Hey and Hello to everyone
and thanks for choosing this topic. Before you start reading be aware that there are no photos included and that this tripreport is more for people who are going to plan a trip to JFK
from London with Virgin Atlantic Airways. Nevertheless it's, at least in my opinion, a readable and interisting trip report...
Some Facts about the trip:
I started my trip at Frankfurt am Main International Airport going to London with Lufthansa. The trip i'm going to write about is the following leg between London Heathrow and Newark and, in special, the leg John F. Kennedy heading to London. I had no troughchecked tickets and checked in online at both Lufthansa and Virgin. Lufthansa flights were Economy and on Virgin we had "Upper-Class" on the first and "Premium-Economy" on the second flight.
And now to the t.r.:
The Lufthansa flight to London had been an pleasure, even in economy. Snacks were good and the crew had been outstanding friendly. We arrived London on-time and so I had a lot of time to spent in Heatrow. I planed in about 3 hours between the flights. The baggage had been checked trough to Newark so we hadn't to take care about this. After these three long hours in chaotic Heatrow we prepared to go on the Virgin Flight which had been changed to a 747 (Cosmic Girl). But the flight did not appear on the timetables. 45 minutes late the Gate was set and we could go on. The boarding was Heatrow-like chaotic and because of the already late gate info it seemd like we had lost our slot. So we had to wait another 1.5 hours in the plane until pushback begun. At this point i hadn't been that upset because the onboard service was just great. Refreshments and hot towls were served alongside sparkling wine and a selection of juices. Virgin Upper Class is a very good product to fly in. Besides the worn down Interior and the not well working V-Port the flight had been quite and smooth one so i could take the chance to sleep. All in all, this trip was great and is advisable. I would give him a 7 out of 10.
I spent 13 days in New York which is a impressing city but nothing for a quite and recreative holiday! As a tip: Giraffe Hotel in Manhatten is one of the best choices to be made!
And now the (long) return back to London:
Our estimated boarding time was 18.25 NY Time.
We arrived at the airport at 15.30 and checked in at the counter. There the problems begun. The agent told us that there is no possibility to check- through our baggage to Frankfurt so i had been glad that i again planed in a four hour stop at Heathrow. Enough time to take your baggage and check in again one frequent flyer might think...
We did some shopping and after security we arrived at the gate at 17.30. Our A 346 (Sweet Dreamer / VS
004) came in at 18.15 and I immediately saw that something was not going normal. Engineers came in directly and the plane had to be towed to the gate. The engineers filled the cockpit and disscused for a long time with lot phone calls beeing made. At 18.45 the captain started its walkaround and i thought that we could start boarding soon. But after stopping at engine two, which was leaking, he returned to the cokpit and 20 minutes later the boarding agent announced a delay but sayed the we could board in 15 minutes. But at 19.30 (half an hour later) he announced another delay but still said that boarding would be possible in 15 minutes. At 19.50 he again came on the speakers and said something about an solveable IFE bug......? The VS
006 (744) flight which should start boarding at 19.?? stood the gate right next to ous but no announcemt was made.At 20.15 he said that all Upper and Premium Economy passengers were going to be rebooked to VS
006 because our 346 couldn't make it in the near future. So a big mess was created because all passengers went nuts... It's up to your immagination how it was after that.
After waiting another hour in the line and at the gate we finally were allowed to board VS
6 beeing told that our baggage was transfered to our flight and that all the before shopped duty free items were waiting in the new plane. After taking seats in Premium Economy (which is also a good product, try it) i wanted my duty free bag beeing told that there is nothing for me waiting. So i showed my bills and the other paper stuff to one of the crew who took it, promising to check up. When he did not return after another 20 minutes i asked again and beeing told again that i should show my bill which i hadn't. So in the end the result is: I payed 360 $ for a Svarovski ring and a swatch- watch which is no longer mine... Some axxholxx (sorry for the expression) took it.
We waited for another hour in the plane surrounded by screaming babies and without air condition until the last passanger had boarded. The babies came into premium economy the following way. A family of four (the babies and the parents) booked one seat in Premium Econ. and another in Econ. and the parents switched between these two seats , always leaving the babies in Premium Econ. The children were badly brought up, nothing about an hour of crying but when two children cry for over three hours this has nothing to do with the lack of sleep. I still get angry when thinking of these parents... So far for that! We finally took off around 11 pm. and enjoyed an 5 1/5 hour long flight off crying and no sleep.
When we landed in London our Lufthansa flight was going to start boarding but normally we could have made it if we hadn't waited at the baggage area for 30 minutes waiting for our baggage. At this point i lost my nerves a bit for the first time. I went to the Virgin Atlantic baggage desk just to be told that our baggage hadn't been on VS
6 and is still in the bunk of our "Sleep Dreamer" in New York!!! So i lost my Lufthansa flight and the next one cost me 400 pund per person which i had to pay because Virgin won't pay any cent of it... I had to take this flight because the next day i had to work... I was done with the world after running from terminal 3 to T1 and again the same way two more times because of disscusing with Lufthansa and Virgin who didn't want to talk over phone with each other. Here i started to hate Heatrow a bit.
Finally i came back to Frankfurt 800 pound lighter and some impressions richer.
This Virgin Flight would be an 1 out of ten.
As a tip for others who are going to do this trip: Check through!!!! And don't fly Virgin!!!! They have really good products, friendly onboard crews and acceptable prices but they treat their customers like shix! Sadly, because the flying itself with Virgin is a really great way to travel.
I hope i could help some others
Thank you for reading