Class rating 8.3
- Boarding 7.9
- Seat for sitting 8.7
- Seat for sleeping 9.1
- Service 8.3
- Entertainment 8.4
- Food & drink 7.8
- Punctuality 7.9
- Baggage 8.6
The Airbus A340-600 is the world's longest civil airliner, being 14 feet longer than the Boeing 747. However, unlike the shorter, fatter 747, the A340 only permits Virgin to have a 1-1-1 layout in Upper Class, rather than the usual herringbone format.
Upper Class is at the front of the aircraft, in rows 1-17. There are a total of 45 Upper Class seats, in a 1-1-1 configuration running from row 1G at the front to row 16 (AG) and then 17 AK, 17 G being lost to make way for the back of the bar. There is a curtain which can be drawn across between rows 8 and 9, allowing for this front part of the aircraft to be designated a sleep zone on some flights.
The centre seats change direction halfway along the cabin, so if you are intending to sit opposite a colleague, bear in mind you will only be able to talk to them if you arrange for the seats to face one another across the aisle – so while this would be possible in, say 3A and 3G, in 14 A and 14G it wouldn’t.
Obviously 17A and K are to be avoided because of the noise of those drinking at the bar and the preparation of drink. There are toilets at both the front of the cabin and at the rear.
If you are in the centre seat there are no overhead lockers, so your bags have to find a place above the window seats. This isn't a problem on some long haul flights where people have checked-in most of their luggage, but for those flights where passengers are travelling with just hand luggage, it can be. if you want to be sure of maximising your chances of finding space for your carry-on bags, bear in mind that where seats face each other across the aisle there will be more people trying to put their bags in those overhead lockers. So if you were in 4K or 15A, you have a good chance of finding space, but less so in 3A or 15K.
The seat is very comfortable for both sitting and sleeping. It has power, but only Empower, so unless you have this adaptor – which the airline sells onboard for around £50, or which you can buy elsewhere for around £30 - your work time will be cut short since the power socket in these older seats does not take any normal adaptor.
There aren’t many places to store magazines and books. There is a magazine compartment by your elbow and a small fold down table under a reading spotlight for drinks and snacks, and both the IFE control and the screen come out from here as well. On the other side of the seat are the seat controls. The table is a good size and still solid (ie: not wobbly), even after all these years.
All Virgin's A340-600s have the new V:Port audio/video on demand system.