Virgin Australia Economy X
Flying these days is cheaper than ever, but because of this, air travel has become a “pay as you go” system. More and more airlines are charging for extra luggage, meals and even the option to choose what seat you will be sitting in. Love it or hate it, “pay as you go” is here to stay as it makes the base ticket prices more affordable.
The first question clients always ask me is “is it worth it?” I would say that if you’re traveling with someone else and you want to sit with them, it is absolutely worth paying to ensure this happens. Airlines will not guarantee you a seat next to your traveling companion…you could both end up in middle seats of the middle row at opposite ends of the plane. Not a fun way to spend 10+ hours.
The next question I am asked is “what about extra leg room”. The extra leg room seats are always more expensive than the standard seats. Virgin Australia has taken this a step further and created the “Economy X” product. It’s a seating option that sits (pun intended) between regular economy and premium economy.
With Virgin Australia’s economy X, you are seated at either the front of economy or at any of the bulkhead spaces of the economy cabin. The extra leg room is substantial with the seat widths the same as standard economy. The price for this pleasure for a flight from Brisbane to LA is $240NZD (or $160USD).
Some people may think that’s a pretty big chunk of change to pay for a bit of room to stretch out. I was one of those people…until I actually experienced Economy X. With this product you are permitted to both check in with and board with the premium economy passengers, so no long queues. Boarding first also means you get off the plane first, so if you have a tight connection it’s worth considering. Economy X passengers are also given noise-cancelling headphones, priority meal choice (ie you are fed first so your preferred option will always be available to you) and priority overhead bin space.
I really struggled to part with the money to pay for this service on my flight from Brisbane to LA. But after experiencing it, I had no trouble paying for it on the flight home. I would highly recommend if you can work it into your budget, treat yourself and upgrade to the Economy X product. It means a more comfortable flight and a more rested feeling upon arrival.
Top Tip: If you can secure the window seat on a bulkhead, use your carry-on bag as a wee foot rest. Just be sure to wait until after take-off to set it up.