It's been a while since I flew VS direct from MAN, so thought I'd book myself on the first flight to JFK.
This is a Trip Report from the Premium Economy cabin
Food & Drink
Originally the VS flight to JFK was due to depart at 10:40am but a few months ago that changed to 13:40.
I'd done OLCI the previous day. As you can now see the entire aircraft seat map, I could see then it was going to be a busy flight. Premium had no spare seats, Upper was showing 2 empty seats and Economy showed around 6 empty seats.
Not that it mattered at this point, but I noticed that my iOS PassBook boarding pass didn't show my TSA-Pre status, yet the boarding pass within the VS did. Neither showed Priority security entry which Premium Economy pax are entitled to use. I grabbed a printed boarding pass at check-in though and that did have Priority printed on it.
The TSA-Pre status doesn't matter anyway for flights departing the UK. Be interesting to see if it shows up on my return flight PassBook boarding pass.
I had contemplated upgrading to Upper Class, but didn't bother in the end, especially with it being still the old 1-2-1 A333 config.
Arrived at MAN T2 around 10:15. VS check-in was a breeze with just one person in front of for at the Premium Economy desks. Only 1 out of the 3 desks was open for Premium. Also collected my pre-ordered currency from Travelex which is opposite VS check-in.
Security was also a breeze and I was through in under 5 minutes Using the Priority lane didn't make any difference as all the lanes where moving through efficiently.
I'd pre-booked the Escape lounge. The flight time change did me a favour as I was unable to book the Escape lounge round the original departure time, but after it changed, I was then able to book the lounge.
Not that I'm a footy fan, but a certain very well known local footballer was in the lounge. I won't mention his name but he was happy signing autographs and taking selfies with with children in the lounge so credit to him for doing that.
One thing I like about MAN is that they have a smoking area airside (only in T1 and T2 though, not in T3). It's more like a cage and it's a bit of a trek to get to it next to gate 300....but anyway!!
The flight was called around 12:40 so I headed to gate 214 where G-VGBR (Golden Girl) was waiting:
Priority boarding was in use and Upper Class where called to board first, followed my Premium Economy. I was warmly welcomed on-board and I was soon settled into seat 19C.
Pre-departure drinks where offered once the Premium cabin filled up. No empty seats in Premium today.
It didn't take long to get everyone on-board and the door was soon closed and we pushed back at 13:35. 262 pax and 12 crew on today's flight. Apparently there where just 4 empty seats in Economy. Not bad going considering DL where also operating their (final) flight today to JFK from MAN as well.
Today's flight time would be around 7hours 14 minutes.
Hopefully the MAN>JFK route is another one that works well for VS, it should do I think with DL establishing that route first.
Once airborne and the seat belt sign was turned off, the cabin service soon started. Drinks where offered in the Premium cabin. Menus where already on the seats, which have been posted elsewhere but it was beef and mash potatoes, Chicken and tagliatelle or a vegetarian curry.
Dinner was served around 90 minutes into the flight. I had the chicken which was pretty good.
VERA Touch worked well. I watched 3 films. The AeroMobile service was working (though this wasn't announced). Forget about using data services with that as it either doesn't work or it's so slow, you might as well not bother. You are also charged the roaming service rates too. EE (my carrier) have a separate roaming rate for Maritime/Aircraft networks.
Whilst my new EE Max plan now includes all calls/texts/data allowances for use within the EU and 5 other countries including the USA (the others none-EU countries which include all your full speed 4G roaming allowances are Canada, New Zealand, Mexico and Australia), Maritime/Aircraft roaming isn't included. No WiFi installed yet, which I guess will be installed during the Upper Class cabin refit.
The service on board today's flight was as good as ever. Several drinks rounds during the flight, dinner and the afternoon snack service.
It's been a while since I last flew Premium Economy but one thing I did like (not sure how long this has been in use) is the fact you now get your hot drinks served in a proper mug (the same as in Upper Class)
The afternoon snack service was served around 90 minutes before landing which was sandwiches and cakes, which was good and again another improvement since I last flew Premium.
The FSM seemed to help out a lot in Premium on today's flight.
One thing I did see was at several points during the flight, the Upper Class bar got very busy (the curtain between Upper and Premium was never closed). There where around 10 pax at one point!! There where several times when the seat belt sign was put on and I would be willing to put money on this that it was to get those pax in Upper Class back to their seats.
The cabin was soon secured as we approached JFK. There captain did say there would be a short arrivals delay as we did seem to circle JFK a few times before landing at around 16:15 (so 15 minutes early). We had a wait about 5 minutes for our stand to clear so by the time I got iff it was actually bang on 16:30.
Said my goodbyes to the crew and headed to Immigration. You need to follow the left hand lane for Global Entry which was completely deserted and I was through in less than 2 minutes (the length of time it takes you to use the machines basically). I actually had to wait longer for the VS flight details to come up on the baggage carousel screen to know which carousel to head to!!
Bags came off pretty quickly. I was first there and by the time my Premium Economy tagged bag came off, the rest of the pax where starting to arrive at the carousel. Used the Global Entry Customs exit which again was deserted and I was soon outside getting a nicotine fix before heading up to the AirTrain/E Subway line to get me into Manhattan.
The AirTrain / Subway is by far the quickest (and cheapest) way to get into Manhattan at that time of day.
Short walk from the Lexington/53 st. subway stop to my hotel. I was settled into the Intercontinental New York Barclay by 18:45. It was wet and windy here too yesterday when I arrived. It has stopped raining now though
All in all another excellent flight from VS with a great crew
Whilst I'm here in New York, I'm doing a couple of DL JFK>BOS tier point runs tomorrow which will get me back to Gold status.