As a travel professional people always assume you’re jetting off to exotic locations at the drop of a hat, but, as a single parent, it isn’t so easy. Fortunately, due to Easter break at my daughter’s school and the timing of the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton, I am able to be in London to give live reports for the big event.
Our trip began yesterday (April 20, 2011) at JFK airport. I’ve been to London many times before, and, usually travel on British Airways, however, because of a variety of factors this time I selected Virgin Atlantic, and, while this wasn’t my first time on Virgin Atlantic it was my very first time in their Upper Class. (Upper Class is Virgin Atlantic’s first class cabin.)
Arriving at JFK a good three hours prior to our flight, I was stunned to see the airport wasn’t overly busy. My daughter and I went straight to the Upper Class check-in, and, had our boarding passes in hand in roughly 10 minutes. We proceeded over to the security line which went relatively quick, and, we had well over two hours to kill at JFK until our flight was scheduled to leave.
(Note: Virgin Atlantic is located at Terminal 4 at JFK)
And so we proceeded to Virgin’s Clubhouse at JFK which is one of the largest lounges I’ve ever encountered. Having my precocious 11 year old along with me, I thought I’d have trouble keeping her entertained, but, she was more than eager to spend her time on the Internet. In addition to Internet access, Virgin Atlantic’s JFK Clubhouse also offers snacks including sandwiches, drinks and ice cream. The time passed surprisingly fast and it was time to board.
As an Upper Class passenger, you aren’t just entitled to early boarding, you are treated to many fine surprises on-board. I knew about the sleeper seats (which aren’t overly comfortable, but, they certainly beat coach seating by a mile and given the right price I would book them again in a heartbeat), but, the on-board self service bar area was a pleasant surprise. Upper Class passengers on Virgin Atlantic can also expect:
- Laptop power access at every seat
- A personal television screen with complimentary service of television shows, movies, and, games
- The ability to order your on-board meal when you are ready for it
- Every seat is an aisle seat
All very welcomed amenities indeed!
The on-board flight crew were cheerful and helpful without being intrusive. They gave extra special attention to my daughter which I deeply appreciated, and, the whole crew couldn’t have been nicer to us.
The flight was uneventful (thankfully), and, we landed at Heathrow on time, and, feeling very refreshed after a decent night’s sleep on-board. I’d recommend Virigin Atlantic to anyone, and, if you have the opportunity to book Upper Class do not hesitate — you’ll find it money well spent!
My next column will feature our hotel while we are staying in London, so, be sure to check back daily, and, be sure to check in on Friday, April 29th for my live Royal Wedding report!