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Try Virgin Atlantic business class at Sydney Airport this week

By David Flynn     Filed under: Virgin Atlantic, london, Sydney International Airport, Kangaroo Route

Flying out of Sydney International Airport this week? Before you check into your favourite lounge, check out the Virgin Atlantic showcase in the central court of the departures terminal.

You'll be able to sample the airline's Upper Class business class mini-suite and its innovative design, which flips the leather recliner seat over into to form a fully-flat bed that's 80 inches long.

You can also take a seat at a replica of Virgin's on-board bar – alas, they're not serving cocktails, although there are little freebie hand-outs ranging from water bottles and facial spritz sprays to samples of Cowshed lip balm and hand cream.

Or flash your Gold or Silver Virgin Atlantic Flying Club card for a copy of Sir Richard Branson's new book Screw Business as Usual.

Finally, hop into the red London cab and enter a competition to win an Upper Class trip for two from Sydney to London via Hong Kong – Virgin Atlantic's own take on the 'Kangaroo Route'.

Have you flown Virgin Atlantic, especially in Upper Class? Share your thoughts on the seat and service with other Australian Business Traveller readers in the comments box below.

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About David Flynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

 

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1 on 24/1/12 by AusFlyer

The best thing about Virgin Atlantic is the lounge at Heathrow.

Upper Class is nothing great - The seats are comfortable, but they face in that awkward angle from the window so it's a strain to see out. That plus the fact that you have to stand up to fold the seat into a bed are negatives for me. I like to be lazy and just push a button until the seat is in position.

Not a winning product in my opinion.

2 on 24/1/12 by AirportAddict

They are one of those airlines that are somewhat random.. I struggle to get my head around the way they think. Virgin Australia is slightly more formal and professional whereas Virgin Atlantic has a streak of casual randomness if that makes sense.

1 on 25/1/12 by Al

That sounds about right, Virgin Australia has a touch of the Branson halo in its style but isn't as 'out there' as Virgin Atlantic, which seems to be very Branson!

3 on 24/1/12 by julseo

ah, something to do while wasting time in SYD Airport.

1 on 24/1/12 by AirportAddict

Exactly... getting the people without any purpose to just stop and waste a bit of time :D

4 on 24/1/12 by Libertyscott

Ironic that Air New Zealand was licensed to use the same product from 2005 and has since then improved on it, with a softer sleeping surface and larger IFE screen (and better IFE system) on the new 777-300s whilst Virgin is still peddling the old one as "innovative".  Most of Virgin's competitors have moved on since it launched it some time ago, you'd have thought at the very least it would have taken NZ's innovations.   Virgin Australia is competitive because it has had to be, but Virgin Atlantic is now looking very tired.   Beyond the Heathrow Clubhouse it is far from special nowadays.

1 on 24/1/12 by AirportAddict

You have to be sane to be competitive dont u?

2 on 25/1/12 by John

Bear in mind, of course, that Virgin Atlantic's main competitor is British Airways, with the forwards-backwards Club World pitched against Upper Class, and both airlines are primarily aimed at the British market (BA slightly less so with the LHR hub, but still, mainly UK-focussed).

There are pluses and minuses to both of those seats, but an interesting Britain-particular focus I've noticed when talking to my fellow Poms about business class is that they really like the privacy of both the Club World and Upper Class seats.

Much more so (anecdotally, of course) than the Australians, New Zealanders and others that I've talked to. That's to the extent that Aussies/Kiwis tend to prefer the Qantas style all-forwards layout over the BA style, whereas the Poms are exactly the other way around.

There's a really good useless PhD in there somewhere...

Personally, I love the Virgin/NZ herringbone layout for overnight flights, but prefer the BA/Qantas La-Z-Boy style for day flights. 

3 on 25/1/12 by am

They will be launching an all new product this year - hopefully we will see something special...

5 on 25/1/12 by Daniell

Perhaps if VA stop peddling the slutty looking female employees at every opportunity, I may take them seriously as a business airline. Frankly I want professional, mature and knowledgeable staff, not silly girls who look better suited to King's Cross! 

1 on 27/1/12 by mrmaxwell

Daniell - if you think VA girls are 'slutty looking' then you obviously have not been out after 7pm since 1968. Take a drive around the Cross next Saturday night then come back here to redress your comment. 

The VA girls look great - end of story. 

1 on 27/1/12 by AirportAddict

Put it this way. Virgin Atlantic see Branson as more of an idol than Virgin Australia do i think. Branson has more of a touch on Virgin Atlantic and that its why Virgin Antlantic is slightly weird and sort of mediocre.

2 on 27/1/12 by AirportAddict

If they are for sale, you have plenty to choose from. Nobody else wants them.

6 on 27/1/12 by Daniell

No Maxwell, I'll leave the cruising of the Cross to you, but thanks. 

7 on 27/1/12 by AirportAddict

Your airline either has it or it doesnt. Virgin Atlantic doesnt.

 

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