So when VS announced their new route from Manchester to JFK it helpfully coincided with a new job for me which meant a bit more disposable income.
This is a Trip Report from the Upper Class cabin
Food & Drink
Manchester always had a special place in my heart as it was where I took my first ever flight which was VS73 to Orlando back in 2013 in Y! And the Virgin difference has blown me away ever since!
Now when I originally booked it I got a really good fare but the times changed a few months ago which impinged on what was already a short hop to The Big Apple anyway so the lovely people at Virgin agreed to shift me from the VS127 MAN-JFK to the VS137 LHR-JFK.
OLCI done at exactly T-24 and when printed BPs were received reaIised I had lucky LHR001!
DTCI was slightly less smooth, ,my friend who i was travelling with was less than impressed at my instistance of booking at cab from our hotel at 05:30 and it was only when I rang the Wing to book out slot did I realise they didn't even open till 6! Cab time changed thankfully....would have hated to havre been dropped off at the Terminal and have to go in with the cargo! . We were trying to get my friend an upgrade and in the palavour of trying they forgot to tell us bout the baggage saga. Thankfully they remembered at the last minute so a frantic repack to hand luggage just in case!
We were the first in the CH. I actually like what they have done with the refurbishment the areas that have had a tart up look good and the old library area feels really nicely mounded into the rest of the CH. My favourite bit was the old den, which remains my favourite area now.
Service in the CH was exceptional throughout. Redheads aplenty and the food was good. Facial had and again just felt like bliss afterwards!
We headed for the gate when the App said not when they called it thanks to my less that frequent flyer friend who was in PE and was convinced we must leave that moment .
Anyway we got to the gate and they were only checking people in as far as the gate holding area so we waited there for 20 minutes as there was issues with the baggage belts and the crew had had to wait for stuff being loaded.
Boarding was then called and we were the 3rd on the plane!
We had G-VWAG for this 7hr 45 flight to JFK with 12 Crew and 250 pax.
First time for me on a 330 - the seat is a bit shorter, but I really enjoyed it and the cabin does look absolutely stunning! When flying UC I have always faced the wall so to speak, but this was the first time I was in a 1-2-1 config. I didn't find it too intrusive, there seemed to be enough space in the cabin.
With my friend back in PE I made friends with a lovely woman who was a designer for M&S in her former career and was thoroughly interesting with stories of jetsetting alover the world between her job and travel to see her children who now had international jetsetting careers one of which is apparently such an Important client to OneWorld that they will hold planes if he is running late. Not sure if apocrophal or not but it was interesting nonetheless!
The FSM was present in the cabin and introduced himself to the whole UC cabin and i was treated by name!
Due to the baggage issues we had a ground delay after doors closed of over an hour. Crew allowed people to get up as we were still at the gate.
The crew were present in the cabin for the whole time.
I had the ham and asparagus starter, which was a bit oily for me, I then had the salmon in wasabi which was delicious! Eaton Mess was a bit disappointing as it seemed to have been prepacked, wish I had had the chocolate option. I then followed with the cheese plate which was lovely!
I took the last two at the bar which had been full with a crowd from Wales who were in 45 G/K.
They joined me back at the bar after their desserts and along with a member of the crews family we had a right blast. My friend joined us from PE for a short while with the FSM's permission and most of the flight was enjoyed at the bar getting to know the gaggle of Welsh couples who were thoroughly fun and a good laugh.
The second meal option was a bit of a letdown, the burger was cold, but I wasn't really hungry, it was more to sober up a bit as the Elderflower Collins cocktail was far too nice!
Landed about 50 minutes late and were sat waiting for a gate for ages at JFK as someone was being off loaded off another flight and the immigration hall was overloaded.
I was through immigration in about 15 minutes end to end having been on an ESTA before. My friend who had never been to the US before and whose last trip was to Egypt and Tunisia with lots of Arabic writing in her passport was held and questioned for much longer! Had I been on my own I would have been through in record time!
Bags were safely delivered to the carousel, however, I hasten to add that we actually between all of the delays arrived at the exact same time as the Manchester flight so time wise there was no benefit to moving to the LHR flight after all but who cares when you had the CH and DTCI right?
I have marked entertainment as a 3 only as I didn't use it, just for the map but that's standard for me for flights! The system itself is so much better than on the 340's!
Overall VS still has it in aboundance! They are still amazing and a cut above. My previous two UC flights both saw the crews do stuff for me or my travelling companion that were way above and beyond the call of duty. That didn't happen on this trip so it wasn't mind blowing but it certainly was still for me the best travelling experience around.
Written from the JFK CH on the return leg! Pics to follow when I am back in the UK.