icebud
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon May 07, 2001 6:08 am

Virgin To Orlando

Mon Mar 18, 2002 1:11 am

I am flying to Orlando in July from Gatwick with Virgin Atlantic. I know they have a good reputation but has anyone flown this route who can just brief me on service, aircraft etc.?
 
dan330
Posts: 433
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2001 12:52 am

RE: Virgin To Orlando

Mon Mar 18, 2002 3:39 am

I've flown on the Virgin Orlando route a few times, both Gatwick and Manchester and I'll be using the Manchester route again in May.

The service is good, you get a choice of main meal, also a sandwich before you land and an ice cream usually.

The aircraft should now be a 747-400 so you should also get a great entertainment package including the latest movies, nintendo games and moving map etc on your personal TV.

I flew BA on this route as well but I have to say that Virgin are far better, I don't think you'll be disappointed.
 
lapper
Posts: 1541
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2002 6:42 am

RE: Virgin To Orlando

Mon Mar 18, 2002 7:06 pm

I flew Gatiwck-Orlando last June on a 747-200, and must say I was VERY surprised they operated an aircraft without games etc on a route that is so heavily used by families. As Dan330 says, this is now operated by a 747-400 (which I am pleased about as I am going back in September!) I always rate VS over BA in terms of service etc.
 
Lekky-Man
Posts: 392
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2002 4:40 am

RE: Virgin To Orlando

Mon Mar 18, 2002 7:13 pm

I must say it's good to hear good things about VS.

I'm on that route in less than 3 weeks with 9 members of my family in tow!! (2 kids too)
It's good to know there'll be stuff for my 11y/o to do because he loves gaming, especially Nintendo!!

After I've returned to the UK i'll put a new post on here and let everyone know what it was like, ok?
Cheers all.

LM
 
RickB
Posts: 807
Joined: Mon May 19, 2003 3:11 am

RE: Virgin To Orlando

Mon Mar 18, 2002 7:15 pm

Dan - I believe Virgin are using an air atlanta aircraft on the MAN > MCO route this summer as opposed to a Virgin aircraft (well its an ex-Virgin 742 I think) which means no PTV's etc.
 
lapper
Posts: 1541
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2002 6:42 am

RE: Virgin To Orlando

Mon Mar 18, 2002 7:55 pm

RickB,

MAN-MCO is to be operated by an Air Atlanta aircraft this summer, with Air Atlanta crew but apparently with full VS product.

Matt
 
lemur2
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2000 9:36 pm

RE: Virgin To Orlando

Mon Mar 18, 2002 11:24 pm

Flew on LGW-MCO route a couple of times last year (last time in November) and even though they were the new 744's they don't have the Nintendo. Those planes have the Nova IFE system. Even without Nintendo, I can't fault the service. When I fly to the US it's always with Virgin as the whole atmosphere seems more fun than any other carrier!

I think the MAN-MCO route is to be serviced by one of the older 742's that Virgin sold to Air Atlanta late last year. Bet they'll even have some of the former VS flightcrew at the pointy end too!

Have fun!
 
RickB
Posts: 807
Joined: Mon May 19, 2003 3:11 am

RE: Virgin To Orlando

Mon Mar 18, 2002 11:42 pm

Matt - one of my colleagues was booked on the MAN > MCO Virgin flight in July but has changed because he was told that it would be an air atlanta flight without PTV's, childrens amenity packs etc.

Does anyone know if the Air Atlanta 742's have PTV's?
 
Lufthansa747
Posts: 2953
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 7:45 am

RE: Virgin To Orlando

Mon Mar 18, 2002 11:44 pm

All five LGW based 747-400s are fitted with the Nova entertainment system without any games. They have 9 channels of Movies/shows if I remember correctly. I flew this route in January - superb service and gorgeous flight attendants. Got an exit row seat on my way to MCO and an upgrade to Premium eco on my way back, so no worries with legroom. Otherwise VS Y is tight (31").

G-VWOW was operating out of Gatwick for a while as one of the LGW based 747-443s was in maintenance. This bird is LHR based and has the newest V-port entertainment system with games and AVOD.
Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
 
lapper
Posts: 1541
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2002 6:42 am

RE: Virgin To Orlando

Tue Mar 19, 2002 12:12 am

Rick,

According to a sheet we had in from VS sales, the aircraft will be operated in full VS livery with the Matsushita 2000E Odyssey IFE system. Don't hold me to it though! Best to contact VS themselves and get them to clarify it.

Matt
 
bmi
Posts: 317
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2002 5:01 am

RE: Virgin To Orlando

Wed Mar 20, 2002 4:53 am

Virgin Atlantic are Britains flag carrier - the best out.

Markus
 
Thrawn
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2002 2:24 am

RE: Virgin To Orlando

Wed Mar 20, 2002 5:00 pm

Man - Mco is going to be Air Atlanta using ex VS 747-200 with virgin crew and Mas IFE which has PTV's for each seat.

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

RE: Virgin To Orlando

Wed Mar 20, 2002 9:32 pm

The Air Atlanta aircraft are EX Virgin Atlantic aircraft, so they should be configured with the old Oddessy entertainment system. Not as good as the VPort system, but good none the less. Still provides something like 9 movie channels, 7 TV channels, a bunch of audio, and up to 25 games. Providing Air Atlanta didn't remove the system, but I don't see why they would have.
Work Hard. Fly Right. Continental Airlines
 
RickB
Posts: 807
Joined: Mon May 19, 2003 3:11 am

RE: Virgin To Orlando

Wed Mar 20, 2002 10:40 pm

Im sure the flight will be fine - just as i said, my colleague was informed after he had booked the flights that it would be an air atlanta flight without ptv's and the childrens ammenity packs that Virgin give out. The travel company gave him a full refund.

I agree though - the only reasons I can see for them removing the Oddessy system is if the system has been pulled to reduce maintenance costs.
 
CX747
Posts: 5580
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:54 am

RE: Virgin To Orlando

Thu Mar 21, 2002 1:04 am

You won't be dissapointed with Virgin's service. As others have stated,the LGW-MCO route is now operated by 747-400s aircraft that will all be just about a year old this summer. They don't have Nintendo games, but they offer plenty of movie choices and audio entertainment. The food is great also. It will be the best part of the trip!

P.S. The best form of entertainment used to be joining the fellas up in the cockpit for a while. To bad those with evil minds ruin life for the rest of us.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
lapper
Posts: 1541
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2002 6:42 am

RE: Virgin To Orlando

Thu Mar 21, 2002 6:26 pm

This still makes me ask the question, why operate the MCO service without games when it is the most popular flight for families? You would have thought that the -400s would have more modern IFE systems. Can anyone answer this?
 
dan330
Posts: 433
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2001 12:52 am

RE: Virgin To Orlando

Fri Mar 22, 2002 4:26 am

Lapper - I absolutely agree. I've flown this route three times in the last 5 years and everytime it has been full. Plus as you say, it is a family destination with a lot of children onboard.

Every time I think there may well be an upgrade the following year to a -400, but it doesn't happen. I flew LGW-EWR a couple of years ago which was half empty, this probably operated by a -400 now.
 
CX747
Posts: 5580
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:54 am

RE: Virgin To Orlando

Fri Mar 22, 2002 5:06 am

There are several reasons why Virgin hasn't operated the 747-400 on LGW-MCO services over the past several years and why they don't have Nintendo. You are correct in stating that LGW-MCO is definately a family flight, but in the overall spectrum of customers, families are your least reliant. They don't fly Virgin over and over and over again. Maybe once a year or once every 2-3 years. They look for the lowest price so maybe they switch back and forth between BA and VS. So, VS doesn't put its "best and brightest" aircraft on that route. These are not return customers. LGW-EWR, LHR-JFK etc are business routes with return customers that spend alot of $$$.

With standardization of Virgin's fleet over the last 6 months, I would expect to see a more "standard" product. Don't get me wrong, the 747-200s were fantastic aircraft and in my opinion better than some new widebodies, but they were from different operators. Several were ex-Qantas, 2 were ex-Cathay and 5 were ex-Air New Zealand. Hard to "standardize" second hand aircraft.

It would seem that the 747-400s operating out of LHR are standardized while the 747-400s operating out of LGW are standardized.

(All of the 747-400s that were ordered by Alitalia are Gatwick based while those who were always destined for Virgin call LHR home.)
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
lapper
Posts: 1541
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2002 6:42 am

RE: Virgin To Orlando

Mon Mar 25, 2002 6:10 pm

I'm flying LGW-MCO in September in Premium Economy. Can anyone recommend the "best" row on the upper deck of a 744 for this class?
Thanks.
Matt