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#930234 by tomthumb
18 Dec 2016, 21:55
Ground Staff
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Well this Trip report shows how different the service can be on flight using the same route.

It starts off back in July when Mrs D found an outstanding deal on a holiday at Blue Waters in Antigua and promptly booked it. We know we had a Limo service coming back from Gatwick at the end of the trip but only when I started looking at booking timings etc that I found out that we had an I Ticket, so had Limo service at both ends of the flight going there and back.

So on a cold Saturday morning our limo arrives 25 minutes early and whilst I was ready, Mrs D clearly was not, so a quick run outside and the driver was more than happy to wait and I spent some time calming the Dog down and before you know it we are in the back and on route to Gatwick. Very smooth run and despite the roadwork's on the M3 we made good headway and rolled up to departures where we said farewell to our driver. I had thought about doing a video blog of the flight but thought best not too as I don't have the skills to edit it all together.......

Check in was very smooth and we started off at the UC Bag Drop and then released like chumps that we needed to be at the other end, so made our way there and had a minor wait. The old UC Check in desks clearly behind large plywood barriers in readiness for the BA takeover. Through security and straight to the clubhouse and Mrs D booked in for her nails and I went for a head message. Full English breakfast was had by both myself and Mrs D, with a very nice glass of Lanson - never too early in the day for proper Champagne, and then moved off and sat by the windows. Mrs D had her nails done and I had my head massage which was very good, and also had a nice chat to the spa staff there and although I tried to wave from the clubhouse, the forum wouldn't or couldn't let me in, but did so the next day. As already mentioned the girls had just seen the new clubhouse and seemed excited to moving over there as it is bigger and better I was told.

Over a 'Redhead' (rude not too) we got talking to a couple who had just brought a villa at Jolly Harbour and flying out also in UC on the same flight. Found out that we had done the same job and now both retired, and also had a mutual friend and we got on well. What a small world we live in.

Flight called and we all made our way to Gate 36 and boarded Diamond Girl for our trip to ANU. Myself and Mrs D had seats A3 and A4 and settled down for the flight. Cabin crew came round and offered drinks and our new friends were 2 seats up from us and so a general chit chat about things. Glass of Gardet offered and taken and refills very quickly reappeared as waiting for passengers to board and Cabin Crew all very attentive the whole trip. The member of Cabin Crew working our side of the aircraft came round and introduced herself to all the passengers individually and said that if there was anything that we needed to let her know. Always a good start to the flight.

And it was soon time to take off on a bright Saturday morning.

So menu time, all been done before, but I had
Starter: Chicken Satay
Main: Lemon and Thyme Chicken
Desert: Cheese and Biscuits

All was really very nice indeed, and all washed down with a Tiger Beer or two, and Port and brandy with the Cheese and Biscuits.

IFE was good and there were some great movies to watch, but having seen a few at the cinema I opted to watch Central Intelligence and Tarzan, which killed a few hours and also had time for a few trips to the bar and chat with fellow passengers putting the world to rights.

Whilst at the bar we were taking to the FSM enquiring why no Lanson on the flight as the Gardet was nowhere in the same league, yet Lanson was available in the Clubhouse. She did say that we were not the first to complain about it and would make a note about that (doubt that any notice will be taken of it by the powers that be!!)

Decided to try the Extra Bites as I have never tried them and opted for the Burger, which was quite edible, but nothing to write home about.

When the crew came round for 'Afternoon Tea', I decided to opt out of that when I saw that a fellow passenger had ordered a Mini Lamb Pie, so thought I would give it a go. Very nice considering, but the chips were not really crispy, but then again, I was not surprised as they do use a steam oven, but overall it was pleasant all the same.

Very smooth landing at ANU and time to see the new Chinese built airport, and off onto the air bridge into the terminal. I really do miss the outside stairs as that is your first experience of the Caribbean heat, but alas not to be and straight into the air conditioned airport. Talk about a smooth operation and straight through Immigration and Customs and time to hunt out our Limo to the hotel!

Bear in mind that the Limo service even in Antigua was part of the package which we had and we looked expectantly for our surname to be carried by our driver, yet none was to be found. In fact if it was not for the Taxi lady at the Airport I doubt our Limo Service (for that read small Mini Bus) would have turned up. When it did it was about an hour late and we were almost the last to leave the airport. Mrs D not happy about that, and has winged a letter off to Crawley Towers about that already.

So all in all a fantastic trip out to Antigua, made new friends and only let down at the very end with the 'Limo' - guess we should have just booked a taxi and be done with it.
#930240 by buns
18 Dec 2016, 22:18
Thanks for the engrossing TR :-)

Your TR shows that when VS get it right with customer service, they are very hard to beat. Such a difference to my last trip out of LGW where i would have loved to have had the level of service you had.

Thanks for wetting my appetite for the new Gatwick Clubhouse ;-)

buns
#930241 by jfenney
18 Dec 2016, 22:30
Fantastic TR and a great read.just settling down before my flight tommrow :-D
#930254 by marshy11
19 Dec 2016, 00:26
Woe is me. What a difference a crew make. Pleased you had a good crew, it makes ALL the difference. Antigua though, is still the gem at the end of the journey.
#930273 by dickydotcom
19 Dec 2016, 09:06
Thanks for the TR.

Have a great holiday.

Dick D
Virgin Atlantic

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