Ever wondered if it was worth paying the extra to fly Upper Class with Virgin Atlantic. Well read on and I will tell you what I thought.
The whole Upper Class experience begins the moment you set foot in the Airport. We travelled from Gatwick Airport, and as soon as we began to head towards the Upper Class check in desks we were greeted by a Lady In Red!! Our passports were taken by the Check In staff and our cases taken from us, there was NO queue, there was NO stress, there was NO weighing our luggage or hand luggage. We were given our fastrack boarding passes, asked if we needed directions to the Clubhouse and away we went.
Fastrack at Gatwick is by invitation only and should by the name be fast. Unfortunately not this time. The queue wasn’t too bad when we entered but ten minutes later when we were still waiting to go through the turnstile, they were suggesting passengers go to the normal departures as it was quicker!! Suggestions to improve this, definitely more staff showing passengers how to use the gates, nobody was standing correctly and the machine sensors couldn’t pick them up.
We eventually headed to the Clubhouse. You can read my review of this here, it was so great it needed its own post!!!
When it was time to board the aircraft Upper Class passengers and Gold Cardholders boarded first. We had our jackets hung for us, our carry-on suitcases stowed in wardrobes and were offered champagne or juice before we took off.
The cabin does have a more personal feel to it, its more casual and relaxed.
The seats which can fold down to make a flat bed were very comfortable. There was a large soft pillow and duvet stowed behind your seat. As soon as we took off my Daughter tested out the flat bed and stayed there for most of the journey cuddled in the duvet!!
There is a 10″ entertainment screen that pops out the side of your area. Its on an easily moveable arm and the remote control is easily accessible too. You have a power point and a large sturdy tray to eat, work or play at. My son’s goal was to watch as many movies as possible. You get to use a nice pair of headphones.
The seats on the aircraft we travelled on, a 747-400 are arranged in a herringbone shape allowing lots of privacy. It is so nice to have direct access to the aisle and not have to worry about climbing over your neighbour. You have an ottoman at the end of your seat to either put your feet up on or have a companion come and join you for a drink. I stowed most of my belongings in the ottoman as its hollow.
Food, yum yum in this case I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
A few pictures of the views outside.
One thing I would say that dampened our experience and I must strongly advise you to check this every time is your seats numbers. I ALWAYS prebook our seat numbers beforehand if this facility is available. We did this months in advance and got four seats together. As we had an informal check in at the Upper Class Desk it never occurred to me to recheck the seat numbers and it wasn’t until we got onboard we realised our seats had been changed and we were split up. After being in contact with Virgin Atlantic Customer Relations I must warn you that that is NOT a Virgin Atlantic policy to advise customers travelling in ANY class if they change your seats for any reason. We are all aware especially those who have worked in the Travel Industry that when you book an airline ticket you are booking a seat not a seat number but out of courtesy it would be nice to be advised. Maybe its time for this policy to be changed? It would have certainly made a difference to the start of our trip. Nobody wants to spend a 9 hour flight split from their family!!
Overall we once again loved the Upper Class experience. Is it worth the extra? I would definitely do it again, if I can get a great deal on the fare or use our flying club miles. I never buy a full fare ticket, but who does nowadays??
Have you ever flown Upper Class? Was it worth it for you? Have you ever had your seat numbers changed by an airine? I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts.