This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Air Berlin’s 2017 demise was calculated and swiftunlike bankrupt Alitalia, which has been kept afloat by the Italian government time and time again, Germany’s carrier was all but abandoned immediately after declaring insolvency. It was at the same time impressive and painful to watch, given that customers were left stranded and many of the airline’s employees lost their jobs.

The carrier’s A330s haven’t been grounded for long, though — four have now made their way to Virgin Atlantic’s fleet, and the first just underwent a livery overhaul, emerging in Virgin Atlantic’s colors:

Virgin sent out a press release to celebrate its new acquisition, positioning the A330-200s as a new product, complete with “new seat styles” — which are really just the old Air Berlin seats with a bit of marketing magic. As the airline explains:

The unique Upper Class cabin introduces three new seat styles for Virgin Atlantic customers to choose from — the Love Suite, the Freedom Solo Suite, and the Corner Solo Suite — all with direct aisle access. Customers will also be able to select from a special barista style coffee menu; receive free messaging, and an improved amenity kit featuring ‘Happy Socks.’

Now, before you get excited about that “Love Suite,” it’s really just the same old (read: actually old) “honeymoon-style” center seats already installed by Air Berlin, which I reviewed toward the end of last year:

And here’s that “Freedom Solo Suite,” which Virgin Atlantic says “Lets customers unwind and stretch out with direct aisle access:”

And finally the “Corner Solo Suite,” which “Provides customers with extra privacy and a great view:”

While these seats have already been flying for years for Air Berlin, TPG considers them to be a step up from the older herringbone configuration on some of Virgin Atlantic’s existing fleet — although I haven’t flown Upper Class before, I’ve experienced a similar seat on Air New Zealand, and I do find these A330-200 seats to be more spacious.

There will be four “new” A330-200s in total. They will follow in the longstanding Virgin Atlantic tradition of giving its jets cheeky names and registrations, often with references to rock and roll. The first, “Daydream Believer” (registered G-VMNK), will enter service in March, followed by “Scarlett O’Hara” (G-VWND), “Honky Tonk Woman” (G-VMIK) and “Strawberry Fields” (G-VLNM) in the spring. They’ll be assigned to flights from Manchester to New York (JFK), Boston (BOS), San Francisco (SFO) and Barbados (BGI), offering 19 Upper Class seats, 45 extra-legroom economy seats and 222 regular coach seats, both in a 2-4-2 configuration with on-demand entertainment and Wi-Fi. A premium economy cabin will be added later this year.

Know before you go.

News and deals straight to your inbox every day.

The American Express® Business Platinum Card

The Business Platinum Card from American Express offers 40,000 bonus Membership Rewards® points as well as a slew of other valuable benefits like lounge access, hotel elite status and a digital subscription to The Times and The Sunday Times for Primary and Platinum Supplementary Cardmembers.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend £6k in your first 3 months of Card Membership
  • Up to 99 free Supplementary Cards - one complimentary Platinum Employee Cards and 98 Complimentary Gold Employee Cards
  • Global Lounge Collection - Access to more than 1,200 airport lounges across 130 countries, including The Centurion® Lounges and membership of Priority Pass™
  • Hotel Status at Hilton, Marriott Bonvoy™, Meliá Hotels International, Radisson Hotel Group, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts – enjoy benefits such as complimentary upgrades, early check-in and late check-out, enhanced loyalty points, complimentary Wi-Fi and more
  • The Times and The Sunday Times annual digital subscription (£312 value per Card) – available for Primary and all Supplementary Cardmembers
  • Fine Hotels and Resorts – Enjoy a collection of over 1,000 hand-selected iconic 5-star properties worldwide. Receive complimentary benefits worth an average total value of £400 per stay.*
  • £150 statement credit for every booking with onefinestay (unlimited use)
  • Dedicated Account Management Team
Annual Fee
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.