Best seats: Virgin Australia's new Boeing 777 business class

By Chris Chamberlin, June 22 2016
Best seats: Virgin Australia's new Boeing 777 business class

Now appearing on selected Virgin Australia flights from Brisbane and Sydney to Los Angeles, the airline's new Boeing 777 business class seats – dubbed 'The Business' – raise the bar for comfort on the trans-Pacific route.

By the third quarter of 2016 you'll see these superb seats on every Virgin Australia Boeing 777 flight, including between Sydney and Abu Dhabi.

But in the meantime there's an easy way to tell if The Business is offered on your flight: when selecting your seat, you'll spot the new 1-2-1 layout below instead of the 2-3-2 configuration of the outgoing business class cabin:

That gives you the 'business traveller basics' of a fully-flat bed and direct aisle access from every seat, so regardless of where you sit you'll still have a comfortable journey.

As is always the case, a few choice seats within the cabin have their advantages, while some areas are best-avoided by various travellers.

Virgin Australia Boeing 777 business class: best seats

1A: We're calling this the Hollywood Seat, positioned further forward than the passenger across the aisle in 1D yet without being directly against a galley or lavatory, meaning the only view you'll get is that out the window and of the curtain nearby. There's a higher chance of foot traffic passing this seat, so light sleepers take note.

2A, 3A, 4A, 4K: These seats fall in a real comfort zone, being far enough away from the inflight bar, bathrooms and galleys for a good night's sleep but without being so far back that everybody will pass by throughout the flight.

D+G pairs, for couples: What makes the centre seats great is that you can slide open a perspex screen to converse with a partner, colleague or companion, rather than chatting across the aisle.

But of course, if you wind up here and are travelling on your lonesome that screen can be closed – and on our most recent The Business flight, we boarded to find the screens closed by default in every row, avoiding any awkward moments between unfamiliar seatmates.

Seating choices to reconsider in The Business:

7A: Check out the seat map above and you'll notice 7A's headrest is very close to the inflight bar, making a moderate speaking voice easily audible from this seat.

The rear cabin (rows 8-11): Not only are you close to the bar and the extra socialising seats just in front of 8D/8G (pictured below), you're also susceptible to light and noise from this space when the curtains are parted throughout the flight:

Fortunately, Virgin Australia provides ear plugs and an eye mask in its amenity kits which can help with your rest, and the curtains here are noise-reducing, we're told, helping to minimise the noise you'll hear from any louder conversations in the bar area.

Speaking of quiet, premium economy and economy flyers also board via the door between rows seven and eight and walk through this rear business cabin, making the aisles here considerably more cluttered before take-off, rather than empty and quiet as we've found sitting further forward.

We'd also normally suggest avoiding seat 6K being directly in front of a lavatory, but we spent 13 hours here and didn't find the seat noisy as the restroom door is on the opposite side, rather than next to the seat.

A previous version of this article noted that there was no dividing curtain between the business class bar area and the rear cabin, but a Virgin Australia spokesperson has confirmed that this has now been rectified.

Also read: Virgin Australia Boeing 777 'The Business' review, Sydney-LA

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we’re @AusBT

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

08 Jun 2014

Total posts 240

Thank you AusBT.

A quick review on PE or Business Lite? Would be keen if first row has same room as previous with Bulk Head wall and then also if last row in Lite has equal recline as other Lite seats

Hi Matt, we've not yet reviewed or flown in Virgin Australia's new premium economy seats, so aren't in a position to provide this advice.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

08 Jun 2014

Total posts 240

Soon! :)

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

29 Jan 2011

Total posts 158

Apparently the SYD-AUH flights are going to be temporarily suspended during November due to 777 maintenance occuring. Existing bookings are being bumped to EY-operated flights.

Regarding the issue wih rows 8 & 9, the problem isn't so much noise but with light. The front of the new bar has a long fluorescent strip running the width of it and with there presently being no curtain between the bar and these rows, the light coming off the bar greatly illuminates these rows.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

30 Oct 2015

Total posts 53

1A is also a bassinet seat as I've been told when trying to be allocated. Even as a Platinum no guarantee.

Already missing row 5 with the privacy screened out area. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Oct 2015

Total posts 43

the first airline that guarantees no pre teens or babies in business or first will have my business for life, as someone who flies internationally every month the lack of consideration for others by selfish parents is unbelieveable.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum

07 Feb 2013

Total posts 558

+1

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 May 2012

Total posts 169

Hi Chris,

I noticed that you have not mentioned too many K seats. Im doing BNE to LAX return and have picked 3k both ways. Any comment on this seat being ok?

Regards,

LTF

Hi LoveToFly, on that side of the aircraft you're three rows from the lavatory in front and also from another behind, whereas 3A has a similar position in the cabin but is further away from the bathrooms. While 3A may be more ideal, 3K certainly isn't a bad place to be, really.

22 Jun 2016

Total posts 2

I would agree 1A is great.  One benefit not mentioned above is that there is an extra ledge in front where you can store light items like the pillows etc. that is not available on non bulkhead seats.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 May 2012

Total posts 169

Thanks Chris, I have changed one of the trips to 3A (the other flight already had this assigned). Im looking forward to having a drink at the bar on the BNE - LAX flight, and sleep on the LAX to BNE flight. Keep up the great work on the daily atricles. Cheers, LTF

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Mar 2016

Total posts 27

I booked my seat months ago (prior to refurbishment) but wasn't sure what seat would be best for me but from experience, thought I had been most logical about my selection. I selected 4K so it seems my 'pin the tail on the donkey' approach worked, this time. Thanks for the review 

18 Dec 2012

Total posts 9

I flew recently in 1G & would advise to avoid due to the close proximity to the toilet. Unless you like staring at people opening & closing a toilet door for 14 hours? I also found the curtain is left slightly open the whole flight. 

If you want the middle 2 seats, just choose rows 3 or 4. 

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

29 Jan 2011

Total posts 158

On my recent flight I had to switch from 3A to 1D (the seat was faulty).

I found 1D ok but it does angle towards the aisle making it a little less private. Looking over to 1A I which angles to wards the window it does look like a good choice of seats.

I recently came back on this plane from LA to Sydney. I loved all the extra storage space but found the actual seating very cramped. For example they are not new planes but old ones revamped and where going over in the old plane there were 4 rows in the forward section they have now fitted 7 rows.  When the bed is extended your feet are under the seat in front - the aisle arm rest is height adjustable and it is almost impossible if you have this up while reclining or sleeping to get out of the seat.  In fact, and I am not overweight, I had to almost adjust the seat to upright to enable me to get out even with it in the down position. The larger TV was excellent and the fact that it is in a fixed position means you can watch it from boarding until landing.  

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

02 Feb 2015

Total posts 29

Recently travelled Perth - Melb and return "bussiness" as a couple in the center seats. Awesome spot row 3 . We got bumped from 1C & 1D due to a couple with a baby ( which cried most of the fligt , very awkard for all including cabin crew) and it was a godsend row 3 !!! love virgin Bussiness class now !

30 Jan 2015

Total posts 24

I'm on VA23 tomorrow and currently have 6A assigned, but 3K has freed up. Should I switch? Or are the noise from the bar and the lavatory at 1-2 rows away in either case much of a muchness?


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