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Virgin Premium Economy
The decision to use Premium Economy as your travel class is an often debated one on travel forums. For some people the flight is simply a means to an end, get on the plane, get your head down and get on with it. Save the money that the upgrade would cost to enjoy on your holiday. For others the flight is very much integral to the whole holiday experience.
Premium Economy was introduced by Virgin as an enhanced economy experience, rather than having a business class offering. Initially you got the advantage of increased seat space, without any additional services or benefits. Since then it has evolved, you now receive a different meal service, dedicated check-in and prioritised luggage delivery when you arrive. Virgin are also currently upgrading the premium economy cabin with new wider and more comfortable seats, but this has not yet begun to happen to any of the aircraft based at Gatwick, so doesn’t affect the Orlando route. If you fly from Heathrow to Miami then you may very well get one of the new interiors.
The main benefit that most people would see is the additional personal space that Premium Economy brings. On paper the essential difference is that the seat pitch is 38 inches as opposed to 32 inches and the seat width is 20 inches as opposed to 17. 5 inches in economy. The seat pitch is a measurement of how far apart the rows of seats are and is a measure from the back of one seat to the back of the seat in front of it, this measurement is taken from the same point on each seat. It is interesting to note that, while these measurements are useful when comparing airlines, it in no way gives any indication of seat comfort. So what is the extra 200 square inches of space like? For us, it is definitely worth it. The extra space just makes the journey that bit more pleasant, you feel that you can put your seat back without annoying the person behind (or maybe you don’t care anyway). You can get up and down, without feeling that you have to disturb a whole row of people; you have space to put a drink beside you, without having to have your table down.
For our journeys, though, Premium Economy brings so much more than just seat space, especially if you can get a seat upstairs in the ‘bubble’. The cabins just feel more spacious, you feel you can chat with your fellow travellers. The aisle is wider so there is no problem passing each other or the trolley. It feels all together calmer and more enjoyable to travel in Premium Economy and, dare I say it, the airline crew seem just that bit more pleasant.
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