I have already detailed the disaster that Virgin is having with it’s Dreamliners. The saga of Virgin’s faulty Rolls-Royce engines on their Boeing 787 aircraft is getting even worse.
Virgin Atlantic is currently partially solving this problem by leasing aircraft that were previously Airberlin A380 planes, which fly out of Manchester. This alternate plane is not a problem for travellers unless you are booked into Premium Economy, because these Airberlin planes do not have Premium Economy seating. If you are booked on a flight out of Manchester in Premium Economy, you might want to amend your flight to one that departs from London, because Virgin will only offer partial refunds on a Premium Economy booked seat if the passenger is rebooked into their Economy cabin on the same flight.
The problems with the Dreamliner engines, however, continue for Virgin Atlantic flights out of London. New regulations to be issued jointly by the EU and US this week are expected to say that aircraft flying one variant of this (B787) engine must always be within 140 minutes of a suitable emergency runway and that the engines must also undergo a full inspection (taking the aircraft out of service) after every 80 flights, compared to after every 200 flights. You can read more on Bloomberg.
What To Do If You Are Booked Into Premium Economy On The Dreamliner & Your Plane Is Changed
The good news is that you can do something about this. Keep an eye on your flights online and if your aircraft is altered, you have the right to request a different flight. You can also ask for a refund and then book with another airline.
This is such a shame as Virgin Atlantic has great Club House lounges and is a fun airline to fly on. If you are planning a transatlantic flight in Premium Economy in particular, we would, however, advise booking on an alternative airline until these problems are smoothed out. You can read which airlines offer the best Premium Economy transatlantic and which I consider to offer the best Premium Economy in the world. Since writing these articles, some of the American carriers (American Airlines and Delta) have also introduced Premium Economy and are worth considering.
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