Are we having fun yet?

Virgin Atlantic’s latest Economy class inclusions had us at lighting that reduces jetlag.

Are we having fun yet?

Let’s not lie. Flying long haul in Economy class is the worst. We’re not being ungrateful. Of course the longer-term experience of travel makes up for the short term pain, but aside from the price, there’s really a lot left to be desired when it comes to spending prolonged periods of time in confined conditions with a plane full of people.

Thankfully one airline is doing something to ease the pain in Economy. Aiming to put the fun back into flying Economy class, Virgin Atlantic has implemented a range of improvements.

With Economy accounting for 75 per cent of passengers on board Virgin’s latest 787-9 Dreamliner planes, according to Gia Acitelli, Regional General Manager for South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Virgin Atlantic is focused on improving the flying experience for Economy passengers. Adding, “we believe it’s important to offer these travellers enhanced services and the latest technologies to ensure their comfort and enjoyment during long-haul flights.”

So what’s changed? For starters the 787-9 Dreamliners are all fitted with the best-in-class seats that offer more leg room, wider aisles and increased storage space. Amenity kits are still provided for overnight flights and you can expect after dinner chocolates and retro style usherette ice-cream service to rival that of a cinema’s.

The real high point of the journey though is surely the innovative and intuitive new lighting technology. The revolutionary systems ensure passengers board, eat, relax and sleep in the optimal lighting. With the various colours of light calculated to adjust to the destination’s time zone throughout the flight, this is said to help to reduce jetlag, a noble aim if ever there was one.

And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, an eight-minute ‘sunrise’ sequence has even been designed to gradually wake travellers in preparation for them disembarking into the new time zone. Which leaves only one question; can I have that at home please?

See inside Virgin Atlantic’s new and improved Economy class cabin.

How do you decide which airline to fly long haul? Is it only based on price or do you take into account other factors? Why not tell us in the comments.


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    7th Nov 2015
    I only fly virgin on domestic routes and flew with their partner Singapore to London recently. Two excellent airlines.
    7th Nov 2015
    I fly with who can get me to and from in reasonable time and price. I just booked for my wife and myself to Casablanca and return via Paris 6 weeks later. Heaps of alternatives but most with 2 stops on 1 leg or another and more hours each way. I booked with Qatar which I have never traveled with before but gets good reviews. I have traveled to Europe several times and haven't used the same airline twice.
    8th Nov 2015
    Virgin Atlantic doesn't fly from Sydney any more. Which is a great pity. Had a fantastic trip to the UK on 2013, with the only negative comment on the 'Upper Class' (business or first) seating arrangements and sleeping. The seats were facing in towards the centre of the plane, which gave you the problem of if you wanted to see out the window, you had to twist yourself into the most ridiculous positions. The beds were made on the outer shell of the seat (hard plastic with very little comfort) and a very thin 'mattress protector- type' of covering. This is opposite to most of the other airlines, where the seat lays flat and you sleep on the cushioned part of the seat.

    We paid $2000 less than the price of Premium Economy on QANTAS and BA when we booked the trip. It's recommended to shop before you buy. :)
    8th Nov 2015
    Improved lighting to ensure graduated waking as you approach journey's end? This sounds great, but does make the unwarranted assumption that you get to sleep in the first place. I never do on planes. I'm also cynical about claims of extra leg room and 'comfier' seats. Compared to what, I dare to ask? Besides, Virgin Atlantic does not fly from Brisbane, so what's it got to do with the price of tea in China?

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