We all love a bit of comfort in our lives and as we get older it’s always nice to turn left when boarding a plane. Recently we were lucky to have enough Virgin Miles to upgrade our flight to Atlanta to ‘Upper Class’. It was nice to travel ‘Upper Class’ for pleasure, having time to enjoy the facilities, food and drink rather than travelling for business when you often have to be on ‘best behaviour‘.
‘Upper Class’ is Virgin’s business class option but with a cooler more personal feel than the larger airlines. I have heard it referred to as a ‘Business Plus’ service, not first class but a touch above standard business class.
So if you have the opportunity to upgrade to business class or if you are planning a special holiday these are our:
7 Reasons To Fly Virgin Atlantic Upper Class
1. The Upper Class Wing, Heathrow
One of the worst things about flying is the stress at the airport. The check-in, the long security queues (shoes on or off, what is it this week?) hectic terminals and all that before you get anywhere near the plane. So it was great to bypass all that fuss.
On arriving at the the exclusive Upper Class Wing at Heathrow’s Terminal 3, you are greeted by name, bags collected from the car and bording cards ready. It was then a strenuous 20 yard walk to the private security channel. In less than 10 minutes from arriving at the airport we were in the clubhouse, a perfect start to any trip. I can’t remember the last time I was relaxed at Heathrow airport!
2. The Virgin Clubhouse
The Virgin Clubhouse is one of the things which is different to most other airlines. Although many business class lounges are quite nice they tend to be a bit corporate and characterless. The Virgin Clubhouse, with its lighting and colour schemes tend to feel a bit cooler. Also the service we had was excellent, this touch makes it feel better and more personal than a standard business class lounge. We were there for breakfast and the bacon sandwiches were excellent. (we had fruit too – honestly!)
3. The Upper Class Cabin
This is what you pay for, the space and the oasis of calm in your secluded pod. Put your feet up on the ottoman if you are on holiday and relaxing or use as an extra seat for a business discussion with a colleague if you’re unfortunate enough to be working. Overnight, you can get a good sleep on the flatbed seat and arrive relatively refreshed (if you stay away from the wine).
4. The Food
This was the first time we arrived at our destination and felt like we’ve had a ‘proper’ dinner. Comfortably full after a decent meal choice served on a good sized table set with linen and specially designed crockery, look at the little plane salt and pepper cellars. All this after the bacon sandwiches in the clubhouse too – just be careful not to put on too much excess baggage.
5. The Drinks And Bar
With drinks in the clubhouse, pre-dinner drinks, choice of wines, signature cocktails and champagne there is no shortage of alcohol during your flight. It’s great to get out of your seat and have a drink and chat at the bar. Obviously if you are going on holiday, relax and have a good time. But take care, you don’t want it all turning a bit “Wolf of Wall Street”.
6. The Entertainment System
A decent sized 10.4″ screen pulls out from the side of your suite. There was a good selection of movies, TV shows and music etc, this choice is available in all classes. What was good were the noise cancelling headphones making it easier to catch every word from the film which can be difficult with a set of standard headphones. The noise cancelling headphones are also very good at eliminating (ignoring) the noise and questions from partners or small children.
7. The Service
As mentioned, the service on the ground and in the air was excellent. It was not stuffy or awkward like many airlines but friendly, welcoming and professional. Not ‘in your face’ which can be a bit too much for us “Brits’ although there was always a member of staff near for when you did want something. It was nice to be greeted by name and have a chat at the bar, it was like being in a pub and not 35,000 feet over the Atlantic.
Summing up, we would definitely fly Virgin Upper Class again (when I’ve paid off the credit cards), we have recently travelled Virgin Economy. Although you don’t get the perks of ‘Upper’ the staff were equally as friendly.
What is your experience of Virgin Atlantic or do you have a different favourite airline you can recommend, please let us know.
Photographs courtesy of Mrs W as I was too busy enjoying myself to take any.