After publishing quite a few flight reports in French, I'm back here with my first one in English, although I did not actually fly 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 here !
Miami International - London Heathrow / VS006 / Boeing 747-400 [You're here !]
Here is the return flight :
Although MIA has some good transport links, i.e. the MIA mover to Miami Central Station with connections to TriRail and Metrorail, there is only a bus to Miami Beach which takes quite a long time, so he took a taxi to the airport.
The taxi drops you off right outside the Virgin Atlantic check-in and it is only a short walk to the desks. There wasn't a queue so he walked strqight up to the helpful staff.
Strangely, the suitcases didn't get taken away on the belt, instead you have to take your suitcase to another person round the corner. It was advised that if you wanted to buy any duty free or do some shopping and have something to eat that you should do this before passing through security as there are very few shops and places to eat after (Concourse F). Security was pretty quick as there weren't many flights from this Concourse.
As you can see this is the airside departure area. Lots of seats but not very much to do. Boarding proceded the standard way with priority passengers and upper class, followed then by those people in economy seated upstairs. Passengers were welcomed onboard and he took his seat upstairs in the small economy cabin, which has a little bit more room at the sides.
The seat pitch looks pretty tight, but my friend is quite tall so it is no different that what he experienced on other airlines.
A blanket, bad quality headphones, a pillow and a amenity kit where provided. The kit is rather extensive with a mask, socks, a toothbrsh and toothpaste, earplugs and a pen. This kit wasn't provided on the inbound flight from LHR as it wasn't a red eye.
Take off was on time after a short taxi to the runway. It provided a nice view of Miami at night
Just after take off, cabin crew passed through the cabin a pre meal snack and beverage. The wine wasn't too bad. They also handed out a printed menu.
He had the vegetarian option (which strangely wasn't provided on the outbound flight), which included no cheese and crackers :( and no Gü dessert.
Although he did ask if there were any Gü desserts available, but it turned out to be non-vegetarian so I got to eat it on his return.
The film selection was the same as on the outbound flight so he went straight to sleep after the meal and woke up to this view.
Breakfast was provided about 1.5-2 hours before landing. the honey granola wa quite nice.
Coming into London Heathrow, he got a good view of the city, inlcuding a view of Canary Warf and the Millenium Dome, the Shard, the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament.
Although views of the aircraft were non-existant in Miami he caught a glimpse of the 747 at Heathrow with the registration G-VWOW.
Miami - MIA
London - LHR
Overall the Virgin experience was pretty good, as expected. He would definitely fly Virgin again.
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