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LHR-LAX With VS – Images Included (Part I)  
User currently offlineJkw777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 7200 times:

Flight: from London (LHR-Heathrow) to Los Angeles, CA, United States (LAX-Los Angeles Intl.)
Depart: Wed 7-Apr-04 at 12:00
Arrive: Wed 7-Apr-04 at 15:10

Depart: London (LHR), 7-Apr-04 at 12:00 Terminal 3
Arrive: Los Angeles (LAX), 7-Apr-04 at 15:10 Terminal 2
Flight: Continental 8227, operated by VIRGIN ATLANTIC -- VS7
Aircraft: Boeing 747-400
Meal Service: Lunch
Duration: 11hr 10mn
Distance: 5442 mile(s) (8758 km)
Economy/Coach Class

Aircraft: G-VTOP

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Photo © Darren Rhodes
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Photo © Dennis Lau

My first Trans-Atlantic flight for 6 years was arranged with 2 weeks to spare. My good pal Chris Sharps contacted me and said did I want to go, I couldn't resist!

I left my house at 6:00 a.m. to get the 6:20 a.m. coach to Heathrow. It was a pleasant journey and passed very quickly. I arrived at the Central Bus station about 15 minutes early! I rang Chris and informed him of my arrival. He was there within 5 minutes smiling and very happy! No wander; we were flying Trans-Atlantic with Virgin!  Big grin

We proceeded towards T3 for check in. We arrived at a very quiet Virgin desk and checked in. We had changed our seats to 61A and 61C as these are pretty much the best seats on the 747-400  Smile

We cleared security and had a while till our flight departed so we grabbed a coffee at Starbucks and found various locations to shoot pictures of aircraft! Here is my pal Chris standing in front of a UAL 767:

We waited for our gate to be displayed on the board; with no joy we approached a Virgin Atlantic member of staff. They informed us that the flight was delayed by approximately 15 minutes. We then asked what aircraft we would fly on; she informed us it was a 747-400 with the registration G-VTOP!

We continued to do some more aircraft watching and shooting when we came across this cool security camera! Here you see me taking a picture of the camera which is videoing me! Big grin Anything to pass the time before a flight! LOL

We walked towards a big seating area and discussed the flight ahead. We talked about various things to do in LAX when we arrived  Smile Here is a shot of the departures lined up for the day from T3.

All of a sudden our gate number flashed on the screen, me and Chris gasped with joy! It was gate 35. Apparently this gate takes about 20 minutes to walk to!? It took us about 2 minutes! Embarrassment We proceeded towards gate 35 and picked up speed as we got nearer towards the aircraft! To our surprise it was G-VTOP Virginia Plain  Smile/happy/getting dizzy Seen here:

Boarding was announced and we proceeded to the queue. We were quite near the front so that was lucky. We gave our boarding cards over and I had to wait to one side for some reason! That was scary as it was my first International trip in my new passport and I thought something was up, luckily all was ok! Does anyone know why this was?

We boarded our aircraft at 12:05 and made our way to seats 61A and 61C. These are very good seats as there is so much more space back here! We had made an agreement on who gets the window seat on each flight or at what point in the flight. I had the window seat all the way over to LA! (I hope you didn't mind Chris?!) Under the seat in front of me I had that horrid black box for the entertainment system  Sad

As soon as we boarded we had our cameras on! Chris wanted to take a wing shot as we were parked at the gate. So I had to get him doing this!  Big grin Sorry Chris!

We pushed back at 12:40, 40 minutes later than scheduled! It wasn't bad really. Our Captain, Colin White, came on the P/A and outlined us of our flying time and the fact he would let us know the conditions when on approach to LAX.

We taxied towards 27L and I noticed that we passed G-MIDR which I flew on a few weeks before hand!  Smile We waited in a queue of Aircraft for about 5-10 minutes and finally got our turn to depart. We done a rolling take off and were airborne at about and up past through the clouds at about 13:13.

We climbed and the seat belt signs were off. The IFE was then loaded and I went straight to the in-flight map  Big grin I noticed there was an old guy behind me shooting film, so I swung around when he was shooting, snapped a shot of him  Laugh out loud

After about an hour of flying dinner was served, I opted for the Vegetable Curry meal. It was really quite tasty for Airline food! I'm never usually a fan of taking pics of the meals consumed on board but hey, I made an exception for this one!

So we got to play with Odyssey, it wasn't at all that bad really. We noticed it froze a few times!? Has anyone else experienced this!? We played a few games and I watched loads of different Simpsons and Will and Grace Episodes! Its the type of thing I would normally watch back home on the sofa with a bag of Doritos!  Big grin

After a few hours of flying we passed over Greenland! I was amazed at the views captured from this altitude! I was using a Canon D30 with 24-85mm lens if anyone is interested to know. Extremely good results if you ask me. These are all Photoshop Processed images too; they looked really bland when unprocessed! Hope you all like them.  Smile

We both decided to wander around the Aircraft and shoot some images of the cabin. We established that next time we fly VS we would go Premium Economy! I took one of the wing from the middle of the Aircraft, damn impressive sight really. The people that were sat in that row asked if we wanted to take a pic of them and if they had to smile Big grin We declined their offer and thanked them for letting us invade their legroom for 5 minutes! They seemed ok with it.

When Chris wasn't looking I also decided to play a game of *Spot the Airliners.net member*  Big grin He is sat enjoying his 3rd strawberry ice cream Big grin

We were over North/South Dakota when I decided to take a shot of the moving map on the PVT in front of me. I had a lot of fun watching this on and off through out the flight to keep an eye out on where we were heading  Smile

Throughout the flight the Virgin Cabin crew remained very friendly, now was the surprise part  Big grin We asked them if we could take a visit up to the flight deck whilst on the ground at LAX. They said no problem at all!! They continued serving us drinks and snacks. It was very good service indeed!

Our Captain came on the P/A and announced that we were about 15 minutes away from LAX. He said we were flying over Vegas and the weather was pretty good in LA. It was around 70 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. He was right! It was lovely  Smile

We made a few turns, and I noticed we passed over an airfield. I managed to grab a shot of it. Anyone know which it is?

We also passed some lovely snow topped mountains which I just couldn't resist taking a shot of! The looked pretty nice and I feel the winglet in this shot made it pretty cool  Big grin

The seatbelt sign came on and at last we were on approach to LAX. I got pretty excited looking down on the city. We made one final turn then the spoilers were deployed, this made the ride very bumpy and noisy. It was fun though Big grin Here we are on finals for LAX:

The landing was good with no harsh slamming to the ground or anything like that. We didn't use reverse thrust we just braked and rolled to a stop! I was impressed at how quick we halted. We vacated the runway and proceeded to our gate. I noticed we passed a USAirways building.

We arrived at our gate and I thought I would start the fun. I took a shot of a guy on the ground, he looked directly at me when I took this one! Big grin

We waited till all the PAX disembarked and started taking some shots of the interior. We also went up to the cockpit and spoke with the crew. They asked us if we were from Airliners.net! How did they know? LOL  Laugh out loud

Here are the shots my pal got uploaded to the site. Unfortunately as I went to take one of the F/A's came running up and said "Quick guys, you have to leave they are leaving"! That was a real bummer  Sad

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Photo © Chris Sharps
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Photo © Chris Sharps

Well done on these shots by the way  Big thumbs up

We left our plane with masses of excitement for the next 31 hours that were in front of us. I took a shot of our bird as we departed.

We had a very good experience with Virgin Atlantic and will fly them again in the future  Smile Thanks to all the Crew on VS007 for their great hospitality on this long flight across the pond!

I hope you all enjoyed reading this. My return report on the A340-300 will follow!

Please feel free to leave any comments and ask any questions.


Justin  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineAirplanepics From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2003, 2748 posts, RR: 37
Reply 1, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 7081 times:

Very good report Justin, I like the pics.

We will have to do something like this sometime, as I said maybe the weekend at ACE?

Looking forward to the trurn journey.


Simon - London-Aviation.com
User currently offlineA340600 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 4108 posts, RR: 49
Reply 2, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 7061 times:

Well done m8 you reports keep getting better and the pictures are fab. Now hurry up damnit with part two Laugh out loud

Sam Smile

Despite the name I am a Boeing man through and through!
User currently offlineRyanair737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 7044 times:

Superb trip report Justin, the pics are great, especially over Greenland, breathtaking! Would like to try VS one day, hopefully to CPT. Can't wait for part 2 of your report.  Big thumbs up

Ryanair737  Smile

User currently offlineCOAB767 From Guam, joined Nov 2003, 1377 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 7044 times:

Great report I love the pics those are so kewl. Glad VS codeshares with CO on the LHR-LAX run.

Continental Micronesia: "Fly With The Warmth Of Paradise"
User currently offlineMhodgson From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2002, 5047 posts, RR: 23
Reply 5, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 7004 times:

Sounds like a good trip - did you NOT get a picture of anything  Laugh out loud

No trees were harmed by this message. However, several million electrons were terribly inconvenienced
User currently offlineBa319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8743 posts, RR: 53
Reply 6, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 6945 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice,I especially like the photos of Greenland,totally superb Smile

User currently offlineEGFFbmi From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 6878 times:

Really nice trip report!

I love all the pics but the Greenland one's are wow!

I can't wait for the return trip report!



User currently offlineDelta717 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 457 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 6874 times:

I flew VS003 LHR-JFK on the 7th. Weird coincidence. Great Report.

User currently offlineJkw777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 6865 times:

Wow thats cool. What time did you leave?

Justin Big grin

[Edited 2004-04-11 18:34:24]

User currently offlineLHR340 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2003, 877 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 6846 times:

Go Justin!! Kool report + Pics, I can't wait till my trip to LAX in may Big grin. I saw G-VFAB land at LHR on Wednesday morning whilst waiting for my flight to MAN & thought of you  Laugh out loud.


A340 LoVeR! EC-GQK - LHR The Bussiest International Airport & 3rd Bussiest In The World!
User currently offlineMYT332 From Australia, joined Sep 2003, 9120 posts, RR: 67
Reply 11, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 6750 times:

Cool report mate, nice pics and glad you enjoyed it all. Virgin ainttoo bad aint they althougth Virgnia Plains nose looks a bit dodgy. Maybe she should have had it re done since she was in LA  Big grin

I already know about the retrun trip, you said the A343 was kind of fast but not that impressive. hehe!


Oh heres a flight tracker print screen of Justins flight that day

One Life, Live it.
User currently offlineDmerinop From Spain, joined Dec 2003, 160 posts, RR: 10
Reply 12, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 6721 times:

Hey great trip report!!!

All I hear about Virgin is good and cant wait until I fly them. When will it be??? I hope soon!!!


User currently offlineOzzie From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 338 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 6615 times:

Great Pics, nice report, can't wait for the next one.

User currently offlineLu From China, joined Aug 1999, 175 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 6609 times:

Never read such a fabulous account before. Cannot help visiting here for the return one.

User currently offlinePSAHO88 From Italy, joined Sep 2000, 90 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 6552 times:

Thanks a lot for this superb report and those pictures!
 Smile/happy/getting dizzy

User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4785 posts, RR: 24
Reply 16, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 6513 times:

Excellent photos of the trip! I simply love reading reports with photos attached to it.

Look out for mine! I have a trip to Thailand coming up soon!

Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineTom in NO From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 7194 posts, RR: 31
Reply 17, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 6419 times:


The name of the airport you're looking at on your approach to LAX is in fact the Chino Airport http://www.airnav.com/airport/kcno. It's claim to fame is that it is the home of the Planes of Fame Museum http://www.planesoffame.org.

Tom at MSY

"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
User currently offlineDelta717 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 457 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 6371 times:

My flight was supposed to leave at 14:00 hours but we ended up delaying until around 15:30.

User currently offlineChris78cpr From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 2825 posts, RR: 47
Reply 19, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 6342 times:


What did i say about you posting picures of me on the internet!!!!!!!!! When did u get me eating my ice cream!!!!!!!!!!! lol It was very nice 2!!!!!

Who here would like to see some ictures of Mr JKW from our little trip to LAX!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?


5D2/7D/1D2(soon to be a 1Dx) 17-40L/24-105L/70-200F2.8L/100-400L/24F1.4LII/50F1.2L/85F1.2LII
User currently offlineKevin752 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 747 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 6314 times:

Well Jkw777, I hope that you enjoyed my home city. I really hope that you went plane spotting by the in and out burger place. It is a good place to see the planes and feel close to them. I loved the report and pics. I can not wait to read the return flight report.

"Keep Climbing"
User currently offlineLu From China, joined Aug 1999, 175 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 6309 times:

I am raising my 2 hands and 2 feet asking to see MR JKW.
BTW, u are so pretty cute, especially long hair, so hot. Laugh out loud


User currently offlineINNflight From Switzerland, joined Apr 2004, 3783 posts, RR: 56
Reply 22, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 6227 times:

Who here would like to see some ictures of Mr JKW from our little trip to LAX!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?

ME WANTS TO  Laugh out loud Please show everything you can. And also some images from LAX spotting pls!

Very cool report!

regards Florian

Jet Visuals
User currently offlineJkw777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 6127 times:

WOW  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Thank you all for your kind comments!  Big thumbs up There shall be no pictures of me on here!

Part II shall follow soon,

Justin Big grin

User currently offlineDC-10 Levo From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 3432 posts, RR: 3
Reply 24, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 6112 times:

Excellent report and great pictures. I love those Greenland shots!  Big thumbs up I've flown with VS twice before - once on a 747 and once on a A340. They are one of the best airlines ever in my eyes.


25 Post contains images Leezyjet : Good report and some great pics. Suprised you didn't take any of the new Upper Class Suite though or the new bar area. Sorry I couldn't let you know w
26 UA2162 : I loved the pictures of Greenland! Excellent job!
27 Post contains links and images Jkw777 : Part II now completed: http://www.airliners.net/discussions/trip_reports/read.main/42689/ Enjoy, Justin
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