I arrived at London Heathrow terminal 3 and at the Virgin Atlantic check in desk at 11:06 for my 3 hour check in time, for my flight at 14:00 to New York JFK
. I was flying with Virgin Atlantic on VS045.
My aircraft was a Boeing 747-400 Cosmic Girl. The loadings were pretty quite I was told by the check in clerk that there was only 181 out of the average 300 passengers. I tried to upgrade to Premium but was advised that as it was a quiet flight he recommended I stayed in Economy. Which I did.
I have now received my boarding card and went with my family to the nearest coffee shop for a quick refresh before I went to security.
At around 11:45 I had decided it was time to pass through security. I think it took me around 25 minutes to clear as there were longer queues due to the increased security measures.
I was now wandering through this shopping centre which then suddenly turned into a departure lounge. I had over 2 hours to wait so just wondered around looking at everything in sight.
Boarding of VS045 was advertised on the boarding pass as 12:45 GMT. At 13:00 I was getting a bit panicky as the information boards were still showing "Please Wait".
At 13:15, 30 minutes late, VS045 was now advertised as "Gate 7". This was weird as the last time I flew to New York was on VS017 which was gate 34.
I was now proceeding to gate 7 which only took around 7 minutes to walk. On my way I threw out my bottle of coke as at the time there was still a ban on liquids on the plane.
At around 13:20 I was at the control point at the gate. I was randomly selected for a security search. I had to take off my shoes and put my bag on the table for a hand search. It didn't take that long to do and was passed through. I am glad I was, I would be very upset if they didn't let me through.
I was now sat at the gate looking through the window at this gigantic Boeing 747-400 glistening in the winter sun, with captains clearly visible through the cockpit windows doing their pre-flight checks.
Boarding had now commenced at 13:35 and I knew from that, that we were going to have a delayed departure as I was boarding I noticed that they were still loading cargo too.
As I was sitting in seat 64C which is right at the back of the plane I was not looking forward to the long walk back.
As I was passing through the cabin crew were all pleasant and welcoming us onboard. As I arrived at my seat a very cheerful Jason was there doing his check.
I took my seat and then my fellow seatmate Richard arrived. We put our coats in the overhead lockers and put our seat belts on. We had our bags shoved under the seat in front of us as Richard had his laptop and PSP
in it and I had my book, IPod and flight details in it too.
Once we had done this, Richard and I started to have a chat with the Flight Attendant Jason and were having a little discussion about his job and what me and Richard did for our jobs too. Nether less, Jason's job was the damned hardest one. Richard works in IT
and I work on the Railway.
At 14:15 the Captain made a P.A. for the Cabin Crew to put the doors into "Automatic and Armed" mode. They did that and then told cabin crew to "Take your seats for take off".
By the time 14:25 had arrived we had just started the push back and by 14:30 were now Airborne.
When we had reached the necessary altitude (Top mark I noticed on I-Map was 38,850ft), Richard had moved to the empty 4 seater row next to me as he wanted to lie flat on the seats and sleep. This meant I too had more space to relax on.
After two hours of flying the cabin crew served up just drinks as an hour after they will be serving the evening meals.
My meal was a Mushroom Risotto with cheese and tomato filling. I also had some tuna pasta and chocolate pudding. I also decided to live a little and have a small glass of white wine. Very Very nice. I give the meal a 20/10.
By now it was time for some in-flight movies. I decided to watch "The Devil Wears Prada" and "You, Me & Dupree". It certainly passed 4 hours of flight. After I watched my last film, the cabin crew started to dish out some teas and coffees before landing.
I also managed to sneak in 2 episodes of "Little Britain" before the Cabin Crew started to get the plane ready for its decent into JFK
We had arrived into JFK
airport still 30 minutes late. The winds were against us which is why we didn't make up any more time.
As we arrived at the gate, Richard and I said our goodbyes to Jason. We were now off the plane and into JFKs Passport and Immigration control. We had spent 50 minutes in the queues as 4 international flights had arrived near the same time. There was a Lufthansa, Aer Lingus, Air Canada, and us Virgin Atlantic.
Once we had slept walked through security and collected our bags, time to catch the cab to my hotel, where this trip report was written from!
Unfortunately I don't have any photos as I stupidly put my digital camera into my hold bag. I will try on my return flight which hopefully will be an Airbus A340-600.
I will send another trip report when I return on VS010 on Sunday 13th November 2006. Please let me know what you think. This is my second trip report.