Virgin Atlantic Upper-Class Cabin
By Elizabeth Esfahani

(Business 2.0) – Who says flying can't be fun? With its new upper-class cabin, Virgin Atlantic not only rethought drab airplane interiors but also transformed the flying experience. Starting in late 2003, the airline began renovating its first-class cabins at a cost of $131 million, adding amenities such as leather seats that fold into plush beds, in-flight manicures, and even a complimentary limo to the airport. Geared toward business travelers and jet-setters paying about $7,500 for international tickets, the cabin's design cleverly allows for privacy--the seats are partially partitioned off--or socializing at an in-cabin bar. "They've thought through the entire experience, and they do it with an irreverence that is unmistakably Virgin," says judge Jeffrey Jones. Furthermore, smart guerrilla marketing--including a free short film planted on hotels' adult movie menus--positioned the offering as an alluring lifestyle choice. -- E.E.