Flying in the Face of Ordinary. Only until you board the plane, then it all goes down hill.

Virgin flightUpper Class Virgin

I have been flying Virgin Atlantic Upper Class for over ten years now, and if you have also been flying them over the same period of time you will have seen the extreme cost cutting that has taken place over the years. As well as a growing percentage of frustrated lazy staff who resent doing their jobs. I always say to my husband it is a lottery when you board the Virgin flight as to whether the service will be ok or not. The best thing about Virgin Upper Class is the arrival at Heathrow airport and the lounges. Once you board the plane it all goes down hill 😦

Let me explain in more detail. Virgin has a drive through wing at Heathrow airport dedicated to the Upper-Class passengers. It used to only be offered to the Flexible ticket holders with the booked chauffeurs, but over the last couple of years it is now offered  to all Upper-Class passengers as long as you book 12 hours in advance.

It’s a great way to arrive at the airport avoiding the hustle and bustle that you would normally encounter while checking in. As you pull up to the entrance you are greeted by a Virgin Representative welcoming you to the airport. The porters for Virgin then take your bags off you as long as you get them out of the car yourself. It’s never a full service with Virgin LOL. Once you have your tickets you are escorted through the Virgin only security screening. Sadly, Virgin can’t control BAA, so it always works smoothly until I go through security. Where the BAA staff go above and beyond their job description to make my life hell (another blog for another time).

Then once through security you make your way to the Upper-Class lounge, it’s probably one of the best lounges within Heathrow airport although they have recently taken away the wonderful library and added more tables and chairs — which is a shame. This is because they have merged with Delta airlines and are busier now.

With regards to the food and drink, they have an a la carte menu that you can order off. So it’s not your typical buffet that has been sitting there for hours looking dry like in most lounges. Although they do have a fish and salad bar. The favourite for many is the Burger and chips. They have also more recently started including better vegetarian options as it used to be horrendous, just a curry or salad in the past. I don’t know why they don’t offer a vegetarian burger to go with a beef burger which would be so simple. They have two different types of Champagne, one unbranded and  Lanson’s, neither are that great both a little bitter, lots of cocktails if you like them and average wine — nothing better.

They used to have a great selection of magazines, now there is mainly newspapers, CNN traveler, Lonely Planet and Hello magazine. That’s a big thing for me, I hate airlines being tight with the small things like magazines and toiletry bags. The lounge also has a Spa that used to offer complimentary haircuts and treatments for many years, but cut backs have been made so you must pay now as a lady for a haircut and for most treatments. Men don’t have to pay though, so it gives you an idea of their target market.   I do like the revival lounge at Heathrow airport though when you land from your night flight on your return journey. If you want to sleep onboard and not be disturbed. You can pop in to the lounge on arrival for breakfast and to get your clothes pressed before you leave to go home or to go to work. It is only opened until 1.30pm though.

Virgin

Once you board the plane this is where the experience ends in my opinion. It used to be a lot better. A larger bed, which has got smaller so when the crew or passengers pass you throughout the flight they knock your feet constantly which is a pain when trying to sleep. They used to offer spa treatments onboard the plane which was great. The hostesses used to come around with a basket of cowshed products, mints, Virgin metal pens,  as well as a nice toiletry bag and pyjamas. It was the smaller things that created the great experience and why you paid the money for Upper Class.

Now on the new Virgin Atlantic flights it is always very hit and miss. The crew are sometimes good, but often they seem to have an attitude problem resenting to serve and to look after their customers. The champagne also quite often runs out after take-off and then you are offered prosecco. Especially on Dubai flights.

The toiletry bag you get given is a joke with a cheap plastic pen and toothbrush, eye Toiletry bag virfin
blind, unknown lip balm and a cream. I don’t even bother to take it with me when I leave the plane as it is so cheap. The only thing they still offer are the pyjamas. I’m sure they will go soon.

There is never any staff members stationed at the bar as on Emirates, so if you want a drink and approach the bar as it has been half an hour since take off and there has been no sign of a hostess, you are generally made to feel uncomfortable as they don’t want to be disturbed  while doing their service. What’s the point of the bar if no one is there!!

Another big problem with the Upper-Class section is that you must share toilets with Premium Economy passengers. Which for me is a big No No when you are paying three or four times the price for your ticket. Also in Premium Economy there are double the Virgin tamount of passengers, this is not acceptable. I’m not being snobby, but surely that’s what you are  paying for exclusivity. I don’t want to see Premium Economy passengers, let alone wait for them to use the bathroom. If anything, Economy and Premium should be sharing bathrooms.

Also, very often on the New York, LA and Dubai flights about 30% to 40% of the Upper-Class passengers are Virgin staff, so instead of serving the paying customers they are chatting to their colleagues by the bar. It irritates me because the staff don’t need any further excuse not to do their job and when it is mainly crew onboard they just give up and don’t care.

Virgin seem to be making bigger efforts now with the Premium Economy passengers. They need to remember though that Upper-Class represent up to 75% of most airlines profits. So if they want to keep customers, they need to treat customers better or they will start losing money. If they don’t want to guarantee a good service, then they need to be more like Emirates independent luxury (see my Emirates blog). Otherwise it may be Virgin’s downfall in the future.

Overall: is Virgin’s Upper Class worth the money? Only if you are happy to enjoy the arrival wing and the lounges and once onboard accept little or no service, as well as sharing toilets with Premium Economy.

Do you like Virgin Atlantic Upper Class? Do you agree with some of what I say? I would welcome any comments that you may have. Please forward the blog to anyone that could relate to this.

Thanks : )

Virgin flightUpper Class Virgin

I have been flying Virgin Atlantic Upper Class for over ten years now, and if you have also been flying them over the same period of time you will have seen the extreme cost cutting that has taken place over the years. As well as a growing percentage of frustrated lazy staff who resent doing their jobs. I always say to my husband it is a lottery when you board the Virgin flight as to whether the service will be ok or not. The best thing about Virgin Upper Class is the arrival at Heathrow airport and the lounges. Once you board the plane it all goes down hill 😦

Let me explain in more detail. Virgin has a drive through wing at Heathrow airport dedicated to the Upper-Class passengers. It used to only be offered to the Flexible ticket holders with the booked chauffeurs, but over the last couple of years it is now offered  to all Upper-Class passengers as long as you book 12 hours in advance.

It’s a great way to arrive at the airport avoiding the hustle and bustle that you would normally encounter while checking in. As you pull up to the entrance you are greeted by a Virgin Representative welcoming you to the airport. The porters for Virgin then take your bags off you as long as you get them out of the car yourself. It’s never a full service with Virgin LOL. Once you have your tickets you are escorted through the Virgin only security screening. Sadly, Virgin can’t control BAA, so it always works smoothly until I go through security. Where the BAA staff go above and beyond their job description to make my life hell (another blog for another time).

Then once through security you make your way to the Upper-Class lounge, it’s probably one of the best lounges within Heathrow airport although they have recently taken away the wonderful library and added more tables and chairs — which is a shame. This is because they have merged with Delta airlines and are busier now.

With regards to the food and drink, they have an a la carte menu that you can order off. So it’s not your typical buffet that has been sitting there for hours looking dry like in most lounges. Although they do have a fish and salad bar. The favourite for many is the Burger and chips. They have also more recently started including better vegetarian options as it used to be horrendous, just a curry or salad in the past. I don’t know why they don’t offer a vegetarian burger to go with a beef burger which would be so simple. They have two different types of Champagne, one unbranded and  Lanson’s, neither are that great both a little bitter, lots of cocktails if you like them and average wine — nothing better.

They used to have a great selection of magazines, now there is mainly newspapers, CNN traveler, Lonely Planet and Hello magazine. That’s a big thing for me, I hate airlines being tight with the small things like magazines and toiletry bags. The lounge also has a Spa that used to offer complimentary haircuts and treatments for many years, but cut backs have been made so you must pay now as a lady for a haircut and for most treatments. Men don’t have to pay though, so it gives you an idea of their target market.   I do like the revival lounge at Heathrow airport though when you land from your night flight on your return journey. If you want to sleep onboard and not be disturbed. You can pop in to the lounge on arrival for breakfast and to get your clothes pressed before you leave to go home or to go to work. It is only opened until 1.30pm though.

Virgin

Once you board the plane this is where the experience ends in my opinion. It used to be a lot better. A larger bed, which has got smaller so when the crew or passengers pass you throughout the flight they knock your feet constantly which is a pain when trying to sleep. They used to offer spa treatments onboard the plane which was great. The hostesses used to come around with a basket of cowshed products, mints, Virgin metal pens,  as well as a nice toiletry bag and pyjamas. It was the smaller things that created the great experience and why you paid the money for Upper Class.

Now on the new Virgin Atlantic flights it is always very hit and miss. The crew are sometimes good, but often they seem to have an attitude problem resenting to serve and to look after their customers. The champagne also quite often runs out after take-off and then you are offered prosecco. Especially on Dubai flights.

The toiletry bag you get given is a joke with a cheap plastic pen and toothbrush, eye Toiletry bag virfin
blind, unknown lip balm and a cream. I don’t even bother to take it with me when I leave the plane as it is so cheap. The only thing they still offer are the pyjamas. I’m sure they will go soon.

There is never any staff members stationed at the bar as on Emirates, so if you want a drink and approach the bar as it has been half an hour since take off and there has been no sign of a hostess, you are generally made to feel uncomfortable as they don’t want to be disturbed  while doing their service. What’s the point of the bar if no one is there!!

Another big problem with the Upper-Class section is that you must share toilets with Premium Economy passengers. Which for me is a big No No when you are paying three or four times the price for your ticket. Also in Premium Economy there are double the Virgin tamount of passengers, this is not acceptable. I’m not being snobby, but surely that’s what you are  paying for exclusivity. I don’t want to see Premium Economy passengers, let alone wait for them to use the bathroom. If anything, Economy and Premium should be sharing bathrooms.

Also, very often on the New York, LA and Dubai flights about 30% to 40% of the Upper-Class passengers are Virgin staff, so instead of serving the paying customers they are chatting to their colleagues by the bar. It irritates me because the staff don’t need any further excuse not to do their job and when it is mainly crew onboard they just give up and don’t care.

Virgin seem to be making bigger efforts now with the Premium Economy passengers. They need to remember though that Upper-Class represent up to 75% of most airlines profits. So if they want to keep customers, they need to treat customers better or they will start losing money. If they don’t want to guarantee a good service, then they need to be more like Emirates independent luxury (see my Emirates blog). Otherwise it may be Virgin’s downfall in the future.

Overall: is Virgin’s Upper Class worth the money? Only if you are happy to enjoy the arrival wing and the lounges and once onboard accept little or no service, as well as sharing toilets with Premium Economy.

Do you like Virgin Atlantic Upper Class? Do you agree with some of what I say? I would welcome any comments that you may have. Please forward the blog to anyone that could relate to this.

Thanks : )

Virgin flightUpper Class Virgin

I have been flying Virgin Atlantic Upper Class for over ten years now, and if you have also been flying them over the same period of time you will have seen the extreme cost cutting that has taken place over the years. As well as a growing percentage of frustrated lazy staff who resent doing their jobs. I always say to my husband it is a lottery when you board the Virgin flight as to whether the service will be ok or not. The best thing about Virgin Upper Class is the arrival at Heathrow airport and the lounges. Once you board the plane it all goes down hill 😦

Let me explain in more detail. Virgin has a drive through wing at Heathrow airport dedicated to the Upper-Class passengers. It used to only be offered to the Flexible ticket holders with the booked chauffeurs, but over the last couple of years it is now offered  to all Upper-Class passengers as long as you book 12 hours in advance.

It’s a great way to arrive at the airport avoiding the hustle and bustle that you would normally encounter while checking in. As you pull up to the entrance you are greeted by a Virgin Representative welcoming you to the airport. The porters for Virgin then take your bags off you as long as you get them out of the car yourself. It’s never a full service with Virgin LOL. Once you have your tickets you are escorted through the Virgin only security screening. Sadly, Virgin can’t control BAA, so it always works smoothly until I go through security. Where the BAA staff go above and beyond their job description to make my life hell (another blog for another time).

Then once through security you make your way to the Upper-Class lounge, it’s probably one of the best lounges within Heathrow airport although they have recently taken away the wonderful library and added more tables and chairs — which is a shame. This is because they have merged with Delta airlines and are busier now.

With regards to the food and drink, they have an a la carte menu that you can order off. So it’s not your typical buffet that has been sitting there for hours looking dry like in most lounges. Although they do have a fish and salad bar. The favourite for many is the Burger and chips. They have also more recently started including better vegetarian options as it used to be horrendous, just a curry or salad in the past. I don’t know why they don’t offer a vegetarian burger to go with a beef burger which would be so simple. They have two different types of Champagne, one unbranded and  Lanson’s, neither are that great both a little bitter, lots of cocktails if you like them and average wine — nothing better.

They used to have a great selection of magazines, now there is mainly newspapers, CNN traveler, Lonely Planet and Hello magazine. That’s a big thing for me, I hate airlines being tight with the small things like magazines and toiletry bags. The lounge also has a Spa that used to offer complimentary haircuts and treatments for many years, but cut backs have been made so you must pay now as a lady for a haircut and for most treatments. Men don’t have to pay though, so it gives you an idea of their target market.   I do like the revival lounge at Heathrow airport though when you land from your night flight on your return journey. If you want to sleep onboard and not be disturbed. You can pop in to the lounge on arrival for breakfast and to get your clothes pressed before you leave to go home or to go to work. It is only opened until 1.30pm though.

Virgin

Once you board the plane this is where the experience ends in my opinion. It used to be a lot better. A larger bed, which has got smaller so when the crew or passengers pass you throughout the flight they knock your feet constantly which is a pain when trying to sleep. They used to offer spa treatments onboard the plane which was great. The hostesses used to come around with a basket of cowshed products, mints, Virgin metal pens,  as well as a nice toiletry bag and pyjamas. It was the smaller things that created the great experience and why you paid the money for Upper Class.

Now on the new Virgin Atlantic flights it is always very hit and miss. The crew are sometimes good, but often they seem to have an attitude problem resenting to serve and to look after their customers. The champagne also quite often runs out after take-off and then you are offered prosecco. Especially on Dubai flights.

The toiletry bag you get given is a joke with a cheap plastic pen and toothbrush, ey

Toiletry bag virfine
blind, unknown lip balm and a cream. I don’t even bother to take it with me when I leave the plane as it is so cheap. The only thing they still offer are the pyjamas. I’m sure they will go soon.

There is never any staff members stationed at the bar as on Emirates, so if you want a drink and approach the bar as it has been half an hour since take off and there has been no sign of a hostess, you are generally made to feel uncomfortable as they don’t want to be disturbed  while doing their service. What’s the point of the bar if no one is there!!

Another big problem with the Upper-Class section is that you must share toilets with Premium Economy passengers. Which for me is a big No No when you are paying three or four times the price for your ticket. Also in Premium Economy there are double the Virgin tamount of passengers, this is not acceptable. I’m not being snobby, but surely that’s what you are  paying for exclusivity. I don’t want to see Premium Economy passengers, let alone wait for them to use the bathroom. If anything, Economy and Premium should be sharing bathrooms.

Also, very often on the New York, LA and Dubai flights about 30% to 40% of the Upper-Class passengers are Virgin staff, so instead of serving the paying customers they are chatting to their colleagues by the bar. It irritates me because the staff don’t need any further excuse not to do their job and when it is mainly crew onboard they just give up and don’t care.

Virgin seem to be making bigger efforts now with the Premium Economy passengers. They need to remember though that Upper-Class represent up to 75% of most airlines profits. So if they want to keep customers, they need to treat customers better or they will start losing money. If they don’t want to guarantee a good service, then they need to be more like Emirates independent luxury (see my Emirates blog). Otherwise it may be Virgin’s downfall in the future.

Overall: is Virgin’s Upper Class worth the money? Only if you are happy to enjoy the arrival wing and the lounges and once onboard accept little or no service, as well as sharing toilets with Premium Economy.

Do you like Virgin Atlantic Upper Class? Do you agree with some of what I say? I would welcome any comments that you may have. Please forward the blog to anyone that could relate to this.

Thanks : )

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