Monday, 16 May 2016

Virgin Australia new 777 interiors - Remove 22 seats and 2 toilets - more comfort?



Virgin Australia has just launched a re-configured 777-300ER as of this week. The remaining 4 planes will be slowly reconfigured throughout the rest of this year.

OK - so what have they done besides introduce new 1-2-1 reverse herringbone (or 'sardine can' as I call them) seats in Business Class and staffed their on board bar?

Well a couple of things:

  • increased business class capacity by 4 seats from 33 seats to 37
  • reduced Premium Economy by 16 seats from 40 to 24
  • Introduced a row of 'Economy Space +' seats
  • reduced economy by ten seats from 288 to 278
  • Removed 2 toilets


Yep, that's right, removed TWO toilets. Unless I can't read a legend correctly, there were 5 toilets 'reserved' for business passengers, and now there are 3.

Check out the side-by-side seating plans from the Virgin website below:


Ok - so you get direct isle access in the new sardine configuration, but does that necessarily help if you have to hold your legs together longer?

I was fortunate to travel in the old configuration to Los Angeles a few times in the early days of the service, thanks to a premium on transferring American Express points to the Velocity program. At that time, I thought it blew Qantas business class out of the water (Qantas still had sloping lie flat seats then). I'm not so sure about the new configuration. I'll reserve judgement until I get to try it.

5 comments:

  1. Three toilets for 37 seats is plenty - I just flew on AA's new 777-200 config and there were 3 toilets for 45 passengers, and I never had to wait. There's also a toilet right behind premium economy. I'd sacrifice two toilets for a bar in business class any day.

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    1. Good point. It's more about what they don't tell you when they launch these new products. Like when Qantas refurbished their 737's and raved about everything except that they now have the tiniest bathrooms in the air. Maybe I have a thing about bathrooms.

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  2. Correct. You can't read a legend correctly.

    The 2 removed toilets were for premium economy customers, not business. PE capacity has been reduced by half, and they now have one newly relocated toilet at the rear of their cabin. The real losers are those in economy who now have less toilets.

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  3. I guess it depends on how you interpret a wavy line versus a straight one. I am sure the question of which toilets belong to which section will become obvious once you travel on the plane (which I hope to do). I agree, that as usual, it is economy who pay the price.

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    1. Absolutely. Having travelled on that flight on numerous occasions, I can tell you those wavy lines are curtains. The crew are quite swift to ensure that passengers do not move from different cabins to use the toilet.

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