Virgin Atlantic Schedules First A350 Route Virgin Atlantic Schedules First A350 Route

Virgin Atlantic Schedules First A350 Route

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In April, Virgin Atlantic revealed its newly designed A350 airplane. Well now, travelers can start getting excited because on September 10th, the new plane will start flying the popular New York-London route.  Initially the route will be JFK-LHR, but eventually, Gatwick airport will be included. This route happens to fall into one of Virgin's sweet spot award redemptions. Despite the fuel surcharges, I personally find Virgin's Premium Economy experience to be one of the best. Additionally, on this route, Premium Economy is only 27,500 miles, which is cheaper than standard economy on several other carriers (i.e. Delta, United).

According to Virgin, “Our new A350s are packed with innovation, thoughtful features, and unmistakable Virgin Atlantic flair.” True to its word, the new jet looks innovative, fun, and exciting. The aircraft incorporates anti-jetlag technology, such as enhanced mood lighting, quieter engines so you can sleep better, and an improved cabin atmosphere with a lower cabin altitude.


  • 44 seats in Upper Class with a 1-2-1 configuration
  • 56 seats in Premium Economy with a 2-4-2 configuration
  • 235 seats in Economy with a 3-3-3 configuration

Check out the new seat map here.

The Loft


Virgin has redesigned its Upper Class bar and renamed it “The Loft.”  Aside from the cool decor, some nifty features of the common space include: a 32″ TV, eight Bluetooth audio jacks allowing a group of friends to watch TV together, and seatbelts on chairs so if turbulence appears, you don't need to walk back to your seat.

Upper Class


All seats face the window and have direct aisle access. I think direct aisle access is super important in a premium cabin. I always find it awkward to climb over another passenger and I'm glad more planes are being designed with this feature in mind. The seats also offer greater privacy due to higher walls around each suite and deployable privacy screens. Each seat has adjustable mood lighting, reclines fully into a flat bed, and comes with an 18.5″ entertainment panel. Another cool enhancement is the ability to control the entertainment panel with your smartphone via a Bluetooth connection.



Premium Economy


Having flown premium economy with many carriers, I personally find Virgin's Premium Economy superior to most other airlines. Needless to say, I'm very excited about checking out this newly redesigned cabin.  Storage capacity is increased with many efficiently designed pockets and the entertainment system includes a larger 13.3″ entertainment panel. The leather seats have premium stitching, offer a 7″ recline and there are USB ports to charge your devices. Each seat also features a pressed black wood tray table, which will be a nice change from the plain beige tray table commonly seen in economy.




All seats are designed with a premium woven fabric and include 6-way adjustable headrests. An important inclusion is the presence of USB ports. I always find it annoying when I fly economy and USB ports are missing. Economy Classic seats have a standard 31″ pitch, while Economy Delight offers a 34″ pitch. If you're planning on flying economy on the NY-London route, this would be a good one to try.

Our Take

Virgin's new A350 jet is nicely outfitted and includes some innovative enhancements. I'm really looking forward to flying this route and checking out the new plane. Do you have any plans to fly the A350 with Virgin? Tell me below in the comments!

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  • I really want to try Virgin Atlantic. This sounds like it would be a good thing to try Virgin on. I read that they are pretty good on their Upper Class. I have also heard not so positive things too. So I’m conflicted.

  • I’ve heard a lot about the Virgin Premium Economy experience and wondered what other passengers think of the service. Is it worth the extra cash for transatlantic or is the real benefit only felt in Upper Class cabins?

  • Looks very nice inside. I hope more airlines adopt this A350 as well.

  • Amazing upgrade. Hopefully LAX-LHR gets in on it soon!

  • I’ve been a loyal BA flyer on this route for many years but this is making me reconsider.

  • The downside to Airbus planes is they are slower than Boeing aircraft. The fact this will be 3-3-3 instead of 10 seats wide is a plus though.

    • Fascinating. Always thoughtlessly assumed that there wasn’t a meaningful difference in speed by manufacturers. What’s the real impact on time in the air?

  • This is a beautiful bird. I hope I can fly it sooner than later!

  • This looks really nice. Wonder if this will eventually impact the award chart.

  • I like the Airbus 350.
    I have travelled a couple of times with Finnair and it was a nice trip.
    Do you think Virgin Atlantic has the same level of comfort or even better in economy for the same type of plane?

  • love the beautiful red and the moodlight. Brings back memory of the VX days.

  • Definitely a lot better than their current upper class. Will see if I can snag one

  • This plane looks very nice. I’ve like the new Airbus planes since they are much quieter than the older planes like the Boeing 747. The previous generation of Boeing planes had an edge on that generation Airbus planes but the current generation Airbus planes I tend to like better. Good job Virgin on picking a nice comfortable plane for your customers.

  • Fully agreed; really looking forward to flying Virgin’s a350!

  • miskocina says:

    Although in the past I’ve always considered Virgin to be rather tacky, this new product looks nice. I will give it a try.

  • Nice to see VA is stepping up their game

  • The competition for the premium JFK-LHR market is pretty hot.
    I need to try VA’s new product on this route soon.

    • Though I don’t really mind spending a few extra hours in business first for like 20k/30k extra miles when coming from the West Coast

  • I’ve always shied away from Virgin Atlantic due to their fees. This article may make me reconsider.

  • Game on. No wonder BA is hurry to depoly A350 on the route as well

  • The Arts Traveler says:

    It looks very nice. For Virgin Atlantic, try using Delta Skymiles. It’s one of the best uses of Delta miles and you avoid surcharges on the outbound.

  • Probably worth mentioning that VS PE costs fewer miles than the competition because you have pretty serious taxes and fuel surcharges to pay.

  • I guess the next destination will be HKG.

  • Sounds like a good deal for the points

  • It will be interesting to see how quickly the rollout will be as other airlines are also going with the A350.