Don't pay for extra legroom on Virgin Atlantic flights
A hot tip has arrived via the magic of the intamaweb from Americas, courtesy of avid Bitterwallet reader Tony.
Tony flew from Heathrow to San Francisco at the weekend, and after a colourful night in the Castro, he's shared a small-but perfectly formed piece of advice for passengers flying Virgin Atlantic:
I checked-in the day before my flight, and as usual reserved my seat in advance. I noticed that the seating configuration was for a 747 and that rather surprisingly, I could reserve an economy seat on the flight deck, rather than the lower deck you usually have to. The flight deck was half economy class seating, and half upper class seating - so I reserved my economy seat upstairs, just because I'd never flown upstairs on a jumbo jet.
According to the stewardess, the changes to the seating configuration are fairly recent; the economic downturn has meant less demand for upper class travel, so Virgin has had to add more economy class seats.
However, the front row of this new economy section, which has over a metre of legroom, is made up of normal seating, rather than the usual front-row seating with a table and TV hidden away in the arm-rest. Apparently these seats are made to order because there are comparatively few required for a plane, so this new section doesn't have them. Because of this, Virgin Atlantic aren't actively selling these extra legroom seats for the usual £50 upgrade.
I'd reserved a seat on the second row, immediately behind the front row (which did have a TV and table), and a quick word with the stewardess meant I was free to stretch out in front row but return to my regular seat if I wanted to watch a movie.
Not all of Virgin Atlantic's fleet comprises of 747s, and there's no mention of how many of their planes have had the flight deck refitted with economy seating. Still, worth watching out for if you want to stretch out and would rather dodge the £50 upgrade fee.