I thought I'd throw in an economy trip report for those that are interested. I flew with my wife and 2 and a half year old daughter. This was our first trip booked with miles and I have to say I was and still am amazed at the fact that we flew to Barbados as a Family for £640...I kept expecting to be thrown off the plane
This is a Trip Report from the Economy cabin
Food & Drink
Our trip started as usual the night before our flight with a hotel stay at the Hilton, however this time we decided to do twilight check in to rid the bags and save time the next day. It was very quiet with only 3 families checking in and 3 members of staff on but it somehow still took over half an hour. There was some problem with seats for the people in front of us, but instead of checking us in whilst 1 person sorted out seats, we had to wait while all 3 staff sorted out the problem together. In the end the upper class check in agent called us over and we were away in minutes. Despite this we still much preferred twilight check in and would do it again.
We woke up fresh and had breakfast at the Hilton before going straight through security and into the north terminal. We were spotted by a security staff member who sent us around to the assisted lane owing to having a 2 year old pulling her own trunky along and we went straight through. I must say I prefer the north terminal to south. The range of shops and restaurants seems better to me. Our flight was scheduled at 10.55 but showing gate info at 10.40 so we knew we were delayed at least a little, mind you I already knew this would be the case as 3 747's had up to 3 hour delays from the previous day and were all playing catch up (yes I am somewhat of an av geek much to my wifes dismay ). As soon as the gate was showing we walked straight there, straight through the gate and onto the plane, only stopping to show passports and boarding cards. We were greeted by a friendly cabin crew member and straight up to our usual seats, 79 A B C. Take note economy travellers, these are the best basic economy seats of any aircraft in my opinion. At the back of only 10 rows of seats so service is still fast, quiet cabin and back row but still with full recline and storage bins to the side and I am certain there is more leg room in this row. Worth £35 a seat, although these have gone up by £10 since Delta!
Anyhow, the speedy boarding process and push back became apparent when we learned that there were 200 empty seats on the plane so we were up and away in record time. Luckily for us 3 of those empty seats were in front of us which was great. The captain briefed that our flight time would be 8.02 so we would in fact still land right on schedule which was great. We settled in and once the seatbelt signs were off the trolleys were out with drinks and the usual pretzels and within half an hour a childs meal was brought out for my daughter. It was pasta in cheese sauce and she loved it. It was good to have her meal early so we could help her with her food without having our own in front of us going cold. Our meals arrived shortly after. I had chicken curry with rice and saag and a GU chocolate praline pot and I have to say it was the best food I have ever had on a plane. My wife had the vegetarian option (sorry I can't remember what it was now) and she too agreed that it was lovely food. The IFE was working well with a good selection for all of us. My daughter is a seasoned traveller, with this being her 3rd long haul trip in 16 months with Virgin but this was the first time she had her own seat so she loved having her own screen and room to move about. We weren't really offered any more drinks for the rest of the flight, we could obviously go and get drinks at our leisure but it would have been nice to have another drinks service, especially given the half empty plane. I walked downstairs a few times and it was like a ghost town in economy section and no crew to be seen there either. I guess they make the most of these quiet flights which I am OK with generally.
We had the Fab lolly about 5 hours into the flight by my daughter was asleep so missed out. When I asked about an hour later I was told that they weren't kept frozen so she couldn't have one. I found this strange as they clearly went on the plane frozen and stayed so for 5 hours and I presume they don't bin the leftover ones, or maybe they do who knows.
The afternoon snack was served about an hour before landing and again the childs meal arrived 1st. We all had cheese sandwich with Tyrrells crisps, a chocolate brownie type bar and mints, washed down with tea or coffee. It was again very nice.
The cabin was cleared away and we had a nice low approach into Barbados around the west coast with spectacular views before a smooth landing into BGI.
We were very pleased to have other people on the flight tell us how well behaved our daughter was. They all had to walk past us upstairs as we always wait until last to leave to avoid holding everybody up.
What a pleasant experience getting off the plane old school and onto the tarmac. I find it nice getting off into the heat of the afternoon after leaving cold England! Immigration was slow but on the plus side the baggage was waiting for us to speed things up a bit.
Overall a great experience and the start of a superb holiday.