Have you always dreamed of flying on a plane named after a song by the Monkees, while cuddling in a Love Suite? Well, thanks to Virgin Atlantic, your oddly specific fantasies are about to come true. The airline unveiled its new Airbus A330-200 aircraft earlier this week (the first of four on their line-up, all purchased from Air Berlin), featuring quirky nicknames, extra legroom, and tricked-out cabins. In other words, the company gave us a fleet-full of reasons to get excited about air travel in 2018.
The first new Airbus, dubbed Daydream Believer, arrived at London's Gatwick Airport on Monday, getting some final touches before it begins flying in March. Officials also announced at that time that Scarlett O’Hara and Honky Tonk Woman (yes, those are the names of the planes) will join the fleet over the next few weeks, while Strawberry Fields will join sometime in the spring.
Pop culture-inspired monikers aside, the Airbus planes are getting lots of attention for their revamped cabins. Economy Class will now feature 222 seats plus 25 seats with extra leg room, with Premium Economy cabins arriving by the end of the year. But the biggest changes are coming to Upper Class, with 19 fully flat beds, Wi-Fi with free messaging, a barista-style coffee menu, and updated amenity kits that include something called "Happy Socks." And that’s not even the best part (yep, it gets better than Happy Socks). Among the 19 seats are three new suite styles with titles as intriguing as the ones given to the planes themselves: Love Suite, Freedom Suite, and Corner Suite.
Seeing as the names aren’t exactly self-explanatory (does "Love Suite" conjure up images of vibrating beds and heart-shaped bathtubs for anyone else?), here’s a breakdown of what each suite has to offer:
Solo Freedom Suite
The Freedom Suites are specially designed for solo travelers who want to unwind and stretch out. (Also known as “aisle seats.”)
Solo Corner Suite
Also for solo travelers, Corner Suites offer privacy with a great view. (Also known as “window seats.”)
Of all the new additions, this one seems to be garnering the most attention. We’re assuming that has something to do with the name (it’s just so…Virgin), as well as the clever spin on the dreaded middle seat. Located in the center of the Upper Class cabin, the suites are built for couples hoping to dine and watch films in close proximity during their flight. So, if you’ve ever sat next to your partner on a plane and said, "Wow, I wish we were sitting even closer together,” this is the space for you.
The new Virgin Atlantic fleet will start operating in March, with initial service from Manchester to New York, Boston, San Francisco, and Barbados. Until then, you'll just have to make do with your regular, unhappy socks.
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