Review of Virgin Atlantic flight New York London in Premium Eco

Airline Virgin Atlantic
Flight VS138
Class Premium Eco
Seat 23G
Aircraft Airbus A330-300
Flight time 7:00
Take-off 08 Mar 17, 19:00
Arrival at 09 Mar 17, 07:00
VS   #15 sur 105 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 29 review
Daniel00
By 1459
Published on 15th March 2017
Hello and welcome to this quick series covering a quick trip over to the UK.

Routing/Background

3/8/17: VS138 JFK-LHR, A330-300, Premium Economy (You are Here)
3/12/17: DY7015 LGW-JFK, 787-9, Economy (Here)

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.

Landside

We arrived at the airport at 17:01, exactly 2 hours before departure (unintentionally), and entered into the always familiar Terminal 4.

photo img_0383

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.

photo img_0384

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?

photo img_0385

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.

photo img_0386

Airside

The obligatory post-security terminal 4 photo. Am I in Zurich or New York?

photo img_0387

To the gates!

photo img_0388

FIDS. Like I said before, this is a bit of an odd time, so there wasn't much happening.

photo img_0389

The average T4 scenery.

photo img_0390photo img_0391

VS operates from the A gates of T4, and there is only one place for food worth going to.

photo img_0396

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.

photo img_0394

Planespotting

There wasn't much to do, so I wandered around the terminal and found some other airplanes.

SQ A388 and LY B744

photo img_0397

Another VS A333 (operating the 18:30 departure).

photo img_0398

My highlight of the night - a brand new KU 77W! My first time catching one of these.

photo img_0399photo img_0400

Aaaaand another VS A333 (operating the 20:00 departure). I had ridden this plane just a few months before (see my report on VS137).

photo img_0401

Pre-departure

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.

photo img_0405

A look back into Y.

photo img_0406

More than adequate legroom and width for a quick pond hop.

photo img_0407

Screen and remote, along with 2 USB ports and all those other plugs nobody ever uses.

photo img_0408

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.

photo img_0414

Basic seat controls.

photo img_0413

Orange Juice or Prosecco was passed out from a tray.

photo img_0415

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.

photo img_0416

In Air
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!

photo img_0417photo img_0418

Menus were distributed soon after takeoff.

photo img_0419

Service began with a drink and some (very tasty) pretzels.

photo img_0421

My dad had a gin and tonic and was very happy with the higher quality gin.

photo img_0422

I like the VS branding at the bottom of the glasses.

photo img_0423

I stuck with my gut and ordered the beef, although I was quite tempted by the chicken. The tray as delivered:

photo img_0424

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.

photo img_0425

A pretty good attempt at a salad, made much better by the accompanying dressing.

photo img_0426photo img_0427

I'm not a fan of coconut, but I actually found the dessert to be very good.

photo img_0429

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.

photo img_0430

I turned on Deepwater Horizon just to pass the time before landing.

photo img_0431
Arrival

We made a few circles and landed at 6:41 local time on runway 27R.

photo img_0432

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.

photo img_0433

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!

-Daniel
See more

Verdict

Virgin Atlantic

8.4/10
Cabin8.5
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment9.0
meal/catering8.0

New York - JFK

8.4/10
Efficiency10.0
Access8.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness8.5

London - LHR

7.3/10
Efficiency6.0
Access7.5
Services7.5
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

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

Related

8 Comments

  • Comment 389945 by
    757Fan 289 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this report, Daniel. I've been thinking of possibly planning a trip to London this year as my wife's never been, and have been thinking of maybe cashing in some SkyMiles to try out Virgin's Premium Economy product. It looks pretty good - the food definitely looks like an improvement from Economy.

    Looking forward to your next report!

    Matthew

      0
  • Comment 389948 by
    Razza_Pr 93 Comments

    Hello, Daniel00, and thank you for this FR.

    "A bit surprising, though, considering VS has departures from JFK at 18:30 and 19:01 - where are all the people?"
    -Perhaps they were connecting from a DL flight, or had checked in hours earlier to anticipate busy security lines.

    Nice catch of the brand new KU 77W!

    "The captain announced a flying time of 6h20m and a miserable load factor of 141/266 ".
    -I don't reckon that's too bad, especially on something like an A330 (of course it'd be a different story had it been on an A340). I'm sure with the premium rates they charge for passengers flying exclusively between the two cities, plus cargo carried, the flight still turned a profit.

    Thanks again for this FR, and I look forward to reading your coverage on the return trip :)

      0
  • Comment 390008 by
    eminere™ 223 Comments

    Good catch of the KU B77W!

    Are those airplane salt and pepper shakers?

      0
  • Comment 390010 by
    KL651 3365 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.
    Good service and nice seat, which is usual on VS.
    The appetizer could be more elaborate though.

      0
  • Comment 390028 by
    SKYTEAMCHC 4153 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this report. VS seems to be quite a good airline and the premium experience looks good with a vety nice meal and a lot of space. Too bad they don't fly from France !

      0

Login to post a comment.