I flew home from London to LA on Virgin Atlantic’s new 787-9 in Upper Class, my first Virgin Atlantic flight since 2014.
I’ve got to say, I was disappointed. The flight attendants onboard were fabulous: very attentive, witty, and still polished. No complaints about them personally, but it took more than three hours to finish lunch service. What could possibly be the reason for dragging out the meal service for so long?
The lunch itself tasted fine. While my filet mignon was dry, it was covered in an exceptional chimichurri sauce that gave it a great overall flavor. But Virgin does seem to skimp on the main meal. For an appetizer, we were given a choice of salmon, salad, OR soup. And it’s not like this was served form a cart where you could take one or two or three. FAs asked which one you wanted.
Dessert comes before cheese, which seemed out of order. Unlike my last flight aboard the A340, no cappuccino or espresso was available on the 787-9.
With a rather small main meal, I had a hamburger for a mid-flight snack. It was very dry and no condiments were offered.
Finally, I enjoyed an afternoon tea service prior to landing. I appreciated the great selection of teas on the menu and you can never go wrong with scones or clotted cream. The sandwiches were not worth the calories.
Rather than a set pre-arrival meal, Virgin Atlantic offers a la carte items available on-demand after the first meal service.
Biggest Issue: Seat
What disappointed me most was the seat. I’ve flown the herringbone-style business class seat on many occasions in the past but found it terribly uncomfortable in the upright position on this flight. The seat is narrow, lacks privacy, and offers no recline: it’s lie-flat mode or fully upright mode only.
To make matters worse, I was not able to sleep and spent the whole flight awake. The cabin was very warm and even the air nozzles above the seat did not help cool my seating area.
I was seated in 10A, right near the bar. I feared the bar might get loud/crowded during the flight, but it never did.
I must admit my Virign Atlantic experience was disappointing. The Clubhouse in LHR was fabulous and I appreciated the FAs, but I far prefer the seat on American, British Airways, or United on the same route. The inability to recline greatly detracts from the business class experience. So does a warm cabin. Stay tuned for a full report.
What was your experience in Virgin Atlantic Upper Class like?