Each Boeing 777-300 has three classes of service: Business, Premium Economy and Economy.
Like most other transpacific products, economy is fairly cramped with 3 x 3 x 3 seating (32″ of leg room and 6″ seat pitch,) cloth seats and rows upon rows of cattle. Sections are fairly compartmentalized among rows 20-25, 26-38 and 40-52, with each cabin separated by lavs and galleys respectively, so you can bet that the smaller sub-cabin is going to be quieter.
Exit rows have plenty of space, and if you’re going to pitch for a set, I would recommend row 26, because row 20 has bassinets and row 39 has a galley nearby.
Thankfully, each seat has an LCD running the Panasonic RED system with an additional USB port, so you can stay entertained with movies, games and music or charge your iPod. Bulkhead seats have video screens in the armrests. Contrary to other reports, however, there is no in-seat power. Alternatively, a flight attendant that we spoke with said that there is AC power in the rear galley, so you can always wander back and plug in.
Premium Economy is much more posh, with leather seats in a 2 x 4 x 2 configuration, so if you and a mate want some privacy you can book a window pair. LCD screens are a bit larger, seat pitch (9″) is more generous and leg room (38″) is more available, so your overall experience should be an order of magnitude better. There are only 5 rows of Premium Economy for a total of 30 seats, and each row is equipped with A/C power.
Finally, Business class is sectioned into two compartments with row 5 separated from rows 1-4 by the forward bar. The fully flat seats are in a standard 2 x 3 x 2 configuration and offer small privacy screens that you can raise between each. Given that each seat can recline fully, there is an astounding 77″ of leg room for each person, which means that you can basically play a small game of flag football with the space you have. Additionally, the front cabin offers bed turn down service, pajamas and the ability to eat your meals whenever you want, affording those who want to sleep or be left alone the flexibility to still have a hot meal.
Naturally, those up for a chat in Business class can also slip back to the front bar for a free beverage. Above the front bar there is a raised motif where one can look up at a (simulated) northern cross constellation — apparently the brass wanted a window up to the sky, but Boeing couldn’t fit that into the design.
Throughout the entire cabin, Virgin’s trademark “mood lighting” is prevalent, and even if you are off put by the pink and green seats, the purple and blue overhead lights can be remarkably calming. In some areas, a simulated starscape pattern also broods from the ceiling (pictured).
Overall, the best part about the aircraft is the clean, crisp aesthetic. Straight from the factory floor, this 777-300 has a solid, comfortable feel about it, and we’re sure that any transoceanic trip in this bird that’s in Premium Economy or Business will be outstanding. Coach might be comparable to the competition, but where V Australia could really excel is in the service. We’ll see how that performs in March.