Ire2008 From Ireland, joined Mar 2008, 115 posts, RR: 0 Posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 6376 times:
Hi everyone, this is my first trip report so I dont know the "rules" fully so dont kill me! So finished the Leaving Cert need a holiday a friend agreed to come. Always wanted to go to LA and needed to see a potential college in Melbourne FL, so went to Orlando. I have been to Orlando back in 2005, did all the theme parks etc, so will concentrate on LA!!
EI162: DUB-LHR A321
24th June 2009: Our flight on Aer Lingus to London was @ 11.20 so I caught the aircoach to the airport. Our flight from London was @ 15.20, the afternoon flight with VS. We originally got the morning flight but something got mied up in the travel agent and so ended up with this. It was much better, I didnt have to get up so early! I dont have any pi of EI flight sorry!
Anyway arrived @ 9.20am at the airport Area 14. I like this check in area, it big and easy to get thru. There was a along line to check in, so just used the self service. I did something wrong so a really helpful young lady helped us to check in. Between us we checked 3 bags, 2 ffor me and 1 for my friend She was all smiling and seemed like she liked working there. Good start. Cheked in, in a few mins. Off to security. Long line, but moved really fast so breeze! Now we went to the new Pier A extension. Its really nice and airy! We grabbed a strbucks - note Starbucks cards dont work here!! Soon our flight was getting ready to board. I think because EI took one of the flights to LHR away, they are busier, ours was toally full. No over head locker space left. One guy boarding the flight was friendly, but the girl wasnt! She just wanted everyone on and not a single smile. Tons of carry on luggage on this flight as seems the norm on EI now, with added baggage charges!
So anyway took off 5mins late, no biggy - Smooth normal flight friendly enough crew. But when the BOB service started the went by fast and didnt have a chance to buy something. Later on then they walked by and I got the hot cheese and ham pannini, I didnt like it and was very small for €5! Anyway soon started decsending into LHR, bit of a hold normal for LHR so its cool. Went straight to T1 where EI's home is @ LHR.
VS23: LHR-LAX A346
We transfered to T3, which the walk is long and thru samll metel tunnels, very old, T5 is so much nicer! Anyway we had checked in the day before online on Virgin's website. We were in Premium Ec so wanted 2 seats together, as the layout on the A346 is 2-3-2. As we went to the premium Ec counter there was 1 person in front of so cool. But as for the ecomy lines they were all long. Anyway the friendly lady asked for the baggage recipts, Oh no I had lost 1, no wait I was only given 2, so anyway she was clicking away and said she had to go off, came back 5 mins later, and said was worth the wait, UPGRADE, very good to Upper Class. But my bag might be lost, altho it is tagged so prob not. Who cares, no lounge, but oesnt matter. Anyway went straight to the gate, long 15min walk. Small line at security as what I have found in LHR T3 before. Pre boarding was announced so went for that, for the first time in my life. I was seated in 1D, first seat on the A346 on VS. I settled into my seat and so did other people around me. Its really comfortable. Upper ended up being mostly full. Altho I suspect from upgrades too, as the whole plane was totally full except for 2 seats in Upper! An FA called Katie introduced herself and asked was it our first time in Uper class, I said yes so she showed me how the suite works, she was very friendly and full of smiles. She then said if there is anything else just let me know. We were offered the usual re take off drink, I ordered OJ, brought straight away. About 40mins later or so we started taxiing. Not a big queue and took off. We climbed sloq enough, A346 so the usual! They then took dinner orders. Choices were: Appetisers: Pea and Fennel Soup or Smoked salmon Salad - I had the salmon, it was really nice. Entrées: Chicken in a mustard glaze, Steak and mushroom pie or a rissotto - I had the chicken, was really good, an really moist. We were offered several differnet types of bread, I took the cheese bread, it was ok. I was too full so I ordered dessert later. Raspberry roulade or Cheesecake - I had the cheesecake was realy good. Different snaks were available throughout the flight, I ordered a veg wrap, was awful, it was tastless, so ordered pasta, was nice, also avial was cottage pie. I also got coffee served with liley o brien chocolates. Later in the flight I got afternoon tea with chedder and goosberry chutney sandwiches - abit dr but nice. And then a sultana scone with clotted cream and jam - AMAZING!! it was warm too, the scone. Regular refills of any drink thoughout also. Oh ye forgot, just after take off drinks and cheese twists were offered. It is clear on VS that even in the Upper cabin things are packaged and just put on plates, it seems a bit manufactured! So anyway flight was totally smooth a few bumps thats it. Landed in LAX a bit early, was first off so barely any line, thru really fast and off to our hotel. The whole experience was relaxing!
After an amazing 8 days in LA it was time to go to Orlando. 2nd of July 2009.
We had a flight @ 2.24pm Flight 594 to IAH and then 1486 to MCO. Both flights perfectly on time and average staff. Altho on the first flight they forgot to serve us drinks so had to cll for 1, no biggy. We were served a salad and a small hot dog - turkey, was ok. Nice to get something!! So was a bit bumpy for like 15mins then was calm. Landed on time and then walked about 50ft or so to the net gate was literlaly across from ours!! Easiest connection ive ever made! So on the net flight the staff were really friendly joking with the passengers, mostly leisure pax, so. But still professional. They served 2 packets of pretzels and drinks, they were ok. Landed just after midnite. Empty terminal, grabbed a tai to the hotel, checke din went asleep. Had 6 days in Orlando and went shopping and lay in the sun and went to the college on the greyhound bus, never i repeat never take 1, they are so broken and smell bad and have wierd people on them, like dirty people who havent washe din years and some women who was waving at the kennedy space center and looking at her hand! An then kept moving seats. Dont go on 1, Bus Eireann any day!
VS28: 8th july 2009 MCO-LGW
We checked in online the day before and went to the airport a few hours before the flight. We were in economy but paid to upgrade to Prem Ec, got a seat on the upper deck, its so much quieter, altho they were the old seats so not the most comfortable, but yu can stretch out a bit more. Drinks were offered I got OJ again, FA's were friendly. Menus were handed out Starter was a small ceaser salad and I got Beef for the main which was nice with garlic mashed poatoes. Friend had an asian chicken thing with basmati rice, he said it was awful!
Desert was a vanilla songe cake thing, was nice, then served with awful coffee. FA said I know its awful! Well what I would say Prem Ec meal is basically the Ec meal but served on china. Portions are tiny and the water glass are like shot glasses they are so small seriously! Flight passed fast enough, soon was dark, was a bit bbumpy but nothing major. Interestly the captain left off fasten seatbelt sign for the whole flight even tho it got a bit bumpy for a while. We got a warm egg and ham muffin and granola bar and OJ for breakfast, very average, and just kinda thrown at you. For me it wasnt worht upgrading for, I would never do it again! I know the new seats might be better but its just not really worth it.. Oh ye hot towels were offered when we got on and before landing! Nice touch.
So then average flight home with EI an A320, I fell asleep for most of it, was tired, again totally full and some mix up of seats which delayed us for 20mins. Arrived jsut a small bit late, parked at Pier D, after a 60mile walk arrived at the terminal, immigration waved everyone thru didnt even bother looking at passports, just a steady stream of people walking thru, so much for any security! Thanks for reading pictures to follow sorry to lazy to upload them now, should do by tomorrow. Any comments or q's welcome!
Shamrock350 From Ireland, joined Mar 2005, 6099 posts, RR: 15 Reply 2, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 4961 times:
Nice report and picture.
VS Upper Class sounds like a good product, the meals look very tasty. Shame about the Premium Economy product though, seems a bit sloppy and those seats aren't particularly nice, the newer leather seats are far nicer.
Thomsonfly From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 229 posts, RR: 5 Reply 5, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3971 times:
Quoting OA260 (Reply 3): Nice pics, didn't realize VS still had those old style Prem Y seats. I guess its just on the Boeings they have them as I believe the Airbus have the new leather ones.
It's only the LGW B744 fleet which still have these seats (all LHR flights have the new PE Seat), and although still comfortable, the refresh of the LGW fleet will be a welcome step forward.
The J product is very competitive for a business cabin, I've flown in J on VS four times to date and fails to disappoint. As for W I found the previous menu cycle better than the current, though food changes regularly so look forward again to the next rotation. The success of W lies on the crew(s) service over and above Y, and i often this is the case with the dedicated crew positioned in the cabin. I feel the seat alone is worth paying the upgrade for, even if done on board via space available as it beats Y in the middle, especially on the Boeing regardless of base operated, though obviously LHR 'purple' cabins would be an advantage over the older style. Not forgetting though more and more recently LHR based refitted aircraft are operating key routes from LGW such as UVF and BGI.
All in all VS have a very good product, and extremely competitive prices during the current climate. As for food portions being 'small', I actually find them standard giving that all airlines are reducing costs as are food suppliers. Feedback regarding food satisfaction still remains strong throughout the route network according to recent results. Can't please every single passenger on board though!
Sorry you had to learn the hard way. Buses here are a disgusting disgrace and always unpleasant to ride. I once had to ride a Greyhound from Portland, OR to Vancouver, BC to catch a flight in YVR. What would be a five hour drive by car, took us eight and a half hours by bus and the bus was disgusting, uncomfortable, and tight, not to mention full of weirdos like you said, and had to sit right next to the lavatory. almost threw up halfway to Seattle!
Anyways, great TR. I love VS and envy your luck on your upgrade to Upper Class! I would assume paying extra for LHR-based Premium Economy is worth it, unlike the LGW 744's, but that's just my opnion.