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Virgin Atlantic's New A330 LHR-JFK-LHR  
User currently offlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1292 posts, RR: 4
Posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

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For my first longhaul trip of the year, I’ll be travelling to New York's JFK onboard one of Virgin Atlantic's newly delivered A330's. I had been wanting to Visit NYC again for a few years now but the high accommodation prices had always put me off. Then, one March night whilst having a conversation with my dad, he mentioned that he had stayed in Brooklyn and, although still being quite a high price, was more reasonable than staying in the center of Manhattan, and a reasonable area too. I did a bit of research and found that hotels could be found in the region of £100 a night. In the end I opted for the Super 8 Motel in Brooklyn for a pricey £420.

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It was then time to look for flights. A bit of searching on expedia showed that the likes of Delta, Continental and United were the cheapest coming in at around £400 return. I also looked at BA and VS - both were around £560 for the dates I was looking for. All options were more money than I had to spend on flights at the time so I held out and monitored prices. During the next month or so, the prices seemed to vary from £370 to £570 with VS who I wanted to travel with, so it was a case of catching them when they were having one of their cheaper moments. VS gave me 3 options to get me to and from JFK - The morning flights onboard their new A330-300, the afternoon flight on the 747-400 or the evening flights on the A340-600. I opted for the morning flights as I’d not been on an A330 before and by departing at 09:30 from LHR it meant I got more time in New York and less time waiting round all day for a flight at home! For the return, again I could have selected any number of options, but once more chose the earliest of the 3 flights from JFK. The reason being that I had logged many flights on VS' 747's and the A346 flight left JFK just a little bit too late for my liking and it would of meant hanging round without the use of a hotel for 12 hours. Although this was a difficult choice because if I’d chosen the 747 flight I might just be able to catch G-VROC and therefore would of flown on the entire VS 747-400 fleet. As it turned out, the 747 flights on the days I travelled were operated by G-VHOT and G-VWOW.

One rainy Saturday afternoon, I was again looking at the VS website and noticed the price had come down to £440. In the end I managed to bring this price down to £390 by spending a couple of thousand VS flying club miles I had lying around, and the booking confirmation was sent shortly followed by the E-Ticket.

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Interesting how VS still use the old logo on the confirmation and an older livery


http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/New%20York/VSetick.png



Do VS really expect me to believe that they're carrying me across the Atlantic for just £44? Yeah right... Although they all do it.


A few weeks before departure it was time to apply for my ESTA. The last time I travelled to the US this was free but now they charge $14. I guess they have to try anyway possible to make some money!

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http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/New%20York/Reminder.png

Handy for frequent flyers I guess...


Also of note is that this would be my first trip on VS in Economy since 2008 so it will be of interest to see the latest updates to the product.

The day before departure, it was time to check in online:

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I’ve noticed that VS are quite inconsistent with their branding - some things use their old logo where others use the new. Surely its not that hard to change a graphic?


The day I’d been looking forward to for more than a few months finally arrived. I'd been on many trips so far this year, but nothing beats a long haul! This was the most I had anticipated a trip since my first in 18 months to Frankfurt back in March. As usual it was the first coach of the day to Heathrow, at 06:20.

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The coach to the airport was a couple of minutes late but nothing major. More irritating was the couple sat the row in front - way too noisy and enthusiastic for this time of the morning!

Around half an hour later the coach had arrived at the central bus station and it was off through the tunnel to T3.

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Check in was no major hassle. There was a couple in front of me who were trying to check in what looked like the entire contents of their house, however one of the check in assistants saw this and I was invited to use the premium economy check in instead.

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Another sticker for the collection!


As expected T3 had changed beyond all recognition since I last departed from here back in 2006. Barely any shops landside compared to back then, as its nearly all a security area rather than just the one. However it works out better this way due to there being less of a queue. The queues at security that i remember from the old days had always put me off using LHR!

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Still managed to find somewhere for breakfast though.

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After this I headed through security and it was as expected - full of people who weren't quite sure of the rules! Then it was into the shopping mall.

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I found a window to keep myself occupied for a few minutes.

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G-VNYC can be seen in the background of this one being towed away from its stand.


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Then it was time to head down to gate 1.

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I was welcomed to the holding pen with a 'welcome back sir'. Although I was a VS flying club silver member for a good few years, that has long run out and I haven't actually flown VS for over 2 years - so I thought this was a nice touch.

Once inside I found G-VNYC waiting - which was pretty appropriate considering today's destination. Although I was a bit surprised by this as I had just seen this aircraft leave another gate further round T3 - maybe they decided to move it nearer to the active runway for a quicker taxi? Seemed strange to me.

This was about the best shot I could manage of the plane I was on, however there was a much better photo opportunity of our neighbor.

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And another one off in the distance

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VS003
LHR-JFK
15 September 2012
A330-313 - G-VNYC Uptown Girl
Off Stand: 09:31
On Stand: 12:12


Boarding started at 08:45, although nobody could actually understand the PA - maybe that's VS' way of stopping the mass stampede?

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Not for me today unfortunately.


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Interesting to note was that economy had the newer amenity kits, whereas Premium had the older type still.

Once on board, I actually found the legroom pretty decent.

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Flight time was given as 7hours 24 minutes. Shortly before pushback, the crew confirmed there were 266 passengers on board.

This new A330 was certainly much better than the older LGW based 747's, although these are currently being brought up to a similar standard.

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Range of connection options


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Nearly time to go.


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Departure was made from 27L at just after 09:45.

Take Off Video

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Around 10 minutes later the crew started their service, first handing out headsets shortly followed by menus.

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One thing I did notice was that the legroom seemed a little bit more generous in these last few rows. And also that the A330 was very quiet compared to the 747-400 that I'm used to flying across the Atlantic.

It was then time to check out the Jam AVOD IFE:

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Erm… we appear to be going the long way round?


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That’s more like it


Then the drinks service started. It took a while to reach me and by time it reached the row I was in, they had run out of the welcome cocktail. So I went with lemonade instead.

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As soon as the drinks run had finished the meal service began. Although it was still a bit early for lunch I'm my opinion - only just 11:00AM in London. The choices were the usual chicken, beef or pasta.

It was around this time a few bumps began although it was nothing too major.

Once the meal service had reached the row I was in, I was informed by a slightly embarrassed stewardess that the only meal option left was the chicken - this didn't bother me though as that's what I was after anyway!

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Tasted quite good but could of been a bit bigger


Then around 50 minutes later the dessert was served, along with some pretty poor tea...

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After this I decided to settle down and watch a movie

After the film finished, I headed to the rear galley and made an attempt at having a conversation with the crew. They seemed more interested in chatting amongst themselves on this occasion though - oh well!

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No fuel dumping on this one


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Ice cream during the movie


By this time we weren't too far from the coast of Canada and the afternoon tea service had started.

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The sandwiches were pretty average really... in fact they didn't really taste of anything but bread! A bit more filling would of been a bit better. Although as they were the only choice I guess they couldn't do anything too fancy. The cake was good though.

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Boredom or a work of art?!


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Land ahoy!


The remaining hour or so was spent watching the minutes count down on the sky map. The seatbelt sign was turned on for around 15 minutes or so although I suspect that was more to do with the crew wanting the parents of the screaming child that decided to run from the rear of economy to upper class to get it to sit down rather than any issues from the pretty minor turbulence we had hit.

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Approximately 50 minutes prior to arrival, the cabin crew informed everybody that the seatbelt sign would be turned on in 25 minutes - and suddenly everybody on board decided they needed the toilet! I figured there would probably be more than a couple at JFK so didn't bother, and instead carried on watching the skymap.

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Descent started at 11:30 local. It was quite a noisy descent too as the previously mentioned screaming child continued to scream at full volume, with it's parents continuing to not be bothered...

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Not had sweets on landing for years!


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Landing video – if you can put up with a screaming kid!

We touched down at just after 12:00 local and made a fairly quick taxi over to terminal 4E. I thought this was unusual as VS normally use 4W, however the new VS clubhouse is now in 4E rather than before security so this might now be a permanent change.

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Then it was through to a very busy immigration hall.

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Almost an hour later I was welcomed to the USA by an unusually friendly immigration officer. He continually used my first name, made conversation about the hotel I was staying in and generally easy going - something I’d not experienced at immigration in the US before where they generally take the guilty until proven innocent stance. It was off to find the Air Train to Jamaica station.

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Once at Jamaica station, the next stop would be Atlantic Avenue. My hotel wasn't too far from here. The initial plan was to carry on to Coney Island before checking in, however as I'd inadvertently brought an unlimited metro pass I figured I might as well stop by my hotel as I was passing anyway.

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http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/New%20York/file<br><br></font></td></tr></table>

<table border=

A300,A319,A320,A321,A333,A343,A346,A388,732,733,734,735,738,741,742,744,752,763,772,77W,788,Q400,DC10,E145,E170,E175,E19
73 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1292 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

It was a short walk from Union station to my hotel.

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What’s behind door 414?


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Not bad.


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View is Ok too


Then it was on to Coney Island

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At around 7PM I headed back to the hotel and watched TV for the rest of the evening.



A300,A319,A320,A321,A333,A343,A346,A388,732,733,734,735,738,741,742,744,752,763,772,77W,788,Q400,DC10,E145,E170,E175,E19
User currently offlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1292 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

The next couple of days were spent exploring what New York City had to offer:

Sunday it was the empire state building, Rockefeller center and central park. But first off, it was breakfast at the hotel.

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On the way up the Empire state


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LGA in the distance


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EWR in the distance


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And finally JFK






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Grand Central Station


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Slightly closer to LGA


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Pretty impressive elevator


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Monday included Times Square, Ripley’s believe it or not, which is always worth a visit, the USS intrepid. To be honest I thought the USS Intrepid was a little disappointing but the space shuttle pavilion was worth the visit. Finally it was on to the Staten Island ferry to get a few views of the statue of liberty.

http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/New%20York/file_zpscb3d5f9a.jpg

Pretty good for the equivalent of about £4!


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Seems like most of the Berlin wall has ended up in various Ripley’s.


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I also took a walk through the High Line Park


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Waiting for the Staten Island Ferry


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SQ A345 seen approaching EWR


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Making my way back to Times Square




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Tuesday was spent visiting the 9/11 memorial and Wall Street. The 9/11 memorials were well worth the visit. It didn't cost anything but I've heard that it gets booked up a long way in advance. Luckily I went online the night before and managed to book tickets though.



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couldn’t come to NYC and not get a hotdog from a cart!


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Managed to find a model shop near Times Square


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Once I returned to the hotel it was time to check in for my return flight.














A300,A319,A320,A321,A333,A343,A346,A388,732,733,734,735,738,741,742,744,752,763,772,77W,788,Q400,DC10,E145,E170,E175,E19
User currently offlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1292 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

On Wednesday I checked out of the hotel and decided to check out the NY Transit museum. Just before I left, I looked up which aircraft would be flying me home - G-VRAY.

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Then it was on to the subway to the museum.

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After an enjoyable couple of hours looking round the museum, I made my way to JFK. As I had plenty of time and it was more convenient, I took the subway to Howard beach and connected with the air train there.

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Once at JFK it was off to check in to collect my boarding pass. This time I was invited to use the upper class check in - a nice upgrade over my check in experience at LHR. I asked the check in agent if the flight was full and she replied not at all. Then I followed up by asking if the seat next to me was free to which she said it was for the moment. She also seemed surprised that I'd spent 4 nights in New York and yet wasn't checking any bags in... Little did she know my rucksack was full to the brim and probably way over the 5lbs limit! It got accepted anyway though so no big deal.

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Then it was off to explore T4. It reminded me a bit of LHR T5...

http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/New%20York/file_zps46c1fa75.jpg


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http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/New%20York/file_zps7d9d9e0c.jpg


...Except with more building works!

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After grabbing an expensive and very spicy bite to eat, I headed through security. Interestingly this flight would also depart from the A gates. Maybe VS have moved? Although it appears the new clubhouse is here.

Security was hardly any problem apart from the guy in front that seemed more interested in finishing his lunch than actually paying attention.

After that I headed down to gate A5, but much like my trip to Amsterdam a few weeks back, something important was missing.

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Luckily I found it a few minutes later, along with a few others:

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Interesting visitor – shame it was a bit far away


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’Miss Sunshine’ on stand now



VS004
JFK-LHR
19 September 2012
A330-313 - G-VRAY Miss Sunshine
Off Stand: 18:10
On Stand:06:11


Boarding was announced pretty promptly at 17:20 local and the aircraft name, Miss Sunshine was given. At this point, as usual everybody seemed to have some need for pre boarding.

http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/New%20York/file_zpscdf9e5b6.jpg

I wish all airports had gates like this!


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Once on board the cabin crew came over the PA and announced a flying time of 6 hours 11 minutes. A few moments later they came over the PA again and said that as there's plenty of room, feel free to move around - with the exception of the exit row seats and the extra legroom seats. If anybody did wish to sit in these seats, they would be charged £50 and £30 respectively. I had more than enough room as it was though as I had no seatmate.

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Bit grubby for a new –ish plane


The captain was on shortly after saying pretty much the same as the cabin crew had already said, however he mentioned that we couldn't land before 6:00am so that might cause a few problems due to the short flight time. He also said that we would be taking off to the North East and taking quite a Northerly track to take advantage of a good jet stream.

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Time to go


Push back was a pretty long 8 minutes. Take off was at 18:30 into some quite nice looking skies.

Take off video from JFK

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Around 10 minutes after departure the crew started their service. I was happy to sit and admire the view for now though.

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Literally a few minutes later we hit some moderate turbulence and the seatbelt sign was switched on again just moments after it was switched off.

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Plenty of room


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Once the seatbelt sign had gone off the crew resumed their service and I settled down to watch a movie. American Pie. I'd seen the original on board VS back in 1999 so seemed only appropriate that I see the latest on a VS night flight too. Much better than I thought it would be actually.

Then it was time for the dinner service. Once again the choices were chicken, beef or pasta. I went for the pasta this time, although I didn’t enjoy it as much as the meal I had on the outbound journey.

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Bit of a retro looking dinner cart.


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And shortly after the hot chocolate was dished out. Not had hot chocolate offered on a plane before and it was quite good. Better than their tea anyway!



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Cruising altitude was 37,000 ft.


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Looks like we're going to be holding for a while over London.


There was a bit of turbulence over the Atlantic. The seatbelt sign stayed on for about an hour or so, although I think it was on for about half an hour too long in my opinion.

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Cabin Overview


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Time to wake up!


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Nearly there


Just after the cabin lights came back on, breakfast was served. Thankfully VS seem to have got rid of those awful cheese muffins!

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Descent started at 05:15 local. As expected we were a bit early and did a couple of laps of the Biggin Hill hold. Then it was onto finals and some very good views of London. The pictures don't really do it justice.

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Bit of a dark landing into LHR

Touchdown was a just after 06:00 and we made a pretty quick taxi on to stand, alongside G-VATL that had just arrived from Sydney.

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On my way out I asked for a flight deck visit, which was granted. On my way through I grabbed a quick pic of Premium economy.

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And the new Upper Class dream suite.

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Unfortunately I was only able to visit the flight deck for a couple of minutes, as the ground crew wanted all passengers off ASAP due to the short turn around. This one would be heading back to JFK in a couple of hours.

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Then it was off for a long walk to passport control.

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Luckily, I was towards the back of a reasonable queue but one of the officers saw it was getting busy, and shifted a few barriers which put me right at the front!

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Shortly after it was through the tunnel to the central bus station

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There was a coach waiting, however the driver said this was the 06:45 coach and I was booked on the 07:15... But he'll let me on just this once - which made sense as I was the only person on the coach. If it was full I could understand but a completely empty one?? Why the fuss? Either way I made it home about an hour after pulling onto stand.

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Free paper on the coach


So that brings an end to another trip.

Virgin are starting to look promising again after slightly losing their way over the last few years. Their latest product is very good, however I'm not sure it's going to be rolled out across the whole fleet. One of the biggest complaints I've read across forums and Facebook is about the inconsistent fleet. They are making progress with standardizing the fleet, which should be complete by the end of 2012, however I'm led to believe no aircraft will have the new Upper Class retrofitted? Either way I was satisfied with the product. The crew was generally good - they more proactive on the return flight however by doing extra drink runs, where as on the outward sector they just let people help themselves from the galley. No big deal though. It was a bit annoying that they had run out of the welcome cocktail on the outbound flight but I guess that’s the downside of sitting at the back. The plus side however is that I was treated to a bit of extra legroom – so ill definitely be choosing these seats if I fly on a VS A330 again.

As always I welcome your comments!

Previous trip reports

A Night In Amsterdam - KLM F70/738 LHR-AMS-LHR (by jwhite9185 Aug 28 2012 in Trip Reports)
Trying Out Flybe - LGW-BHD-GLA-BHD-LGW (by jwhite9185 Jul 11 2012 in Trip Reports)
A Day Trip To MAN (by jwhite9185 Jun 21 2012 in Trip Reports)
Nice, Monaco And The Great British Lounge With BMI (by jwhite9185 May 13 2012 in Trip Reports)
EI237/182 LGW-DUB-LHR And 2 Lounges (by jwhite9185 Apr 18 2012 in Trip Reports)
LGW-FRA-BRU-LHR With LH And SN (by jwhite9185 Mar 27 2012 in Trip Reports)
BA906/8735 LHR-FRA-LCY (by jwhite9185 Mar 13 2012 in Trip Reports)
VS015/016 LGW-MCO-LGW June 2010 (by jwhite9185 Jan 20 2012 in Trip Reports)
VS006 MIA-LHR A340-642 June 2008 (by jwhite9185 Feb 10 2012 in Trip Reports)
Virgin Atlantic 747 To BGI - October 2007 (by

[Edited 2012-09-21 06:59:19]


A300,A319,A320,A321,A333,A343,A346,A388,732,733,734,735,738,741,742,744,752,763,772,77W,788,Q400,DC10,E145,E170,E175,E19
User currently offlinecanadiantree From France, joined Jun 2006, 129 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Very enjoyable trip report. I love flying the A330, such a graceful and beautiful plane it is!

User currently offlinecaptainsloo From Singapore, joined Dec 2011, 59 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi jwhite. Thanks for the excellent trip report! I had an amazing time reading through it. Lovely photos!

Virgin does look like they are offering a more promising product, and I agree with you from the photos that they look really good. However, the meal portion seems rather small. I might not be full after trying the chicken on your outbound flight. Having said that, I'll definitely like to try VS the next time I fly LHR-JFK.

Cheers!


User currently offlinePatagon From Chile, joined Aug 2011, 32 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Really nice trip report, I enjoyed all your report and pictures of NY, thanks!

User currently offlineSInGAPORE_AIR From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 13742 posts, RR: 19
Reply 7, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Nice trip report !

http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x35/jwhite9185/New%20York/file_zps117a7bbd.jpg


That's all they gave you for breakfast ?!



Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
User currently offlinesq_ek_freak From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2000, 1633 posts, RR: 20
Reply 8, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great report! VS do look much better from previous years, they have put together an appealing looking product. Their meal service concept is interesting, and presentation looks good, if only the portions were beefed up a bit.

Quoting SInGAPORE_AIR (Reply 7):
That's all they gave you for breakfast ?!

That's pretty much standard fare across the Atlantic to London these days...



Keep Discovering
User currently offlineeicvd From Ireland, joined Mar 2008, 2157 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi James

Great trip report, really got me excited about my next trip away. Im off to NYC in November & it shall be a trip of many firsts! Thanks for posting.


User currently offlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1292 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Thanks for the first of the replies,

Quoting canadiantree (Reply 4):
Very enjoyable trip report. I love flying the A330, such a graceful and beautiful plane it is!

I found the A330 quite a good aircraft - very quiet, but maybe a little bumpy on the ground when sat in the last rows. They seem to be pretty popular so hopefully ill get another one someday

Quoting captainsloo (Reply 5):
Thanks for the excellent trip report! I had an amazing time reading through it. Lovely photos!

No problem!

Quoting captainsloo (Reply 5):
However, the meal portion seems rather small. I might not be full after trying the chicken on your outbound flight.

It did seem like a small portion compared to previous flights - who knows maybe the reason why they reduced the size of the meal trays was to hide the fact the meals were smaller?!

Quoting Patagon (Reply 6):
Really nice trip report, I enjoyed all your report and pictures of NY, thanks!

Thank you.

Quoting SInGAPORE_AIR (Reply 7):
That's all they gave you for breakfast ?!

Yes, but having been given a ham and cheese muffin for years on end and not making any attempt to eat it, this was a step up!

Quoting sq_ek_freak (Reply 8):
VS do look much better from previous years, they have put together an appealing looking product. Their meal service concept is interesting

As i mentioned, they're going n the right direction. They just need to be more consistent across the fleet. I noticed a couple from my outbound flight waiting for the 747 flight back to LHR at JFK and I'd imagine they might of been a bit disappointed if this was their first experience of VS.



A300,A319,A320,A321,A333,A343,A346,A388,732,733,734,735,738,741,742,744,752,763,772,77W,788,Q400,DC10,E145,E170,E175,E19
User currently offlineJetBlueGuy2006 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1659 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great report!

Quoting jwhite9185 (Thread starter):
Almost an hour later I was welcomed to the USA by an unusually friendly immigration officer. He continually used my first name, made conversation about the hotel I was staying in and generally easy going - something I’d not experienced at immigration in the US before where they generally take the guilty until proven innocent stance. It was off to find the Air Train to Jamaica station.

Glad to hear that it was a smooth experience.



Home Airport: Capital Region International Airport (KLAN)
User currently offlineheebeegb From Finland, joined Sep 2007, 424 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

4 engines for long haul?

Ive always found VS to promote themselves as something special but in reality the same as every other main airline


User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 5163 posts, RR: 55
Reply 13, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi, J.,

great story and pictures.
It seems it´s really worth it to spend, also when they are pricey, some days in these great city.

VS looks like good on the new A330. Also something for me maybe soon.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: The eastern Intersky!.
User currently offlineTJCAB From Canada, joined Oct 2004, 330 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

fantastic. breezed thru (at work) and will read in great detail and enjoyment when I get home. Love these reports with the inclusion of the destination images!

User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4268 posts, RR: 51
Reply 15, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi James,

good to read about VS's latest A330 and the new product.

Quoting jwhite9185 (Thread starter):
I had been wanting to Visit NYC again for a few years now but the high accommodation prices had always put me off. Then, one March night whilst having a conversation with my dad, he mentioned that he had stayed in Brooklyn and, although still being quite a high price, was more reasonable than staying in the center of Manhattan, and a reasonable area too. I did a bit of research and found that hotels could be found in the region of £100 a night. In the end I opted for the Super 8 Motel in Brooklyn for a pricey £420.

I do prefer a downtown hotel though, no need to think about getting back by subway etc. Some 4* hotel does well, maybe I'm spoiled, but it's NYC all the way or not for me  
Quoting jwhite9185 (Thread starter):
More irritating was the couple sat the row in front - way too noisy and enthusiastic for this time of the morning!

Some people...

Quoting jwhite9185 (Thread starter):
Although it was still a bit early for lunch I'm my opinion - only just 11:00AM in London. The choices were the usual chicken, beef or pasta.

Not usual at all, 3 choices in Y. Airlines tend to stick to 2 options only.

Quoting jwhite9185 (Thread starter):
Almost an hour later I was welcomed to the USA by an unusually friendly immigration officer.

Only positive experiences with immigration, customs and security staff at NYC at T4 and T8 (haven't used other terminals). I never waited one hour though. Mostly much shorter.

btw, this VS product really dissappoints me. Though legroom seems OK, I think I'm a bit taller then you are. I wonder how I would feel with the legroom. The colours in the cabin are really nice. But the meals are just bad. Very little quantity of food, it was definitely much better a few years ago when I flew them twice on LHR-NRT v.v., lovely flights on the A340-600 btw.

VS would not be my choice anymore these days.

Regards
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1918 posts, RR: 9
Reply 16, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 32767 times:

Thanks for the interesting trip report!

I am pleasantly surprised with the reintroduction of printed menus in Virgin economy class, but despite the new "enhanced" catering, I can't help to notice that the sizes of the main course has reduced 1/3 from previous. The salad though looks a bit larger than before. However the cupcake on the afternoon tea box looks great.

The UK airlines really like these boxes.... BA has the similar all day breakfast box and the all day deli box for pre-arrival meals.

I also can't help to notice the legroom seems to be a bit better than previous generation of economy class seats.

Thanks for sharing and the new A330-300 looks great.

Carfield


User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1199 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 32767 times:

The food on British Airways is great while VS is really pretty awful and insufficient. They follow the US airline example.

And the breakfast would make me sick.


User currently offlinejetBlue777 From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 1454 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Excellent trip report! Wonderful pictures!

The new VS A330 looks sleek.

However, I agree with you, those meals look terribly small. Although I tend not to eat that much on longhaul flights anyways. But I'm surprised that they had three choices, whereas, when I flew SQ this summer JFK-FRA-JFK, we only had two choices. (But then the FAs don't stop giving you extra beverages and snacks afterwards)

I'm glad that you visited my hometown! It was also great that you visited nearly all the major tourist attractions in just 5 days. The Top of the Rock is definitely great, and IMO better than the Empire State viewing deck. (Although I haven't been in the Transit Museum, which looks interesting)

Quoting jwhite9185 (Thread starter):
Managed to find a model shop near Times Square

I never knew this existed. I must visit soon!

BTW - Is the airplane model shop you visited called "The Red Caboose" ? at 23 West 45th St?

Regards   
- jetBlue777



[Edited 2012-09-21 17:56:57]


It's a cultural thing.
User currently offlinebeeweel15 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1752 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting jetBlue777 (Reply 18):
Excellent trip report! Wonderful pictures!

The new VS A330 looks sleek.

I agree with that. Best report I have read so far.

Quoting jetBlue777 (Reply 18):
Quoting jwhite9185 (Thread starter):
Managed to find a model shop near Times Square

I never knew this existed. I must visit soon!

BTW - Is the airplane model shop you visited called "The Red Caboose" ? at 23 West 45th St?

Yes where is it exactly


User currently online767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1935 posts, RR: 24
Reply 20, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great report! It looks like you had some good flights with VS and a nice stay in NYC. The food served on Virgin looks to be a bit lacking from what it used to be - I remember their food being really tasty, but there seemed to be much more served on the tray! I do like their use of menus in Economy Class.

I'm always so amazing how every airline that flies an international flight to Europe from JFK usually serves an extremely small, and almost laughable "breakfast" prior to landing. granola bar, muffin, and OJ?! I just always find it funny! - Is this every airline's concept of "breakfast" ?

Best,

Matthew (767747)


User currently offlineqf002 From Australia, joined Jul 2011, 2970 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Awesome report!


Quoting 767747 (Reply 20):
almost laughable "breakfast" prior to landing. granola bar, muffin, and OJ?! I just always find it funny! - Is this every airline's concept of "breakfast" ?

To be fair, most people wouldn't have much more than this for their breakfast most days anyway... Once you've added a cup of tea/coffee, it seems reasonable on a 6 hour flight. I doubt you could find any airline that would offer two full hot meals on a 6 hour flight.


User currently offlineburj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 901 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Very cool trip report! The food lucks much better than when I flew Virgin several years ago!

Glad you got to see so much of NYC!


User currently offlinesultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1703 posts, RR: 30
Reply 23, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi J,

Excellent report you made there! Lovely pics all troughout and nice to see the new cabin of VS. Looks modern and trendy but the meals are definitely too small of a size. NYC is booked here as well, next year in May with AC and UA ex-BRU.

Quoting jwhite9185 (Thread starter):
G-VHOT and G-VWOW.

Does mr Branson pay extra to get these exciting regs?

Quoting jwhite9185 (Thread starter):
Once inside I found G-VNYC waiting - which was pretty appropriate considering today's destination.

I was about to say the same  

Quoting jwhite9185 (Thread starter):
Boredom or a work of art?!

You seem to be the creative type  

Quoting jwhite9185 (Thread starter):
Boarding was announced pretty promptly at 17:20 local and the aircraft name, Miss Sunshine was given.

'Charles' would've been more appropriate!

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlinereifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1357 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great report, thanks for sharing. VS seems to have quite a decent offeri. Found the food a little too less for my taste, portions could have been bigger.

You have seen quite a lot of NYC!


25 Knightsofmalta : Hi James Thanks for the interesting read, just the right thing to lift the spirits on a grey Saturday afternoon. I liked your pictures very much, they
26 lukeyboy95 : Hi James, Your finest work yet! Really an excellent report, and beautifully illistrated by well-taken photos. Briliant stuff... Also the most comprehe
27 robso2 : Really enjoyed this report and the photos. THanks for posting!
28 Post contains images Andriyko : Thank you for the excellent trip report and pictures! Wow! VS seems to have a decent Economy product. I am tempted to try it!
29 Post contains images nethkt : Great report on much awaited VS new cabin interior. The new Upper Class Suite looks even better and more glamorous! What a way to fly across the atlan
30 sevenheavy : Great trip report. Nice to see the new product seems to be an improvement. There are no plans to retrofit the new UCS to older aircraft. To be honest
31 jwhite9185 : Wow thats a lot of comments overnight - thanks! Hopefully i don't miss replying to anybody out - apologies if i do. Hope you enjoy! I'd heard rumours
32 Post contains images anstar : What more do you want on a 6 hour flight? You would have eaten about 1.5 hours in and then breakfast 3 hours after that! I believe that was a marketi
33 jwhite9185 : Yeah the diamonds with LED's in really set the tone well - shame it was all a bit rushed as i'd of liked to get a few more pics of that too. Thanks!
34 globalflyer : Awesome pictures James. I missed you by two days. I was connecting DL-LX on the 17th! Looks like the same planes I saw as well at T-4! I just love the
35 Post contains images deltamartin : Hi James! Nice report, and good to see that VS didn't disappoint. I'd love to fly them some day! I'd have made sure to get at least one flight on an A
36 Post contains links and images jwhite9185 : Yeah i saw that you were in JFK on Monday. They had a piece on the way in about it being the NBC studios but made no mention Eastern. I didn't know t
37 Post contains images deltamartin : Hi again, Sounds exciting, will do! Well I did too when I was there, so that's no excuse! Martin
38 817Dreamliiner : Hey jwhite9185 Great report, must try virgin sometime on LGW-ANU in the future, they seem to have an interesting offering. Thanks for sharing your rep
39 MSS658 : Hi James Great trip report, thanks for sharing. Nice to see the VS 330 product, looks pretty nice. Seats look nice and comfortable. Overall service se
40 Post contains images OA260 : Hey James Great report and love all the photos from NYC . Have not seen a TR with such detail on NYC for ages so well done. Nice to see a FID with GEO
41 jwhite9185 : Thanks Marc I actually found them a bit upright, and a little hard on G-VNYC but i guess thats because they're still new and not worn in yet. And as
42 Post contains links PlaneHunter : Hi James, great report with many nice pictures. VS' new interior is okay, but I had expected it to be a bit more advanced. I'm not a fan of the seat c
43 jwhite9185 : I think the major change is in Upper Class with the diamonds, LED's and new bar area. Premium economy is identical to the rest of the fleet. The new
44 abrelosojos : = That is far more generous than other airlines on TATL YCL actually. Worst offender is AC which gives you a silly and nasty muffin ... irrespective
45 karan69 : Hi James, nice report showcasing VS new product on their 333s , I read this with keen interest as VS will be relaunching flights to my home city BOM f
46 Post contains links jwhite9185 : No Problem! Thats true, plus VS also use the new A333's to DEL also. Cant really comment on that as the last time i flew longhaul with anybody other
47 anstar : haha I like that one! The premium economy meal service is now quite different to economy... My last flight had smoked salmon for starters, lasagne (o
48 Post contains images raffik : Fantastic trip report- the A330 looks very impressive! I much prefer traveling with VS transatlantic. My last flights were back from San Francisco and
49 jwhite9185 : Interesting - cant say i remember off the top of my had on my last flights. Ill have to dig the menu out! All i do remember though is having the same
50 Post contains images anstar : Defnately not the same dessert as economy any more New Caterers started a couple of months ago in conjunction with new PE service.
51 Post contains links and images jwhite9185 : Yeah, just found my menus from PE in 2010 - no mention of the GU desert so must of been 2009 i was given those! The trip report of that flight can be
52 Post contains images adamspotter : Hi James! Finally got the time to read this report... excellent report with a lot of great pictures. Really enjoyed it, thanks! VS looks quite good al
53 Post contains images win1290 : Hi James, Very nice and thorough trip reports, thanks a lot for writing this up, a very nice read. You took some very nice pictures. Great to see dest
54 jwhite9185 : No problem! It was a good few days - good timing too as id rather have 4 busy days than 7 half filled! They seemed like the type that were excited by
55 roberts87 : Interesting report, thanks for sharing! Nice to read about Virgins new product on the A330!
56 jwhite9185 : No problem Robert!
57 babybus : I loved reading your report. I think I read every word, which is unusual for me. I'd like to say that I thought the food looked terribly cheap. There
58 jwhite9185 : Thanks very much! Glad I could keep your attention. Chances are it probably was cheap but it tasted ok so cant complain. On my last flight with VS in
59 anstar : I remember doing JFK-LHR with BA around 2007 and only got a mini muffin for the second breakfast meal! Didnt seem worth the effort!. Looking at some
60 palmjet : Hi James Great report and super pics - I read this recently but did not have a chance to post a comment. Thanks for showing us VS' new A333. The aircr
61 FlyboyOz : VS served the ham and cheese muffin for breakfast for long time? wow! Im glad they have changed a little bit. Well..we didnt have dessert that made by
62 jwhite9185 : Thanks PJ I thought so too - the newer A330's look much better with the metallic red than the 2 at LGW with the flat red. I wasnt that impressed with
63 tonystan : My goodness, its only a 6 hour flight....he probably ate his dinner about 1hr-1:30hr after take off and had this an hour before landing so thats only
64 gabrielchew : Nice report James! Good to see the new VS 330s. Ouch, NY is quite overpriced I think. I spent about $120 a nice for a nice room in Manhattan, but it w
65 jwhite9185 : Thanks Gabriel! Compared to the rest if the USA i found it pretty pricey. I fancied just a cheap dinner at Wendy's one night and it set me back nearl
66 Post contains images akhmad : Hi James, Very nice report about your trip to The Big Apple! Thank you for sharing VS’ A330 experience and showing around the airline’s web and mo
67 jwhite9185 : Hi Suryo, Thanks! There were a few slightly cheaper but thy didn't get very good reviews. The hotel I stayed in was fine though. Clean, relatively new
68 ba319-131 : Nice report & pix James, thanks for posting, sorry it took so long to read and reply. - They always are, no matter when you book. - Err, should th
69 jwhite9185 : Hi Mark, Thanks Better late than never! It actually gave me the excuse to have a look through it again - brought back some good memories. Yeah, defian
70 ba319-131 : [quote=jwhite9185,reply=69]uoting ba319-131 (Reply 68): I'll stick with BA as the lounge access After my latest round of trips I'll be sticking to One
71 planiac787 : Nice Trip report! Good to see the Virgin Atlantic Product...I have flown on the exact same route and I am little disappointed with there service.. Cat
72 jwhite9185 : planiac787, Thanks, I think this is VS experimenting. They relaunched their economy service around a year ago when the A330's were first deployed from
73 anstar : As has been said above - this is common across all airlines flying transatlantic. Fuel is soo high and therefore they need to cut costs where they ca
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