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Topic Author
Posts: 666
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2001 10:20 am

Virgin Atlantic LHR - LAX

Sat Dec 08, 2001 1:11 pm

In five days I'm flying Virgin Atlantic LHR to LAX on the airbus 340 - 300. Having never flown the airbus before ( I've always ended up on a 747 or 777 on my International trips ) I'm wondering what to expect.

Whats the climb like on the airbus ? The seating plan ? Anywhere I shouldn't be sitting ? Unfortunately I can never get the coveted exit row owing to my damaged hearing ....

I've never flown Virgin before either - six trips to the states and it's always been with British Airways or United Airlines. I've been hearing great things about their entertainment system but awful things about the lack of legroom - what should I be looking out for ?

 
YWG
Posts: 1055
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2001 11:29 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic LHR - LAX

Sat Dec 08, 2001 1:19 pm

That flight i believe VS 23? Was diverted to WInnipeg Canada in the summer due to medical reason, it spent a night here due to crew rest issue's.
Here some pics,
http://www.geocities.com/YWGpics/aug24.html
from my web site.
Contact Winnipeg center now on 134.4, good day.
 
ILS
Posts: 2291
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2001 2:34 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic LHR - LAX

Sat Dec 08, 2001 1:25 pm

I love the Virgin A340s. Some say that the climb is underated and not that powerful, but I think otherwise. Isn't she beautiful?

 
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RE: Virgin Atlantic LHR - LAX

Sat Dec 08, 2001 1:30 pm

Indeed and I'm LMAO at the " noway BA " slogan ... are these Virgin goody bags really that great ? Can you play Super Mario at 35,000 feet ?

I'm flying home from Newark on the Airbus again - I really wanted a 777 which has been the smoothest flight I've ever been on ....

I've just signed up to the Virgin Atlantic frequent flyer thingy - as if they live up to their reputation it looks like I'll be using them later in the year.
 
ILS
Posts: 2291
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2001 2:34 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic LHR - LAX

Sat Dec 08, 2001 1:35 pm

Virgin doesn't operate 777s. There was once talks of them ordering the 777-300, but nothing much came out of it.

Exploring your entertainment system couldn't be easier. All seats have seat-back TV screens offering award winning programming with at least 8 video channels including: movies, kids programmes, comedy and news & sports updates. In addition to this, most of the planes have Nintendo and PC games.

Go here for more info:
http://www.virgin-atlantic.com/main.asp?page=4.2

 
ILS
Posts: 2291
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2001 2:34 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic LHR - LAX

Sat Dec 08, 2001 1:35 pm

BTW, how are you getting from LAX-EWR?
 
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RE: Virgin Atlantic LHR - LAX

Sat Dec 08, 2001 1:45 pm

LAX to EWR .

See, the following day my friends and I are flying to NC -it's a three leg flight.

From LAX I fly to ATL with Frontier Airlines ( via Denver ) and from ATL we are going to RDU with AirTran ( a McDougall DC9 ).

After a week in Raleigh NC, I'm flying down to FLL with Southwest Air for another week of vacation then up to NYC with JetBlue. I leave NYC on the 7th of Jan from Newark.

Pity about the lack of 777'S - my favourite plane. I flew home on one from Chicago O Hare with United once and we had NO turbulence which was a rare thing indeed. Very very smooth and quiet as I say.

Well, ok I haven't booked the FLL to NYC leg yet - I'm still shopping around for deals .... but it looks like Jetblue or SpiritAir ....
 
ILS
Posts: 2291
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2001 2:34 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic LHR - LAX

Sat Dec 08, 2001 1:48 pm

Go for jetBlue! They have PTVs on each seat! And very cheap fare and nice seats!
 
Guest

RE: Virgin Atlantic LHR - LAX

Sat Dec 08, 2001 9:13 pm

I have flown accross the pond 3 times with VS this year, once on the 340. The 340 is a fine bird the only real difference you will see is the larger winglet out the side!
Virgin do a pretty good (not great) job when the plane is about half full, when the plane is totally full, everything goes down hill rapidly!
Iain
 
Ikarus
Posts: 3391
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2001 10:18 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic LHR - LAX

Sat Dec 08, 2001 10:10 pm

Iainhol: Disagree, of course......

I actually had the opposite experience. On the less-than-half full flights in February, they were great in terms of frequent drink services, but apart from that the cabin crew were not great or particularly friendly - it felt like a flight on BA or LH. On the 70-90% full flights a week ago, the drink services were fewer, but the cabin crew were outstandingly friendly and competent.

I found the legroom quite standard (certainly better than Ryanair or Go  Big grin Big grin ) and the entertainment great - except for the Arcadia system which was notoriously unreliable on the plane it was installed on. The Odyssey system worked perfectly on the 3 planes with it installed that I had been on.

So all in all, it's definitely a world class airline (judging by the Economy Class product). And yes, you can play Super Mario at 35,000 feet (or any other altitude), you get a cool goody bag, you can use the (extremely expensive) in-flight telephones (there's one guarantueed to be in your seat in the Odyssey system)....

What you should look out for? Have a look at the back of the safety card. I kept smiling when I saw it.... they know us infamous aviation enthusiasts!

Regards

Ikarus
 
bombayhog
Posts: 504
Joined: Mon May 07, 2001 11:34 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic LHR - LAX

Sat Dec 08, 2001 11:54 pm

I've flown Virgin Atlantic close to about 50,000 miles in the last four years, and at this point I actually have mixed feelings about them. Here's what I like about them:

The goody bags are really cool- you get a rubber duck attached to your toothbrush  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

The entertainment systems are great...when they work (see dislikes section).

The staff and crew are always really great, in my opinion. I love the attitude that Virgin has as a whole. It makes you feel welcome onboard even in economy.

Their sense of design is great. A lot of airlines, especially domestic US airlines, seem to forget about overall aesthetic- Virgin certainly puts an emphasis on this, and I commend them for that.

And here's what I dislike about them:

The entertainment systems have been broken on about 40% of my flights- ranging from fully inoperative to just slightly malfunctioning.

The legroom is not very good. Especially having experienced AA's legroom recently, I really find it hard to get comfortably in their seats. But then again, it's not much worse than any other carrier really. So what can you do.

The A340s have felt a bit cramped to me. More so than the B744s. Nothing horrible, but it is a difference that I notice.

So there you go- hopefully this gives you an idea about what VS is like. Of course, my experiences with them may in no way be similar to yours. So this is just my opinion about them.

Overall, I have enjoyed flying with them, and would be happy to fly with them again if they were offering a good price. Their product, I think, succeeds, because they are unique in a way that many airlines shy away from these days.

Regards.

/gwl
 
VC-10
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Joined: Tue Oct 26, 1999 11:34 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic LHR - LAX

Sun Dec 09, 2001 12:24 am

Whats the climb like on the airbus ? - Why are pax so bothered about the climb? As long as it goes up whats the prob?
 
Guest

RE: Virgin Atlantic LHR - LAX

Sun Dec 09, 2001 4:05 am

Virgin Atlantic are one of the best airlines in the air today I flew to SFO and back from LAX with them earlier this year and had the best flying experiance I have ever had.

VC10: Obveously unlike you - we take an interest in the aircraft we fly on, especaily the tech data. THINK BEFORE U POST!!!!!

Marc.
 
Guest

RE: Virgin Atlantic LHR - LAX

Sun Dec 09, 2001 4:32 am

Marc. VC-10 probably knows more about 'techinical data' then any other member on this board. He was making the point that that most people here can not tell how quick an aircraft climbs so it makes no difference.
I think you need to think before you post!
Iain
 
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Topic Author
Posts: 666
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RE: Virgin Atlantic LHR - LAX

Sun Dec 09, 2001 5:05 am

Oh lawd - all I did was ask a simple question  Big grin I mean, last time I went to the states on a 767 and those things are powerful ... whilst take off on a 777 I barely noticed us gaining altitude .... strange .....

I'm still wondering about the practical use of a rubber duck .... and on a 12 hour flight these game systems had better bloody work or Virgin will incur the wrath of Barcode ...

I think they partner with Frontier so I'm currently trying to work out how many airmiles this is going to gain me .... LHR - LAX - DENVER, CO - ATL - EWR - LHR will be the legs I can earn miles on ... can someone please do the maths ? Call me a rookie - I'm simply no good with figures. ... ho hum ...
 
Guest

RE: Virgin Atlantic LHR - LAX

Sun Dec 09, 2001 5:24 am

Yes, ho-hum indeed.

Anyway, I'm not much of an expert on Virgin, I've only ever flown them once; that was this June, on a flight to Chicago.....jazz capital extraordinaire. It was a 742 'Morning Glory'-btw, I've been told this phrase has sexual connotations-is that true? well, this is Virgin we're discusiing.....

ANYWAY, my opinion of this flight is that Virgin have simply *superbe* service-I'd put them above BA, in fact, BA aren't in the same league, frankly.

Well, I know some people have a thing about legroom, but as far as I'm concerned.....Economy class legroom? There's no discussion AFAIConcerned......it won't be great, whatever the airline.

As has been mentioned, the goody bags & rubber duckies are a fun, if what zany, touch. I haven't the foggiest what type of IFE was installed-but it was the standard choice; I think Emirates really tops that league (loads more channels).

The cabin crew-amused me. The guys were as gay as you get, but quite frankly they were extremely polite and charismatic-so smiles all round; they obviously loved their jobs.

The ladies are equally polite & usually good looking, but that's my £0.02, in that area.

Basically: exceptional service, brilliant livery and great goody-bag. What more do you want?

I'll be flying the 340 too, on the CPT-LHR sector in early Jan. Have a good one!

Regards

 
QANTAS747-438
Posts: 1656
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2001 7:01 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic LHR - LAX

Sun Dec 09, 2001 7:19 am

I flew LHR-LAX back in March on a VS A340 on flight 24 and I thought it was an ok flight. I could most definitely tell the difference between a 744 and the A340. The cabin is more round than the 744. The take off was very very slow. I noticed how long it took for the A340 to climb. At first I thought something was wrong, then I recalled hearing about the climb here on airliners.net. It also felt a little bit more rigid in flight. The 744 is so huge that it mushes it way through the air. But the A340 was sort of "tense." But other than that, its the same as any ol' flight.
My posts/replies are strictly my opinion and not that of any company, organization, or Southwest Airlines.
 
Ikarus
Posts: 3391
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2001 10:18 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic LHR - LAX

Sun Dec 09, 2001 7:21 am

Capt Picard:
G-VZZZ Morning Glory = Odyssey system. Flew on her in February.

And you've also heard that rumour about morning glory being the same as "morning wood"? Well well. I found the thought scary that the thing is basically supposed to be a 70m long aluminium erection... Yuck

Fortunately I have found out after having been on the plane. The phrase was so new to me, I did not believe it until people in these forums confirmed...


Barcode:
A340 takeoff is in the same league as 777, or slightly below, in terms of climb rate when fully loaded.

The practical use of a rubber duck is, of course, to give it to the kids / wife as souvenir on return, claiming it was bought in a duty free shop and designed by Walt Disney / Calvin Klein or something Big grin

Have a great flight!

Regards

Ikarus
 
VgnAtl747
Posts: 1333
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2001 3:59 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic LHR - LAX

Sun Dec 09, 2001 11:21 am

IMO, Virgin is much better than BA. I think you'll enjoy your flight. Since you've never flown with them before... at my website, http://www.virginatlanticfan.f2s.com, you can find some information about the flight, the entertainment system and more. You might want to just have a peek before your trip.

Have Fun!
Work Hard. Fly Right. Continental Airlines
 
yqfca
Posts: 166
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2001 12:35 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic LHR - LAX

Sun Dec 09, 2001 4:08 pm

You'll be flying over my house! I live a hundred miles north of Calgary. I catch it on ACARS every day.
Yesterday it was:
----------------------------------------------------13:08:59, 07/12/2001
G-VELD A340-313X 214 PSLM [African Queen]
Virgin Atlantic VS0007 LondonHeathrow-LosAngeles
Using Ground Station 2 .Message No. M69A
Message Type 1L AIRLINE DESIGNATED DOWNLINK
003111WX006,
and today it was:
----------------------------------------------------21:05:38, 08/12/2001
G-VBUS A340-311 13 EJMR [Lady in Red]
Virgin Atlantic VS0008 LosAngeles-LondonHeathrow
Using Ground Station 2 .Message No. S48A
Message Type Q0 LINK TEST

About the climb rate. By the time it gets to Calgary it is at 31 or 33.000 feet!

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