Virgin Atlantic announces complete overhaul to its Economy cabin
In a move that will make it even more competitive with rival long-haul airlines such as British Airways like, Virgin Atlantic is tapping into the low-cost travel strategy to appeal to millennials and budget travellers by redesigning its Economy cabin. After a £300 million investment, Virgin will give passengers more choice than ever with three ways to fly Economy.
With competition heating up between long-haul airlines offering low-cost options such as baggage-free fares (as is the case with Norwegian, Wizz Air and Eurowings) Virgin Atlantic is adapting to the times and joining in the back-to-basics trend in a way no other airline has…yet. As well as offering a hand-baggage only option for the minimum ticket price, launched as the new Economy Light, the London-based airline is going a step further by allowing travellers to still enjoy the standard Economy option they’re used to as well as introducing a new Economy Delight option, where those flying economy can enjoy exclusive upgrades such as bigger seats and priority check-in by paying a little more.
It’s the biggest overhaul in the history of the carrier’s Economy cabin and as such everyone is eagerly awaiting its full launch sometime this spring, setting the bar high for similar airlines in the industry and outdoing one of its bigger rivals - British Airways, which offers stripped back, hand luggage-only fares for its short-haul European fares but not for its long-haul destinations.
Virgin Atlantic’s dramatic makeover to its economy cabin means passengers can tailor-make their experience according to their budget and preferences. No longer flying in economy means boring basics or a one-size-fits-all approach.
In an attempt to woo millennials and backpack travellers, the new Economy Light option means that passengers can enjoy all of the usual benefits of Virgin Atlantic’s economy cabin minus checked-in baggage and seat selection. Those forgoing the extra baggage can benefit from the cheapest fares whilst still enjoying Virgin Atlantic’s complimentary meals and drinks as well as its award-winning in-flight touch-screen entertainment. The standard Economy option remains, now renamed Economy Classic and offering the usual 23kg checked-in baggage, prior seat selection, free meals and drinks plus in-flight entertainment. Where it gets interesting is with the new Economy Delight option, allowing economy passengers to upgrade their experience with more room to stretch thanks to 34-inch pitch seats, priority check-in and boarding and prior seat reservation, in addition to all economy basics.
Perhaps the most refreshing and avant-garde of Virgin Atlantic’s new trio of economy options is the new Economy Delight, described as the antidote to the growing airline trend of “packing seats onto planes” in a way that Virgin describes will become the “leading economy product of any UK airline".
In the words of Sir Richard Branson himself:
“When I started Virgin Atlantic I wanted to challenge the status quo and make flying amazing - regardless of which cabin you’re in - and that’s still true today.”
These three new Economy classes are in addition to Virgin’s existing Premium Economy and Upper Class cabins, which remain unchanged.
The new Economy fares haven’t been unveiled yet, so we await the launch going live on Virgin Atlantic’s official website to see how the new prices compare to rivals.
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