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Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Virgin’s Premium Economy Class makes ordinary life a lot less ordinary.


I’ve always harboured a secret sense of loathing toward business and first passengers, although I’d never admit it in public. Their smug looks when they get to check in on that red carpet attended to by handpicked airline staff ready with a waiting smile and fresh flowers to ease them through check in is frankly almost too much to bear. They get private lounge access of course, but we don’t get to see that bit thank goodness, just their backs as they whisk through security using their special fast track passes while we wait in line with the hoards getting ordered to remove our belts and shoes like we’re about to begin a prison sentence. The smugness returns in the departure lounge of course when they get to board first, and then we have to do the walk of shame filing past them on our way towards the back as they serenely down their chilled glasses of bubbly as we fight over hand luggage bin space.

There is however a chance of salvation; an affordable opportunity to at least touch the hem of heaven and take a tentative step onto that first rung of travel smugness. Thankfully, with Virgin’s Premium Economy, we mortals get the chance to savour just a little bit of that high life for a reasonable extra cost.

We get a separate check in for a start. Slight smugness points there. And then we get to board first with the big boys too. Loads of smugness points here, because no one else knows which class you’re in until you get on board. The wider, softer seats are very comfy and whilst they may not be flat bed seats, (although they are as wide as many business class seats on other airlines). the extra leg room and spring loaded foot rests allow you some real stretching room. Now comes the good part. While everyone else shuffles past, you get to sip that envious pre take off drink, and that rattles up bucket loads of smugness points in my book, whilst eating a quality meal off a china dinner service with stainless steel cutlery makes all the difference in the world.

Of course after an eleven hour flight you just want to get off and on with your life and fortunately Premium Economy passengers get to get off first with those big boys again and you can enjoy that final bit of smugness when you collect your luggage  from the Upper and Premium only carousel. Oh the joy.

I’m a fan of Virgin’s Premium Economy.  It’s an excellent choice on so many levels, letting you enjoy many of the trimmings of business travel without it really hurting your pocket too much.  Now if only we could get a private lounge.........