I booked this trip on two separate tickets (obviously), outbound with Delta SkyMiles, inbound with $$. I've reviewed VS W before, and this experience was very similar to previous ones.
We arrived at the airport at 17:01, exactly 2 hours before departure (unintentionally), and entered into the always familiar Terminal 4.
The bus had dropped us right in front of the VS area, so it was an easy find. There was no line in the W area.
In fact, there were no lines anywhere. A bit of an odd time, I guess. A bit surprising, though, considering VS has departures from JFK at 18:30 and 19:01 - where are all the people?
Check in took 2 minutes and we quickly headed towards security. We were given precheck, so the line took 3 minutes. Probably my fastest run through security ever.
The obligatory post-security terminal 4 photo. Am I in Zurich or New York?
To the gates!
FIDS. Like I said before, this is a bit of an odd time, so there wasn't much happening.
The average T4 scenery.
VS operates from the A gates of T4, and there is only one place for food worth going to.
Today's flight was from gate A3, aboard G-VGBR, a 4.5-year-old A330-300.
Also hanging around our gate were lots of EK cargo crates… I'm pretty sure A3 isn't an A380 gate so not sure why they were all here.
There wasn't much to do, so I wandered around the terminal and found some other airplanes.
SQ A388 and LY B744
Another VS A333 (operating the 18:30 departure).
My highlight of the night - a brand new KU 77W! My first time catching one of these.
Aaaaand another VS A333 (operating the 20:00 departure). I had ridden this plane just a few months before (see my report on VS137).
Boarding began at 18:14 with those needing extra time, followed by all the premium people lumped together - that is, upper class, premium economy, all the VS elites, and all the DL elites.
Hello, seat 23G! I'm pretty sure VS has the same W seat fleetwide (correct me if I'm wrong). Mood lighting was in full swing.
A look back into Y.
More than adequate legroom and width for a quick pond hop.
Screen and remote, along with 2 USB ports and all those other plugs nobody ever uses.
On the seat were a pillow, blanket, and cheap headphones.
And for the first time in VS W, an amenity kit, which I seem to have forgotten to take a picture of. It was in a nice cloth pouch. The contents, however, were exactly the same as the kit I got in Y a few years back (see my VS10 report), expect those were in a plastic bag instead.
Basic seat controls.
Orange Juice or Prosecco was passed out from a tray.
The captain announced a flying time of 6h20m and a miserable load factor of 141/266 - 53%. W stayed at 31/48, a slightly better 65%.
The safety video played as we pushed back EARLY - unheard of JFK - at 18:57.
Not having a window seat obviously means no pictures of the taxi, but we started towards runway 31L at 19:09 and took off at 19:23 - 22 minutes behind schedule.
As we went up, I explored the IFE. I love having dual functionality of the remote and screen!
Menus were distributed soon after takeoff.
Service began with a drink and some (very tasty) pretzels.
My dad had a gin and tonic and was very happy with the higher quality gin.
I like the VS branding at the bottom of the glasses.
I stuck with my gut and ordered the beef, although I was quite tempted by the chicken. The tray as delivered:
The beef itself was very cooked - cooked well and lots of flavor. As for the egg noodles and veggies - I can't speak as highly. It was a decent main overall.
A pretty good attempt at a salad, made much better by the accompanying dressing.
I'm not a fan of coconut, but I actually found the dessert to be very good.
After I finished eating, I reclined my seat all the way back (it goes a LONG way back) and conked out. By the time I woke up, we were over Ireland and I had missed the breakfast service. Oh well - sleep is more important than food on a short transatlantic red eye like this one.
I turned on Deepwater Horizon just to pass the time before landing.
We made a few circles and landed at 6:41 local time on runway 27R.
The biggest disadvantage of arriving at T3 at Heathrow is the enormous of walking you have to do to get to immigration. At least there are some nice-ish views on the way.
Immigration took the better part of an hour, mainly because of the fact that there were only 7-8 officers working the non-EU line. 7:00 in the morning is a busy time, so I'm not sure why this was the case. Oh well!
That wraps up this report, thanks for reading and see you in part two!
New York - JFK
London - LHR
JFK T4 - Super efficient, but lacking in shops and restaurants
Seat - Very comfortable, good pitch and width
Food - Good overall
Crew - Friendly and attentive
IFE - Great system with great selection
LHR T3 - Sloooooow
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