LREDI wrote:I expect the leisure fleet will come with c.20 J seats and additional premium behind them.
I also don't think there will be a Loft area on the leisure 350s (my own thoughts not confirmed anywhere)
I can see where you are coming from with the loft. But wouldn’t that put people off flying upper on leisure routes as it could take away some of the experience from some people?
Hmm - history would suggest that this won't come into the equation when Virgin are making the decision re: the loft on the leisure A350's.
Going back a few years 5 out of the 8 leisure fleet 747's "the Alitalia 5" were run for years with a rubbish loop, i.e. not on-demand - IFE system. You thought yourself lucky if you got one of the 3 ex-LHR 747's in leisure config as these had the original V:Port IFE on (not that was much to write home about, but at least it was on-demand). It was only after the - very long overdue - cabin refits on the 747's that the leisure fleet got the best IFE.
The crew were told to mis-inform customers on the "Alitalia 5" when entire cabin sections of the IFE were down. The line they would spin was "we have decided to operate the flight on time today rather than delay it for the engineers to fix the IFE - they'll do this when the aircraft returns to Gatwick". Sounds plausible... until the passengers get the same aircraft & excuse on their return flight 2 weeks later!
And when it comes to a degraded Upper Class experience - look no further than Manchester. No private security channel (the "Fast Lane" they give you is a joke - normal lanes are quicker) & no Clubhouse. Yes, I know the Clubhouse issue will be fixed when T2X opens - but how long have they been flying from Manchester? And MAN has / does operate some non-leisure routes - ATL, JFK, LAX, LAS (to an extent as it's a huge convention venue, as is MCO also for that matter). BGI whilst being a leisure route will have passengers onboard in Upper who are paying top-dollar for their hotel in BGI - so to offer them a bacon roll in the Escape Lounge for years is a joke.
Virgin need to ensure the Upper Class config / experience is as consistent as possible from their main UK bases. Of course the Upper Class cabin will be smaller on the leisure fleet, but to omit key items such as the loft would be a mistake IMO. Time will tell though.