I will preface this TR by saying this is perhaps one of the worst flights Mrs Buns and I have encountered with VS
This is a Trip Report from the Premium Economy cabin
Food & Drink
Anyways, more will be revealed as we go along - this was the culmination of a trip out to Las Vegas (with a side visit to Palm Springs at the weekend to see the most charming of V Flyers). I had been pleased with myself to have managed to obtain 2 PE returns at fairly short notice using the Amex PE upgrade vouchers for the princely sum of £850!!. The stay in Vegas had provided the opportunity for Mrs Buns to relax (I would have used the word "chill" but with temperatures in the 100's perhaps not really apt ) and escape the pressures of work and family.
We were collected from our hotel at midday by Presidential Limousines and were at the Airport by 12:15. As they say in the airline documentaries of flying in the fifties and sixties, the check in area was "dreamingly uncrowded" and we were pleasantly and efficiently checked in by "G". I noticed a sign pasted to the check in desk showing the prices of upgrades ($1400 for Y to UC and $1300 for PE to UC) and joked about how often the request comes in for comp upgrades must come about to give rise to the sign! I knew from expertflyer that UC was already full so did not even ask At the conclusion of this excellent interaction we were informed that a member of ground crew would collect passengers from the Club LAS Lounge at the appropriate time - a big thumbs up in my view.
We had TSA Pre Check on our boarding cards, so quickly through the TSA process (no need to remove belts, lap tops etc) and thought we would take the advice of Vegascrazy and pop over to the Amex Centurion Lounge in the other Terminal. a short transit train hop over to the other Terminal had us at the Lounge where we were greeted with "If you find a seat take it as we are very busy". This was certainly the case and the Lounge was bursting at the seams, so after one drink we returned to the E Terminal and after our final US burger and beer (a Buns family tradition) we made our way into the Club LAS Lounge where we showed out VS Gold Cards for admittance.
Our last visit had been two years back when I had been singularly unimpressed as the place was undergoing refurbishment. However, a few things had now changed - firstly the VS and BA flight times are now staggered so the place was not as crowded as we remembered and secondly, at the far end is an area that now has a clouded window onto the concourse allowing some natural light. We spent our time relaxing until, true to her word, a VS Ground Staff member came through the Lounge calling for passengers. As we went through the Gate I was wished an early birthday, so another thumbs up from me.
Both L1 and L2 were being used for boarding with UC and PE through L1 and upper deck PE and Economy through L2. We got to our seats and were able to stow our all our stuff in the overhead and side bins. Drinks were offered (and taken ) and shortly afterwards there was an announcement "Would Mr Buns make himself know to a member of cabin crew". It transpired i was the only person on board to have pre-ordered duty free - you can only order Gentlemen Jack on line - and was promptly presented with my purchase.
It was announced that there was only 168 passengers on board and not surprisingly, pushback was on time. However, there had been violent thunderstorms in Las Vegas and this resulted in a backlog of take offs and landings. We then spent the next 55 minutes slowly taxing around the airport before we took off. Now of course this delay was going to impact upon our arrival time and slightly inconvenience both passengers and so it would appar the crew - something that Mrs Buns and I were privy to as 24 H & K are directly in front of the crew seats on the upper deck.
Once airborne and seat belt signs off I went downstairs to use the toilets figuring they would be less crowded than the two on the upper deck. As previously mentioned, Upper was full as was the upper deck of PE. Interestingly, the upper deck of economy was only half full, so you can imagine how empty the main economy section was!!
The drinks service commenced, however there was a bit of a kerfuffle a few rows in front when one passenger promptly fully reclined their seat. The SCC was called and their answer was to move the passenger who had complained rather than seeking parties to arrive at an understanding. Therefore when the passengers in front of us did the same, I knew there was no point in saying something even though they reclined during the meal service
Black fig chicken ("tender chicken paired with a rich, sweet and sticky black fig sauce")
Pesto roasted salmon
Chocolate brownie dessert
Well, Mrs Buns found the chicken rubbery and inedible and the mushroom dish was not much better The notion of providing "flavoursome" meals strikes me that the airline caterers are often disguising the true ingredients. MrsBuns was far from happy - even more so when she asked for another G&T as opposed to the wine and was promptly refused!
Now turning the CC. As I mentioned, it was obvious that with such a light load some CC had already decided that they would use the opportunity to take their foot off the gas. Unbelievably, no soon had the meal been served then they were coming round to collect trays . With the economy section upstairs being so empty they had finished dishing out sooner than usual and it appeared they just wanted to get things over and done with. Indeed no signs of walking the trough the cabin through the flight with orange and water as is the usual custom.
I watched "North by Northwest" (Delta seems to get everywhere these days ) before grabbing a few hours sleep.
Breakfast consisted of a fresh fruit bowl, greek yogurt, granola and a warm chocolate hazelnut croissant. How whoever thought up serving a warmed chocolate croissant that oozes all over the place needs their heads read. With only a spoon and a knife provided, it is bound to go everywhere!!
We landed at 10 am and after taxing to the Gate, disembarkation was a free for all. Our only saving grace was that I had pre-purchased "Premium Passport Control" from Gatwick Airport. This is an exclusive channel whereby you are escorted to the front of Border Security Line. Given this was one of the busiest Saturdays at the Airport, this was a blessing and as you can all imagine Mrs Buns and I got some dirty looks as we were taken to the front!!
Bags off fairly quickly, but as the same time as the Montego flight, and mr Tristar was waiting for us.
So why was this one of the worst flight? Despite the ground experience being very good for an outstation, there was no real on board crew Interaction, no recognition of status and awful food. On getting back I have decided to upgrade our next flight rather than take the lottery of having a similar experience.
Thanks for reading