Travel Advice

Flight Review And Tips Of Virgin Atlantic Economy Class

Last March we were fortunate enough to fly to the USA with Virgin Atlantic Upper Class. However in this review, of our flight to Orlando in June this year, we would be turning right and NOT left on boarding the plane avoiding the mystical airline world beyond the curtain.

After using budget airlines around Europe you do forget that flying Economy with Virgin or one of the other transatlantic airlines is not as basic as flying with a budget airline. Budget airlines are often, what I call, ‘sardine class’ where the plane barely stops moving for you to disembark and you’re £20 lighter because you foolishly indulged in a cup of coffee and a KitKat.

On this journey to Orlando, we were impressed with the Virgin Atlantic Economy Class service, and although not flying Upper, the staff and customer service remained very attentive.

To accompany the short video above here are some hints and tips that will make flying economy class even better and help get your trip off to a relaxing start.

Book A Lounge At The Airport

A lounge such as the Number 1 lounge at Gatwick and Heathrow will give you snacks, drinks (including alcohol) and a relaxing environment to stretch out in for a charge. Well worth the cost to get away from the hustle and bustle of the airport. We found that with access to the Number 1 lounge at Gatwick, we also got fast track security which was very useful too.

Number 1 Lounge

Book Exit Row Seats

If you have the budget, it is worth booking the exit row seats so you can really stretch out. After all, you are going to be sitting down for 9 hours so the more space the better. Unfortunately on Virgin Atlantic, exit row seats are only available to passengers 16 years and older and there is a small charge for these seats, but it is so worth it in our opinion.

Virgin Exit Row Seats

Get Seats Upstairs

If you are flying on a Boeing 747 but can’t get the exit row you could always try the seats upstairs in the ‘bubble’. This area tends to be quieter as it is relatively small also the service is quick too. Virgin are however in the process of phasing out the 747 in favour of the new Dreamliner 787.

Take Noise Cancelling Headphones

Whilst the headphones that Virgin Atlantic give you for the duration of the journey are perfectly fine, due to the aircraft noise, we recommend taking your own noise cancelling headphones to use with your Ipod/Tablet/Entertainment system on the plane.
Headphones

Take Comfortable Clothes

Mrs W recommends dressing in layers as the air conditioning on the plane can be very cold. If you do feel the cold, take a cardigan, jumper or hoody, and warm socks or slipper socks, which you can pop on whilst on board. Some people like to take an eye mask especially on a night flight and ear plugs too. On Virgin Upper Class you get an amenity kit which includes warm socks, a sleep suit, toothbrush and toothpaste so why not emulate the Upper Class pack? Anything that makes your journey more comfortable is an excellent idea.

Consider Taking A Tablet Or Ipod

On short haul flights this will keep you occupied and on long haul flights this can be a back up if you don’t like the films and TV on the plane, or if the entertainment system on board fails. So download your favourite films, games or music before you go to help with the boredom.

So these are some of our tips on flying Economy class. Do you have any tips to share?

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15 Comments

  • Reply
    Leigh at Fashion Du Jour | LDN
    June 15, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    These fab tips make flying economy much more like a premium experience – taking a note about the lounge and the exit seats/bubble STAT! I love flying with Virgin as I think their service across the board is stellar.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Leigh at Fashion Du Jour LDN HQ x

    • Reply
      Mr and Mrs W
      June 15, 2016 at 10:56 pm

      The bubble exit row seats are good and it is much quieter up there, the only disadvantage is that these seats are very slightly narrower as the tray tables are in the arm rests.

  • Reply
    Chelsea
    June 15, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    I am petrified of flying! Mixed reviews, one day I may be brave enough to experience this for myself!

    Chelseab2b2018@gmail.com

  • Reply
    Mr and Mrs W
    June 15, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    Mrs W doesn’t like flying but every little thing to make it more comfortable does relieve the stress.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    June 16, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    Great tips! I want to go abroad again!

  • Reply
    Lima
    June 16, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    Exit row seats are usually the best! I’ve never used Virgin for flying out, I usually get whats cheapest to fly out east. The food doesn’t look so bad either on Virgin!

    Lima
    X

    • Reply
      Mr and Mrs W
      June 20, 2016 at 1:32 pm

      They are great for that extra space. Food is pretty decent on Virgin economy, but much better on Upper 😉

  • Reply
    Gillian Brewster
    June 18, 2016 at 9:27 am

    Great and full review with some excellent tips.

    • Reply
      Mr and Mrs W
      June 20, 2016 at 1:32 pm

      Thanks Gillian!

  • Reply
    Kerry Norris
    July 1, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    These are all great tips. Especially the exit rows. I’d also say try not to sit anywhere near the kitchen as that is often noisy x

  • Reply
    Ella
    December 22, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Great review. I was feeling a bit guilty as we’ve just booked Exit Row seats in the bubble for next year, which was quite pricey, but it sounds like it will definitely be worth it!

    • Reply
      Mr and Mrs W
      December 22, 2016 at 7:57 pm

      It is usually quiet up there and also they tend to let you off the plane before the main cabin too.

  • Reply
    Maria Ruiz
    January 28, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    Thank you for the tip. I just reserved my seats for our holiday from Miami to London. The agent helping me said the left three A,B,C seats are better then the right H,I,J. Do you know how true this is. He suggested seats 49 row A,B,C and D. Coming back from England to Miami he suggested row 59 A,B,C and D. We are four traveling and would like to stay together. Two teenagers and two adults. Any tips would help. I asked about extra leg room and he mentioned three of the seats would have the extra leg room but the other would not. Thank you for your reply.

  • Reply
    Mr and Mrs W
    January 28, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    We were upstairs in the ‘bubble’ of the 747 both sides had plenty of room. As these were next to the emergency exits you have to above a certain age and physically fit. Also, you cannot use the TV sets in the arm-rests during take-off and landing.

    The best thing about the bubble is that it was much quieter than the main cabin.

    I am not sure if the layout of the plane is the same to Miami as Orlando as these can vary depending on the mix of passengers. The Orlando flight has less ‘upper class’ as there are generally fewer business customers on this route.

    Have you checked out https://www.seatguru.com it may be able to give you the exact plan your Miami flight.

    Hope you have a great time in London

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