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.
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.
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.
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?