I decided to go to Los Angeles quite last minute. I Booked my ticket at 7:30am the morning of the flight. As soon as it was booked, i wandered over to check-in and was allocated my seat.
The aircraft in use today was G-VSSH. Fresh from an A Check, shining in the sun. (I know it was just in from A Check because i had been working on it the day before )
Photo © Justin Wood - Woof Photography
Today i was seated in 18A, I've sat in row 18 before, infact here is a photo from a previous trip to Tokyo...
Photo © C.S. Photography
You can even see my spikey hair. Row 18 is the first row of premium. Looking out the window you are met with this...
Photo © Andrew Holtham
I was very tired having had no sleep in about 48hrs and drifted off to sleep before we had even pushed back from the gate. I was woken by the double bing just before departure. I watched out the wing, sleepy eyed as we powered along the runway and lept into the sky quite far down the runway. The wings were flexing and you could see the #1 Engine bouncing up and down a fair amount. Then as we passed about 600ft we flew into a CM cloud and saw several flashes of lightning. Luckily none hit and i belive that it was unavoidable however the aeroplane did shake violently and if like the lady sat next to me, didnt like flying it wasnt a nice place to be.
We cleared the cloud and continued the climb as we flew out towards liverpool and over the irish sea, then the atlantic, routing further north, we cleared over the top of Iceland and then proceeded towards greenland. It was a very clear day and provided some awsome views of the terrain below. We passed over the top of Sondre Strømfjord we step climed.
The next route we took was across middle canada and then we broke the US/Canadian Border over Washington State, Oregon and then Nevada were the next states of call... Then a right turn out over the ocean and then a left to fly the downwind for 24R. Luckily it was Broken Clouds @ LAX and I was expecting rain. The touch down was hard and the pilot showed no mercy.
I was then away for 3 nights in LAX! Wooot!
My return journey was slightly more interesting. I checked in for the VS08 and made my way to the gate. (There is a very interesting story as to how I bagged my upgrade but I *HONESTLY* cant tell you in this forum. If i meet you and you *Really* want to know, i'll tell you). The aircraft today was G-VSHY.
I was seated in 15G. A Centre isle seat very close to the rear of the aircraft. I didnt like the seat at first but after a while i realised the only bad point was no window. Apart from that, I was pretty happy with it.
When i sat down, i wasnt offered a pre-flight drink however i did get onboard very late and i guess there wasnt time. They took my post-takeoff drink order which i asked for a Vodka & Apple Juice. After this, the cabin was secured and we departed. Luckily for virgin, Terminal 2 is literally a two minute taxi from the active departure runway and we were away into the air in no time. After a long climb out of LAX over the ocean, we then made a left turn and flew back over the city. The cabin was at this time turned into "Night" mode so that those passengers who wished to sleep could. My drink came along with snacks of Chips & Nuts. I was constantly asked if i wanted another drink when they took away my used glass. Which was great because it saved me from asking!
Dinner was served about 2hrs into flight and I had a Mixed Leaf Salad with Vinigarette which was delicious. After this was Barbecued Beef with Potatoes & Rice. This also was great. The desert was Double Chocolate cheese cake (My Favourite!!) And a hot cappuchino to settle. When dinner was cleared, i made my way to the bar and commenced a session of drinking! I got pretty hammered drinking with the people at the bar. Most seemed very nice but there was one guy who was quite rude to myself and the crew. (He was asked to take his seat after countless thoughtless comments on "Trolly Dollies").
About 4hrs into flight i made my bed a lay in it... Quite literally...
The biggest flat bed in business class is fantastic for sleeping in (Duh?)
With the belly full of food and alcohol, i quietly drifted into a noisy snore (I was infact woken and suggested to change sleeping position I was snoring so loud!!) Hahaha! Excellent!!
I then slept straight through till I was woken for breakfast, it was at the point the alcohol had started to wear off and i was feeling shockingly terrible. I passed on breakfast attempting to sleep again, however with all the service going on around me i just couldnt. Water was the order of the morning for me. Plenty of it, which thankfully the crew were more than happy to oblige and brought me a 2litre bottle of water to drink.
I watched several episodes of Little Britain and The Catherine Tate Show which kept me entertained till arrival at LHR.
I managed to squeeze my way off the aircraft (all that food had made me fat). And into the AWFUL terminal that is LHR T3. My bags were waiting for me and I made a fast exit for my coach back to gatwick!!