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What It’s Like to Fly First Class on Virgin Atlantic: My Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Review

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

What if flying was a pleasant experience where everyone was happy and you always had plenty of leg room? That’s what it’s like flying in Virgin Atlantic Upper Class. First class completely changes the flight experience. See what I mean in my review of Virgin Atlantic Upper Class.

On my recent trip from Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) to London Heathrow (LHR), my parents gifted me a first-class seat for the trip. I was flying in style, and now I’m here to tell you how amazing it is to fly in upper class.

What It’s Like Flying First Class on Virgin Atlantic

Upper Class Check-In and Security

Your first-class experience begins well before you step on the plane. At the Atlanta Airport, you’ll be able to check in to your flight using the shorter upper-class and Sky Priority lines.

For security, you also get to use the Sky Priority lane near the TSA pre-check entrance. This will send you down a shorter line, but you don’t always get your own dedicated security check. When we went, they just merged us with the regular line, so you basically just get to awkwardly cut the line.

Delta Sky Club

Delta Sky Club, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Once through security, you can head to the Delta Sky Club lounge. In the International Terminal at Atlanta Airport, the Delta Sky Club is upstairs across from the food court.

This lounge has a lot of different types of seating, including an upstairs and an outdoor area with heaters. The bar and buffet-style meals are to your left when you walk in. The showers are at the far left at the end of the lounge.

While there isn’t a substantial spread for food, your options are usually pretty delicious. This recent visit, we had Korean-style beef stir-fry with rice and vegetables, a salad bar, a couple soup options, and cookies for dessert. The bar has a short list of complementary drinks and an array of drinks you can purchase.

It’s not the most luxurious of lounges, but it’s a nice place to have a drink and a pre-flight meal. It’s great not having to sit at a terminal and being able to watch the planes from a comfy seat.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Seats

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

I had never seen seats like these before. Virgin Atlantic Upper Class seats are all angled diagonally toward the aisle with partitions between each and a small foot stool in front. These foot stools are interesting because they double as chairs so that you can share your meal with a travel companion.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

The seats are in a 1-1-1 configuration, with the first half of middle seats facing one side and the second half facing the other. We ended up with window seats facing the backs of the middle aisle. These seats offered more privacy, while the seats facing each other would have been better for people traveling together.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

There was a small video screen that swiveled out, a mini side table that folded out, and a small cubby that was a little difficult to reach into while sitting but was more convenient when laying down. Your tray table folds out from the wall beside your feet, and it is a lot of effort to get it out and in.

You get an amenities kit that contains socks, an eye mask, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and lotions. You can also request pajamas to sleep in. I declined the pajamas as I had dressed accordingly in my most comfortable leggings. Your cubby contains headphones, but I always bring my own noise-cancelling headphones that are much better.

The seat didn’t really recline in its upright position, but you could move your chair up and down to see over the partition or get more privacy (the gears for this were very loud on our plane for some reason). All of your bedding is located behind you, and your bed has to be folded out from behind. This is also a whole process, but they offer a turn-down service to help.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

The bed was actually pretty comfortable. Although, if you’re taller than 5’9″ you may be a little long for the bed. But for me, the length was perfect, and I still had room to curl my legs up and sleep on my side.

In the morning, you can request that the flight attendant wake you up for breakfast or leave you to sleep. They’ll then put your bed away for you and pull out your tray for your meal.

Food and Drinks

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Food - airplane salt shakers

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class serves all of its food in actual glassware and nice-looking places. You get real silverware to eat with, too. They even have the cutest little airplane-shaped salt and pepper shakers.

Everything is included with your first-class ticket, so we were all about those mimosas! Our flight was delayed by two hours due to a fuel shortage, but we didn’t care up in first class; we were able to move around, get a few drinks, and just hang out.

After take off, they served a snack of chips and another drink.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Food - chips

Then it was time for bread and starters. I had mushroom soup; they served a massive amount, and soup is not an easy meal while there’s turbulence!

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Food - appetizer of soup

Another option was a nice-looking salad.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Food - salad

For the main dish, I had a chicken and ramen noodle bowl. It was very delicious, but they put some spicy peppers in it that I had to avoid.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Food - entrée chicken and ramen noodle bowl

For dessert, Kevin and I dined together at my seat. He had a brownie while I had cheesecake. Neither of these were very good, though.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Food - dessert brownie and cheesecake

You pick your breakfast items by filling out a card the night before. They had a large selection that included a full-cooked English breakfast. I opted for lighter fare with an assortment of fruit, yogurt, and a granola bar.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Food - breakfast fruit and yogurt

Overall Impression of Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Seats

Overall, I liked flying Virgin Atlantic Upper Class. It’s a much more relaxed flying experience — everyone is happier in first class, no one is in a tremendous rush, and there’s hardly any travel stress.

However, they aren’t the top choice for business class seats, and the price just isn’t realistic. I would never have been able to do this if my parents hadn’t gifted it to me. And I can’t see myself paying that much for every trans-Atlantic flight I take, unless I win the lottery!

It was a great experience, though!

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Pros:

  • Lots of leg room.
  • You get a comfortable bed for overnight flights.
  • It’s a relaxed and comfortable flying environment.
  • Free booze, y’all!

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Cons:

  • Very little in-seat storage.
  • You can’t easily transition from sitting to laying; you have to choose one or the other.
  • There’s no easy way to look out the window even in a window seat.
  • The price.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class FAQ

Is Virgin Atlantic Upper Class the same as business class?

The Virgin Atlantic Upper Class seats are business class level seats with more leg room, semi-private seating space, and premium food and beverages.

What does Virgin Upper Class include?

Virgin Upper Class seats include roomy seats that lie-flat into beds, premium food and beverage service, and an amenities kit with pajamas, toothbrush, toothpaste, eye mask, and face cream.

Read next: What It’s Like to Fly Delta One

Ready to fly first class? Plan your trip with these tips.



What It's Like to Fly First Class on Virgin Atlantic: My Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Review

Was this review of Virgin Atlantic Upper Class helpful? Would you fly Virgin Atlantic Upper Class? Let me know in the comments!

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  1. Oooh, fun! I’ve always wanted to try flying first class, but most of my trips are of the quick little Southwest flight variety. ?

  2. Seems you had such a wonderful time! It’s a dream to fly business class. And great pictures!

  3. Wow, good for you Paige! I’ve been planning on how we can afford to get a business class flight even just for two people so we can rest on our way home to the Philippines.

    Thanks for sharing! I love the happy face here…

    1. Oh, it would be wonderful for a trip to the Philippines! Hopefully you’ll be able to figure it out and find a good deal! Thanks, April!

  4. This sounds dreamy! It’s on my bucket list to fly first class international. Thanks for sharing. So fun to see all the perks!?

  5. Wow I’m so surprised the seats don’t face the windows or at least swivel, one of my favourite parts of flying is the view! Everything else sounds wonderful though, I love the idea of a bed.

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