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Exploring A Virgin: VS A343/A346 & Dubai Delights  
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6747 posts, RR: 77
Posted (3 years 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 32767 times:




Map generated by the Great Circle Mapper - copyright © Karl L. Swartz


Background
My girlfriend and I had been planning for a long time to spend a vacation in the United Arab Emirates again. Early this year we came to the conclusion that March would be a good time to go. We also decided to take my girlfriend's aunt with us - because she doesn't travel much and had always wanted to visit Dubai one day. She had already been expressing the wish to accompany us on such a trip for a long time.

Good beach hotels in Dubai are over-priced, so I suggested to spend two nights in a city hotel and five nights in a beach hotel in another emirate. After comparing countless hotels on various websites, we decided to stay at the Rose Rayhaan by Rotana at Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai - the world's tallest hotel - and the Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa. Now we needed to find suitable flights, preferably on a quality carrier. Qatar Airways - still missing in my log - offered low fares, but either departure/arrival times or transfer times weren't favorable at all. Swiss would have been another cheap option, but I had just flown on that carrier. Finally, I discovered an attractive combo offered on Expedia: London-Dubai-London on Virgin Atlantic Airways plus connecting flights on British Airways (MUC-LHR) and Lufthansa (LHR-MUC). I had always wanted to try Virgin Atlantic - and I would get the chance again to fly on the Airbus A340-600. My girlfriend also found that option quite interesting, so I quickly booked the flights. All four flights were on the same ticket (issued by Virgin Atlantic), so we didn't have to worry about possible delays or cancellations.

After we had received the reservation code, I went to Virgin's fancy website where I could conveniently select our seats on VS400 (LHR-DXB) and VS401 (DXB-LHR). In either case, I chose a window seat and an aisle seat in the rear section plus a window seat in the row behind. Some weeks later, while randomly checking the booking on Virgin's website, I suddenly discovered that there had been an equipment change on VS401: the A340-600 had been replaced by an A340-300. Of course I was quite happy about that because I would now also get the chance to try Virgin's A340-300. However, the seat reservation was gone - we suddenly had a middle seat and an aisle seat together plus an aisle seat in another section of the cabin. Only single window seats were still available, no more two-seaters. Of course we wanted to sit together somehow, so I was forced to take one of the last few middle rows consisting of three seats. Well, there was still some hope left because, according to Virgin, a certain number of blocked seats would become available at the beginning of the check-in period. And I also kept hoping that Virgin wouldn't downgrade VS400 to an A340-300, too.




Connecting Flights
There have been countless reports about standard British Airways and Lufthansa short-haul flights, so I won't go into detail about ours. Both flights arrived at the destination on time and, fortunately, I got two new registrations: A319 G-EUPS and A321-200 D-AIDA.
What I found interesting was the check-in process at MUC. The friendly female British Airways check-in agent was quite surprised when she saw our itinerary. "Oh, you won't continue on British Airways, but on Virgin Atlantic?", she asked and continued staring at her computer screen. "I didn't know that Virgin flies to Dubai. I thought they only operate to the United States. Is that a charter flight? I have never seen that!", she said. I explained that Virgin does indeed fly to numerous worldwide destinations and that scheduled services to Dubai had already commenced some time ago. The agent didn't stop wondering and even called a colleague: "There is a Virgin flight to Dubai - have you ever seen that?" The other agent reacted with surprise, too. Well, my girlfriend and I really weren't able to suppress a smile...  Wink
Anyway, our luggage was checked through to Dubai, we finally got our luggage tags (boarding passes already printed at home) and the agent wished us a pleasant journey. After we had left, the agent and her colleague continued discussing while staring at the computer screen...




Tuesday, March 2011
London (LHR) - Dubai (DXB)
Virgin Atlantic Airways VS400
Scheduled times: 21:10-08:00
Actual times: 21:10-08:09
Flight duration: 06:28 (hrs)
Distance: 3421 miles
Economy Class, seat 63H

Airbus A340-642
G-VGOA (MSN 371), named "Indian Princess"
First flew in 06/2001 (2nd prototype) and delivered in 08/2003


1st flight on G-VGOA
2nd A340-600 flight
12th A340 flight
113th airline



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After arriving at Terminal 5 on BA955, we took the next airside shuttle bus to Terminal 3. We passed security and went to a Virgin Atlantic transfer desk. We had already checked in online and printed our boarding passes, but I asked whether Virgin needed to know our luggage tag numbers. The friendly agent checked our data and confirmed that everything was fine. Then we had to "wait in lounge" because the gate number hadn't been announced yet - how I dislike that at Heathrow!  thumbsdown 

Finally, about 45 minutes before departure, we could proceed to the gate. When we arrived there, we could straight go on board without waiting in queue. Of course I needed to check the registration first and take a picture. Nice perspective, isn't it?


The plane turned out to be G-VGOA which made my day: It's the second A340-600 prototype and therefore the oldest frame in commercial service. If Virgin had asked me in advance which frame in the 19-strong A340-600 fleet I would like to get, I would have demanded exactly that one.  thumbsup 

Once we stepped on board, we received a friendly welcome by smiling flight attendants. The same happened again while we were walking down the aisle. The cabin was equipped with red and grey seats - not really to my taste:



Virgin chose an interesting seat back design, but the silver plastic surfaces around the 9 inch screens can easily be scratched, as was evident:



The 17.5 inch wide seats were comfortable...



...and legroom (32 inch pitch) was sufficient, too:



IFE boxes are installed under all window (A and K) and G seats, but they don't take away much space:



What I had never seen on a plane before were chromed air nozzles:



Worn-out handset:



Safety card and inflight shopping magazine:



Virgin Atlantic belongs to the decreasing number of airlines which still hand out amenity kits in Economy Class - and it's quite amazing that those are even provided on one of the carrier's shortest routes:



In addition to the usual items, you even get a pen. And I like the design which you find on every single item - very cool stuff!



It was clear soon that many seats would remain empty. One of several nice and personal pre-departure announcements contained detailed information on that subject: "There are 185 passengers, 11 cabin crew and two flight crew on today's flight", the flight service manager (FSM) said. I had never heard something like that!  thumbsup  Considering that there are 306 seats on the plane I was really pleased that VS400 hadn't been downgraded to an A340-300.
Some time later the FSM added that passengers would be invited to move to one of 121 empty seats - but only after takeoff. We also learned that two captains were in charge of the aircraft today.

After one of the captains had made a short welcome announcement, a funny safety video was shown:




If you want to watch the video, just click here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7QsXB9WRkg&feature=related

We left the gate exactly on time, but due to heavy traffic it would take another 25 minutes until G-VGOA gently lifted off into the night sky.

Unfortunately, the IFE system wasn't activated earlier than about 30 minutes after takeoff. All A340-600s and several 747-400s are equipped with an audio/video on-demand system called V:Port:



Main menu:



V:Port features 300 hours of video on demand content (including 61 movies), 14 channels of audio on demand and a jukebox with over 45 CDs, a selection of audio books, 15 games, a "Quick Find Facility" that allows passengers to look for films starring their favorite movie star, comedy shows or language programming. A dedicated "Kid’s Zone" has its own menus and contains programming suitable for children and a parental block. Allegedly, the system allows passengers to send emails and SMS messages, but I didn't check that. Interestingly, several movies are also available in German and French - that's quite remarkable considering that Virgin's focus is on O&D traffic.

The inflight magazines gives a good overview of all available features:



As usual, I watched the airshow most of the time. The interactive map application is called iMap:


Unfortunately, the plane symbol got stuck on the map sometimes. The zoom function didn't work properly either.

Dinner was served about 45 minutes after takeoff. Menu cards weren't available, but I heard a flight attendant offering fish on the other side. When her colleagues arrived at our row, we had the choice between shepherd's pie and vegetarian chili. We would have preferred fish, but apparently it wasn't available any more. And we weren't keen on shepherd's pie at all, so we ordered the chili - and our expectations weren't high, to be honest:


However, the main course tasted quite good, just like the salad.

The dessert (chocolate mousse with raspberry compote) was quite small, but it turned out to be delicious - one of the best desserts I have ever eaten on a plane:


What I found disappointing was the fact that I only got 150ml cans (Britvic) whenever I ordered ginger ale.

I continued watching the airshow and finally fell asleep for about three hours. When I woke up again we were already cruising over Saudi Arabia:



A small breakfast was served about 1.5 hours before landing. Virgin's tea and a currant and chocolate soft cookie tasked okay. Quantity was fine, I wasn't very hungry:



What I found very cool was the blue mood lighting in the lavatories - actually it gets replaced by normal light when you lock the door:



The windows in our section were still steamed up - they had already been in that state at Heathrow. I had never seen that to such an extent:



Tasty Love Hearts were distributed ten minutes before landing:



The window in the row in front of us didn't look as bad as ours, so I switched seats in order to take a few pictures on approach:



Virgin Atlantic’s winglets belong to the prettiest ones in the industry:





Only a few more moments to go:



Touchdown after a flying time of 6 hours and 28 minutes:



One single Union Jack and countless UAE flags:



We arrived at the gate nine minutes late, but were soon able to disembark due to the light load. Last shot of "Indian Princess", "Air - born August 2003":


Our terminal area was quite deserted and there were only short queues at immigration. We soon grabbed our luggage and took a taxi to the Rose Rayhaan by Rotana at Sheikh Zayed Road.


Dubai Sightseeing
Very friendly receptionists welcomed us at the world's tallest hotel. This is how the 333 meter (1093 ft), 72-story hotel looks from the pool area on the fourth floor:



Due to our early arrival, one of our rooms wasn't ready yet (high floor requested), so we either had to wait or take another one. We came to the conclusion that we would only sleep there anyway, so we took the available room on one of the lower floors. The rooms were comfortable and looked nice:



Sand and dust on the window:



After resting for a while, we left the hotel...



...and walked to the nearby metro station:



While the stations and trains are modern and clean, they can become crowded at certain times. And it took some time until we got our tickets because one vending machine was out of order and the other one couldn't return any change. At least you find friendly and helpful metro stuff there, immediately offering assistance.

We got off at Dubai Marina and took a taxi to the amazing Atlantis, The Palm at Palm Jumeirah:





The next destination was the Mall of the Emirates, Dubai's second biggest shopping center:



Of course we had a look at the integrated indoor ski slope, Ski Dubai:



Whenever you have to wait the mall's taxi stand, you can have a look at fancy cars parked in front of the entrance. Here's a Lamborghini Murciélago:



In the course of the afternoon I had exchanged a few messages with legendary trip reporter ronerone in order to arrange a meeting. He picked me up at the hotel after dinner and we went to a place where we could watch planes on final approach. It was dark already and I couldn't log any registrations, but that was a secondary issue. We had a nice chat about trips, a.net and aviation in general - time literally flew by. Some hours later ronerone drove me back to the hotel. It was a great meeting - many thanks again to you, ronerone!  thumbsup 

On the next morning, after enjoying a great breakfast, we took a taxi to the tallest structure in the world, Burj Khalifa. I had bought observation deck tickets for the 11:00 slot and we still had plenty of time, so we first visited the attached Dubai Mall, the world's largest shopping mall based on total area. This is a part of the mall's forecourt:



This building is simply amazing:



Shortly before 11:00 we returned to the entrance of the visitor center. Many people were waiting there, but all those who hadn't bought tickets in advance had to realize that they wouldn't be able to go on top anytime soon. Regular tickets (AED100 = EUR20) were outsold for most time slots on the same day and the next day. I guess there weren't many people willing to pay AED400 for immediate access.

Illuminated model:



These figures speak for themselves:



On the way to the high-speed elevator, I noticed this saying:



I had already wanted to visit the observation deck during a short stay in February 2010, but it had been closed due to an elevator malfunction. This time everything worked fine, the elevator with the world's longest travel distance from lowest to highest stop shot us up at an incredible speed of 10 m/sec.

Welcome to At the Top, the world's highest outdoor observation deck, located on the 124th floor at 452 m:



The views were breathtaking:



Dubai Mall:



The Address Downtown Dubai:



Countless buildings under construction:



Skyscrapers along Sheikh Zayed Road:



The Rose Rayhaan by Rotana aka Rose Tower stands out:


Btw, slightly to the left of the center you can see the Four Points by Sheraton with its roof top bar area - that's a nice place to go at night.

Emirates Towers and Dubai World Trade Centre in the middle:







Burj Khalifa Metro Station to the right:



It was too hazy to see the Burj Al Arab, but at least we could have a look at The World:



After walking around a few times, we went down again and passed this wall:



That's what we saw when we stepped outside - job application, anyone?



It looks unreal, doesn't it?



My girlfriend and I had already made a classic city tour some years ago, but we booked another one this time so that her aunt could also see Dubai's most important sights, e.g. Jumeirah Mosque...



...Dubai's old downtown in Deira...



...and the Al Fahidi Fort with Dubai Museum:



Of course we crossed the Dubai Creek on a water taxi:



The Deira Twin Towers aka Rolex Towers in beautiful evening light:



After doing some shopping at the Bur Dubai Souk, we returned to our hotel, had a great dinner at a Persian restaurant and finally took a taxi to the Jumeirah Beach Hotel where we enjoyed some delicious drinks at the legendary Uptown Bar - stunning views included:



The Burj Al Arab celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, joining the global green lighting phenomenon of city monuments:




Ras Al Khaimah
On the next day it was time to say goodbye to Dubai and we took a taxi to Ras Al Khaimah where we arrived after a 60 minute drive. The Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa came up to our expectations - it's a fantastic hotel with friendly staff and great buffets.

Very elegant lobby:





That's the way to the integrated duty free shop where you can buy all kinds of stuff at attractive prices (including beer from various countries):



Our awesome deluxe room was equipped with all kinds of amenities:





View from our balcony:



Pool bar in one of the six outdoor pools:



The whole complex was very nice and well kept:



White sandy beach and clear water - perfect!





The hotel's main building, seen from the beach:



And here's another part of the huge complex:



A look beyond the hotel property:



The buildings, all pools and even palms are nicely illuminated at night:









During our stay at Ras Al Khaimah we booked a desert safari tour. We had already highly enjoyed such a tour a few years ago and it was about time for another one. Before we entered the desert, our driver reduced the tire pressure at the tour meeting point. This is done to gain more traction by increasing the footprint of the tire:



In the meantime, we had a look at a baby camel and other animals at the meeting point:



Finally, it was time for dune bashing:




The ride was awesome, we enjoyed a much more aggressive driving style than a few years ago!  thumbsup 

We also made a stop in the middle of nowhere and met some nice camels:




The tour also included a barbeque and a belly dancer and derwish show in a desert camp.

After five relaxing days at the outstanding Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa, it was time to say goodbye. Sunrise on departure day:






Wednesday, March 2011
Dubai (DXB) - London (LHR)
Virgin Atlantic Airways VS401
Scheduled times: 10:00-14:05
Actual times: 09:50-13:30
Flight duration: 07:16 (hrs)
Distance: 3421 miles
Economy Class, seat 62D

Airbus A340-313X
G-VAIR (MSN 164), named "Maiden Tokyo"
Delivered in 04/1997


1st flight on G-VAIR
9th A340-300 flight
13th A340 flight



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Photo © Paul Guinea
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Photo © Mark Kwiatkowski



We arrived at Terminal 1 after a 50 minute drive and went straight to the Virgin Atlantic counters. I had already checked in online on the day before, but hadn't been successful in securing better seats. Even though I had logged in exactly 24 hours prior to departure, no other seats had been available. Of course I was disappointed because it said on Virgin's website that a certain of percentage of seats would become available at the beginning of the check-in period. So we had to accept sitting in the middle.  Embarrassment

The gate wasn't accessible yet, so I took a seat nearby and logged registrations of departing aircraft. My girlfriend and her aunt were meanwhile exploring the airport shops.

I had hoped to get one of the two oldest A340-300s in commercial service (MSNs 002 and 003, built in 1992), but Virgin had sent G-VAIR, a -313X model delivered in 1997:






Btw - the two oldest frames have meanwhile been retired. G-VHOL (MSN 002) left the fleet in June, G-VSEA (MSN 003) followed in July. Only four A340-300s are left in the Virgin Atlantic fleet.

We remained seated in the gate until most people had boarded, so I had been able to log some more registrations. Friendly flight attendants welcomed us at the door and we walked to our row in the rear section - interestingly, I didn't spot any empty seats except for ours.

The plane was still equipped with old-style seats, but they weren't bad at all:



Legroom (32 inch pitch) was the same as on the A340-600:



Most A340-300s and some 747-400s are equipped with a non-AVOD IFE system called Odyssey. Highlights coming up? Let's wait and see...



Old-style handset:



Headphones:



I was impressed that Virgin even handed out an amenity kit on this daylight flight:





There weren't as many pre-departure announcements as on VS400, and they weren't as cheerful either. The captain made a short welcome speech and informed that we would fly over Kuwait, Iraq, Turkey, the Black Sea, Hungary, Austria and Germany. Before the safety video was shown, flight attendants sprayed the cabin - not without an announcement referring to certain regulations.

We left the gate 10 minutes early and soon lifted off gently after a long take off roll. The passengers on the left side enjoyed great views of the skyscrapers along Sheik Zayed Road and the artificial islands - too bad I wasn't able to take any pictures.

Shortly after takeoff, I had a look at the Odyssey IFE system. Aircraft delivered between 1997 and 2002 were fitted with that non-AVOD system featuring 10 movie channels, 2 kids channels, 8 TV channels, 14 audio channels, 35 Nintendo games and an airshow. Let's start:



That looks quite basic, doesn't it?



IFE guide:



Of course my preferred choice was the Skymap...


...but the screen remained black. I soon told a flight attendant about that and she promised: "I will double check." Some minutes later she returned with bad news: "The Skymap doesn't work today, unfortunately." No window, no airshow - that was really frustrating!  thumbsdown 

Sour cream and chive pretzels and drinks were served shortly afterwards. One half of the duo working in our row was a skinny young lady wearing too much signal red lipstick and apparently unwilling to smile. I ordered a ginger ale, but that's what I got:


The liquid in the cup turned out to be gin - now that was odd. I don't think that my pronunciation was so bad, but who knows. I wasn't in the mood to start a discussion, so I accepted what I got.

Before the flight attendants returned with lunch trolleys, I used the opportunity to take a cabin picture:



Unlike on VS400, menu cards had been distributed on this flight. The options sounded quite promising:



We wanted to try the chicken, but it wasn't available any more. We took the fish instead:


The main course looked quite good - and it tasted very good! The fish wasn't dry at all and the vegetables and the potatoes weren't mushy either. The sauce and the salad tasted good, too.

Interestingly, the dessert was served afterwards - actually a very good idea. The apple strudel turned out to be quite tasty, too. And I cannot complain about the tea either:



About 1.5 hours later, the flight attendants handed out ice cream bars - another nice surprise!



Shortly after the ice cream service, my girlfriend went to a rear lavatory - and when she returned she told me that she had been hit in the face by a female flight attendant!  ouch  Well, of course it hadn't been intentional. A group of flight attendants had been chatting in the galley and one of them had been gesticulating intensively - and exactly in the moment when my girlfriend was passing, the flight attendant's hand hit her under the left eye. The very flight attendant was shocked by that and the whole group asked my girlfriend if she was okay. Finally, the "punchy lady" promised to bring champagne as a compensation.

About 20 minutes later, she really showed up with a bottle of champagne, wrapped in a plastic bag. We didn't want to drink the whole bottle in the remaining few hours, so we asked whether she could seal it in a special bag, referring to our connecting flight. "Oh no, you have a connecting flight?", the flight attendant said visibly surprised. "I need to find a plan B", she added and disappeared again. 10 minutes later she returned and informed us that it hadn't been possible to seal the champagne, but she placed something else on my girlfriend's table - delicious pastries from Upper Class:



Some time later the punchy flight attendant showed up again - with pretty salt and pepper shakers from Upper Class...



...and a bag full of candy:



Tasty wine gums were handed out shortly afterwards - but they were part of the regular service:



I was still disappointed that the airshow didn't work, but at least I could play the Trivia Challenge. Aviation was my preferred category, of course:





The "punchy lady" showed up one more time and handed out a bag of chips:



Some 45 minutes before landing, "afternoon tea" was served:



The box contained a cheese and tomato roll and a walnut cake - both items tasted quite good:


We were really full after finishing the pre-arrival snack, Virgin's catering was more than sufficient on that flight.

The rest of the flight was uneventful. We touched down at Heathrow after a flying time of 7 hours and 16 minutes and arrived at the gate 35 minutes early. Some hours later we arrived at MUC on Lufthansa's A321-200 D-AIDA after an eventless flight, a great holiday had come to an end.



Conclusion
I have read many negative comments about Virgin Atlantic, but I enjoyed my first two flights on that carrier. Seats were comfortable and pitch was sufficient on both planes. The V:Port IFE system on the A340-600s and selected 747s keeps you entertained for a long time. The new A330s are equipped with a more advanced system, called JAM. Hopefully, the A340-300s and 747s with non-AVOD systems will also be retrofitted. The catering was very good both in terms of quantity and quality, especially on the DXB-LHR flight. And it's quite impressive to get amenity kits on these relatively short flights between London and Dubai. Ground staff members and most flight attendants were friendly and helpful - and it was nice to see how the "punchy lady" reacted after her mishap. No doubt, I would certainly fly Virgin Atlantic again - preferably on the carrier’s new A330-300.

There's not much to say about Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah - they're great holiday destinations, always a pleasure to be there. The excellent Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa will see us again, no doubt about that. Just for the record: I logged 23 new registrations which is not too bad considering that the trip was more or less a classic holiday trip.


Best Regards,
PlaneHunter



P.S.: Just in case you missed them - my previous trip reports:
Superb Stübli & Crew: LAS-LAX-ZRH-MUC, LX J Class
Grand Canyon & More: Scenic Flight On Dornier 228
San Francisco Sunshine...and A Frontier Fiasco
Fully Flat Bed to SFO: SWISS' New Business Class
Mountains, Meals & More: SunExpress Vs. Pegasus
Crossing Two Oceans: AKL-SFO-MUC, NZ 777 & LH A346
Bad Weather & Other Bad Luck: Touring New Zealand
Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Detours To Sydney: Wildlife, Tiger, REX & QFLink
Thai Fails To Impress: MUC-BKK-BNE On 744 & 777
Painful Delay & My 100th Airline: AF A380, VO F100
Fifth Freedom Tidbit: Kuwait Airways A300-600
Ship Vs. Plane: Porto Santo Line & Sata Air Açores
Awesome Approach, Splendid Scenery: LIS, FNC & TAP
Guernsey, Ash Cloud Alarm & Mostly Empty SQ 77Ws
Totally Thrilling: Scenic Flight On Lufthansa A380
Cirrus D38, Adria CRJ & Captain Niki Lauda On Duty
Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC
Premium Meal & Palma Spotting: MUC-PMI, DE 757-300
The Dead Slow Transfer: PEK-MUC On Air China A332
Cancellation Brings Joy: HKG-PEK on Dragonair A330
A380 Cacophony, 777 Star Livery: DXB-SIN-HKG on SQ
The Next 5* Carrier? MUC-MCT-DXB, Oman Air A330
Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
CO Scores Again: ATL-IAH-EWR-FRA On ERJ, 752 & 764
Riding The Ultra Long-Haul Twin: Delta 777-200LR
Pacific Coast Jaunt: 3 Carriers, E120, E140 & Fog
The Ultimate 737: LHR-IAH-PDX On CO 777 & 739ER
Bye Bye, Hell! TRD-OSL-TXL-NUE - DY/AB/HE DH4
My Trip To Hell: NUE-CPH-OSL-TRD On Cimber & SAS
SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W
Sin City Gloss & Virgin America's Chic First Class
Seat Dilemma & Canyon Glamour: FRA To LAX, AC 763
On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330
Goodbye, Red Tails! DC-9-40/50 & Chicago Tour
Champagne & World Of Coke: Air France A340 To ATL
"Mission A380": Disappointing Legs On BA/BD/EI
Delights Of Doha, 773 & 77W: DOH-DXB-LHR On EK
A380 Really a Step Forward? LHR-DXB-DOH On EK
Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744
Taiwan Trio: TransAsia, UNI Air And The Taipei 101
"The Wings Of Taiwan": EVA Air A332, 744 Combi
SHA-SZX, Shanghai 757: Delayed By The Military
PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Striking Newcomer: Berlin-Beijing On Hainan A330
Short & Splendid: MXP-MUC On Air Dolomiti's 146
3 Hours On Blue1: HEL-MXP On The MD-90
Winglets On A Classic: MUC-RIX-HEL On Air Baltic
BCN-MAD-ZRH-MUC: UX Shuttle Meets Swiss Quality
MUC-MAD-BCN: Star MD-87 & The Pain Of Vueling
Low Fares, Lovely Island: AK & Best Of Langkawi
4 Stars Or 5 Stars? FRA-KUL-FRA, Malaysia 777s
First And Last Time? JFK-FCO-MUC, Alitalia 777
JFK For 1 Day: Transatlantic Hop On CSA's A310
Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Top And Flop: KIX-HEL-MUC, Finnair A320 & MD-11
The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Kobe For 1 Hour: 767-Quickie On ANA & Skymark
Rocketing To Tokyo: FUK-HND On JAL (ex-JAS) 777
Oddities & Okinawa: JTA 734 & JAL 744D(Domestic)
MUC To Nagoya: Finnair E170 & (Old) "New" A340
Mad Dog, A320 Tech Delay & Best Of Lanzarote
Canaries Prop-Hopping: Islas Airways & Naysa
Canaries And Confusion: LH CRJ900 & Spanair A321
Hubbing For 162 Miles: HOQ-FRA-STR Ret On IQ/EW/LH
BOS-JFK-AMS-MUC: SSSS-Check And KLM 777
ATL-PIT-JFK-BOS: FL B717, JetBlue E190 And Delays
MUC-AMS-MEM-ATL On NWA A332 And 40-year-old DC-9
FRA-BKK-FRA Via CMB: SriLankan A332 & A343
BNE-SIN-DXB-MUC On Emirates B772ER & B773
2 Hours In Paradise: Hamilton Island (JQ/DJ)
BNE-SYD-BNE: Domestic Run On QF’s Oldest B747-400
Testing Qantas: SYD-MEL-SYD-BNE (B738, B763, A332)
Going Down Under: MUC-DXB-SYD On EK A332 & A345
9/11 Review: Failed Trip To LAX - Fuel Dump Pics
Surprised By NIKI's Newest A320 & Screw-up By AB
Leisure Vs. Full Service: Condor & SN Brussels
"betterFly" On LH: Business Class For 99 Euro
Weekend Transatlantic Trip (2): US A321 & B762
Transatlantic For A Weekend (1): MUC-DCA On US


[Edited 2011-08-08 10:38:33]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
87 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineluxair747SP From Germany, joined May 2010, 504 posts, RR: 17
Reply 1, posted (3 years 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi PH
another amazing TR with many high quality pictures.
VS seems to be a real good alternative to BA and their service on this shorter longhaul flight looks fine.
Was a very nice gesture of bringing all these goodies to your girlfriend.
Also the pictures of your stay in the UAE are really nice.
Thanks a lot for sharing
Cheers
Johannes


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6747 posts, RR: 77
Reply 2, posted (3 years 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 1):
another amazing TR with many high quality pictures.

Hi Johannes, thanks for your reply! You're the first one again!   

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 1):
VS seems to be a real good alternative to BA and their service on this shorter longhaul flight looks fine.

Absolutely!

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 1):
Was a very nice gesture of bringing all these goodies to your girlfriend.

Yes, she was really nice.

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 1):
Also the pictures of your stay in the UAE are really nice.

Thanks!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 3, posted (3 years 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi PH

another wonderful trip report you've got there. Glad to see that VS has pleased you, even with the share of bad luck you had on VS 401 from DXB to LHR. Dubai looks quite impressive as well.

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6747 posts, RR: 77
Reply 4, posted (3 years 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 3):
another wonderful trip report you've got there.

Thank you, MSS658!

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 3):
Glad to see that VS has pleased you, even with the share of bad luck you had on VS 401 from DXB to LHR.

It was a positive experience despite a few glitches.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 3):
Dubai looks quite impressive as well.

It never ceases to amaze me.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From Spain, joined Sep 2003, 5155 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (3 years 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Servus, PH,

well done, such a number of great quality location pictures, you know, that´s what I prefer and also you´re perspective of Virgin looks good.
The Emirates are always a place to go, lile you stated.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
. Of course I needed to check the registration first and take a picture. Nice perspective, isn't it?

Superb.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
It looks unreal, doesn't it?

Also my first impression, but I was also there and know that it´s real!.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: Shopping and sun med style!.
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6747 posts, RR: 77
Reply 6, posted (3 years 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 5):
well done, such a number of great quality location pictures, you know, that´s what I prefer and also you´re perspective of Virgin looks good.

Servus Markus, many thanks for your comments!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 5):
Superb.

It wasn't easy to get a decent picture through the glass.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 5):
Also my first impression, but I was also there and know that it´s real!.

Yes, it's real and it's amazing. I have heard numerous negative comments about the building, but I think it's a beautiful architectural marvel.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineBurj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 901 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (3 years 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Wow awesome trip report!

Thanks for sharing so many UAE photos! So how far ahead of time do you need to buy tickets for the observation deck to get the normal (cheaper) price? Can you buy them online from overseas ahead of time?

That is great that the FA tried to make up for being so punchy! The Virgin Atlantic salt and pepper shakers are really cool and I know lots of people who liberate them from their flights!

Did you girlfriend develop a bruise or anything afterwards?


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6747 posts, RR: 77
Reply 8, posted (3 years 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting Burj (Reply 7):
Wow awesome trip report!
Quoting Burj (Reply 7):
Thanks for sharing so many UAE photos!

Hi Burj, thanks for your feedback! Good to hear you enjoyed it.

Quoting Burj (Reply 7):
So how far ahead of time do you need to buy tickets for the observation deck to get the normal (cheaper) price? Can you buy them online from overseas ahead of time?

It depends on the saison and the day of the week. The earlier you buy them, the better. I bought them 15 days ago. It's quite easy to purchase them online. Here's a link:
http://www.burjkhalifa.ae/observation-deck/ticket-information.aspx

Quoting Burj (Reply 7):
That is great that the FA tried to make up for being so punchy! The Virgin Atlantic salt and pepper shakers are really cool and I know lots of people who liberate them from their flights!

Yes, she reacted well. The shakers are really nice souvenirs.

Quoting Burj (Reply 7):
Did you girlfriend develop a bruise or anything afterwards?

No bruise, fortunately.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (3 years 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi PlaneHunter!

Great tripreport, very well written!

Seems like you had two nice flights with VS, just a few disappointments on the inbound flight. I wish to fly them some day too. That "punchlady" sure paid back after her mistake.

I agree that Dubai is a fine town, I was there my first and so far only time in march this year aswell, but I'm sure I'll come back some day.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I explained that Virgin does indeed fly to numerous worldwide destinations and that scheduled services to Dubai had already commenced some time ago

When I was waiting for my flight at DXB i saw an A340-600 from VS at a gate, until then I was unaware that they flew there aswell actually. But I did know that they flew to other destinations than North America, unlike the check in agent.  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):

Virgin Atlantic’s winglets belong to the prettiest ones in the industry:

Agreed.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
While the stations and trains are modern and clean, they can become crowded at certain times.

Tell me about it, as our hotel was right next to a metro station, we decided to take advantage of the metro to get there, but after standing the entire 25 min trip to the hotel, my mother, who was also on the trip, refused to take the metro when going back to the airport. So we grabbed a taxi instead.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
It looks unreal, doesn't it?

This sums my experience of the Burj Khalifa aswell. So much higher than any other free standing building.

Martin


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6747 posts, RR: 77
Reply 10, posted (3 years 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 9):
Great tripreport, very well written!

Hi Martin, many thanks for your feedback!

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 9):
I wish to fly them some day too.

I can only recommend to do so.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 9):
That "punchlady" sure paid back after her mistake.

  

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 9):
I agree that Dubai is a fine town, I was there my first and so far only time in march this year aswell, but I'm sure I'll come back some day.

Nice to hear! Did you stay a few days or longer? Any report to expect?

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 9):
But I did know that they flew to other destinations than North America, unlike the check in agent.

 

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 9):
Tell me about it, as our hotel was right next to a metro station, we decided to take advantage of the metro to get there, but after standing the entire 25 min trip to the hotel, my mother, who was also on the trip, refused to take the metro when going back to the airport. So we grabbed a taxi instead.

What hotel did you stay at? We took the metro just once this time, after that we switched to taxis. Taxi rides are really cheap in the UAE.


PH

[Edited 2011-08-08 14:26:32]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26909 posts, RR: 58
Reply 11, posted (3 years 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 32767 times:

Hey so all is finally revealed  

Great report and not many VS ones. I have to say Im impressed as you say some not so good remarks about VS but Im glad you had good flights. Love those GU desserts they sell them in my local supermarket , they do a soufflé in nice glass dishes you heat in the oven   Also the Love Hearts I remember from school lol..

Nice the FA was quick to try to make up for the accident . So well done to VS for that.

Love the pics of Dubai , I spent a full day in the Mall of the Emirates . Love your hotel would love to go back to Dubai sometime. Its changed so much .

Thanks for the lovely report.

Philip  


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3219 posts, RR: 12
Reply 12, posted (3 years 2 weeks ago) and read 32767 times:

Good set of flights you had!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):

What I had never seen on a plane before were chromed air nozzles:

Nice look nozzles!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):

Worn-out handset:

Looks like it needs to be replaced

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):

The views were breathtaking:

I was so annoyed the tower was unexpectly closed the day I was there



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LHR-VIE-PRN,SPU-OSL-LHR,STN-SNN-STN,LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,
User currently offlineSPLTA From Poland, joined Jun 2011, 121 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 2 weeks ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi PH,

outstanding report, thanks a lot for sharing!

Dubai looks to be a really amazing place. Most of the things you caught on your photographs seem to be out of this world and time. Great shots, btw. The Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa you stayed at, looks impressive too.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
If Virgin had asked me in advance which frame in the 19-strong A340-600 fleet I would like to get, I would have demanded exactly that one.

Congratulations on logging this unique bird.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The cabin was equipped with red and grey seats - not really to my taste:

Indeed, a rather strange combination.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
What I had never seen on a plane before were chromed air nozzles:

That's really surprising to see.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
There are 185 passengers, 11 cabin crew and two flight crew on today's flight", the flight service manager (FSM) said. I had never heard something like that!

It's definitely helpful information for the ones planning to write the trip report. They could have given the passenger numbers in particular classes, as well.  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I had hoped to get one of the two oldest A340-300s in commercial service (MSNs 002 and 003, built in 1992), but Virgin had sent G-VAIR, a -313X model delivered in 1997:

Well, at least you were lucky to get G-VGOA on your outbound flight.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
When her colleagues arrived at our row, we had the choice between shepherd's pie and vegetarian chili. We would have preferred fish, but apparently it wasn't available any more.
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
We wanted to try the chicken, but it wasn't available any more. We took the fish instead:

That's really funny. Don't worry PH, next time you want to try a steak, most probably you'll be offered the chicken!  

Best regards,
SPLTA


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6747 posts, RR: 77
Reply 14, posted (3 years 2 weeks ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting OA260 (Reply 11):
Hey so all is finally revealed
Quoting OA260 (Reply 11):
Great report and not many VS ones.
Quoting OA260 (Reply 11):
Thanks for the lovely report.

Hi Phil, thanks a lot for your nice comments!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 11):
I have to say Im impressed as you say some not so good remarks about VS but Im glad you had good flights.

I remember reading some reviews on airlinequality.com some weeks prior to the trip - many of them were very negative and I wasn't amused. But we were all satisfied with VS in the end, my girlfriend and her aunt didn't complain about anything. In contrast, the broken airshow was considered a serious issue by the PlaneHunter...  



Quoting OA260 (Reply 11):
Love those GU desserts they sell them in my local supermarket , they do a soufflé in nice glass dishes you heat in the oven

They're not available here which is too bad!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 11):
Also the Love Hearts I remember from school lol..

And I can't buy those here either...

Quoting OA260 (Reply 11):
Nice the FA was quick to try to make up for the accident . So well done to VS for that.

  

Quoting OA260 (Reply 11):
Love the pics of Dubai , I spent a full day in the Mall of the Emirates . Love your hotel would love to go back to Dubai sometime. Its changed so much .

There's always something new to explore.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 12):
Good set of flights you had!

Thanks for commenting, Gabriel!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 12):
Nice look nozzles!

  

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 12):
Looks like it needs to be replaced

  

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 12):
I was so annoyed the tower was unexpectly closed the day I was there

That's too bad. I guess that was last year after the elevator indicent?

Quoting SPLTA (Reply 13):
outstanding report, thanks a lot for sharing!

Hi SPLTA, many thanks for your feedback! Good to hear you enjoyed reading.

Quoting SPLTA (Reply 13):
Dubai looks to be a really amazing place. Most of the things you caught on your photographs seem to be out of this world and time.

Absolutely. It's amazing how Dubai has changed within the last few years.

Quoting SPLTA (Reply 13):
Congratulations on logging this unique bird.

I was lucky indeed!

Quoting SPLTA (Reply 13):
It's definitely helpful information for the ones planning to write the trip report. They could have given the passenger numbers in particular classes, as well.

I thought exactly the same!

Quoting SPLTA (Reply 13):
Well, at least you were lucky to get G-VGOA on your outbound flight.

  

Quoting SPLTA (Reply 13):
That's really funny. Don't worry PH, next time you want to try a steak, most probably you'll be offered the chicken!

Well, I've become used to that, it has happened many times...


PH

[Edited 2011-08-08 15:32:30]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 15, posted (3 years 2 weeks ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 10):

Nice to hear! Did you stay a few days or longer? Any report to expect?

Stayed for 5 nights if im not mistaken. Did a report soon after I got home, it was my first TR on a.net.
My First TR: ARN-CPH-DXB And Back On SAS (by deltamartin Mar 7 2011 in Trip Reports)

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 10):
What hotel did you stay at? We took the metro just once this time, after that we switched to taxis. Taxi rides are really cheap in the UAE.

We stayed at the Radisson Blu in Dubai Marina, we we're recomended about that hotel by friends to our family, who visited Dubai about a year ahead of us.

Martin


User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1926 posts, RR: 24
Reply 16, posted (3 years 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Another great report, PH!   Great to hear from you again!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Then we had to "wait in lounge" because the gate number hadn't been announced yet - how I dislike that at Heathrow!

Also something I dislike when leaving LHR ... Very frustrating!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):

Virgin Atlantic belongs to the decreasing number of airlines which still hand out amenity kits in Economy Class - and it's quite amazing that those are even provided on one of the carrier's shortest routes:

When I flew them back in 2001 from JFK-LHR-JFK I remember this small detail. Very unique to them to provide this in Y.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
We remained seated in the gate until most people had boarded, so I had been able to log some more registrations. Friendly flight attendants welcomed us at the door and we walked to our row in the rear section - interestingly, I didn't spot any empty seats except for ours.

VS did this to my mother and I when I flew them many years ago. I still remember the trip, as I was pretty young (it was in 02/97 I think ...). We were due to fly back on a 747-400 and before the flight they changed the equipment to a 747-300 if I can recall? This led to us being in the middle 2 of the middle 4 in the way back of Economy. That was a long flight back to the US ...

Great photos from Dubai. I'd love to visit!

Matthew


User currently offlineRvXKaz From Singapore, joined Apr 2011, 195 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (3 years 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi PlaneHunter,

Thanks for sharing this detailed insight into hows VS like these days. Glad to see that you have had a wonderful holiday in Dubai and the photos of your trip are very nice indeed!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Worn-out handset:

Yes, very worn out indeed but interesting design!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Virgin Atlantic belongs to the decreasing number of airlines which still hand out amenity kits in Economy Class

That's a really nice touch.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
"There are 185 passengers, 11 cabin crew and two flight crew on today's flight", the flight service manager (FSM) said. I had never heard something like that

Neither have I. Its most interesting indeed and good to know!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
What I found very cool was the blue mood lighting in the lavatories - actually it gets replaced by normal light when you lock the door:

I think it has this really cool factor to it.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Tasty Love Hearts were distributed ten minutes before landing:

A really nice touch once again.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Virgin Atlantic’s winglets belong to the prettiest ones in the industry

I agree!

Thanks for sharing with us the wonderful photos of your trip, especially the bird's eye view from the Burj Khalifa and the classic tour! The Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa you stayed at looks most exquisite indeed!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Whenever you have to wait the mall's taxi stand, you can have a look at fancy cars parked in front of the entrance.

And your flight back,

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Old-style handset:

This one looks alot like the ones from SQ.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Shortly after the ice cream service, my girlfriend went to a rear lavatory - and when she returned she told me that she had been hit in the face by a female flight attendant!

Ouch... is your girlfriend alright now?

Its nice of the flight attendant to come back to offer you a whole variety of goodies to make up for her clumsiness. The pretty salt and pepper shakers looks like a nice collectible.  

Glad to see that you've had an enjoyable flight with VS! It has been a most interesting read! Oh, I have to ask, do they still play pop music before take-off and after landing?

Cheers
RvXKaz



They say that I'm a dreamer. But I'd only Dreamt Skyward.
User currently offlineaflyingkiwi From New Zealand, joined Nov 2010, 514 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (3 years 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi PH,

Great report as usual. You're flights with VS seemed enjoyable which seems to contradict some of other recent reports I've read about them. I'm especially impressed by the catering, you got stuffed on the second flight!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
connecting flights on British Airways (MUC-LHR)

I'm quite surprised that the bundle included a BA flight considering they're the biggest of rivals.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Virgin chose an interesting seat back design, but the silver plastic surfaces around the 9 inch screens can easily be scratched, as was evident:

This design makes the cabin look very 'space agey'.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Virgin Atlantic’s winglets belong to the prettiest ones in the industry

  

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Dubai Sightseeing

Great photos, Dubai looks so unreal. Hopefully I can visit the city sometime.

Thanks for sharing

Regards,
aflyingkiwi


User currently offlineSOBHI51 From Saudi Arabia, joined Jun 2003, 3462 posts, RR: 17
Reply 19, posted (3 years 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great report as usual.
The pictures were marvelous, well done



I am against any terrorist acts committed under the name of Islam
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6547 posts, RR: 55
Reply 20, posted (3 years 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi PlaneHunter!

An amzing report with amazing pictures! VS look very impressive both ways with amenity kit and decent food. Lots of food on the way back especially! Annoying with the 150 ml cans as well. I would not would have kept the gin and tonic but that's me. How was the ginger ale ? You don't seem to have too much luck with getting the meals you want in Y but it usually turns out okay.

Really bad that your girlfirend got hit and i'm happy to hear that she did not get bruised. Nice that they gave you guys a lot of stuff. Especially the salt and pepper shakers are very nice.

Yes, very annoying at LHR with "remain in lounge" message. No real good area to spot from terminal except from the gate itself.

Burj Khalifa looks unreal and I agree that it is a very appealing design. Looks simply stunning in those pictures. I had some frends who went skiing at the mall in Dubai and it was actually a good value of about USD 25.00 or so for two hours including skis and gear. I was going to get a model of Burj Khalifa at the airport when I was there in January but thought it was too expensive and now I realize it wasn't that much and regret not getting it. When I get well, for sure I will visit Dubai and go to the observation deck and of course get my model.

Both hotels look very nice especially the one in Ras Al Khaimah. How much did you pay ?

The picture of the camels at the top of the sand dune is fantastic !

Very much looking forward to your next report.

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6747 posts, RR: 77
Reply 21, posted (3 years 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 15):

Stayed for 5 nights if im not mistaken. Did a report soon after I got home, it was my first TR on a.net.
My First TR: ARN-CPH-DXB And Back On SAS (by deltamartin Mar 7 2011 in Trip Reports)

Alright, thank you for reminding me! It enjoyed reading that one!

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 15):
We stayed at the Radisson Blu in Dubai Marina, we we're recomended about that hotel by friends to our family, who visited Dubai about a year ahead of us.

That looks like a nice hotel.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 16):
Another great report, PH! Great to hear from you again!

Hi Matthew, thanks a lot for your reply!

Quoting 767747 (Reply 16):
Also something I dislike when leaving LHR ... Very frustrating!

  

Quoting 767747 (Reply 16):
VS did this to my mother and I when I flew them many years ago. I still remember the trip, as I was pretty young (it was in 02/97 I think ...). We were due to fly back on a 747-400 and before the flight they changed the equipment to a 747-300 if I can recall?

It must have been a 747-200 back then. VS only leased a 747-300 for a short time from Air Atlanta.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 16):
This led to us being in the middle 2 of the middle 4 in the way back of Economy. That was a long flight back to the US ...

That's really bad!

Quoting 767747 (Reply 16):
Great photos from Dubai. I'd love to visit!

Thanks. I'm sure you'd enjoy a stay there.

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 17):
Thanks for sharing this detailed insight into hows VS like these days. Glad to see that you have had a wonderful holiday in Dubai and the photos of your trip are very nice indeed!

Many thanks for your comments, RvXKaz!

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 17):
I think it has this really cool factor to it.

  

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 17):

Thanks for sharing with us the wonderful photos of your trip, especially the bird's eye view from the Burj Khalifa and the classic tour! The Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa you stayed at looks most exquisite indeed!

Thanks! The Hilton is a truly impressive hotel.

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 17):
Ouch... is your girlfriend alright now?

Yes, she didn't suffer from after-effects.

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 17):
Its nice of the flight attendant to come back to offer you a whole variety of goodies to make up for her clumsiness. The pretty salt and pepper shakers looks like a nice collectible.

  

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 17):
Glad to see that you've had an enjoyable flight with VS! It has been a most interesting read!

Thanks again, your feedback is really appreciated!

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 17):
Oh, I have to ask, do they still play pop music before take-off and after landing?

Yes, if I recall correctly.

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 18):
Great report as usual.

Hi aflyingkiwi, thanks for commenting!

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 18):
You're flights with VS seemed enjoyable which seems to contradict some of other recent reports I've read about them. I'm especially impressed by the catering, you got stuffed on the second flight!

I had been prepared for a number of negative issues due to certain reports. Good to see VS turned out to be very good.

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 18):
I'm quite surprised that the bundle included a BA flight considering they're the biggest of rivals.

Those combos don't show up on many travel websites.

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 18):
Great photos, Dubai looks so unreal. Hopefully I can visit the city sometime.

Thanks again. You should definitely go there one day.

Quoting SOBHI51 (Reply 19):
Great report as usual.
The pictures were marvelous, well done

Thanks for your feedback, SOBHI51! I'm glad you liked it.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 20):
An amzing report with amazing pictures!

Hi Lars, thanks so much for your nice comments!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 20):
How was the ginger ale ?

It was alright.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 20):
You don't seem to have too much luck with getting the meals you want in Y but it usually turns out okay.

That's true.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 20):
Especially the salt and pepper shakers are very nice.

Yes, very nice gifts!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 20):
Yes, very annoying at LHR with "remain in lounge" message. No real good area to spot from terminal except from the gate itself.

That's one of the reasons why I don't like transfers at LHR.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 20):
I had some frends who went skiing at the mall in Dubai and it was actually a good value of about USD 25.00 or so for two hours including skis and gear.

Sounds quite reasonable. It's a very popular attraction.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 20):
I was going to get a model of Burj Khalifa at the airport when I was there in January but thought it was too expensive and now I realize it wasn't that much and regret not getting it.

Wasn't it quite heavy?

Quoting The777Man (Reply 20):
When I get well, for sure I will visit Dubai and go to the observation deck and of course get my model.

I really hope you'll be able to go very soon!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 20):
The picture of the camels at the top of the sand dune is fantastic !

I was glad the picture turned out to be quite nice.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 20):
Very much looking forward to your next report.

Who knows when I will be able to post that one...at least I have started working on it.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinelukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1091 posts, RR: 31
Reply 22, posted (3 years 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Got to say, pretty impressed with VS. Seems like they do have a food loading problem with you not getting alot of your options.

The report was really great, very informative. Interesting to see that Dubai has now calmed down on its superlatives! The desert safari looks nice, though a bit of a highway in the desert!

Now, VS really like their brand power don't they? From Gu, to love hearts, to those pretzels. I quite like that. The meal tries looked a bit anemic in both cases. The measure of gin you got was pretty hefty too. Can you remember what beer they served?

Great report PH,

Luke



Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6747 posts, RR: 77
Reply 23, posted (3 years 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 22):
The report was really great, very informative. Interesting to see that Dubai has now calmed down on its superlatives!

Many thanks for your comments, Luke! Good to hear you liked it!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 22):
Got to say, pretty impressed with VS. Seems like they do have a food loading problem with you not getting alot of your options.

Well, that's what happens quite often when you sit in the rear section.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 22):
Interesting to see that Dubai has now calmed down on its superlatives!

Let's wait and see what comes next...

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 22):
The desert safari looks nice, though a bit of a highway in the desert!

We weren't surrounded by so many cars all the time. I simply wasn't able to take pictures most of them time because it was a very bumpy ride!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 22):
Now, VS really like their brand power don't they? From Gu, to love hearts, to those pretzels. I quite like that.

I can only agree.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 22):
Can you remember what beer they served?

No, unfortunately. I didn't order beer on both flights.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6547 posts, RR: 55
Reply 24, posted (3 years 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi PlaneHunter!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 21):
Wasn't it quite heavy?

Dont' think it was too bad.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 21):
I really hope you'll be able to go very soon!

Me too; we'll see.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 21):
Who knows when I will be able to post that one...at least I have started working on it.

Good to know! It's good to hear that you have started on the next one already. Have a good trp !

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
25 PlaneHunter : Thank you! The next report will also contain some pictures taken by my friend Satchmo. PH
26 lychemsa : Is it pleasant to swim in the ocean in Ras Al Khaimah? Thanks.
27 PlaneHunter : Yes, absolutely! But the water was still a bit cool in March - cooler than usual, as I was told. PH
28 Post contains images LazialeMKD : Wow, great trip report, I felt like I was in Dubai while seeing those pictures. Dubai is certainly place to visit, with all the futuristic buildings a
29 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Hi Angel, thanks for your comments! Well, be careful - you could easily get a black eye! PH
30 nipoel123 : Sweet and detailed as usual, PH, a great read once again. Nick
31 PlaneHunter : Hi Nick, that's nice to hear, thanks! PH[Edited 2011-08-09 03:33:35]
32 Post contains images BZNPilot : Hi PH, You have once again given us a great report. Thanks for taking the time to turn your memories and photos into a most enjoyable read. Hahaha! We
33 Post contains images sultanils : Hi PH, Thanks for this wonderful picturesque report from your trip to Dubai. A fascinating destination it seems. I find it has some resemblance with L
34 Post contains images Quokka : Hi PH, Another great trip report. The changes that have occurred over the years in in Dubai are amazing - a far cry from my first visit to the UAE bac
35 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Many thanks for your nice comments, BNZPilot! No doubt about that! Yes, we cannot complain. I'm sure you'd enjoy Dubai! A jump seat landing would hav
36 The777Man : The777Man
37 PlaneHunter : Hi Lars, see my PM! PH
38 Post contains images FlyingFinn76 : Hi PH, An excellent account of your little UAE holiday. Very good that you managed to fly with VS, most of the things you hear about this airline are
39 LASMike : Great trip report! I do not see many VS ones on here. I am flying from Las Vegas to Delhi in December and was having very low expectations until I rea
40 Palmjet : Super report PH! I really enjoyed reading about your flights to Dubai and back to London. Your pics were stunning - definitely some of the best I have
41 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Hi P., thanks for your extended feedback, always appreciated! That was luck indeed. And they're just two of many really good hotels in the UAE. Proba
42 Post contains links and images 717Flyer : Hi PH. Thanks for a really nice and detailed report. Your pictures of Dubai are simply stunning and - most of all - bring back memories from my trip t
43 destinations : An excellent report, very good read.
44 Post contains links and images PlaneHunter : Hi 717Flyer, thanks so much for your extended feedback! And thanks for posting some nice pictures from your trip. Interesting - will you write a repo
45 airbuseric : Hi PH, that's a great report on VS. I'm glad to see something positive on them again after reading a lot of negative 'press'. Also I did 2 flights on
46 debonair : Great TR! Well done... Unbelievable... Did your bag always arrived at the final destination?! I can't believe that a baggage transfer from BA to "riva
47 Post contains images abrelosojos : Wow. Great report, and you seem to have had a solid VS experience! I love the depth of their amenity kit - it is better than several carriers JCL kits
48 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Hi Eric, thanks for your comments! Yes, that must have been a great experience to fly on these new birds. That's true - and sometimes transfer times
49 717Flyer : Hi again! Well, you know, this February I wasn't at the forums yet and of all the HEL-IST-DXB-IST-HEL flights I only took photos on the first segment
50 PlaneHunter : Hi again! I also had a look at TK when we were searching for flights to Dubai - and I wondered about these times, too. TK's catering is indeed very i
51 Post contains images 717Flyer : Hi, Another problem was the quite long transfer times, 3-5 hours, yet as Istanbul Airport isn't the very best airport where to change aircraft. Now TK
52 Post contains images aerocabin : Hi PlaneHunter, Great report! Thank you It was really good to see that Virgin Atlantic still give out amenity kits, and they didn't seem to be bad qua
53 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Hi Aerocabin, thanks a lot for your comments! Thanks! Yes, it does indeed look like a CGI image. But's it's definitely real! Yes, I think she made th
54 Post contains images akhmad : Hi PH, Finally I get around to reading your report. I am sorry for my late reply. Ever since you mentioned about Indian Princess, I have been waiting
55 Arsenal@LHR : Stunning trip report, those pictures are a treat, you must be a dedicated flier, back tracking to London and then onto Dubai! How were the loads on th
56 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Hi again, 717Flyer! It seems I missed your last reply yesterday. I agree, IST is not among the best airports for changing planes. That must have been
57 Post contains images SloAir : Hi PlaneHunter, I think you have just convinced me into a vacation in Dubai, your pictures are excellent and now I really want to go there. Maybe next
58 flykev : PlaneHunter, Good to see G-VGOA appear in another trip report; I had an interesting flight on that plane back in June. The food looks a lot better tha
59 HOONS90 : As always, an excellent trip report! The IFE system on your A340-300 flight looks really nostalgic to me, and the features seem like the ones I've had
60 LASMike : The flights are scheduled 346's LHR-DEL. I'm flying into Gatwick on 744's and I'm spending the day in London either direction so I can change airport
61 Post contains images Initious : Hey PH, Yet another wonderful report! I know your reports can never fail to entertain me. Which date did you go? We would have gotten the chance to me
62 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Hi Blaž, thanks for your feedback! I'm glad you liked it - and I can only recommend to visit Dubai. Sure, that sounds like a great idea. The water w
63 Initious : If that lady is in the Prem Econ cabin of the A346 and just so happens she hit me, I wouldn't mind. :P The only route I can foresee myself flying wit
64 Post contains images ronerone : Another phenomenal Trip Report by our very own PlaneHunter! I must say, that i was eagerly anticipating your take on Virgin Atlantic, but i was taken
65 Post contains images eastafspot : An impressive and very informative report, deeply accurate with like always the right pictures at the right time. Many thanks PH for this. I've always
66 Post contains images infodesk : Hi PH, Great to read about VS, not that widely covered here. The interior looks a bit dated, but it seems the good catering & amenity kits made up
67 Post contains images PlaneHunter : TK sounds tempting, no doubt about that! Hi Roni, many thanks for your kind words! Thanks again, my friend, that's nice to hear! I'm glad you liked i
68 Post contains images makeree : Hey PH !! I just finished reading your TR and it brought up some memories, not only about Dubai as being visiting there recently but also my flights w
69 Post contains images ronerone : Sounds like a plan Future A380's for me are Etihad and Malaysia Airlines (hopefully inaugurals too!) Why not ? i will ensure to find a location haha.
70 chepos : Thank you for sharing. I have always wanted to try VS, they seem like a decent ride even with all the negative chatter around here sorrounding the air
71 Post contains images signol : Hi Planehunter, Excellent report, thanks. Dubai is one of my must-see destinations, I've only seen Abu Dhabi in the region so far. Airline staffreally
72 Post contains images ba319-131 : Hi PH, Good report, nice pictures too, apologies for the late reply, just don't seem to have as much free time as usual of late, not good! - Interesti
73 Post contains links reifel : Thanks for this great report! Glad you enjoyed your flight. Very nice how the "punchy lady" handled the situation. Things like this can happen.... Yes
74 Post contains images Parton87 : Hello PH! Thanks for the story. You seem to have some great flights with VS despite the little incident with the F/A and your girlfriend. At least she
75 Post contains images dkdaviator : Hi PlaneHunter, What a nice report there! It's good to hear about the experience on Virgin Atlantic. I was surprised by the amenity kits, but it was a
76 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Hi Markku! Many thanks for your feedback! Good to hear you also tried VS. What aircraft type did you get? A343, 744 or even 742? Yes, we did! It was
77 Parton87 : High anxiety:D /Robert
78 Post contains links and images makeree : Hi again, I got A343 and B744 in 1999 (G-VFAR "DIana" and G-VAST "Ladybird) And in 2008 it was A343 and A346 (G-VSUN "Rainbow Lady" and G-VRED "Scarle
79 PlaneHunter : Alright, that's a good reason. But how about flying - does it affect you on planes, too? Nice, G-VFAR was once named by Lady Di. Well said! I really
80 Post contains images Parton87 : Actually it dosen´t. Sounds strange maybe but I have a friend which it´s exactly the same for. Tall buildings- scary. Flying-nothing
81 AI121 : hi PH, Awesome pictures as always. Would you mind sharing which camera do you use? Thanks Dhruv
82 flightsimboy : Hello PH. Nice that you got to fly with Virgin Atlantic, and that too on their flagship A340-600s!! Not very impressive stats regarding how many trips
83 1stfl94 : Actually VFAR was named in honour of Diana (she died about six months before the plane was delivered). The plane she named was Virgin's first A343 G-
84 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Good, flying is more important than staying at high buildings. Hi Dhruv, thanks for your reply! I use a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ8. Hi flightsimboy, tha
85 Post contains images KingFriday013 : When I was on G-VAIR over 7 years ago, the skymap didn't work either. I guess they never fixed it -J.
86 groobster : I've said it before and I'll say it again, your trip reports are an inspiration. Even though I've been to Dubai many times myself, your pictures look
87 PlaneHunter : Interesting, hopefully your assumption isn't true. Many thanks, groobster! I'm glad you like them. I use a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ8 and Paint Shop Pro
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