My mother and I had the privilege of flying Virgin Atlantic's Upper Class to London last weekend. It turned out to be the experience of a lifetime for the both of us.
If you're interested in reading about what points I used get these tickets, take a look at how I booked them. This post is going to focus on the entire Virgin Atlantic Upper Class experience.
We had the pleasure of flying Virgin Atlantic's A330-300. This isn't one of their newest aircrafts, but as far as I could tell it was in perfectly good shape.
Their Upper Class cabin has a total of 33 seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. My Mom and I were seated in 5K and 6K on the outbound flight, and seats 6A and 7A on the inbound flight.
Upper Class Cabin
When I first walked into the cabin my eyes lit up like a Christmas tree! Virgin Atlantic has got to have one of the most stylish business class cabins in the sky.
Hip European tunes flooded my ears and my eyes danced around the mood lit cabin. It was almost like walking into a hip night club. Before I knew it, I had a glass of champagne in my hand and was looking at all of features of my seat.
The size of the seat was actually very roomy. I was a little nervous because I'd read some reviews that the seats were rather "narrow," but my 6'2" frame fit just fine.
Things got a little snug when the seat was reclined into bed mode, but not tight enough that it prevented me from getting some sleep. As any tall person knows, if you can stretch you're legs out that's all you really need.
The service on both flights was in a class of its own! All of the flight attendants aboard were outstanding. I think they were all genuinely excited to be at work and really enjoy their jobs. It didn't hurt that they all had British accents either. Every time I said thank you I was greeted with "It's my pleasure sir!" It made me feel like I had my own personal British butler. Since I'd consider myself pretty blue-collar, it was almost laughable to be treated like royalty.
Between our two flights, we came home with a handful of goodies. We each got two Herschel amenity kits.
I love the Herschel brand and I thought the amenity kits were extremely stylish. I also have a Herschel backpack that I take on all my trips, so I'm glad I've got a few kits that match it now.
We also received a pair of Virgin Atlantic pajamas on our overnight flight to London. I know a lot of the premium cabin flyers have a large collection, but this was my first pair of airline branded PJ's. I can't wait to collect some more!
I thought Virgin Atlantic's meal service was amazing on both flights. Each flight had a variety of different dishes to choose from, so I got to sample a decent amount of their food selection. If I had to pick a "least favorite" part of the meal, I'd probably choose their appetizers. The ones I had were perfectly fine, but they just got overshadowed by the rest of the meal. I had the smoked pecan and butternut salad on the outbound flight
and the spicy butternut soup on the inbound flight.
Both of the main courses I had were outstanding though. On the outbound flight I had the peppercorn beef fillet.
On the inbound flight I tried the lemon and thyme chicken.
Since I constantly eat reheated chicken/beef when i'm not traveling, I know how difficult it can be to keep the quality and the flavor. I was extremely impressed because both dishes were tender and moist. Kudos to Virgin Atlantic.
The highlight of Virgin Atlantic's meal service was definitely their desserts! I got to try their cherry cheesecake and their warm chocolate salted caramel pudding (better known as cake to us Americans).
They were just as good as any dessert you'd find in a restaurant, and the perfect end to a great meal.
Just when you thought you'd had enough food and wine, the flight attendants wheel around a cheese tray. They made sure to load me up with all of their cheeses, crackers and fruit.
After it was all said and done, I was sitting fat and sassy. About an hour and a half before landing, they served either breakfast or a snack depending on which flight you're on. In typical British fashion, I had the full English breakfast before landing in London.
And in typical American fashion, I opted for the cheeseburger and turkey sandwich before landing in Chicago.
When you land at London Heathrow you're invited to visit Virgin Atlantic's Revivals lounge. The Revivals Lounge offers personalized shower rooms and meal service for Upper Class passengers from 5:00 am to 1:30 pm.
My Mom and I decided to check it out and take a shower after landing. The shower rooms were perfect. They were clean as a whistle and had all of the amenities you need to revive yourself after a red eye flight.
The water pressure in the showers was equivalent to that of a car wash! It felt great after a long overnight flight. After my shower I grabbed a cappuccino and I was ready to hit the streets of London!
When you depart from London Heathrow Virgin Atlantic invites you to visit their Clubhouse before your flight. My mom and I made sure to get to the airport extra early so we could enjoy the famed Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse before our scheduled departure.
It's such a great space to spend time before your flight. There's plenty of seating and you can order food and drinks from anywhere in the lounge.
My Mom and I enjoyed breakfast and then found a nice place to relax and use the WiFi.
The Clubhouse even offers complimentary spa treatments. After our breakfast, I was able to book a 15 minute head and shoulder message and my Mom opted for the hand treatment.
When you book an Upper Class ticket using points, you aren't entitled to Virgin Atlantic's complimentary chauffeur service. Although if you'd like to, you can add it on for an extra 17,500 flying club miles one-way. Since I had a few extra miles after signing up for the Virgin Atlantic World Elite MasterCard, I decided to book it for our ride to Heathrow on the way home.
Our Chauffeur arrived promptly at our scheduled 5:30 am pick up in his sleek Mercedes Benz. I'm a little bummed out I didn't get the exact model, but it was nice!
I can't remember our driver's name, but he even had a special route picked out and gave us a nice little history lesson on the way to the airport. He dropped us off at Virgin Atlantic's Upper Class wing, where we were through security with our boarding passes in just minutes.
My Mom and I were THOROUGHLY impressed. Maybe it's because were newbies on the premium cabin circuit, but we were blown away. I think the best part for me was giving my Mom an experience she'll remember for the rest of her life. We'll be telling the tale of our Virgin Atlantic Upper Class experience for decades!