I’ve flown economy with Virgin Atlantic a few times in the last two years, and have always been impressed with the excellent service, state-of-the-art aircraft and even the food, which is generally a cut above most other airlines. During my recent trip to the U.K., I got the pleasure of experiencing Virgin Atlantic Upper Class cabin, and it certainly did not disappoint.
I found myself looking forward to the 11-hour flight ahead!
My journey started with a visit to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at O.R Tambo International airport. From the moment I walked into the lounge, I was blown away. It’s so refreshing and such a pleasure to fly with an airline where employees seem to not only care but also seem to enjoy their jobs.
Something that people will either love or hate is that virtually nothing in the lounge is self-serve. I quite like that, since the staff in the lounge regularly check on you, in my experience. No matter where you sit, you’ll continuously be offered drinks. Since my flight was pretty late, so I decided to have dinner at the Clubhouse, instead of dining late at night during my flight. Virgin Atlantic recently teamed up with award-winning food writer and TV personality Donal Skehan, to bring delicious travel-inspired food to their Clubhouse menus which I was excited to try out. The Crispy chicken bao bun was a tasty appetizer, and I went with the traditional Fish & Chips as a main.
Facilities wise, there is a luggage storage area, private meeting rooms and shower suites equipped with fluffy towels and REN toiletries.
After spending a few hours in the lounge, I was off to board the plane. Upon boarding, I was greeted by the fantastic crew, and they showed me to my seat. As soon as you take your place, your dedicated flight attendant will take your drink order. You can choose from bubbly or a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages of your choice – of course, I have opted for bubbly!
Once you settle in, my air hostess came around and passed out my loungewear which is made from soft cotton-blend jersey fabric which can easily be worn off the plane, through the airport and into your living room. I was pretty excited about the amenity kit which included REN Clean Skincare products, a satin eyeshade, earplugs, dental kits, socks and pens.
All of the Upper Class Suite gives you direct aisle access with space to relax and sleep in privacy and comfort. The entertainment system included noise-cancelling headphones and a choice of over 100 movies, 300 hours of TV shows, over 350 albums and podcasts. For power, there is a USB port. The controls for the seat take a little getting used to, but thankfully with the help of the friendly air hostess serving me, I got to figure out quickly how it works.
An hour after take-off, I transformed my seat into a flat-lying bed in the quick press of a button. The seat slides forward to create an 82 inch flatbed. The duvet is luxurious and comforting, I can attest, the pillows are the thickest in the sky and super comfortable.
After a 6 hour peaceful, uninterrupted sleep, I was woken up by my friendly air hostess in time for breakfast. Before I knew it, we had landed in London. Eleven hours may have passed since takeoff, but it certainly felt like one of the shortest flights of my life.
I want to say a huge thank you to Virgin Atlantic for the incredible service, for the from your in-flight staff, from Teddy booking my flights, the friendly staff at your Clubhouse in Johannesburg everything!
Flying Virgin Atlantic Upper Class was genuinely a dream come true. If it’s something you can afford to splurge on, I highly recommend it.