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Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy Review: Is It Worth It?

I was quite excited to try out the Premium Economy cabin on Virgin Atlantic. It had been a while since I had flown with Virgin.

When I was living in Australia I used Virgin Australia frequently. Is it just me or do other people also get confused with the different Virgin airlines? I really do think there should just be one. Anyway, I digress.

I have flown Virgin Atlantic business class and economy before and really enjoyed both. So expectations were high for Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy.

I tried to temper them as my last premium economy experience in British Airways had not really been all that premium! So without further ado here is my Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy Review.


Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy Review – Making the Booking

Virgin Atlantic always seems to be an amazing deal or really expensive. Luckily, in this case, it was the amazing deal option. I was looking for a return flight to new york from London for Thanksgiving.

I always start my search for flights with Skyscanner and then move on to Expedia. This usually gives me a good idea of the best options.

⇒ Virgin Atlantic doesn’t fly to as many destinations as some other airlines but there are a few that I have visited and written about. These include London, San Francisco, New York, Glasgow and Hong Kong.

virgin atlantic premium economy a340 safety brochure

Then I like to head on to the airline’s own websites. They normally guarantee the best price.

The other thing I like is it is normally easier to compare if there are savings or opportunities to be had by taking an earlier or later flight. Plus I found it helpful to have prices for Virgin Atlantic Economy cabin, Premium Economy class Virgin Atlantic and Virgin premium class next to each other for comparison.

Virgin Atlantic also has three different options for economy bookings so it may be worth checking these out depending on your needs. [separator type=”thick”]

premium economy virgin atlantic snacks
On board posh snacks!

Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy – Airport and Checking In

Premium Economy Virgin Atlantic flies out of Heathrow Terminal 3. Flying in the Virgin Premium Economy cabin also gets you your own check-in area separate from economy passengers which is separate even from business class.

So that is a nice experience for premium economy passengers. I didn’t get priority boarding on the way to New York but I did on the way back so perhaps I should have asked.

virgin atlantic premium economy a330 in flight toiletries bag
The red in-flight amenities bag

I was hoping for lounge access on my premium economy Virgin Atlantic flight. The website says that there can be lounge access depending on how busy it is. Or I was taking the frequent flyer points on my singapore Airlines scheme.

Apparently, if I was gold I would have had access but alas I am silver. Darn! Or there is a USD$60 charge to use the lounge which I chose not to take as even I can’t drink that much champagne.

Anyway, there are a lot of options for food and shopping etc at London Heathrow Terminal 3 so the lounge is nice to have.

At the gate, Premium Economy gets priority boarding as well which is always nice. [separator type=”thick”]

Do you need a Visa?

It can be a real pain trying to figure out if you need a visa for a country and then all the hassle of figuring out how to apply, how long you can go without your passport, when the embassy is open etc.

iVisa has completely revolutionised this process and put it all online and make it super simple and paper and hassle free.

The snack tray in virgin atlantic premium economy
The snack tray

Inside Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy A330

The Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy seating plan on the a330 is 2 x 3 x 2. Each seat is 21 inches wide and has a 38-inch recline. There is also a pull-out footrest – or if you are in the front row the attendant brings a footrest all of your own.

The Virgin Atlantic premium economy seats feel properly premium. The premium economy seats on Virgin Atlantic are padded and very comfortable. Interestingly the Upper-Class seats are only 1 inch wider.

The real difference between premium economy seats Virgin Atlantic and upper class, of course, comes on overnight flights where Premium Virgin Atlantic seats turn into beds.

If you are travelling during the day and won’t be sleeping I do think it is quite difficult to justify needing Upper Class over Premium Economy on Virgin Atlantic.

seat back pocket and brochures and foot rest

On the ground, the attendant serves Prosecco or soft drinks. What I do love about Virgin Atlantic is the relaxed and engaging customer service.

We ended up stuck on the ground at Newark on the way out for quite some time. The team continued to serve drinks and turned the in-flight entertainment on to keep us occupied.

I have never known of another airline to do this. Such a simple thing but such a nice human touch.

seat operator for virgin atlantic premium economy
Seat shifter

Virgin Atlantic Premium economy does have its own bathroom – and they have Noble Isle toiletries which are quite nice. The flight does have full Wifi but of course, this requires credit card payment.

virgin atlantic premium economy seats in teh a340
a340 seats

All of the Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy seating options have a powerpoint and USB port. It is tucked right down between the two seats so you’ll need to put the torch on your phone on to find it. [separator type=”thick”]

foot rest in premium economy on virgin atlantic
Foot Rest

Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy Menu

I hadn’t been able to find out much about the food in the premium economy Virgin Atlantic review reading. Luckily, there was a nice choice of wine – a Spanish Sauvignon and a Spanish red plus the prosecco.

virgin atlantic premium economy meal tray
The Meal Tray

The starter on Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy a330 was an orange and walnut salad followed by a choice of 3 mains – Linguine pasta with meatballs, Coq au Vin and Wild Mushroom Risotto.

Dessert was a blueberry and cinnamon streusel and cheese and crackers. I chose the Coq au Vin and it was pretty good.

premium economy virgin atlantic sandwiches and afternoon tea
Afternoon tea on Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy

On the way to Newark airport, we also had afternoon tea later in the flight. This was chicken sandwiches, some rather nice scones and some cakes.

On the way back to London Heathrow was quite a nice breakfast before landing. The Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy service is excellent as you will read in most Virgin Atlantic premium economy reviews.

Drinks service was super fast – almost as fast as what I would expect in business class.

Coq au vin main meal on virgin atlantic
The Coq Au Vin

Alas, there is no access to the fantastic Virgin Atlantic Upper-Class bar – sad face. But there is a fantastic what they call Wonder Wall area which has excellent premium snacks and drinks on offer throughout the entire flight. [separator type=”thick”]

Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy a330 Entertainment and Amenities

As you would expect the Virgin Atlantic premium economy in-flight entertainment is excellent. There are 139 movies to choose from and some excellent recent TV programmes.

Best of all Virgin Atlantic premium economy offers full seasons of tv shows vs just one or two episodes.

in seat entertainment system on premium economy seats on virgin atlantic
The Entertainment System

The Virgin Atlantic premium economy headphones are ok but better if you bring your own if you have a good pair. The amenities kit on Virgin Atlantic is simple but cute.

I liked the red pouch – very re-usable. There are then nicely purple branded eye masks, socks, earplugs, toothbrushes, pen etc.

virgin atlantic premium economy seat with blanket and pillow

Is Premium Economy worth it on Virgin Atlantic?

Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy gets 5 stars in this review Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy. Virgin Atlantic felt genuinely premium at every point – from check in to the entire in-flight experience.

The Virgin Premium Economy seats plan and seats create a feeling of space and comfort. The footrest was a nice touch.

The experience definitely justifies the price and I will be happily flying Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy again. [separator type=”thick”]

headphones and change for good envelope

How does Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy compare with British Airways Premium Economy?

Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy is much better than the British Airways alternative. The entire Virgin Atlantic experience genuinely feels premium – from check-in to boarding to most importantly the in-flight experience.

With British Airways premium economy I still felt like I was in economy just with more leg room. I would absolutely pay at least 20 or 30% more to fly premium economy with Virgin Atlantic rather than British Airways.

Have you flown with Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy? I would love to hear about your experience!

Who Paid for What for this Post

I covered the cost of my flights on Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy. This Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy review post contains affiliate links. That means if you click on them and end up making a purchase on that website I will receive a small commission. I wanted to make sure you were aware of this.


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Looking at flying premium economy London-New York? Here is my Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy Review - does it justify the price and how does it compare to BA? It's all here! #virginatlantic #virginatlanticpremiumeconomy

Nicholas Arsenault

Tuesday 5th of July 2022

I'm not sure I would want to fly Virgin's premium economy again. We elected premium economy for our flight from JFK to LHR and while it seemed nice at first, we didn't find the seats to be that comfortable overall. The initial leg space and such was great, however, the recline of the person in front of me was horrible. I was not happy with it. I'm all for individuals utilizing their recline but if I'm paying for premium economy, I should not lose that much space from the person in front of me reclining. I literally could see the top of their head and with them fully reclined, I barely had an inch or two to move my legs around under their chair which was awful. Also, whenever they moved or readjusted, the seat back flexed up and down more and on more than one occasion hit my knees. I'm only 5'8" tall, so not very tall by any means, but it was not comfortable in the least. I was highly disappointed in this experience. I much preferred my premium economy seats on Air France which their hard shell model and semi-recumbent position of the seats (although strange at first) but was very comfortable and you had your own dedicated space with no one in front or behind you bothering you at all during the entirety of the flight. Virgin needs to either move their premium economy seats up an inch or two to allow for more space or limit the recline slightly as to not ruin the experience for other passengers using the premium economy seats, too.

Amanda OBrien

Monday 1st of August 2022

Hi Nicholas - thanks so much for sharing your experience with Virgin Premium Economy with us. kind regards Amanda


Thursday 12th of May 2022

I have been travelling with Virgin Atlantic since the early days when the airline koerated out if Newark New Jersey. I stopped for a few years because the flights exceeded my budget however, I am gett I ng back to VA because yhe fares are affordable once again. I love flying with Virgin. I highly recommend Virgin Atlantic Airlines to the world.. FIVE STARS always...


Friday 6th of May 2022

Just found the post, Id like to say thank you. I have a flight coming up this month from SFO to TLV with one stop at London Heathrow. I use Delta as my main carrier and Virgin Atlantic is there partner which from SFO to TLV will be our ride, I was wondering how the Premium Economy would rate on Virgin Atlantic and it sounds like I have a great experience coming up. I also would like to commend you on your transparency that you paid for the your own ticket and that you receive a small commission if we buy from a link off the post, what was written is believable and helpful, thank you again for this information. wish you the best. Adam

Amanda OBrien

Saturday 7th of May 2022

thanks so much for your comment Adam - I do try to be as transparent as possible and appreciate it being noticed. Hope you really enjoy your Virgin Atlantic premium economy experience.

Susan Holmes

Saturday 2nd of April 2022

Good review, I try to just stick to Virgin now, (wish I had been using them on my years abroad) I do premium and love it. A couple of points on an older plane there was no 'wonder wall' and only on one trip did I get the red bag of accessories they didn't seem to give it out. ALL were long haul flights.

The Boutique Adventurer

Sunday 3rd of April 2022

Thanks Susan - disappointing to miss out on the red bag!

Waren Jean Go

Saturday 12th of January 2019

Sounds like you had a wonderful time flying. I've tried the premium economy of Cathy Pacific and I loved it. Looks like I'm gonna love flying with Virgin Atlantic soon too!

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