holte
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:07 am

Upper Class Virgin

Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:49 am

This is my first TR so forgive any waffle...

I had been looking for a suitable destination of a business class trip with mrs H for some time. Cost was a factor as I was funding the flight myself. In July I found an Upper Class ticket with Virgin from Manchester to StLucia at a bargain fare and so began a 3 month countdown.

Virgin's northern base Manchester, is rather the poor relation compared to Heathrow and Gatwick. The much vaunted Clubhouse has yet to make an appearance ( if it ever will) and the Manchester/Gatwick 747-400 fleet is not equiped with the up to date V_Port IFE system having to make do with an older version called Nova which is not AVOD. Despite this it was still a trip to be eagerly anticipated.

18th Sept 2008

We arrived at Manchester T2 at 10.15 for ascheduled 1.30 departure. The Upper class (uc) check in was deserted and we were given a Fast Pass through security. This is in a new part of the building and lines for all stations were virtually empty, very impressive. What is less impressive is that post security you appear to be in a shopping mall with almost no seating.

we decided to make straight for the 'Escape Lounge' which is used by Virgin and a number of other airlines. There was a decent selection of cold snacks , hot and cold drinks and newspapers and internet access. There were less than 12 people in the lounge and i should imagine that in the height of the season it gets uncomfortably busy, but today it was a pleasant place to spend a couple of hours
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Boarding was called and we went to meet our transport

Flight VS79
V-ROY 'Pretty Woman'

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We turned left and were shown to our seats. beeing UC newbies we were given the seat demo, and a glass of Champagne and some nuts. The seat seemed well designed with plenty of storage. footwear could be stored in the otterman which could also be used to seat a guest for dinner
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The UC cabin on this aircraft had 14 seats together with a small bar area. it felt very private and exclusive
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legroom was amazing
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a further drinks run resulted in a Tanquery10 and tonic
The UC menu was as follows
Starters

- seasonal leaf salad with fennel, beetroot, flaked salmon & a herb dressing
- soup of the day

Main courses

- chicken breast stuffed with spinach & feta, braised lentils and buttered leeks
- steak and mushroom pie with potatoes and sauteed savoy cabbage
- yorkshire pudding with brocoli & stilton, sun dried tomatoes and parmesan

Desserts
- dessert of the day (any 2 of the following)
- chocolate & toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce
- treacle tart with creme anglaise
- pear, apple, cinnamon & sultana crumble with custard
- rhubarb mousse

Afternoon tea
- sandwich selection, scones and cakes

my selections are revealed in the next few pics
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The food was ok, better than economy , but definately not fine dining. The service however was first class and I cannot find fault with Virgin's Manchester based crew.

The flight passes quickly , the 8 hours being occupied by TV and film selections from the Nova system, the only downside being the wait for programmes to start again.
We landed in St Lucia 30 min early and had a short walk through the puddles to baggage reclaim where our cases came off first as promised

All in all it was the experience I had hoped for Virgin were very good indeed and I will definate;lt turn left with them again.

Return TR may follow later


Rick
 
su
Posts: 286
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2004 1:13 am

RE: Upper Class Virgin

Wed Oct 08, 2008 2:12 pm

Thanks Holte - very interesting report and thanks for the pictures. Was the bar open during the flight and what was the soup (out of curiosity  Smile)
"Life is too short to take it serious..."
 
holte
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:07 am

RE: Upper Class Virgin

Wed Oct 08, 2008 3:55 pm

i think the soup was vegetable but my memory may be wrong. it was served piping hot though and was lovely. the bar was open throughout the flight until about 30 min from touchdown
 
747girl
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 4:56 pm

RE: Upper Class Virgin

Wed Oct 08, 2008 9:31 pm

An interesting report, with great photos. Having flown a few times with VS, always in economy, it was interesting to see the service you get when you turn left!

What was St Lucia like?
 
kgfive
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:32 am

RE: Upper Class Virgin

Thu Oct 09, 2008 11:01 am

Enjoyed your report Holte. I agree on the food being not "fine" dining but still good. I got a trip on VS LHR-JFK a few months ago and got bumped up into UC from economy  Smile A friend arranged a trip for me travelling on a staff travel ticket and she was amazed I got up into UC. I did take full advantage of the Champagne and invite to sit at the bar which I clung onto for most of the flight. It was my 50th birthday and got invited onto the flight deck too and presented with the route map from Captain which he signed. Hope to read your return TR

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fill the skies
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8153
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: Upper Class Virgin

Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:40 pm

Nice stuff, thanks.

I flew VS UC to DXB a month or so back and agree, not fine dining but was ok. Not that impressed with the UC product, feel BA's CW product is superior.

Look forward to you return.

Regards

Mark
111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
 
AA737-823
Posts: 4906
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2000 11:10 am

RE: Upper Class Virgin

Sat Oct 11, 2008 11:09 am

How was it, traveling with your wife, but sitting in those seats? They look like solitary confinement to me....
BA's club world is equally unusual, in my mind, in that either you or your wife would have to fly backwards!

I'm thinking about sending my folks to Europe is any class above economy, but these arrangements don't seem conducive to couples.

Any thoughts?
 
davescj
Posts: 1105
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:46 am

RE: Upper Class Virgin

Sat Oct 11, 2008 7:18 pm

Great TR! Thanks for posting!

Dave
Can I have a mojito on this flight?

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