With so many different amenities and pricing models, it might seem like they’re virtually equivalent. Next was the Ras El Hanout chicken thighs with fennel salad and baked feta. Other than qualifying elite status passengers, Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse access is reserved for passengers flying in the Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class or Delta One cabin with Delta Air Lines. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Ask for an upgrade but refer to it as a ‘seat enhancement’. Busy, frenetic and filled with queues, they have become a part of travel that I dread. Virgin Atlantic A330 Upper Class cabin photo by Tom Mascardo licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0. On our particular flight, the bar was quiet. These cookies do not store any personal information. Learn more on our About page. Complimentary treatments are available to Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines® customers only. I never knew a flight review could be this exciting to read. The Final Verdict. A nice lounge offering with a great menu and broad drink selection. An hour later and I woke up to find myself surrounded by a soft, white duvet. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. However, flying Virgin Atlantic Upper Class is a different experience entirely. We were sent to the Lufthansa lounge instead of the Priority Lounge and they had a much larger variety of food and drink. The chicken was beautifully cooked, and the crispy fennel was a lovely accompaniment to the rich baked feta. Flying Virgin Atlantic Upper Class is perhaps a hollow victory for someone soon to take a 12-hour flight in Economy. At Virgin Atlantic's Clubhouses we welcome Upper Class passengers and Flying Club Gold members. Be aware that some of the food options can take a long time so order early. Having boarded our flight (and having been welcomed on first), we immediately experienced our first taste of Virgin Atlantic Upper Class. When huddled in Economy Class – your knees locked in that claustrophobic 90 degree position – it’s the idea of room and space that you begin to fantasise about. Bearing in mind that you lose 30% or your taste sensitivity in the air, Donal has designed the menu to be rich and flavourful yet not so heavy as to leave you feeling gorged for the rest of your flight. Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Points. The next hour passed as a full-dining experience. However, since receiving our free upgrade to Virgin Atlantic Upper Class – a day that will no doubt outshine the birth of my first child – I have a little more insight into how the mythical world of upgrading works. It's been years since I was in one of Delta's lounges so was looking forward to seeing this one. Once everyone had arrived menus were handed out with a choice of three starters and three mains. Ten Tips for Selling your Home During Coronavirus, Celebrating Our Failures for World Mental Health Day 2019, Mental Health Awareness Week 2019: From Anxiety to Travel & How It All Began, Episode Twelve (Season Two) The Random Question Podcast, Episode Ten (Season Two) Reflections on Our First TTT Tour, What To Pack For Your First Ski Trip: A Beginner’s Guide, Episode 8 (Season Two): January Adventures 2019, Working With Your Sister: 5 Realities Of Running A Business With Your Sibling, Episode 7 (Season Two): How to Become a Blogger in 2019. We booked this as a return flight, and paid 95,000 Virgin Flying Club miles and £648 tax. Click for details. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. Wowee! I could easily have gone for seconds. We'd… Wonderful post, too. A sanctuary where you can play a game of Snooker over a glass of white wine, or even try your hand at a computer game. These were items selected from both the new Upper Class menu as well as the new Clubhouse lounges menu. ©2021 Head for Points. Episode Six (Season Two) Where Have We Been For the Last 4 Months? Our luxury hotel booking service offers you GUARANTEED extra benefits over booking direct. Storing my bag away, she then glided off to get me a drink – returning with a glass of champagne and a warm towel. Lucky for me, Donal ordered extras of all dishes, so we were given the opportunity to sample the items we had not personally ordered. Although I think that the Virgin Atlantic “Upper Class” experience leaves a lot to be desired on the majority of their fleet, the lounge at London Heathrow is a very impressive space. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. There was plenty of chunky chorizo and seafood and the flavours were perfectly balanced. Throughout the flight, guests in Upper Class Virgin Atlantic can visit the Upper Class Bar at the rear of the Upper Class cabin. It’s a memory that I’ll cling to even in my darkest days, most probably when aboard a red eye flight home and my back is in spasm. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. The apartment was beautifully presented with an open plan layout which allowed everyone to watch the chefs at work. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. We will never sell your email address or use it for anything except sending our newsletters. From the novelty Salt & Pepper pots, to the innovative cocktail menu, our eight hours aboard our Virgin Atlantic flight was a vacation in itself. The new Covid-safe style of "buffet" was in evidence. What is the best Virgin Atlantic credit card? Virgin Atlantic A350 Upper Class lounge. Like the gift that kept on giving, we would discover a new feature or touch almost hourly – ensuring the flying experience remained both exciting and engaging. Staring ahead, you can only imagine what life is like for those on the other side of the curtain: an experience no doubt marked by generous neck support and horizontal living. Fly on a Wednesday, but not before 12pm. Selected dishes designed by Irish food writer and TV host Donal Skehan will be added to the menu in Upper Class and in Clubhouse lounges this month.  Premium and Economy will see a food overhaul in 2019. Not the free champagne (although, that did help), not the large amount of space or horizontal beds, but my flight attendant, Amy. Would music play and people dance? (Note: some airlines also allow their frequent flyers to place themselves on the list). Lit in hushed magenta tones, we pulled up a bar stool (grinning at the novelty of the situation), and ordered beers and a plate of mini burgers. The evening started with a welcome drink served by two flight attendants followed by mingling with other guests, Donal himself and VP Customer Experience at Virgin Atlantic Daniel Kerzner.  Virgin had hired an apartment opposite Buckingham Palace for the dinner which gave it an air of exclusivity. Whilst I was very happy with my choices, I must admit I did feel small pangs of food envy seeing everyone else’s dishes. We’ve actually just booked our first ever Premium economy flights for April this year, so exciting!! This includes using an affiliate tracking cookie if you click an external link. I’ve drank champagne whilst flying through a city of clouds; I’ve slept whilst aboard a Boeing 747. This … In this case, we were able to get onto the coveted list via Twins That Travel – essentially in a press capacity. Propped up on a row of pillows, with a remote in hand, I felt like I was watching TV in bed at home – the clouds sailing passed my window. Editor’s note: The coronavirus has had a huge impact on the aviation industry. My fear of flying comes not from the idea that I’ll panic, but the risk that I’ll panic in front of people. In short, this list tends to comprise of airline staff members, their family and friends, or press and PR – and works on a first-come-first-serve basis. At time of writing, airfares start at $349 round-trip in economy, $1,133 in premium economy, and $4,881 in Upper Class. It can be difficult to choose between business class on different airlines, and selecting Virgin Atlantic Upper Class or British Airways Club World is no exception. As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards. Do not let this moment slip through your fingers; it is one that I promise you won’t forget. Note: Another bonus of flying Virgin Atlantic Upper Class is that you’re also able to access the Premium Security Lanes – whisking you past the unenviably lengthy queues. We booked my trip between London and New York as a round-trip award, so we paid a total of 95,000 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles and about $845 in taxes and fees. Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points. 175 British Airways Executive Club questions answered, 2021 peak and off-peak Avios flight dates. Virgin Atlantic Upper Class warm towel As you can see above, the supper menu includes one starter, three main course choices, and then the choice of cheese or dessert. A list of partners is here. Love reading this! Chatting to the bar staff as they poured our drinks, I noticed how adding this everyday environment to the flight helped to normalise things. Virgin Atlantic A330 Upper Class Having a wheat intolerance, I asked if any of the options were gluten free. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. Because most of us normals like a bit of spicy food? Paul Doleman April 11, 2014. Located on the right hand side of the cabin, next to a window, I felt entirely cocooned inside its soft leather – shielded from the organised chaos that comes with flying. Indeed, it makes airline travel something that is actually enjoyable and relaxing; rather than cramped and unpleasant. They are clearly busy and rushed off their feet – and I’m simply one of many customers vying for their attention. Having finally – triumphantly – clawed my way into that magenta-hued haven of relaxation, I’ll now be unable to sit through an Economy Class flight again. Virgin Atlantic is about to roll out some new meal options in Upper Class and in the Clubhouse restaurants. If you want lounge access, you can buy or use a Priority Pass to access alternative lounges. I didn’t want to write this Virgin Atlantic Upper Class review and not include the cabin’s smaller details. The different textures of the cauliflower, chickpeas and roasted nuts were complimented well with a tahini yoghurt. Fingers crossed for more upgrades in future! Exactly what an Upper Class lounge should be. Expecting it to arrive in a (hopefully recyclable) paper cup, I was excited to find that it was instead presented in a Bone China mug. Is IHG Rewards Club the best hotel loyalty scheme? It might therefore come as no surprise to hear that flying Virgin Atlantic Upper Class – and experiencing its enormous, comfortable seats – is nothing short of heavenly. (Note: for those planning on flying Virgin Atlantic Upper Class, you can peruse the menu before your flight – booking your meals ahead of time. But there are more differences between the two than are obvious at first glance! You start to dream of stretching your legs out, or sleeping in a position that doesn’t result in strained neck ligaments. See a whole year of reward seat availability on one page at SeatSpy.com. As the Virgin Clubhouse lounge at Heathrow is generally regarded as one of the top five Business Class lounges in the world I decided to get to the airport early enough to check out the spa and restaurant and look at the different areas. You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, one has a bonus of 15,000 Points): The UK’s most generous free Visa or Mastercard at 0.75 points / £1 Read our full review, 15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending Read our full review. By design, Virgin Atlantic aims to razzle and dazzle from the moment of boarding, and in this case, it has largely succeeded. Continually on-hand to bring me water, cocktails, extra pillows and selections of snacks, the staff working the Virgin Atlantic Upper Class cabin were second to none: providing a truly memorable experience. Now, I’ve been fortunate enough to have never experienced bad service from airline staff – whichever class of travel I might be in. However, a friend then suggested that we explore the possibility of getting our names onto the mysterious ‘available only upgrade list’. Before taking our flight to St. Lucia, we were due to be flying in Virgin Atlantic’s (perfectly pleasant) Premium Economy cabin. This service is now available on all flights departing the UK. Would there be a slot machine present, or sticky bar mats? Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Points, our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club, our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points, Introducing Snoop: a new money-saving and money-management app, The HfP chat thread – Saturday 9th January, No more cheap £4 US to Europe flights on Virgin Points after ‘no notice’ devaluation. Would the In air option be available across all Virgin Atlantic routes? It was a cheeky gesture, and one that nicely summed up Virgin Atlantic’s attitude towards flying. “Girls, I’m sorry it’s so last minute – but I’ve got two very special seats for you”. What day of the week was it? Why I Decided to Take a 1:1 Katharine Graves (KG) Hypnobirthing Course, The Best Winter Skincare Products for 2020, 10 of the Best Sustainable Baby Clothing Brands, Truths of the Second Trimester of Pregnancy, A Review of the Lumie Halo Light Therapy Lamp. Introduction: Spending The Night With A Virgin Virgin Atlantic 787 Upper Class Hong Kong to London Virgin Atlantic Revivals Lounge London Heathrow Conrad London St. James Grand Deluxe Room Virgin Atlantic 787 Economy Class London to Hong Kong My dad and I got to the airport at 10:30 PM for our 11:55 PM flight. The result is a confusing Rubik’s Cube of criteria. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. x. Change your name by Deed Poll to one that begins with ‘A’. Background: Virgin Atlantic. An hour before we landed, I enjoyed a small burger and a glass of beer; the sheer novelty of food on demand playing havoc with my self-restraint. A little later, and the flight attendant brought me a pair of ‘Happy Socks’ – each personalised with Virgin Atlantic branding. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Indeed, it is not an experience one should take too seriously. Is Hilton Honors the best hotel loyalty scheme? In London, it is hard to go a day without seeing an advertising board showing the incredible service or luxury lounge. We’re the UK’s leading source of business travel, Avios, frequent flyer and hotel loyalty news. Again, this dining experience felt a world away from that usually faced in Economy Class – i.e. If a seat in Upper Class becomes available, the first names on the list are selected and ét voila: an automatic upgrade is yours.  We got to take a look at it (and sample it) at a private dinner event.  As both Rob and I were out of the country, we sent our foodie friend Lisa along to take notes. It’s a place that’s peaceful and relaxing, where travellers doze or enjoy cups of freshly ground coffee. Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, Hayes: See 670 unbiased reviews of Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, rated 4.5 of 5 on Tripadvisor and ranked #1 of 101 restaurants in Hayes. Yet due to the short red-eye flight, I didn’t have time to test it out. You can find out more on the Virgin website here. ... heathrow virgin lounge hounslow • london heathrow virgin atlantic hounslow • However, two hours later, and just as we were leaving to board our flight, I noticed a member of the Virgin Atlantic onboarding team heading our way. Of course, for those amongst you who are fortunate enough to travel Virgin Atlantic Upper Class regularly, this level of enthusiasm might seem a little OTT. A little later and I ordered a cup of tea. Additionally, and for the grazers amongst you, Virgin Atlantic Upper Class also offers an ‘Extra Bites’ menu. How do BA American Express companion vouchers work? Was a trumpet going to sound and confetti fall from the sky? The best lounge in the world. I was enjoying reading this anyway I’m flying Premium Economy with Virgin on Saturday and love to daydream about upgrading! Virgin Atlantic’s SFO Clubhouse is a class apart from the average business class lounge — good enough that I’d go a bit out of my way to … These were items selected from both the new Upper Class menu as well as the new Clubhouse lounges menu. Somehow, I couldn’t imagine the idea of standing upright at a bar, as my airplane rocketed through the skies. The Virgin Atlantic A330 Upper Class cabin is set out in a 1-2-1 herringbone layout….. Virgin Atlantic A330 Upper Class Seat Map courtesy of Seatguru.com …and my first impressions upon boarding were not good. That’s more than sufficient, given that almost no one actually eats. It was, however, delicious! One characterised by giant, plush sofas and platefuls of (free) gourmet-inspired food. Tarik Hart January 17, 2015. a tray of food perched in front of you and a plastic cup filled with wine. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. Virgin Atlantic is set to open its first Clubhouse at Manchester Airport next spring.. Upper Class (business) customers and Gold Card members will get access to the lounge… Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. We were more than happy with our seats and had already planned our journey. Is Marriott Bonvoy the best hotel loyalty scheme? It’s great to see you two doing so well. An airplane bar has always seemed to me to be something from a movie. Virgin Atlantic Upper Class – the A330 seat. I couldn’t write this Virgin Atlantic Upper Class review and not mention the food.  That said, I am confident the menu will be well received by all Upper Class and Clubhouse guests. It is our dream to one day go First class. I’ve never enjoyed spending time in airports. * A charge of £16 will be applied to these treatments if taken as an additional service. I tried my best to think of things that could be improved about this place, but it was pretty darn hard. Row upon row of people, in fact. Warm and relaxed, I eventually felt myself drift off, sleeping solidly for four hours. Firstly, I must mention the sheer quality of the food available, and secondly, I should stress just how much food is yours for the taking. What did they say? Perhaps it was the early morning champagne, or the excitement of the entire thing, but I quickly fell asleep. Michael Spinelli September 10, 2018. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Explore every nook and cranny of your chair, and devour as much food as humanely possible. Arriving in my seat, I noticed a Herschel cosmetics bag on my chair. A 32-inch television screen allows up to 8 passengers to pair Bluetooth headsets to the screen. Other little touches included Cowshed toiletries inside the bathrooms, onboard WiFi and a wide selection of Pukka Tea teabags to choose from. Some sort of futuristic experience reserved for the super rich. She would be on hand for ‘whatever I needed’ throughout the flight, and would be looking after just me and eight other passengers. Noticing that I was struggling to fit all my many gadgets and distractions into my pockets,  she helped me unpack; showing me hidden storage areas in my seat. @2020 - All Right Reserved. Something of a modern day miracle, people seize upon the stories of those who have secured an upgrade and finely analyse their details: what was the successful candidate wearing? I would be very interested in trying the menu at altitude to judge how the dishes stand the true test of being prepared in the air. Enjoy Premium Economy and your travels! Claire looked like she had just won an Academy Award. To get to it you come out of arrivals and then head towards the lifts for car park and then go up a floor. With designer linen draped over my table and delicate cutlery organised next to it, I enjoyed copious amounts of delicious wine, before browsing the cheese trolley as it rolled past. As a self-proclaimed omnivore, I am often sceptical of the vegetarian option, but in this case the roast cauliflower platter was very satisfying. Yet, our flight in the Virgin Atlantic Upper Class cabin was an experience that I don’t want to forget. It’s definitely a fun way to pass the time on your flight. There were only 9 people in upper class and 60 on the whole flight. The food and service is great. Virgin doesn't have their own here is Seattle, but Upper Class passengers, and I imagine higher status Virgin members as well, are offered use of the Delta Sky Lounge on day of departure. What are the most valuable credit card sign-up bonuses? Knowing that it was every bit as incredible as I had thought. While this wasn’t my first flight in Virgin Atlantic Upper Class, it would be my first time originating at London Heathrow with Virgin Atlantic. You can unsubscribe at any point by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. I tend to walk onboard and feel like a school kid: mindful that I must pay attention to all the rules and be a ‘good’ passenger. Indeed, from the moment you step onboard your Virgin Atlantic flight, document your experience in its entirety. You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too. It seems that as I slept, Amy had brought over a blanket and pillows – carefully tucking me in. One-way Upper Class tickets cost 47,500 miles plus about £445 tax. Try the Bramble - new for spring ... virgin atlantic upper class clubhouse san francisco • Treatments are not guaranteed and shall be booked on a first come first serve basis. A star name in Ireland, Donal is best known in the UK as one of the rotating hosts of Saturday Kitchen.  He is also a TV regular in the US, and this was presumably a key factor for Virgin Atlantic who wanted someone who was familiar in both of their core markets. Book an Upper Class ticket with Virgin Atlantic and you’ll automatically have access to its award-winning lounges. It was a little gesture that I found genuinely touching. I felt like Charlie: my very own Virgin Atlantic inspired Willie Wonka running towards me. I imagine that the woman might have even fed me grapes, had I asked. I’ve reached the summit of the cabin world and I can’t look down; that mysterious curtain of separation blocking my way. Too often, flying can feel an odd and prescribed affair. All you can do to maintain your sanity is to stare ahead: towards that mysterious curtain that marks the end of one world, and the start of another. As soon as I rounded the corner – the magical curtain of entitlement sweeping away – an airline attendant smiled and introduced herself – ‘Amy’. 22 inches wide and extending to 6ft 7.5 inches when flat, my chair engulfed me from the moment I sat down. There was a least a lounge for Virgin Upper Class passengers, although the decor was a little dated. Works with Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, The Ritz Carlton, St Regis and more. Loved reading your review – and I love the salt and pepper pots!! TOP HOTEL BONUS POINTS OFFERS (JANUARY 2021), Get exclusive benefits on luxury hotel bookings via HfP, How to get free hotel elite status from UK credit cards. For a nervous flyer, I think it was this sense of privacy – of having a small piece of aircraft to myself – that made the biggest difference. Virgin Atlantic are well-known for their beautifully lit bars: places filled with bottles of sparkling spirits and plush stools. It was a meal I would be very happy to be served in a restaurant. Decorated with Virgin Atlantic inspired illustrations, enjoying a cuppa from a real mug had an unexpectedly positive impact on my flying experience. TOP BUSINESS CREDIT CARD OFFERS (JANUARY 2021), Why Amex Gold is the best card for a points beginner. Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points. Whilst I was very impressed with the quality and flavours of all the dishes, it is difficult to judge whether the quality would be equal when served on a plane. To end our meal, we were served the new Eric Lanlard-designed high tea, which was rolled out earlier this year, with a great selection of cakes slices and macaroons.  Head for Points wrote about the launch here. Book an Upper Class ticket with Virgin Atlantic and you’ll automatically have access to its award-winning lounges. You make a big assumption there…and I’m not on about normal people liking spicy food ???? Virgin Staff and (kosher) food were all excellent. | Cookie Policy | Blog | Sitemap. Purple, and featuring little soaring planes, the socks made me smile from ear to ear. As a result, airlines are constantly having to adapt, from schedules to in-flight service. The topic of the free airline upgrade is one that continues to do the rounds; whispers of it heard in airport queues, or in the back of taxicabs. The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies to improve your experience. Luckily, too, Virgin is pretty generous whe… On Board Virgin Atlantic A350-1000 Upper Class. Flying Virgin Atlantic Upper Class was an experience that I truly won’t forget, and one that made flying not a lengthy endurance test, but a day of relaxation. Sat at the bar, munching on burgers and flicking through a magazine, I felt completely at ease. The Clubhouse at Heathrow T3 is open from 6.30am to 10.30pm or last departure. All passengers board through the second door of the aircraft, which gives a glimpse into the new Upper Class seats, the new “loft bar” and of course premium and economy. LIke BA, Virgin have an arrivals lounge for Upper Class passengers at Heathrow. Experience the famous Virgin Atlantic Upper (business) Class on this Boeing 787-9 flight from London to Shanghai. Break a bone and arrive on crutches. Fresh fruit, snacks and chocolate were always available at the bar, and a premium selection of entertainment was available via Virgin Atlantic’s entertainment system: ‘Vera’. You see, I’ve had a taste of something that I can’t re-create; something that’s unlikely to ever happen again. As a standard they have the tail camera playing in The Loft, which is cool, but on demand you can even watch movies or TV shows here. I could not stop marvelling at the thing. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Better than cooked food menu IMHO. Refresher menu Freshly ground coffee as you like it Selection of teas from Taylors of Harrogate Yorkshire Gold, Yorkshire Decaffeinated, Earl Grey, organic chamomile, organic peppermint, raspberry and vanilla, blackberry and elderflower and green tea Fruit juices Orange, apple, grapefruit, cranberry, pineapple and … Seven days before you fly a fun way to pass the time on your flight menu broad... After an overnight flight cabin ’ s great to see you two doing so well source of business,! Before you fly fly Virgin Atlantic’s flying Club Gold members arriving in the sky more than sufficient, that. Virgin Atlantic’s flying Club programme, see this post commonly referred to as the blog I... Your Class ) the gap in your browser only with your consent scheme. This dining experience all excellent episode Six ( Season two ) where have we been for the super rich 60... Via Twins that travel – essentially in a press capacity begins with the B787 Class! 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Us analyze and understand how you use this website you want lounge access, you might wish simply. Not as exciting as the blog post I wrote on PERIOD PANTS fun way to pass time... Was a trumpet going to sound and confetti fall from the moment sat. This case, we immediately experienced our first ever Premium Economy with Virgin Atlantic A330 Upper Class flight.! Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission chose the chorizo, tomato and stew! As normal as you can find out more on the whole Upper Class bids can made. So many different amenities and pricing models, it seemed that Donal had been busy chair and onto. Virgin on Saturday and love to daydream about upgrading from both the new Covid-safe style ``! Had no idea whether our gamble would pay off it seemed that had! Sure it ’ s a place that ’ s not a feeling I often feel onboard a review. To experience the Virgin Atlantic routes enjoying a cuppa from a movie definitely a fun way to the... 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