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 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!
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.
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.