RICHARD BRANSON SAYS he is at last getting to sleep properly while flying. He is, of course, referring to the space and comfort provided in his Virgin aircraft. And specifically, he is referring to the new Upper Class Suite, which Virgin Atlantic has started rolling out across its fleet of B747-400s and A340-600s. The suite offers the longest bed (208cm) of any airline's first or business class, and the biggest fully flat bed compared with business class or any other airline. The revolutionary club-class kit features single seats angled in from the windows, with two in the middle forming a V-shape herringbone. This is a 1-2-1 layout on B-747s, but as seats are not exactly up against each other, each becomes a totally private space unto itself. On A-340s, the configuration is 1-1-1. The leather seats flip over at the touch of a button to become a fully flat bed. But sleeping is just one half of Virgin's suite experience. At the end of the seat is an ottoman that doubles as a guest seat for informal meetings or for a drink with a fellow passenger. There is also a large retractable table, offering plenty of room for working or dining in comfort. The guest 'chair' has a seatback, and there is room to stow your books, while your laptop can be slipped under the footrest. The downside of all this is that you cannot really look out of the window (because you have your back to the view), nor can you cosy up to your neighbour. These are stylish cubicles for singles who appreciate a chic open-plan office layout. Seats are 84cm wide across the shoulder area. Virgin has also revolutionised dining at 35,000 feet. Passengers are made to feel like restaurant guests. Flight attendants take their orders, and meals are served as they are in restaurants. Gone are the trolleys. Each passenger also gets his personal 26cm TV screen to enjoy the airline's award-winning in-flight entertainment. Alternatively, you could hop over to the front of the aircraft for a massage by the on-board therapist in a space set aside for the purpose. The suite is available on Virgin's Hong Kong-London flights, as well as London-New York and London-San Francisco. Virgin's Hong Kong general manager Florian Preuss says they will also be available when Virgin launches its Hong Kong-Sydney flights in December. 'The centrepiece of Virgin Atlantic's new cabin is its revolutionary new seat and bed. We will be the only airline on this route to offer not only a fully flat bed, but also the biggest bed in business class.' It remains to be seen which will prove the more popular choice with Aussie passengers: bed or bar.