Well it was 08:15 on thursday 10th July when we arrived at Heathrow's Terminal 3. We had been stuck in traffic for half an hour before even getting there. We headed to the Premium Economy check in desk and checked in our bags. We got our seat numbers - 71L/K and 72L/K (There were four of us - My mother, father, sister and me). Then we went and had breakfast at the TGI Friday's just after we'd gone through customs. When it was time to board we went up to the gate and had to wait for half an hour. We boarded our B747-400 "Tinker Belle" (G-VBIG). We were upstairs and when we sat in our wide seats we were very surprised at what premium economy had to offer. This was only the second time I had flown Virgin Atlantic and the previous time was in 1996! The seats configuration was 2-2 with a very wide gangway. Between the seats and the window was a compartment, much more convenient than the over head lockers (We had those too!!!). The seats had enough leg room for anybody normal sized to stretch out in. There was a foot rest and a leg rest! We were greeted with Champagne, Bucks Fizz (sp) and Orange Juice. Thinking it was Orange Juice i took Bucks Fizz, oops! It was nice though. Because we boarded first we were waiting in our luxurious seats for 45mins. To me the only down part of where we were was that the compartment made it hard to see clearly out of the window, but nothing to serious. Then we pushed back and rushed to the end of the northern runway. After waiting behind two BMI
A320's, one BA
B777-200 and a United B767-300, we went on to the runway and were away. With the engines in full throttle, it was so quiet it sounded as if they were in idle! We rushed past many enthusiasts at the visitors centre and were on our way to California. Rotating and lifting off we soared over the M25 which still had traffic jams! We knew we weren't going to see that again for three weeks. We turned north and went up towards manchester. Then they showed the news and how to use the v:port entertainment system. The we able to use our entertainment. Well you didn't get much choice - You could only watch 52 movies, play 16 games, watch about 100 programs, destination guides, look at a map etc anytime you wanted, including movies still in the cinema! Oh and did i forget 10 radio stations over 50 Cd's for the dukebox and surf the intranet, send text messages to other passengers and to the ground. Not too much then
And that was in economy too. More entertainment than you get at home!!! The flight zoomed by. I was making the most of Premium Economy as we knew we wee in economy on the return from LAX
. After 10 hours we were on hour way down to SFO
. We went over the Golden Gate bridge on our approach from the north. We flew past SFO
and I saw a KLM MD
-11 on finals. Then we turned steeply round onto our approach. I love the way the runways are parallel. It could provide some very interesting moments. Unfortunately there was not an arrival on our parallel and we touched down as a United B757 started it's take off roll on the runway oposite. We came to a halt and taxied into the International terminal.
Date: July 31st
Dep. Time: 17:45
Arr. Time: 11:45
Dep Airport: LAX
Arr. Airport: LHR
Airline: Virgin Atlantic
We arrived at LAX
at about 14:30. Went to see if there were any updrades available. None for VS008 so we asked if there were ny for VS024, nope! Darn, economy it is. LAX
Terminal 2 was pretty much pants. Waiting for 2 and a half hours there with 3 shops and a couple of restaurants isn't a thing i'd do every day. But this was just the start of the bad return. Before i carry on i just want to say that this is easily the worst long haul I've been on. Our seats were 34 on the right hand side. Me, looking forward to my window seat so i can get a good view of London on arrival. We boarded the flight to find our window seat....didn't have a window. Then we found there was a big black box under my seat, enabling me to only stretch one leg out. I could see slightly out the window behind me, but not as much as i wanted. So just as they're still boarding we have a baby screamig it's head off behind us, only to find it had just dumped, and the smell was unbearable. I was starting to wish we had booked to fly on the A340 after ours. So, we pushed back, taxied the short distance to the runway, turned on and away we were. We flew out over the pacific. Then when it was time for our entertainment to come on. We found out my TV
didn't work. I was so annoyed at this point I felt like having a fit. Luckily i didn't! Well we flew over the Atlantic, normal route, then was welcomed home into London at about 10:45 into low fog, how nice. We were almost an hour early which was bad as we had to wait 30mins for our gate.
Okay I have a question that I wanted to know about:
There were two Virgin Atlantic B747-400's at LAX
at the time. One landed about 14:10 and took off at about 15:50. Anyone know what this was for?