FlyVirgin744
Topic Author
Posts: 1282
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 1999 8:35 am

Trip Report: MIA-LGW-MIA Virgin Atlantic

Wed Jun 21, 2000 7:11 am

Here we go! Got to the the airport, checked in, got seats 35A,B,C,D. Got on the plane, pulled back on time at 5:45. Took off at about 6:15 after the long take off line.

THE FLIGHT

The plane we got was Dancing Queen which is one the 3 742s in new colors. The PTVs were much larger than the -400s we had last year when I made the same flight (which shows that the aircraft is newer, in terms of flying with Virgin). I also noticed one or two more inches of legroom than the -400. Possibly a 31" pitch. Something very discomforting was the seat, it was hard as rock. I didn't expect this especially from a new interior a/c. I'm not sure if anyone remembers but when I reported on my trip to Spain back in March with Iberia, I raved on about how comfortable the seat was. Moving along, Virgin serves the best meals in flight (I don't have much to base it on, but you get the idea). They're even filling! Actually throughout the whole flight they never stop feeding you, which is bad in a way because it promotes jetlag. They're entainment is also the best. There was 24 channels on the PTV. 8 regular movies and 4 "special movies" starring Woody Harrelson. They reserve 4 channels for a special theme every month, in this case Woody Harrelson. They have lots of computer and SNES games. All in all a very enjoyable flight. We arrived at LGW about 6:30am and got to the gate at 6:50. Gatwick's baggage claim is terrible! It is too small and everyone is crammed in there. Anyone else notice this problem? I never realized how far Gatwick is from London!! Its funny how it is considered a London airport. Last year the flight went to Heathrow. Thats much better. I stayed in Britain for 2 weeks and while visiting Warwick castle, I couldn't help but notice that the castle lies just under the Birmingham approach. I saw a lot of JMCs and to my surprise a PIA 747-300. After 12 sight seeing days, I found myself back in London. I stayed at the Holiday Inn at Kensington, which has perfect viewing for Heathrow approaches. The planes pass by there at about 2500 feet. I got to see the Concorde quite a few times!

RETURN FLIGHT

Took the train from Victoria Station back to Gatwick. I like how BA passengers can check baggage in at the train station. I wish VS would do that. (Oh yeah, I tried to go spotting the day we got back to London when we were returning the rent a car (2 days before leaving) and the observation deck was closed!) After checking in we ate breakfast and we took a table that had an amazing view of the airport. I saw all the VS 742s at the south terminal and I could see the take off line. We arrived at the south terminal and awaited boarding. While waiting, I saw 2 NW DC10s land, a couple CO 777, 2 DL 777s, and a USAirways 767. To my astonishment, we got seats 35A,B,C,D and guess the a/c, thats right, Dancing Queen. The same hard seats we had coming. We boarded were able to push back on time, but then the pilot came on saying ATC was having problems and they could only give us a take off spot in an hour. Our 8 hour flight suddenly turned into 9. We finally took off and the flight was the same as going except alot emptier. The special movies this time were based on Las Vegas since that is VS's newest city. Outbound was about 99% full, inbound was 60% at most.

AMUSING STORY

After sitting at the gate for just under an hour, the captain finally told the FAs to prepare cabin for departure. A male stuartist came around and told the boy in front of me to put his headphones away for departure. The young boy asked why. The nice distinguished male stuart told him "Because if we crash it'll strangle you." The people around me chuckled but I (an airliner fan) found it hilarious! Never in a million years would I have expected a remark like that. Anyway, we landed at MIA a half hour late. I enjoyed both flights very much and it is always a pleasure to be in London. Next year though, I hope to fly AA because their 777s will have the new coach and I talked to my father and we agreed its worth paying a couple hundred dollars more round trip for a few more inches of legroom. As I've stated, VS is not good in the space department. I also make a good point about coach space in Blink182's topic about long haul coach. The topic is "Economy Class International-what You Think". Well I hope you've enjoyed reading my little review here and I hope to hear a lot of replies. Thank you.
Sometimes I go about in pity for myself and all the while a great wind carries me across the sky.
 
teahan
Posts: 4988
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 1999 11:18 pm

RE: Trip Report: MIA-LGW-MIA Virgin Atlantic

Wed Jun 21, 2000 7:16 am

Great trip report! Glad you enjoyed England!

Jeremiah Teahan

Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
 
Lauda 777
Posts: 452
Joined: Thu May 20, 1999 9:37 pm

RE: Trip Report: MIA-LGW-MIA Virgin Atlantic

Wed Jun 21, 2000 7:21 am

Nice trip report...

The 747 is always fun!
London is very nice...Especially Soho....I'm not gay, but soho is great!


Regards
Lauda 777, sthlm, sweden
Joystick for flightsim. Yokes for real planes.
 
FlyVirgin744
Topic Author
Posts: 1282
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 1999 8:35 am

RE: Trip Report: MIA-LGW-MIA Virgin Atlantic

Wed Jun 21, 2000 7:27 am

 We took a wrong turn and landed up in Soho for a couple minutes! Actually my sister found the tourist clothing really cheap there and splurged!
Sometimes I go about in pity for myself and all the while a great wind carries me across the sky.
 
Guest

RE: Trip Report: MIA-LGW-MIA Virgin Atlantic

Wed Jun 21, 2000 10:12 am

GREAT TRIP REPORT..ANYMORE TRIPS PLANNED THIS SUMMER? TAKE UAL TO LHR NEXT TIME. YOU'LL ENJOY THEIR SERVICE AND COMFORT.
 
johnboy
Posts: 2554
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 1999 9:09 pm

RE: Trip Report: MIA-LGW-MIA Virgin Atlantic

Wed Jun 21, 2000 1:36 pm

Very nice report! Virgin does have a premium economy product, whereby you get more leg room. Maybe that would be a good bet for next time!
 
shankly
Posts: 1194
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2000 10:42 pm

RE: Trip Report: MIA-LGW-MIA Virgin Atlantic

Wed Jun 21, 2000 5:23 pm

Nice report. Seems like Virgin is keeping up it's good reputation for economy pax. Opportunities to cross the pond in a 747 are becoming rarer so glad you enjoyed it.

On the point of a few hundred dollars for leg room, my theory is that I am only on that plane maybe max. 13 hours and that a few hundred dollars, or pounds or whatever would probably be better spent improving the quality of my accomodation or lifestyle at my destination.
L1011 - P F M
 
FlyVirgin744
Topic Author
Posts: 1282
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 1999 8:35 am

RE: Trip Report: MIA-LGW-MIA Virgin Atlantic

Thu Jun 22, 2000 6:25 am

Yes but 13 hours seems a lot longer when your sitting in the same tight seat. And also as an airline enthusiast, the plane ride is half the fun of the trip for me even if it is just "13 hours", so I wouldn't mind being more comfortable. But I do understand where you are coming from and you do have a strong point.
Sometimes I go about in pity for myself and all the while a great wind carries me across the sky.

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