This has been the most mixed bag of any VS flight I have ever had for a couple of different reasons.
This is a Trip Report from the Upper Class cabin
Food & Drink
We arrived at JFK as the Upper Class area was opening and I have to say out of all of the US airports I have flown through JFK has actually been one of the most pleasant for sure.
Check-in was smooth and TSA was actually pretty quick except my as normal pat down when the body scanners don't like me, however I have to say that I had the most delightfully friendly TSA officer who really good so much so I hunted out his supervisor and gave them the positive feedback. The guy actually tensed up when I said "I want to talk to you about one of your officers" you could tell he was braced for a complaint...then thanked me and said he had never ever had positive feedback from anyone!
Straight into the Clubhouse and it was lovely! I am a big fan of the JFK Clubhouse and the waiting staff were as great and attentive as those in LHR! Food was great, we had some bits of the Tapas menu and then had a full three course meal at 7.
The Spa was a funny one though - the girl on reception wouldn't let me have a treatment at 6 (we arrived at 3pm for a flight due to board at 8.40) and we were amongst the first (but not THE first) in, but apparently they couldn't do an appointment that early! I eventually haggled her down to 7.45. I eventually decided that I was going to go down the Paid for route and upgrade my treatment - thankfully she still wasn't budging but still couldn't explain to any detail how on a first come first served basis they were fully booked from 3-7.45 when we first arrived.
That being said the treatments I had were amazing, and the therapist who delivered them was superb, email to Crawly towers being drafted as we speak!
Treatments finished at 8.30 and we had a few minutes before we were called so I quickly quaffed a final Redhead (it will be my last for 6 months so its gonna be hard ya'know!)
I did spot a celeb of sorts, well...not really...a Virgin America 321 was on stand right below the Clubhouse. It only entered service a few days previously and was off to SFO!
Boarding was smooth although most of the cabin had filled up as I did use the excuse to walk from the CH to the B gates to get some Duty Free.
212 Passengers and 12 crew for this 6hr15 flight to Manchester. About 45 minutes longer than my last flight from New York, so clearly the tailwind tonight was not as fast.
Upper Class had about 5-6 seats left mainly down the G side.
We were held on the ground at JFK for nearly an hour due to congestion. I had a chat with the FO later in the flight and he said he reckoned there was 45 aircraft waiting to take off when we jointed the back of the queue!
Sleep suits were given out and introductions from the FSM and the crew who were really friendly and bubbly, pre-departure champers offered and accepted but no re-fills tonight!
Most people had something to drink or eat, but very few seemed to have a full meal. I was stuffed from the CH but I still managed a Steak and potatoes main course, which was good and tender. Chocolate cake dessert was to die for and the cheese plate was also pretty good.
The FSM worked the bar for quite a bit as well as supervising all of the cabins. It was interesting chatting to her about the development of the new routes out of Manchester.
Most people bedded down after meal service, I hung at the bar doing a few bits on my iPad.
I went back to my seat and tried to watch a film, no luck, the screen was totally unresponsive to touch. Reset carried out and then it wouldn't restart at all.
Moved seats to the vacant 9K. No sound at all, tried with three different pairs of headphones! Reset carried out and no resolution, so I just used one of the spare iPads rather than moving seat again. One member of crew who I spent a great deal of time chatting with did drop a bottle of champagne in my bag as we were leaving the plane though!
We landed 35 minutes behind schedule and on a remote stand - my inner plane geek starts going off at remote stands driving around the airfield! We parked next to G-VGAL, which just happened to be my first ever plane!
Immigration was empty so from plane steps to cleared landslide was less than 20 minutes end to end including the bus from the stand to the terminal!
I am glad the loads are looking healthy for VS on the Manchesters, the FSM said they have had such a success with the SFO's but they aren't sure about the BOS ones yet.
In total this was now my 6th UC flight and the crew were amazing , the FSM was brilliant as was the crew member working our aisle and I don't want it to mar the flight overall but the encounter with the girl in the CH Spa and the two broken IFE screens was less than stellar thankfully at least the crew had the right attitude to put the IFE issues right.
Heres to more Manchester flights and that Clubhouse opening sooner rather than later!