After publishing quite a few flight reports in French, I'm back here with my first one in English, although I did not actually flew myself, but I managed to convince a friend of mine to take a few pictures of his flight on Virgin Atlantic, as I know it is not a highy reported airline, and that I probably won't have the opportunity to fly with them because it is mainly aimed at the UK market.
Moreover, my friend managed to grab a seat in the very small Economy cabin of the upper deck. It is interesting to note that VS does not charge for seats upstairs, although to be able to book your seat in advance you might preferably want to join Virgin's frequent flyer programme to be able to do so 3 days before the flight.
The routing is as simple as it can be :
London Heathrow - Miami International / VS005 / Boeing 747-400 [YOU ARE HERE]
Miami International - London Heathrow / VS006 / Boeing 747-400 [Maybe later !]
Virgin Atlantic's hub is situated at Heathrow Terminal 3 (Domestic operations are handled at Terminal 2, but not for long anymore…), which can be quite busy. The flight was supposed to leave at 12:35 but a quick check on flighradar24 revealed that the flight was already rescheduled at 12:45, as was the flight on the next day…
The screens show quite a busy mid day activity at T3
The boarding gate did not enable a view on the aircraft, however modern technology informed us that it was operated by G-VFAB (what a lovely registration), the oldest 747 in Virgin Atlantic's fleet, which was delivered in April 1994, and was baptised Lady Penelope. It has a special paint but still wears the old Virgin title on the fuselage.
He're a link to the picture so I don't get in trouble : Here
Boarding was announced shortly after he arrived, as Upper deck passengers were invited to go first. However the boarding procedure was probably a bit chaotic as it took a while before it was completed.
The seat pitch looks awful, but maybe the fact that my friend is quite tall does not help. You can see a nice feature of the upper deck is the extra space you get under the windows to stow your things. A red blanket was provided on the seat.
A brother can be seen on the next gate, as well as the iconic control tower.
A peak at the cabin, with very few rows of economy as Upper Class takes the first half of the upper deck.
The safety card, and the in flight magazine which apparently did not contain any details on the fleet or network. Scandalous.
After boarding complete, the aircraft was pushed back and the epic safety demonstrations video shown on the screen. The size looks alright even though it is not of the latest generation. The cabin was not full so with a couple of empty rows, so in the end almost everyone had an empty seat next to him. Nice to have some extra space.
After a long taxi, the plane took off at 13:11, so with a 35 minutes delay to the initial departure time.
Beverage service started soon afterwards, with a Gin and Tonic and a bag of Pretzels
Followed by the meal. Here you can admire the vegetarian option that you can ask for on line.
Comments about the meal : The food was good, although the tray didn't come first, which usually happens when you order a special meal on other airlines. Singapore Airlines was better (Haha you bet)
Before arrival, a snack was served, here the veggie option is a wrap, however I don't know what the regular choice was.
The airplane landed at Miami at 17:07, so relatively on schedule. However the US immigration was a disaster, with a waiting time of around 1:45…
London - LHR
Miami - MIA
Cabin : A plus to be seated on the upper deck, with extra space and an extra seat Crew : The crew was very friendly Catering : No problem IFE : The content was alright, but the screen perhaps a bit old as it was a bit hard to see the screen sometimes. Punctuality : No problem
Thank you for reading, I'll see you later with the return flight :)
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