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How firm are first class seats in BA and Virgin carriers?

Berkeley, CA
posts: 2
reviews: 1
How firm are first class seats in BA and Virgin carriers?

Okay, maybe the weirdest question ever asked on Trip Advisor. But I have a bad back and if the seat has too much "give" I can't tolerate it. I need a firm seat, but also as much space as possible (hence first class). I want to fly from SF to London in the fall.

Does anyone know the answer to my odd question?

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
posts: 45,821
reviews: 14
1. Re: How firm are first class seats in BA and Virgin carriers?

VS don't have a First cabin, their Upper Class is a Business class product. The seat has to be turned over to access the bed so moving from a seated position to sleeping position isn't a matter of pressing a button. VS seats face away from the windows as well.

Crew in BA First will offer to make up the bed for you when you wish. They'll place a light mattress pad on the fully flat seat and add a duvet. There are two pillows for each F pax, one about the size of a standard bed pillow and another softer pillow. The bed in F is firm (as are the Club World flat bed seats) and comfortable enough.

BA First pax who choose window seats will have two windows from which to view the passing scene.

London
posts: 375
reviews: 8
2. Re: How firm are first class seats in BA and Virgin carriers?

"I need a firm seat, but also as much space as possible (hence first class). "

Not sure Virgin is your answer then as there's no first. That said although their business class is a decent product it is arranged in a herringbone pattern and you could feel hemmed in. I personally don't like it.

BA first is significantly better than VS business. It's first class after all.

Lewes, United...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
posts: 8,190
reviews: 40
3. Re: How firm are first class seats in BA and Virgin carriers?

I'm small and I find the Virgin Upper Class seats/beds shorter and narrower than the BA product, whether in Club or First. However, I've never actually measured them, and as the Virgin ones are 'waisted' it just may be an optical illusion plus that more hemmed in feel because of the seating layout.

If your budget can stretch to BA First, it's a very nice experience!

SWT

Edited: 7:18 am, February 12, 2013
Nowy Sacz, Poland
Destination Expert
for Poland
posts: 4,024
reviews: 42
4. Re: How firm are first class seats in BA and Virgin carriers?

Virgin Upper Class - best described as flying in a bath tub! Not especially wide, high side, and window behind you.

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 7,651
reviews: 53
5. Re: How firm are first class seats in BA and Virgin carriers?

BA First is a first class product and Virgin Upper Class is business so despite marketing puffery from VS you're not comparing like for like products. The VS Clubhouse at SFO is better than what BA offer for their F passengers out there but other than that I'd say BA First is quite a stretch ahead with the exception of maybe the car service/drive through check-in/Clubhouse experience at Heathrow. The departure experience in BA F from T5 isn't all that awful though despite the lack of private security channel.

Obviously BA F is going to be a lot more pricey though.

London, UK
posts: 1,090
reviews: 111
6. Re: How firm are first class seats in BA and Virgin carriers?

I don't think you need to worry about 'too much give'. You're flying on an aircraft seat after all, just one that reclines to flat or flips over. You certainly won't experience any of that awful saggy feeling you can get with a knackered mattress and which I remember vividly - I had back surgery about 8 years ago and my back was incredibly intolerant of anything but the best beds for years afterwards. If anything, the aircraft flat beds are too unyielding for a really comfortable night's sleep. Even in BA first, where you get a thin but padded 'mattress' under you, I still find I'll fall asleep on my side but wake up and have to turn onto the other side a couple of hours later as the side I was lying on has gone numb. BA first is a bit better than BA business for sleeping as the proper duvet and pillows help, but I don't really find much difference in comfort when flat. And I find the Virgin upper class bed too hard to sleep comfortably at all.

Edited: 11:56 am, February 12, 2013
Berkeley, CA
posts: 2
reviews: 1
7. Re: How firm are first class seats in BA and Virgin carriers?

Thanks so much, UKLizzie--this is just what I needed to know!

Edited: 12:48 am, February 16, 2013
8. Re: How firm are first class seats in BA and Virgin carriers?

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