On our recent trip to New York, we were lucky enough to travel back to the UK in Virgin’s Upper Class cabin. Having never turned left before, this was a completely new experience and we absolutely loved it. Here’s a sneaky peak at what to expect.
The Virgin Upper Class cabin has rows of individual ‘pods’ either side of the aisle that are set at an angle. The biggest benefit of this, of course, is that everyone has their own access to the aisle and there’s no climbing over people if you need to get up. As you board (you board first), you’re offered a glass of champagne (in a proper glass coupe) and helped to stow your luggage and settle into your seat. The staff are wonderfully helpful and, even though Charlie was quite a long way away from me (by its very nature, it’s not a ‘sociable’ cabin, the point is that you are in your own private space), the staff kept an eye on him and, very kindly, came back to tell me how polite he was. There’s a small tweed bag of essentials, like a toothbrush and toothpaste, eye mask and earplugs, plus a proper pair of over-ear headphones.
Each seat has a ‘footstool’ in front of you and, with the press of a few buttons, turns into a full 33″ wide, 6’6″ long totally flat bed (the staff help you sort it out) with a lovely soft pillow and duvet. Because of the angled seat arrangement, you’re not encroaching into the space of the person behind you when you recline your seat either. You’re completely cocooned (so no weirdos can watch you sleeping, or is that just me?). Each seat has a 10″ TV that moves out in front of you, plus a desk, laptop storage and a power point.
From a huge full English breakfast (I plumped for fruit and yoghurt) and pre-dinner nibbles and drinks, including great cocktails (sadly I was driving back from Heathrow so had to pass), to a full menu complete with wine list, the food is really good quality. I started with a delicious sesame-crusted seared tuna, and, preferring to eat light, moved onto a delicious salmon salad. There were choices of dessert (my neighbour’s srawberry cheesecake looked very good) and a decent choice of cheeses with Port to finish. The wine list has a choice of three or four red and three or four white wines. All were good quality and names I recognised.
Of course, there are no plastic knives and forks here – the table is laid for you before dinner with proper cutlery, plus those cute little plane cruets that everyone wants to steal (no, I didn’t). If you’re not feeling the whole dinner experience, there are lots of snacky bits and pieces on the ‘Graze’ menu too.
I love the Virgin Atlantic cabin crew. It always gives me a little thrill to see them walking through the airports in the red lipstick (just the girls) and gorgeous red outfits. They’re friendly, helpful and discreet and the Upper Class crew are no exception. Nothing is too much trouble and they’ve always got time for a chat. Crucially, they also know when to leave you alone.
What a wonderful experience. I know you pay extra for the privilege, but as far as we were concerned, it was worth every penny. I’ll be saving my Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points so that I can treat Mr English to an upgrade very soon.
For more information visit virgin-atlantic.com
Special thanks to Beth at Virgin Holidays.