The Upper Class Suite allows passengers to work, relax, share a drink with a friend or sleep in complete comfort. There’s space for storing a laptop (power access is provided), a generous table for working or eating, a multidirectional 10.4-inch TV screen with a wide variety of programming and plenty of room to put your feet up.
The cabin takes its language from iconic pieces of furniture and the experience of a five-star hotel lounge. A series of mood-lighting settings accompany the service flow throughout the flight. At the bar friends, family, and coworkers can gather or people can find a comfortable place to sit, have a meal or do work away from their seat.
The fully reclining seat focuses on the passengers’ sleep. At the touch of a button, the soft-leather contoured seat flips over to become a fully flat bed built of firm, highly supportive foam for maximum sleeping comfort. That means that passengers won’t have to spend an extra day recovering from a bad night’s sleep. Plus, during take off and landing Upper Class passengers no longer need to sit in an upright position. The integrated seat belt airbag allows passengers to fully recline, even when the seat-belt signs are illuminated.
When adding the fully flat beds throughout its fleet, the company managed to retain the seat count by using a new herringbone formation and a space-saving design that makes better use of the space in the front of the aircraft. If it had used a conventional bed, it would have either lost seats or had to fly more planes to transport the same number of passengers.
During the roll out, the company’s incremental market share gain was up to 2.5 percent, which equates to revenue increases of up to 10 percent. The Upper Class Suite also created a direct source of income from licensing the design components to other airlines.
Credit: The Virgin Atlantic Airways In-House Design Team in collaboration with Pearson Lloyd, Softroom and DHA Design
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