This is a clever marketing and revenue ploy for Virgin Atlantic, especially when demand for Upper Class services is slack.
Virgin Atlantic economy and premium economy passengers eager to experience at least part of the airline’s Upper Class service now have the opportunity to do so through the newly launched Virgin Atlantic Guest List.
Available to passengers travelling from Gatwick, Heathrow, New York JFK, Newark, Boston, Washington and San Francisco, the package enables purchasers to experience the ground-service products routinely offered to Upper Class passengers. It begins with a private chauffeur-driven transfer to the airport, after which point Guest List passengers departing from London are permitted to use Upper Class check-in facilities and to fast-track security. Luggage will be tagged as Upper Class and be prioritised for offloading after landing. Similar benefits are available from other airports.
Thereafter, Guest List passengers can use the Virgin Clubhouse – the airline’s lounge facilities. The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse in Heathrow Terminal 3 was voted the world’s best airline lounge in the recent Ultratravel 100 awards; facilities there include a spa where complimentary treatments and haircuts are provided, a complimentary bar and full catering facilities.
The Guest List service starts from £240 ($368.74) per person, or from £340 ($522.38) per couple. Departing from Heathrow in November, a one-way economy-class fare to New York costs from £814.15; a premium economy-class fare costs £1,601.15. Upper Class fares for the same flight cost £4751.15. The outbound cost of a return journey between London and New York over the same period costs from £278.65 in economy; £536.65 in premium economy; and £1,343.15 in Upper Class.