Did OLCI when we got back in from dinner on I-Drive & the first impression of the new VS/DL IT system is it’s fast… very fast. The old VS OLCI pages used to refresh multiple times during the check-in process – none of this on the new system, it was literally lightning quick. Slight changes to boarding passes (both on-screen & mobile BP’s) but nothing too bad – main difference is the lack of VS branding, you just get an un-skinned DL boarding pass now – but it does show the actual fare code you’re booked into, no more generic Y/W/J classes unless you are paying full whack.
This is a Trip Report from the Upper Class cabin
Food & Drink
Did Disney Springs bag-drop in the morning & all went well. Travelling friends BP stamped as “Gold” for priority security with me (he’s in PE, I’m in UC). I checked the extra 25kg bag for my friend as my 3rd bag to avoid charges.
After the normal final day ritual of Islands of Adventure & Mythos for lunch – with SeaWorld & Mako thrown in before for good measure – it was time to head out to MCO. Returned to our Sheraton resort to use the showers & change first ahead of the overnight flight. Got to MCO and it was pretty quiet – hardly surprising for a Monday afternoon in just low season (Thanksgiving this Thursday). We were through the TSA checkpoint fairly fast and onto the train to the airside terminal. Duty free shopping done – albeit no T10 Gin at MCO any more – and up to the Sky Club.
I got paged in the Sky Club so went to the desk and was put through to a VS representative. They wanted me to move from 9K to 12A… on an overnight flight, no thanks. Boarding was called & true to Swissport form, the gate were not ready for the UC pax when they arrived from the lounge – come on Virgin & Swissport, get it sorted, it’s not hard!
When yet another “I don’t care” Swissport staff member finally decided UC boarding would commence, we were onboard quickly. Champagne was offered, but refills were very hit & miss. Seemed that if you were on the side of the plane the refill run was offered on, you were OK until the bottle ran out, than that was it.
Pushed back pretty much bang on time with a 7h30m run back to Manchester. Post-take-off drinks & meal orders were taken during taxi and a very short takeoff roll followed. Looks like we’re heading straight over the ocean on a Northern seaboard route, but we’ll not hit land until Ireland.
Dinner was served fairly promptly after the drinks service – I’ll refrain from repeating the menu again as it’s the same as my Sept flight / the UC Menu thread.
As I am not driving on landing in Manchester, I have given my Bose QC20i’s to my friend who is driving, so I am going to enjoy a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc sleep, even with aircraft noise.
No amenity kits onboard this flight in Upper or PE & only about a 70% duvet load in Upper. Either a lot of duvets are in the crew rest area or the ground staff / Virgin have cocked up big-time. Thankfully, I do have a duvet for the short amount of time I will use it.
Managed a little sleep of sorts, but all too soon the sun was rising out of the K side windows and we were approaching Ireland. Breakfast was taken & was very good. As normal I took a customized full English breakfast (so tomato & eggs removed) and it was very nice.
An uneventful landing at Manchester followed – as we taxied to stand, a VS A330 was pushing back – at about 07:30 – to go somewhere… did not thing VS had any departures that early from MAN?
UK Border Agency were – for once – on the ball this morning and we were through the e-Gates in a couple of minutes. Bags were on the reclaim belt fast & it was clear that the UC bin gets priority – my 2 bags + the friends bag I’d checked were out very fast as all tagged UC. PE bags took a little longer to appear.
So all in all an OK VS flight. Lack of amenity kits was a disappointment – I know they are nothing to write home about, but I expect to be able to brush my teeth before landing when travelling in Upper Class. Duvet loads poor too – something had gone wrong somewhere.
As always, I say I won’t be back to Orlando anytime soon... watch this space!