Sneaking into Virgin Upper Class

Most people either want everyone to know that they are flying in the big seats at the front of the plane, or they don’t care who knows.

WPIL isn’t most people.

He wants to sneak into his Upper Class seat on his Virgin Atlantic flight to Las Vegas unseen. Or at least unseen by his friends who are all booked on the same flight in Premium Economy and Economy.

It isn’t that WPIL suffers from Upgrader’s Guilt, or that he doesn’t want his friends to know he is going to Las Vegas. Quite the opposite in fact. You see, WPIL wants to surprise them mid-flight.

I have been going to LV for several times but this is the first visit for a number of my friends. So far I have managed to keep it secret that I will be on the same flight, the majority of them are flying Premium with a couple in Economy. I am planing to surprise them mid flight, rather than at the Airport or Boarding, I think at that stage it will be totally unexpected. My first question is whether anyone has done anything similar and did you do anything out of the ordinary (someone mentioned about asking the cabin crew to let me serve my friends drinks?).

Can he get away with it? Most believe the undertaking to be fraught with risk:

I would find that super stressful sneaking on to the plane, mind you, you can hole yourself up in the clubhouse till the last minute……maybe take a newspaper to hide behind at the gate just in case they spot you while they are waiting to board. ~RachelCox

I would do it whilst on the ground… Either be at the next desk along when they are all checking in and give a casual wave, or breeze past them at the gate on boarding and drop the one liner ‘see you in Vegas lads’ ~joeyc

I would surprise them at the airport. Draw straws for who you guest into the lounge. That way you can add something to the trip for a couple of them. ~dickydotcom

And as an added bonus, gumshoe explains why WPIL – or any other solo traveler – might want to avoid seats 6A and 6K in Virgin’s Upper Class cabin:

If you’re on your own in UC I’d advise against 6K as you’ll virtually be playing footsie with whoever’s in 6A.


The view is no different to any other UC seat. The way the suites are configured isn’t great for looking out of the windows as they’re more or less behind your head. And alas there’s no window out of the front of the nose, so your view ahead from 6K is of a blank wall and whoever’s in 6A.


I’d sit further back – maybe row 8 or 9?

Will WPIL’s plan to serve drinks to his friends onboard work? Can he make his way to the front of the plane unobserved? And if it does all work out, what will the reactions of his friends be? Joyful surprise? Weirded out? Annoyed?

Tune in to read the thread in its entirety, and be there for the exciting conclusion of: Surprising friends and seat selection

Image: “Forward cabin, Virgin Atlantic 747” by Phillip Capper. CC BY 2.0.


  1. Last year my sister, our dad & I met up in Vegas for a long weekend. We all live in different cities, but my sister & dad were both going to connect through Denver. We didn’t tell our dad my sister was going to be on his 2nd leg. She hung back at the gate & boarded after him – wore a hat & sunglasses & looked the other way when she passed his seat. We deliberately booked her in the aisle seat directly behind him. About half way through the flight, she tapped his shoulder, extended her tablet out in his direction & said “excuse me, sir, do you know how to get to the next level of Angry Birds?”. He didn’t even look at her, just mumbled no. She had to say “hi dad – it’s me!!”. He thought we were snots for not telling him she was on his flight, but after a few hours he thought it was funny, too.

  2. That’s pretty impressive to be able to settle into the seat behind him without him seeing her. She must have been nervous at that last moment when passing his seat to get to hers – one glance up by him and the gig would have been up.

  3. I did exactly that last month on an international flight. I booked the flight after hearing our friends would be on that flight. Waited until they boarded instead of boarding early. Surprised them a few hours into the flight.

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