An experienced traveler will agree that the business class may be different depending on the chosen air company. Since there are hundreds of airlines in the market, the passengers are provided with different flight products. Currently, the upper class is marketed as a product rather than a service. And each product is being improved by the air companies in order to excel the competitors’ products.
Today we are going to draw comparisons of the upper class services between the American and British competitors. The American side is represented by Delta Airlines with its upper class product named Delta One. The business class of Virgin Atlantic will stand for the British side.
Both companies operate a huge number of flights and destinations. The fleet of each company includes Boeings and Airbuses. However, the main accent is made on the latter aircraft manufacturer.
Our aim is to make a fair comparison of Delta vs Virgin Atlantic business class, therefore we chose the Virgin Atlantic A340 and the Delta Airlines A330 to review the premium class cabin.
Let’s begin and try to find the differences and similarities of Delta business class vs Virgin.
|Delta One vs Virgin business class on the ground|
|#||Delta One||Virgin Atlantic|
|Baggage policy||Checked baggage: 32kg/70lbs (2 bags).
Carry-on baggage: 56x36x23cm/22x14x9in (1 bag)
|Checked baggage: 32kg/70lbs (3 bags).
Carry-on baggage: 56x36x23cm/22x14x9in, 16 kg/36lbs (2 bags).
|Lounges||Delta Sky Club lounges||Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse|
|Staying fresh||Delta lounges offer showers and necessary toiletries.||Spa services including a free facial.|
|Dining services||Restaurant dining||Restaurant dining|
|Delta vs Virgin business class in the air|
|Delta One||Virgin Atlantic|
|Seats||A reverse herringbone seat configuration (1-2-1). Aisle direct access. Seats can be turned into a flat bed.
Dimensions: pitch – 80”, width – 21”
|A herringbone seat configuration (1-1-1). Open suites. Seats have a 180 degrees recline.
Dimensions: pitch – 79.5”, width – 22”
|Food and drinks||A perfect service. The menus are supervised by the prominent chefs. Each destination is provided with a peculiar menu. A great selection of wines.||A perfect service. An exquisite assortment of wines and champagne. A great selection of main courses, appetizers, and snacks. Crockery, glassware, and cutlery are of restaurant style.|
|Amenities||Toiletries by Malin + Goetz in the bag by Tumi.||Toiletries by Herschel in a bag of innovative design.|
|In-flight entertainment||18” high-resolution display. The content is represented with a great selection of movies, games, music, and other entertainment.||11” display. A limited selection of the content.|
The baggage policy of Virgin Atlantic will be highly appreciated by the passengers that need to transport a lot of stuff. The company allows three bags as the checked baggage and two items for carry-on luggage.
Delta Airlines offers the regular baggage requirements that can be found in many other airlines. Besides, the weight of carry-on baggage in Delta One differs depending on the flight route.
The lounge area by Virgin is named the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse. As a rule, the lounge is very spacious and extended providing a curving bar and several attractive features. The design of the lounge is impressive – the area is very bright and fitted with designer furniture and leather. The inside options of the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse including the cocktails, snacks, Wi-Fi, spa and even a pool table are free. Spa services are very popular among the long-haul passengers to relax in the shower and experience a facial massage and other treatments.
The food in the lounge is great but it is difficult to find something special or exquisite comparing to the other luxury lounge areas.
The upper class customers of Delta can entertain themselves in the lounge areas named Delta Sky Club. The lounge offers not only a regular place to spend time before the flight but also a luxury area where a passenger can take a shower and even have a rest in the private bedroom. Sky Club offers a lot of space for its customers, as well as great food options at anyone’s taste. Self-service minibars are also a peculiar feature of the Delta lounge areas. It should be noted that the premium wines and liquors are not free.
Business Class Cabin
We have already mentioned that two Airbus configurations had been chosen to equalize the comparison of Delta Airlines and Virgin Atlantic. However, the result brought the unexpected differences. Delta One offers a modern 1-2-1 configuration also known as a reverse herringbone. It is a great solution of the seats arrangement since each passenger is provided with a direct access to an aisle and an expanded private space. The seats in the Delta upper class cannot remain unmentioned. Each premium passenger can transform its seat into a flatbed to experience an unbelievable comfort during the sleep.
The seats configuration in the Virgin Atlantic premium class on the board of A340 made a surprise. The cabin contains 16 rows per 3 seats on each. The configuration is similar to the herringbone but it looks 1-1-1. In fact, there are 17 rows but the row 1 contains one seat, and the row No. 17 – two seats. Although the dimensions of the seats of Delta and Virgin business class are almost similar, the seating solution by Virgin is cramped. There is not enough room for comfortable rest both in the vertical and horizontal position of the seat. The seat can be transformed into a bed but the resulting narrow bed is not a perfect solution for a good sleep. The tall passengers will be definitely unsatisfied with the available space.
The food service on the board of Delta One starts with a glass of champagne and a snack. After that a passenger may choose the main course from the menu designed in cooperation with a famous chef or restaurant. Actually, the menus depend on the route and contain mostly regional dishes.
To color your dining experience, a selection of decent wines is offered.
Before the take-off, a glass of champagne accompanied with some snack is offered to the premium customers of Virgin. The on-board servicing is perfect. The cutlery and tableware are served for the main course that can be chosen of a variety of options. A sweet tooth will appreciate the assortment of desserts and puddings.
The wine card by Virgin is also decent. The premium passengers are offered with per three options of white and red wines.
An amenity kit is a kind of carte de visite of an airline. For this reason, the prominent air carriers make sure to offer the best and exclusive amenities to their customers.
Delta offers a clutch bag by Tumi where one can find various toiletries by Malin+Goetz. The content of the bag includes a pen and eye mask by Tume, Malin+Goetz toiletries and socks. The bedding on the board of Delta is also provided by the luxury brand named Heavenly.
The amenity kit of Virgin is provided by the Canadian brand named Herschel. The kit design differs in according with route (inbound to and outbound from the UK). Nevertheless, the content remains the same – a face cream, hand cream, eye-shade, toothpaste, toothbrush, lip balm, earplugs, socks, and a pen.
If your flight lasts for more than six hours, it is important to have a decent in-flight entertainment not to be bored in the air.
The Virgin business class passengers can enjoy a rather small TV screen (11”). The selection of movies and shows is limited and it is definitely a flaw.
Unlike its competitor, Delta One offers a great IFE solution. Each premium customer has a big screen (18”) of high resolution. The in-flight system offers numerous games, music, shows and movies to enjoy during the flight. The user interface is simple and usable.
All the information above can be insignificant if compared with the real experience of the passengers. Despite the attractive data and figures, the Virgin Atlantic upper class vs Delta business product can show quite the opposite performance in practice. So, let’s have a look at the benefits and drawbacks of these business class products as viewed by a customer.
The passengers admit such options of Virgin as an extended baggage allowance and a comfortable lounge area. The food options are also of no concern. The main complaint is associated with the narrow seats. Most of the customers note a sleeping discomfort during the flight on the board of Virgin A340. According to the company’s claims, these models are going to be replaced soon with the newest A350.
Based on the customers’ reviews, Delta One A330 is a winner. There is almost none negative feedback. The passengers are satisfied with the service, meal options, comfortable seats and beautiful lounge areas. However, most of the customers advise to choose Boeing 777 as the best seats configuration of the Delta upper class.
So, if you had doubts regarding the Delta or Virgin Atlantic business class cabin, now you know all the benefits and flaws of these solutions.