Virgin Australia recently began rolling out brand new Business Class seats onto its A330 aircraft. The seats are set to offer a significant improvement over Virgin’s older Business product on flights between Perth and the east coast of Australia.
Our member justcallmeryan recently flew from Sydney to Perth in the new Business Class and has written a full and frank review of the experience. The feedback is largely positive, though some things to watch out for have been identified.
On Thursday I was lucky enough to experience ‘the Business’ on my VA559 SYD – PER. I chose seat 1K as I wanted one of the more private single suites. My first impression when walking in the cabin was it looked very very futuristic and much slicker than the old version (which by the way, I thought was perfectly acceptable for a SYD – PER domestic leg..) The darker colours lend the cabin a much more sophisticated feeling, a true business class.
According to this traveller, there is much to like about the new product. The cabin is stylish and the seat itself is very comfortable, while converting into a lie-flat bed that is perfect for sleeping on. The new in-flight entertainment system was also rated highly.
However, no aircraft seat is perfect and according to our member, there is some room for improvement. Although the seat itself feels spacious and private, the cabin as a whole has a cramped feel about it, as though there are many seats packed within a small space. There were also a few design faults discovered with the seat. For example, it appears that getting up while the seat is in a reclined position could be a challenge.
Overall, our member feels the new Business Class is a great product, though not quite as “revolutionary” as Virgin have claimed.
Is this an improvement on the existing product? YES. Is the seat more comfortable and private? YES. Am I looking forward to seeing this product on the 777 services to LAX/AUH? ABSOLUTELY. Is it as revolutionary a change as VA have been saying? Mmmmmm, no. The only reasons I say no is that I think there are some seemingly obvious design flaws (see above) which make it feel like it was rushed, and TBH I don’t think there was anything wrong with the existing J on the 333’s.
The cabin upgrades come as Qantas continues the rollout of its own A330 Business Class suites. The new suites can now be found on many Qantas flights between Perth and the east coast, as well as to flights to Asia.
Virgin’s rollout is expected to be completed on all A330 aircraft by mid-November. After this, Virgin will eventually fit its long-haul Boeing 777 aircraft used on flights to Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi with the same upgraded seats.
Read the full review, leave a comment or see what others have to say about Virgin’s newest Business class product HERE.