Before I begin, a little context to this report (which is my first ever so be kind!). The fam and I were heading to Vancouver to visit some relatives who live over on Vancouver Island, and also to visit Seattle and Whistler. The process of deciding which airline to choose was a difficult one, with my dad suggesting BA, which I refused as I think their long haul WT/WT+ products are very inferior. Then my dad realised he had enough VS air miles left over from previous trips for us to fly Upper Class for the round trip (through VS’s Miles Plus Money Scheme) so our 3 Z class tickets were confirmed.
A little before a week till departure I realised that if our BA shuttle flight from LBA to LHR in the morning was delayed or cancelled, then we would have a serious problem as the next BA departure was not till 3:45 (VS 95 departure time was 3:35) and our VS tickets were non refundable. So I persuaded my dad to rebook us on the BA 1343 leaving on the 2nd August at 3 45, and we would stay at the Park Inn Heathrow for the night.
So the 2nd of August finally arrived and after navigating an unusually busy LBA we boarded G-EUPR with a 10 minute delay due to the late arrival of the inbound aircraft
I won’t say much about this flight other than it was a short hop with the regular snack and bar service before early arrival into LHR at 16 46.
Not much to say about the park inn other than that the room was clean and the beds were comfy, as usual ;).
The next morning we woke up at around 9 am and had breakfast in the hotel, before catching the shuttle bus over to T3 for about 10 30. Arrived at the VS check in in Zone A and we turned to the right towards the UC counters which were all but deserted.
The check in agent wasn’t as friendly as she could have been (a minor issue) and interestingly she didn’t place upper class luggage labels on our bags (a bigger issue), maybe she had run out? She printed our souvenir boarding passes even though we already had mobile ones, which was good :).
Anyway we were directed to the elevator which took us up to the private security channel in the upper class wing.
Security was smooth and efficient as usual and soon we were on our way to the Clubhouse, VS’s pride and joy.
We arrived to find quite a packed Clubhouse yet we managed to get a nice seat in our usual spot by the window behind the bar (I say usual, but we’ve only actually been twice before!).
Managed to get some good spotting down from both our seat and from the roof garden.
A TG 744 to BKK pushing back (HS-TGB)
A DL 763 pushing back to SEA (N176DN)
All too soon the boarding call for VS95 was given and we bid the Clubhouse farewell and made our way down to gate 13 where G-VFAR (Molly) was waiting for us.
The first thing I could think was ‘Damn!’, the bird without AVOD would be our chariot for today. I was hoping to get VSUN with Vera On Demand, but I guess this was a first world problem, so i just hoped that the excellent crew would make up for this.
1st boarding call for families with small children and those needing special assistance was given, at which point a huge stampede of non of the above rushed to the gate door. Not much was done by the VS staff to stem this flow, but a quick flash of our UC boarding passes and the gate agent waved us through, just in front of the unwashed masses (just kidding!).
We were the first people into the cabin, and after turning left a friendly Chinese FA showed us to our seats 2, 3 and 4 K.
Upon reaching the seat I was told by the FA that my screen was not working, but that this would not matter as we would be given preloaded tablets for today’s flight.
We were handed our champagne almost immediately and settled in for what was to be a good flight. The captain came on 20 minutes before departure and informed us that 'today we have a full flight in all cabins, so not much room to stretch out, but I have a nice big seat!’, which made most passengers chuckle. Our routing today was to be up over Iceland and Greenland on a northerly path before dropping down and approaching Vancouver from the East. Safety video was played (which I couldn’t see!) and we pushed back for departure from RWY 27R.
After a long takeoff hot towels were given out along with the aforementioned tablets, followed by an announcement to the Upper Class cabin which described the features of the suite. (I later overheard 2 FAs saying that the announcement had accidentally been broadcast to the whole plane and that the PE and Y pax would now be expecting a lot. Oops!)
After watching Anchorman 2 lunch was served, and I chose the beef fillet, which was excellent (Sorry, no pic of the food!). Then i had the sticky toffee pudding which was also delicious.
Love these little guys, which (with the permission of not 1, but 2 FAs) somehow mysteriously fell into my bag!
For much of the flight I had my seat flipped into the bed position (which is softer than I remember) and I used pillows to prop myself up against the wall, which was actually very comfortable!
I also chose to stretch my legs for a while and did a circuit of the plane, depicted here is the economy class section, which was full to bursting.
Just a quick comment, I have never had a team of cabin crew that was almost entirely male! Literally in the UC cabin there was only one female FA, which i found interesting. Also I did wonder why VS had deployed one of the Mandarin speaking FAs on this YVR flight, as these cabin crew normally work the Far East flights, but then I noticed that the couple across from me in 1D and 2D spoke only Mandarin! Kudos to VS for this, talk about customer service!
Just a quick pic of the bar, which was manned for most of the flight, yet not many people used it.
All too soon afternoon tea was served on these cute little cake stands, and I opted for scones and a small vanilla rose cake, which were all delicious.
Soon enough, it was announced that we would begin our descent shortly, which took us down over the beautiful mountains of British Columbia, which many of the FAs were interested in and talking to us about!
We made our approach just south of downtown Vancouver (which gave us some excellent views) and made a soft landing on runway 26R, followed by a short Taxi over to gate 64, where priority disembarkation took place.
Overall this was an excellent flight, complimented by the wonderful, attentive cabin crew, the great food and friendly service. I think VS’s hard and soft products go hand in hand in providing the optimum passenger experience! Can’t wait to fly the return leg!
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