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mrsminniemouse
11-15-2005, 09:33 AM
We hope to fly Premium Economy next time we go to Florida and would appreciate any comments on the Virgin Premium Economy service compared to First Choice's new Star Class Premier and BA's World Traveller Plus.

Does anyone have any opinions or preferences regarding these three airlines and their PE service?

Is the upgrade worth the extra cost?

It will be myself, DH and DD2 travelling. I know VA and BA dont have rows of 3 seats in PE, does First Choice?

Any tips on where to book such a flight for the best deal would be much appreciated.

Thanks so much,
Mandy ::MinnieMo

jomf
11-15-2005, 09:51 AM
We have flown BA's WT+
Would and are flying again but we have only upgraded the homeward flight which is overnight.
Neither of us are tall/large so the normal economy seats are ok for a day flight.
Virgin do a dedicated check in which BA do not do. The food on board BA is the same but served before the Economy passengers so you do get the choice of meal unlike the back of the plane.
If you book the upgrade then go online and reserve your seats.

Obi Wan Kenobi
11-15-2005, 09:52 AM
On the Gatwick/Manchester 747's the Premium Economy seats upstairs in the "bubble" are two plus two's but the two rows of PE downstairs, rows 81 & 82 are two four two.

Most peole seem to prefer upstairs as it feels more select, quiet and like you are flying in a small aircraft, plus the seats seem to be a bit better than the new seats downstairs.

However downstairs you get off first and get to use the UC toilets :-)

PE has the same food as economy, you get a glass of champagne/orange juice when boarding, the ameinity kit is the same as economy, but you get a dedicated check in desk. That's about it really, its the seat pitch which everyone goes for.

Claire L
11-15-2005, 09:57 AM
Plus with VA PE your luggage comes off quicker with the UC luggage and the drinks service is more frequent and has brandy or Baileys as an after dinner drink. PE are also served meals alot quicker than economy and you always get your choice of meal. Being upstairs we have always been let off ahead of economy and in June we were the 3rd and 4th persons off the entire plane. Also upstairs it is 2 toilets to 38 passengers.

Claire ;)

mrsminniemouse
11-15-2005, 10:05 AM
Ok, sounds great!

Anyone tried the First Choice upgrade flights? From some old posts I found through search I see that many people prefer Virgin PE to BA World plus.

So I am particularly interested in people's comparisons of Virgin to FC.

Any more ideas! Thanks so much!

Mandy ::MinnieMo

Ali and boyz
11-15-2005, 10:09 AM
We haven't flown with VA or FC but have been reading some really positive comments about FC on this and other boards. We are flying premium with MT next year.

Claire L
11-15-2005, 10:17 AM
Having looked at other charter airlines who fly the 767 their premium part of the cabin is set up as 2 3 2.

Claire ;)

mrsminniemouse
11-15-2005, 10:28 AM
Having looked at other charter airlines who fly the 767 their premium part of the cabin is set up as 2 3 2.

Claire ;)

Claire, do you mean FC is 2 3 2? That would be great if it was!

Thanks again.

Mandy ::MinnieMo

Claire L
11-15-2005, 10:31 AM
Claire, do you mean FC is 2 3 2? That would be great if it was!

Thanks again.

Mandy ::MinnieMo


To be honest not sure but it looks to be the likely set up, considering the space available, best bet is to ring them and ask as they may have it slightly differently.

Claire ;)

Madjock
11-15-2005, 10:43 AM
We flew FC Star Class Premier to the Dominican in August. The cabin was 2 3 2. The food was good but on the way back quite a few people didn't get their first choice of meal. The service was excellent, the seats are comfy, the entertainment was good and all in all it was an enjoyable experience. The upgrade price was definitely worth it for that length of time and wasn't as much as Virgin charge. I would use them and pay the upgrade price again.

JohnnySharp2
11-15-2005, 10:44 AM
We flew PE back from Orlando in August and I would recommend it, we are doing the same next year.

The seats are comfortable and wider which is why we like them, I would not say you get a lot more leg room than if you were sat in bulkhead seats, but they are a lot more suitable for the flight home - they recline more and the passengers behind are further away.
They are very good especially if like us you have a child that is wanting to sleep.

I would say that they are good value for money, but with the fly drives in August (the only time we can go) being mega-expensive we only book PE for the return flight.

Having said all that, the entertainment system was not working on my seat, as it was I was tired and not that bothered - concentrating on my son being okay - however, if I have any further problems I will not be best pleased given the extra price.
We were downstairs , and whilst the seats were better I would not say the level of service was, the flight was full.

Frances999
11-15-2005, 10:45 AM
I'm not sure if WTP has changed at all since I flew (a couple of years ago), but in my opinion there is no comparison to Virgin's PE.

In WTP it is simply an extension of the economy cabin - no dedicated crew and still lots of noise. With PE you have the upper deck area - much quieter and a dedicated crew just for PE passengers on the upper deck. I find the PE seats much more comfortable as well. Also, BA do not offer pre-boarding for WTP passengers (you board with economy) and there is also no separate check-in.

However, downstairs Virgin PE is much less desirable and in my opinion not worth the cost. The one time we were sat downstairs, there was a lack of crew and huge lines for the toilets as they are shared with economy. It was noisy and the cabin crew were very rushed.

gilld
11-15-2005, 12:44 PM
We flew PE both ways in September - 80 H&K - and I have to say it was worth EVERY penny! I didn't care about the preflight drink, the fact we got our meals first with our choice, getting off the plane first, priority check-in and baggage reclaim, the loo just for the upstairs cabin or the fact the cabin seats just 42. It was worth it for the extra space and comfortable seats.

I know lots of you say you'd rather save the money to spend on holiday, but for us the flights ARE part of the holiday and we like to be comfortable, particularly on the overnight flight home. Having said all that, we're spending even more next year on UC! Then the whole package will matter to me a great deal!!!

mrsminniemouse
11-15-2005, 01:03 PM
When you book, do you know if you will be sitting upstairs in Virgin's PE?
I would be disappointed to book then find that upstairs was full. I suppose if you book a long time in advance you have more chance of getting upstairs.

Thanks everyone for your opinions and information. I appreciate it!
Mandy :earsboy:

Frances999
11-15-2005, 01:19 PM
When you book, do you know if you will be sitting upstairs in Virgin's PE?
I would be disappointed to book then find that upstairs was full. I suppose if you book a long time in advance you have more chance of getting upstairs.

Thanks everyone for your opinions and information. I appreciate it!
Mandy :earsboy:
No, there is no way to guarantee upper deck seating. If you book early enough there is a very high chance of seats upstairs being available - if not, simply arrive at check-in early on the day of your flight and you should be able to be seated upstairs. There are just two rows downstairs and one is not available for pre-reserving as it is saved for allocation on the day of the flight.

:wizard:

Ali and boyz
11-15-2005, 01:30 PM
MT premium is 2 - 3 - 2 if that helps

alanjones
11-16-2005, 02:40 AM
I would say PE is well worth the money if sat upstairs, but almost a waste if sat downstairs. We flew PE to LAX this summer. Upstairs on the way out was bliss. Loads of room on either side, loads of luggage space with side bins, very wide aisle, very quiet and very friendly, attentive crew. The return journey was on a A340 though, so effectively like 'downstairs', and it was terrible. We had to share the toilets with economy, the crew was almost non existant, and there wasn't anywhere near as much room. Still better than economy, but not worth the extra money.

We've just booked our summer 2006 trip to Orlando, and have pre-booked PE seats upstairs for both journeys.

Red-Snapper
11-16-2005, 01:55 PM
Have used all 3.

FC was ok but in my opinion you are only paying the extra to get virtually the same as economy on chartered flights.

BA WT is as other have said - no where near as good as VA PE. I would probably not pay the extra for WT+ again.

You can at least pre book your seats upstairs on line with VA once you have your booking reference (or Virgin Holidays ref) if booking via them.

I then kept checking to make sure they hadnt moved us.

Also you can pre book seats by phone. It can be hit and miss though - we have been moved several times but never in PE only economy.

Miffy2003
11-16-2005, 02:30 PM
Personally, I would spend the extra money on something else :)

It's a very personal decision, but 2000 is a lot of money to me (2 ads & 2chs in school holidays). If it's not that much to others, then I am happy for you. But that money to me could almost pay for another set of flights, so I could go twice! That would be worth it, for me.

We are all different but I can happily suffer less than great conditions on a plane for 9 hours if it takes me to Florida :)

Oh - for those who are tall, DH is 6 ft 2 and he agrees with me.

Different priorities for different people :)

AlanUK
11-16-2005, 02:38 PM
ITA Karen :)

We did consider using our flying club points for an upgrade but in the end we decided it would be prudent to get one of the seats free instead :teeth: