Member since 28 Dec 2016
Total posts 1
Longtime ABT reader but just signed up this evening and wanted to share something with everybody here. Earlier this month I was invited by Virgin Australia to attend a focus group where the airline wanted to workshop the idea of introducing a form of premium economy on domestic routes. I suppose that should be 're-introducing' because of course the airline had a 'premium' cabin instead of business class back when it was Virgin Blue.Anyway their idea is to expand the Space + arrangement which on the Boeing 737s is currently just the exit rows and convert the first three rows of economy into an extra legroom area by increasing the spacing between each row. Apparently most American airlines have this and passengers pay for the extra legroom, dedicated overhead lockers etc. Virgin also asked us to think about the name and if 'premium economy' or 'economy plus' or some other name might be more appealing than Space +.I said that I liked the idea, I am a Gold Velocity member and always fly in domestic economy class so depending on the price difference to economy or even if I could use points to 'upgrade' this could do very well for me.What does everybody here think about having 'premium economy' rows at the front of Virgin's Boeing 737s?
Air New Zealand - Airpoints
Member since 21 Jan 2016
Total posts 28
Air NZ domestic A320 jet services has Seat+ from rows 2 to 12 with seat pitch ranging from 83cm to 86cm. If seated in DEF from rows 2 to 9 the seat pitch is 88cm.Seat+ is only available to Star Alliance Gold, Gold Elite and Koru members and those passengers who pay full economy fare of J fare on Air NZ co-share partner airlines.Rows 13 to back of aircraft is 76cm seat pitch.There is no reason Virgin Australia can not introduce Seat+ on the 738's from rows 3 to 14 with a pitch from 83cm to 86cm for Premium and full economy passengers. Rows 15 to 30 which currently have a seat pitch of 78cm would reduce to 76cm.
Member since 13 Sep 2016
Total posts 30
All US airlines have something like this already, under names like Economy Plus or Economy Comfort or Main Cabin Extra. It must be working for them so I can't see why Virgin wouldn't want to adopt the idea here, and just add a few Space+ rows to the front of the economy cabin.Of course the big issue will be how Velocity Platinums will feel about losing free seat selection in that first row with its legroom but if there are three rows for example then that's three times the seats for them although they can't expect Virgin to do this and not 'up sell' those seats to regular economy passengers so they will probably have to accept choosing a normal seat further back and a free 'upgrade' to the Space+ rows upon availability if those Space+ seats are not all sold.
Member since 14 Jun 2013
Total posts 109
I bet most Velocity Platinums will hate this idea because their automatic Row 3 privilege will vanish but it does mean there will be three 'rows 3s' in terms of extra room and not having to fight other passengers for your overhead bin. The US experience is that many top tier frequent flyers are automatically given these seats anyway because they're usually not sold out on every flight.
Member since 24 Oct 2010
Total posts 988
Just an update: those following this discussion can find a little more information on Virgin's Space+ 'economy plus' workshop sessions at http://www.ausbt.com.au/virgin-australia-mulls-economy-plus-extra-legroom-rows.
Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum
Member since 07 Feb 2013
Total posts 431
The 'dedicated luggage bin space' will be quickly abused by the selfish bogans who like to dump their bags into the business overheads on the way down to economy
Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards
Member since 30 May 2016
Total posts 18
Having just returned from a trip to NZ on Air NZ on a discounted Works ticket I appreciated being put in the Space + section for the longer flights (due to platinum velocity). The extra space and service wasn't really viable to those further back as they pass through which to me means that Air NZ is primarily using it as an extra for frequent flyers rather than an point to up sell.
Member since 04 Mar 2015
Total posts 6
If they had three rows of Space+, then they could potentially leave Platinums to row 3 for free as it currently is and sell the other two rows only. That would leave it the same as it is today for row 3, except Platinums could purchase row 4 or 5 if they chose, which I would if row 3 was not available. Then it's a win for everyone without losing a privilege.
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Should Virgin Australia bring back domestic premium economy?
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