Flying business class from Sydney to Hong Kong or London on Virgin Atlantic's flights? Australian Business Traveller brings you the latest in our ongoing series on the best seats to pick for your flight.
This week: Virgin Atlantic's award-winning Upper Class business class on its Airbus A340-600 planes.
Virgin Atlantic flies daily between Sydney and London via Hong Kong, using the stretched long-range Airbus A340-600 aircraft. It's a long plane (the world's longest in current passenger service) and you'll find Upper Class at the very front.
The Upper Class cabin
Virgin Atlantic revolutionised business class when it invented the herringbone layout for its Upper Class. Every seat has direct access to the aisle, which means no more clambering over passengers to get out during the night.
The seat itself folds forwards to turn into a fully flat bed rather than sliding down like most other business class seats.
On the A340-600, the cabin layout is 1-1-1, with A on the left and K on the right. The middle column of seats face left for the first half of the cabin and right for the second half. They're D seats if they face left, and G seats if they face right.
There's also a standup bar at the very back of Upper Class.
The best seats on the plane
6K 7K 9A 10A: if you're travelling solo, the best seats are those that face the wall behind a seat opposite. So in rows 2-7 that's K seats, and in the rest of the cabin it's A seats. With a lavatory ahead of seat 2K, you'll want to be a few rows back if you're in a K seat, and with the bar behind row 17, you'll want to be a few rows forward if you're in an A seat.
4K 8A 11A 12A 14A: on the same principle as before, these seats are slightly less ideal than the previous set.
The worst seats on the plane
1D 2D 2K: these seats are right next to the lavatory in front of 2K, so it'll be noisy and high-traffic.
17A 17K: these seats are immediately in front of the bar and two lavatories. The bar is popular and sometimes noisy, so best to sit further forward for when you want to sleep.
Rows 15 and 16: the bar can get loud enough that the noise carries this far forwards. Sit further ahead in the cabin instead.
Rows 1-4: with a galley kitchen and lavatory at the front of the cabin, noise is likely to be greater here.
- Business Class on Malaysia Airlines' A330
- Business Class on Etihad's A340-600
- Business Class on Emirates' A380
- Club World (Business Class) on British Airways' 747
- Business Class on Singapore Airlines' A380
About John Walton
Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.