Trip Report: ~
London Gatwick – Boston International
THE REPORT IS QUITE LONG BUT PLEASE PERSIVERE AND READ ON!
This trip was a school skiing trip to Lincon near Boston. We got to LGW at about 11:00 to check in for the flight (VS011). As there where 4 Virgin Atlantic flights, all going out within about 2 hours of each other there was a massive queue at Zone A south terminal. We queued for around 1 and half hours! I asked the check-in lady if there was any chance of an upgrade, but she said, “The flight today is full”. – Typical! She managed to put me and my best friend next to an emergency exit door so I had a lot more legroom than an ordinary economy seat and a window J
Our take off time should have been 14:00 but there was a severe problem with one of the engines on the aircraft so they had to call the men from maintenance down to have a look at the problem.
I didn’t mind because (for those of you who know London Gatwick) I was getting my flight from the usual Virgin Atlantic gates around the building Atlantic House – This is not it’s real name –can any body tell me what it is called? I waited for about 2 hours at the gate, good because I got a lot of good photos and registrations of aircraft that came and went. Finally at 16:00 we boarded as promised I had my excellent seat
J I took a few photos of the cabin and sat down ready for the 7h 30min flight to Boston International.
At 16:50 we got a message from the captain that they had had another problem with the aircraft and that we would be delayed until 19:00. So I was sat for around 2 hours onboard G-VGIN B747-200 before we left which gave me a great opportunity to take some more photos!
At 19:30 we got clearance to push back and we where up, up, and away! – 5h 30mins late, but to be fair to Virgin most if not all the problems incurred where out of their control.
After around 2h in the air we got our first meal. A choice of Chicken curry (very mild), vegetarian something! Or Cumberland sausage and mash (that’s what I had). It was very nice. We also got a drink of tea, coffee or a large range of soft drinks. – All free J
The aircraft was in quite poor condition as it was the second oldest aircraft in the fleet. Second only to G-VOYG (Maiden Voyager) as the name suggests it was the first aircraft in the fleet. The captain told us that the aircraft was on it`s last ever revenue – earning flight, that was why it was in poor condition I suppose.
There where PTV’S on board but they where quite small as they where old. The seats although where very comfortable. They provided very well eequipped aminity packs including, socks, pen, paper, toothbrush, comb etc.
It was a very smooth and plesant flight and the female cabin crew where very nice J
We had to circle Boston for around 45mins as the weather was appauling heavy snowfall, thick ice etc etc. Afety just under an hour we got clearance to land. The landing, to say the least was AWFUL! With the thick snow, very strong winds and ice we slammed down as soon as we could onto the runway, reverse thrust was put into operation and we thundered to the end of the runway. We found it so hard to stop that when we departed the runway (at the last exit) we where stil really motoring.
We where the last aircraft to land that night as the airport was closed for around 5 hours after that.
We then had yet another delay when we where on the ground. As no aircaft where departing there where no stands to park at! Luckaly after 40mins waiting, a very nice AA DC10 left it’s stand and went somewhere – maintanance I would guess.
We parked between a TAP Air Portugal A310 and a British Airways B747-400 old colours. I see enough of those at LGW id ont really want to fly all the way to USA and park next to one!!!!!
Overall the flight was very late which was bad but the dealys at both ends where completely out of the hands of Virign Atlantic so they can not really be blamned for the delays. The aircraft was old which was bad aswell but, you don’t really expect Virgin to do much to it , if it was going to be scrapped soon would you?!
We left Boston International Airport on time, which was a big relief compared with the outbound flight!!!!!
We where onboard the newest aircraft in the whole virgin fleet (well in Februaury 2000 anyway) G-VIBE, the first Virgin B747-200 to appear in the new Silver colour scheme. The aircraft was previously operated by Air New Zealand, and was, a few yaers ago leased to Airtours International!
It had been completely refitted and it was very nice. Better and more comfortable seats, more leg room, bigger PTV’S etc etc etc. J
The return flight, compared with the outbound flight was very unexcitiing. It was an overnight flight so the lights where dimmed. Service again very good as whas the food and the stewardesess! – Sorry I keep refuring to them but I am male!!
We approached London Gatwick,and just as we came through the clouds, bright blue sky`s J on short finals I got an excellent view of LGW from the air J
Good landing, clean and smooth. We pulled up to our stand in-between a Virgin Sun A320 (G-VKID) Billie the sundance kid, and G-VZZZ Virgin Atlantic B747-200 which had also operated an over nighter from Antigua. The Continental B777-200 NYC 2000 aircraft was also in at LGW, south terminal.
I know I maybe shouldn’t have but I took the aminity kit, inflight magazine and safety card. They will all go well with my collection.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this trip report, I enjoyed writing it. If you have any questions please leave a reply in the forum and I will reply to the best of my ability.
I have more reports to come so, I hope you will read the reports in the future.