Virgin Atlantic Economy vs Premium

When it comes to fare classes, Virgin Atlantic has plenty of options for customers. The two that I usually fly are Economy and Premium. However, understanding the differences between these two options is a bit difficult—mainly because Economy class has three airfare options.

To cut down on some of the confusion, I’ll provide a breakdown of the Virgin Atlantic Economy vs. Premium airfare classes and let you know which one I prefer. If you’re curious to learn more, stay tuned!

The Airfare Class that I Prefer

When I fly with Virgin Atlantic, I usually purchase an Economy Delight ticket. It offers a pretty good experience, at a fraction of the cost. I like that I get better seating, extra legroom, as well as premium check-in and priority boarding.

I feel like all of those amenities make my flying experience twice as good, and I don’t have to pay as much as I would for Premium or Upper Class.

Main Differences Between Economy vs Premium

The main differences between Economy vs Premium are:

  • Economy has three tiers, whereas Premium only has one.
  • Economy allows one checked bag, whereas Premium allows two.
  • Economy is less expensive than Premium.
  • Premium includes access to the Wander Wall, Economy does not.
  • Premium passengers are welcomed with bubbly, and Economy customers are not.

The Key Features of Virgin Atlantic’s Economy Class

Virgin Atlantic’s Economy Class

Baggage Allowance

When flying Economy with Virgin Atlantic, passengers receive a free baggage allowance of one checked bag weighing up to 23kg, except for Economy Light.

You’re also allowed to bring a carry-on bag and a personal item on board, but there are weight and size restrictions for these items. If you need to check more than one bag, you’ll have to pay fees for each additional bag. Fees vary depending on the route.

I find Virgin Atlantic’s baggage policy to be quite generous. Some airlines charge Economy customers for checked luggage!

Economy Tiers

Believe it or not, Virgin Atlantic offers three different types of Economy fares: Economy, Economy Delight, and Economy Light. The main differences between these tiers are the baggage allowance, seat selection, and airport amenities. Here’s a close look at each one:

  • Economy Light: As the name suggests, this is the lightest fare offered by Virgin Atlantic. Passengers receive a free carry-on bag and personal item, but no checked baggage is included. If you need to check a bag, you’ll have to pay fees. You also won’t be able to select your seat in advance.
  • Economy: This is Virgin Atlantic’s standard Economy fare. Passengers receive one free checked bag weighing up to 23kg, as well as a free carry-on bag and personal item. Seat selection is available, but only for standard seating. Economy Classic customers also get upgradeable Virgin Points.
  • Economy Delight: This is Virgin Atlantic’s Premium Economy fare. In addition to the one free checked bag, passengers also receive two free carry-on bags and a preferred seat selection. Economy Delight customers get 3 extra inches of legroom and more recline than Economy customers. They receive Virgin Points that can be used for future upgrades, as well as premium check-in and priority boarding.

Food and Beverage

Virgin Atlantic’s Economy Class Food and Beverage

Virgin Atlantic offers complimentary food and beverage service in all of their Economy cabins. Meals include a choice of two hot main dishes, with pudding and cheese.

Complimentary wine, beer, and spirits are also available. If you’re flying Virgin Atlantic’s Economy Light fare, you’ll still receive complimentary food and beverage service.

In-Flight Entertainment

Virgin Atlantic offers a wide selection of in-flight entertainment, including movies, TV shows, music, games, and more. All Economy passengers have access to this entertainment, regardless of which tier they’re flying.

Pros

  • Lots of Choices: What I like about Virgin Atlantic is the fact that they offer three different Economy tiers. This is great for passengers who have different travel needs. If you don’t need checked baggage, you can save money by flying their Economy Light fare. And if you want more perks and amenities, you can opt for Economy Delight.
  • The Food and Beverage: Another plus is the complimentary food and beverage service. The food is good, and I always like the meal options they provide.
  • Affordable Flights: Virgin Atlantic Economy is pretty affordable, especially when you compare them to other carriers in the same class. They offer competitive rates and often have sales and discounts.

Cons

  • Restrictions on Seat Selection: One downside is that you can only select your seat in advance if you’re flying their Economy or Economy Delight fares. If you’re flying their Economy Light fare, you won’t be able to select your seat until check-in. This is a bit of a pain, especially if you have specific seating needs. Sometimes I feel “forced” to buy an Economy ticket, just so I can choose my seat. I’ve flown Economy Light before and hated the seat they gave me.
  • Checked Baggage Fees: Another con is the fact that you have to pay for checked baggage if you’re flying their Economy Light fare. Sometimes I want to fly for as cheap as possible, but I can’t because of the baggage fees. And when I do the math, it’s better for me to pay a little extra for a standard Economy ticket. Once I pay the money for the extra luggage, it’s almost the same price.

The Key Features of Virgin Atlantic’s Premium Class

Virgin Atlantic Premium Class

Baggage Allowance

As a Virgin Atlantic Premium fare Class customer, you are entitled to two free checked bags weighing up to 23kg each. You can also bring a carry-on bag and a personal item on board.

If you need to check more than two bags, or your bags weigh more than 23kg each, you will need to pay a fee. I feel like two free checked bags is awesome. When I’ve flown internationally with Virgin Atlantic Premium, two checked bags was a huge perk for me—especially for long vacations.

Another thing that really impressed me about Premium Class was the priority baggage delivery. This amenity was so helpful, and I was able to avoid the hassle of getting my luggage the traditional way.

Seating

All Virgin Atlantic Premium customers get comfortable seating. The seats are large and leather with a 38-inch seat pitch. Not only that, but Premium passengers can choose their seats when they book their flights.

This is a huge benefit if you want to make sure you’re seated next to your travel companion or have a preference for window or aisle seats.

In-Flight Entertainment

premium class In-Flight Entertainment

As a Virgin Atlantic Premium customer, you have access to the airline’s excellent in-flight entertainment system. There is a wide selection of movies, TV shows, and games to choose from. The seatback screens are large and easy to use. Also, Wi-Fi is available for a small fee.

Food and Beverage

Virgin Atlantic offers its Premium customers complimentary food and beverages. The menu changes depending on the time of day and the length of the flight. But you can always expect a hot meal, snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages. As a Premium passenger, you’ll be welcomed with a glass of bubbly before takeoff, and get a choice of three main courses.

What I really liked about Premium Class was that there was a wall full of snacks for the passengers. So, when I felt a bit hungry, I could choose a snack from the Wander Wall.

Pros

  • Skipping the Queues: As a Virgin Atlantic Premium customer, you can enjoy priority bag drop-off. This is such a huge time-saver because you don’t have to wait in line with all of the other passengers. You can also enjoy priority boarding, which means you can board the plane before everyone else.
  • Incredible Experience: I feel like Virgin Atlantic’s Premium Class is one of the best ways to fly. The seats are comfortable, the in-flight entertainment is top-notch, and the food and beverage offerings are great. In fact, Virgin Atlantic’s Premium Class won the Skytrax World’s Best Premium Cabin award in 2019.
  • Wander Wall: Again, I have to highlight the Wander Wall as one of the best things about Virgin Atlantic’s Premium Class. I love that there is a whole wall full of snacks for passengers to enjoy. There have been so many times that I felt hungry while flying with other airlines, but I had to wait until the flight attendants brought something around. But with the Wander Wall, I always had a treat to snack on. Plus, there was a large variety of options!

Cons

  • Price: One of the biggest downsides of Virgin Atlantic’s Premium Class is the price. It’s quite expensive to upgrade to this fare class. But if you can afford it, I think it’s definitely worth it.
  • Wi-Fi Fee: Even though the Wi-Fi fee is inexpensive, I still think it’s unnecessary. I feel like Wi-Fi should be complimentary, especially in Premium Class.

Alternative Fare Classes to Consider

Jet Blue Plus

Jet Blue Plus Class

This fare class is similar to Virgin Atlantic’s Economy Delight. It includes a personal item and a carry-on bag, as well as a free checked bag. In my opinion, the two options are very similar, but JetBlue offers free Wi-Fi on all flights. That’s a huge benefit, and it gives JetBlue the advantage over Virgin Atlantic.

Southwest Wanna Get Away

Southwest Economy Class

Southwest is an incredible airline, and even when you fly Economy, you get a nice bang for your buck. Southwest passengers are allowed to check two bags at no cost. There aren’t too many airlines that are offering that to Economy passengers! If you’re going on a long trip, this is a great option.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

There are some scenarios in which I feel like Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class is worth the extra money and is the better choice over Premium. With Upper Class, customers get lounge access, as well as expedited security check-in. If you’re traveling during a busy season, it’s worth it to upgrade your ticket to have access to those extra amenities.

FAQs about Economy and Premium Classes

Question: Are the Seats in Economy Comfortable? 

Answer: Yes, they are. But of course, the seats in Premium and Upper Class feel better, and there’s more legroom. However, the seats in Economy aren’t bad at all. When flying Economy with Virgin Atlantic, I never feel like I’m uncomfortable or that the seat isn’t providing enough cushion for me to relax.

Question: How much is Virgin Atlantic’s Wi-Fi Fee?

Answer: The fee starts at £2.99, but that’s just for access to messaging while in the air. The price goes up depending on the package you choose and the amount of data that you want.

Question: Does Premium Class have Access to the Clubhouse Lounge?

Answer: Unfortunately, no. Lots of airlines allow their Business Class customers to have lounge access, but not Virgin Atlantic. If you want that, you’ll have to upgrade to an Upper Class ticket.

My Closing Thoughts on Virgin Atlantic’s Economy vs Premium

Virgin Atlantic is an airline that I like to choose when they have a good flight deal. Not only that, but I’ve always had a good experience with them.

In my opinion, their Economy Delight fare class is the way to go. Whether I am flying domestically or internationally, I feel like the amenities provided by Economy Delight are good enough for me to have an enjoyable experience at an affordable price. 

I hope this guide helped you out. Enjoy your vacation!