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#932853 by sunny23uk
19 Feb 2017, 16:54
Ground Staff
Food & Drink
Cabin Crew
A week in the sunshine state was needed to banish the January blues!

After a slight slower than normal journey across the Pennines, we arrived at Manchester just before 9am. I’d managed to check my parents in online the day before eventually (this was the day after all of Delta’s systems went down), but I just kept getting the message about Government Restrictions preventing me from checking in, so assumed I was going to be up for extra security checks – which upon retrieving my boarding card from one of the machines, was proved correct, SSSS sitting there discretely at the bottom. I was called over to one of the PE bag drop desks after a couple of minutes, as by this time it was fairly quiet, and dropped my bag off, no problems with weight on the way out. :) I asked whether the flight was busy, and told, that it wasn’t and that I should be able to spread out once the flight was underway. Pleasant service there, as I normally seem to get from the ground crew.
Once my parents had also dropped their bags we headed straight up to security which was also fairly quiet, and as I got to the front of the queue, I was directed to a newly opened lane, so out with the table and camera etc… and through the security lane with no delays.

We headed downstairs for a bite to eat at Frankie & Bennie’s, then headed towards gate 214 to find Hot Lips waiting for us, to take us away from the drizzle. Priority boarding commenced at about 10.45am, with economy passengers following, but with so few passengers on board, they just asked everyone to line up toward the end of the terminal, keeping the priority lane clear for any other passengers arriving later. I pinged when my boarding pass was scanned as expected, so off to the security check, involving a re-check of my hand luggage and a quick pat down, but nothing intrusive, and onwards to the plane. I was booked into seat 29C, next to my parents and the remaining passengers boarded quickly, and we were pushing back by 11.15am and headed off to the runway for take-off. This is when you know how light the plane is, when it takes barely half the runway to get up in the air – got to love the feeling of speed in a 747 and I’ll miss them when they’re gone (although it may not be as soon as initially expected according to my return flight).

I noticed that the centre bulkhead section was empty, so a quick check with the cabin crew and I hopped over into the middle so I could stretch my legs out once the all clear was given, along with one other passenger, plus quite a few others moved around the cabin. Unfortunately, I don’t remember how many people were on board, but it was probably around 200. I watched 3 films through the flight, Bad Moms, Mike & Dave need wedding dates and The secret life of pets, all of which amused me. Lunch was served about an hour after take-off, of which I had the chicken curry, which was surprisingly tasty, even with a bit of a kick towards the end of it. Ice creams were bought round later and there was enough spare for a second trip round the cabin with them. Then about 90 mins from landing, we were served afternoon tea, which I’m quite happy with now, containing a cheese and pickle sandwich, crisps and a chocolate caramel brownie. Before I knew it, we were starting our descent into Orlando, with an estimated time of arrival at 3pm, so this should beat all the other international flights :)

The FSM popped by to say hello, as it turned out she worked with a friend of mine in the past, so good wishes were exchanged. A smooth landing followed and we taxied to gate 81 for departure. Once off the plane, we headed down the ramp but were diverted off to the right as they are modernising parts of the terminal, so we were then checked to see who could use the machines, and who couldn’t – those being diverted round into the main immigration hall, while the rest of us queued for the machines, which are now in a temporary room. Once this part was done, we headed into the main hall and were split into those who passed and those who didn’t. I Waited less than 10 minutes here and there was actually a decent number of desks open to process people, and then through to find the bags already circulating on carousel 4. There’s now a new queuing system for customs too, but again it moved fairly quickly and we were off on the monorail into the airport and off to pick our car up from the garage.

Overall, it was one of the more comfortable flights I’ve had, being able to stretch out in economy, pretty much smooth all the way over and the food wasn’t too bad either. The crew were efficient, pleasant and helpful, and it was nice to have a quick chat with some of them.

#932858 by hiljil
19 Feb 2017, 17:52
Thank you for the TR. So pleased you had an enjoyable experience & were able to spread out so much. That certainly helps !
#932868 by tomthumb
19 Feb 2017, 21:22
Thank you for the TR and clearly a good trip
Virgin Atlantic

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