First-Class Travel

by Mark Ellwood


Your jet: Boeing 747-400, Airbus A340-600 and A340-300

Killer app: The double seats that convert to double beds

Amenity you'll want to steal: The oh-too-cute Virgin jammies

Ultimate itinerary: New York City to London for a brainstorming session with Richard Branson about the next private-island project you're planning together (book your main squeeze a ticket to make the most of the flight)

Life up front: Billionaire Branson's impish personal touches are evident throughout his airline's Upper Class cabin, but best of all are the Mile High Club–endorsing double-bedded suites—private two-person snuggle zones. There's also a stand-up bar ideal for meeting someone, if you haven't brought a partner along, and free in-flight beauty treatments and massages. And trust Virgin to offer a seat like no other: The leather recliner doesn't convert into a jerry-rigged bed, but rather flips over entirely to reveal a memory-foam mattress. Virgin's $20 million Clubhouse at London Heathrow is just as lavish. There's a branch of Soho House's Cowshed spa, a Bumble and Bumble salon for last-minute haircuts, a full-size sauna and steam room, and even a roof garden for romantic preflight cocktails (the door-to-door limo service is a plus, too). Virgin is also arguably the only steal among these carriers: Its amenities may be first class, but its price barely scrapes business.

Platinum card–smashing price: New York City to London from $3,300 round-trip

Virgin Atlantic
Tel: 800 862 8621

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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