After reading a few VS109 reports as a heads up to what I would expect to find on the trip, I thought it only fair I would contribute my thoughts as a first time poster.
This is a Trip Report from the Upper Class cabin
Food & Drink
I travel 6 or 7 times a year with a mixture of Economy and Business and being mid 30's now this was my first trip with Virgin. I have travelled extensively around the world but the stars have never aligned until now with a trip to South America via Atlanta.
Check in was pain free when I arrived at the airport, there was a printing malfunction but nothing to moan about. The desk agent explained my various passes and on my way I went.
Security was poor, it took a good 20 minutes to get through with a general scrum ongoing and many people in the wrong lines and a few wheelchairs delaying proceedings. I had never seen a business line so busy, maybe I'm lucky at MAN as I never seem to encounter what people moan about on other forums.
On entrance to the Escape Lounge an agent escorted me to a new lounge that she said Virgin we trialling for Upper Class passengers? The agent was friendly and helpfully escorted me down the corridor, when there was no need to, she went over and above showing me everything in the small lounge which was appreciated and typified the standard of service. The lounge overlooks gate 209 and was a mid size room with nothing to write home about. I did find the seats quite uncomfortable and rigid, but I was still hungover from the previous night.
Boarding took place from gate 300, which is what it is (a game of rugby) and the quicker MAN gets an overhaul the better.
After being bussed to Golden Girl there was no welcome at the door due to a kerfuffle with the passenger in front of me. On taking my seat I was welcomed on board by a male member of staff who worked the starboard side but offered a welcome drink and then a newspaper. Then the female member of staff came over to me within a few minutes and asked if I wanted a run down of controls etc or if I had any questions. She was very pleasant and was so throughout the flight, always smiling and seemed genuinely happy in her job and was always proactive asking if I wanted something before I asked. Something that has been lacking in my experiences recently with Emirates staff.
The load was 162 and 12 crew and we took off around thirty minutes after the stated departure time.
My experience was great, even though I was worse for wear from the previous day session the flight went smoothly and enjoyably for me. I didn't really use the inflight entertainment until later in the flight as I snoozed after the meal.
The meal service was nicely laid out with the little touch of salt/pepper pots albeit simple, was something I appreciate and differentiates from other airlines. I had the pea soup starter and beef main with Eton mess for desert. I was more than happy with the choices for on board food and the quality was more than fine.
I indulged in a few snacks later in the flight as I have a sweet tooth (carrot cake and scones), with a proper mug containing tea to wash them down - small things....
Again hats off to the female crew member who knew when I was ready for a drink, yes it is her "job" to some people but I've had enough flights where crew go missing which have sullied my views on other carriers.
I would say the only down was the width of the seat, I'm an athletic 6'3 so must deal with the suite length - but the width feels like a coffin. I am aware of the future changes which should more than rectify this. The suite was showing signs of wear and tear and I notice behind the seat and the monitor that this did not seem to have been cleaned for a while.
Time was made up on the journey and we arrived ahead of schedule. Once again another small thing I appreciate as a businessman from Delta crew is there personal thanks for my business at the end of a flight. I thank my customers and so it goes a way with me - maybe staff could ask if you enjoyed the flight for feedback rather than thanks which are given on the PA system.
In summary I was more than happy with what I had paid, hopefully I will use Virgin again if the stars align and truly believe that the crew are what enhance the experience and make a trip memorable.
All in all a good trip and I look forward to the reverse in a few weeks.