means that more economy and premium economy seats can be squeezed onto the aircraft.
While many airlines find a seating configuration that works and stick with it, some may look to vary their product to meet differing customer needs on different journeys. Virgin Atlantic is joining the latter camp rolling out a second configuration on its Airbus A350-1000 aircraft.
The booth is the latest addition to the Virgin Atlantic hard product. However, rather than serving as a seat for the entire flight, it is rather a social space that can create comfy lounge-style seating for two people, as first revealed by Head for Points. The area was designed collaboratively by Virgin Atlantic and London design agency Factorydesign.
The Booth had two 27 inch monitors displaying art and live camera shots of the aircraft. It also has a table that separates the two occupants who will face each other. The new seating area will be located behind the Upper Class cabin at the second set of doors on the Airbus A350-1000.
The Booth will debut on G-VEVE. The aircraft is named Fearless Lady after Richard Branson’s mother, Eve Branson. G-VLIB will follow it. In total, Virgin Atlantic wants three Airbus A350-1000 aircraft equipped with what it is calling the Leisure Configuration.
Corneel Koster, Chief Customer and Operations Officer at Virgin Atlantic commented,
“We’re famous for our on-board social spaces and the introduction of The Booth elevates the customer proposition for our leisure travellers to new heights. We love creating brilliantly different experiences, which is why we’re always evolving our ideas to offer something different and exciting in the air and on the ground.”
Where will the cabin fly?
Virgin Atlantic revealed that the cabin would debut between London Heathrow and Orlando in December 2021. More destinations such as Barbados will start seeing the new leisure configuration from 2022 onwards.
In total, the jets will seat 397 passengers. 16 Upper Class suites, such as those found on the airline’s other aircraft, are at the front of the plane. These are followed by 56 premium economy seats and finally 325 economy seats at the aircraft’s rear.
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On the other Virgin Atlantic Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, this same space is a far more social space as opposed to the intimate Booth for two. The loft offers open seating in the door area with an intriguing chandelier centerpiece tied with several different seating options.
The Loft was designed as a place where passengers can go to sit and perhaps socialize. The idea was that passengers could grab a drink, with the removal of the bar found on other Virgin aircraft. Seats also had seatbelts, so they could be occupied if the aircraft encountered turbulence.
What do you make of The Booth? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!