Virgin Atlantic’s New Retreat Suite is Closer To First Class Than Business
VS Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class has always been a little above standard business class offerings, with its drive-through Upper Wing and the Clubhouse offering all table service. However, Virgin Atlantic’s new A330neo will provide a brand new suite which is a step above their usual Upper Class Suite.
The new Retreat Suite will consist of two pairs of seats at the front of the cabin, which can seat up to four people between the two seats when you use the ottomans. The seats are enormous, measuring 6ft 7″ and converting into a fully flat bed. They are reminiscent of Qatar’s First class Suites in layout and style, but unlike Qatar’s business class QSuites, they do not convert into a double bed. However, they have a generous amount of storage space, Bluetooth pairing for your headphones and plenty of USB connectivity, including USB-C. Even the TV is super-sized at 27″. Business-First had started as a trend before Covid as airlines such as Malaysian stopped offering First class and instead went for a hybrid product. JetBlue also features something similar with their spacious Mint Suite at the front of the cabin.
As well as the Retreat, the Upper Class cabin will feature 30 Upper Class Suites with privacy doors and a “Do Not Disturb sign”. These are definitely a step up from the airline’s A350 Upper Class Suites with more practical storage and a proper door. The Suites have a smaller 17.3″ touchscreen TV. There’s storage at head height for headphones or other essentials, with a mirror to check you won’t scare the cabin crew after a night’s sleep!
The Virgin Upper Class bar appears to be gone for good on their new aircraft, which may be a shame for some but a relief for others since it was right in the cabin. The more discreet Loft made its first appearance on their A350 and will be back for the A330neo with a few improvements. The area will feature a self-service fridge and drinks dispenser. Customers can also connect Bluetooth headphones to the dual panoramic 27″ touchscreens or utilise the wireless charging facilities for their devices. The area can hold up to eight people with four seats.
Premium and economy have the same seats as before but with a few enhancements such as wireless charging in Premium and improved calf rests in every seat. There’s also a 13.3″ touchscreen with Bluetooth audio. In economy, passengers will see the largest Virgin Atlantic economy TV screen yet at 13.3″, the same as Premium. They will also get Bluetooth audio to connect headphones, with customers able to use their phone as a controller The A330neo will replace Virgin’s A330-300s eventually and are 11% more efficient and 50% quieter in terms of airport noise.