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#965079 by cambs
17 Jun 2022, 15:52
With the restrictions for flying to the USA now removed for vaccinated travellers, I was wondering what peoples thoughts are about Virgin planning to ever resume the level of onboard service available pre-pandemic. I understand they are predicting a return to profit in 2023 and have been recruiting more cabin crew. Is the limited onboard offering (i'm thinking more Economy and PE here) set to be improved?
#965081 by CommanderB
17 Jun 2022, 17:53
cambs wrote:With the restrictions for flying to the USA now removed for vaccinated travellers, I was wondering what peoples thoughts are about Virgin planning to ever resume the level of onboard service available pre-pandemic. I understand they are predicting a return to profit in 2023 and have been recruiting more cabin crew. Is the limited onboard offering (i'm thinking more Economy and PE here) set to be improved?


I just got back from a trip and as far as I could tell, the service was pretty much the same as it was pre-covid. The amenity kits are different in Upper, but I think the trend was going that way due to sustainability anyway. But everything else seemed the same.

Is there something specific you are concerned about?
#965100 by flyingfox
19 Jun 2022, 16:46
cambs wrote:With the restrictions for flying to the USA now removed for vaccinated travellers, I was wondering what peoples thoughts are about Virgin planning to ever resume the level of onboard service available pre-pandemic. I understand they are predicting a return to profit in 2023 and have been recruiting more cabin crew. Is the limited onboard offering (i'm thinking more Economy and PE here) set to be improved?


I think most things are back to normal now in all cabins, in Upper table cloths have returned the only thing I noticed was the bar is not stocked or staffed but crew are happy to get you a drink which you can enjoy at the bar, friend who was in PE didn’t notice anything different, catering was back to normal, pre departure drinks, wonder wall etc, I can’t think what if anything would be lacking in economy either.
#965101 by FLYERZ
19 Jun 2022, 17:21
Interesting timing of this post. Recently flee LHR-BGI-GND in Economy Delight, the first long-haul and VS flight since Feb-20. I too had questions around on-board service albeit only around catering. My experience in Economy was otherwise seemingly back to normal in all other respects. My main thought after though was around the meal service and the long-term battle between sustainability and cost savings (maybe part Covid led).

Our meals

1) Post takeoff drink/pretzels (normal)
2) Lunch (I will expand)
3) Follow up drinks/tea/coffee
4) Ice Lollies
5) Afternoon tea (normal)
6) BGI-GND snack (normal)


The only area I thought was lacking was the lunch which cane in a cardboard box instead of tray. There were 2 options (chicken or veg pasta) rather than 3 before (from memory) and the salad and cheese/crackers no longer a feature.

Having not travelled through Covid on VS I couldn’t tell what was due to cost saving vs sustainability. E.g. cutlery was no longer plastic but a sustainable composite. Were the lack of trays the same or intro’d through covid with various airlines giving ‘food boxes’ to reduce physical touchpoints.

Either way I had an interesting internal debate about what sustainability means for perceived service. Clearly all companies (airlines not excluded) face pressures to be more sustainable but in a service industry like this I think this can have a negative impact on public perception. Also on these flights there were no physical menus which previously was a differentiator for VS in economy vs other airlines but an onboard announcement of the menu clearlybis a more sustainable solution, albeit could be seen as a compromise to service quality.


Bit rambly but just my observations
#965103 by CommanderB
19 Jun 2022, 19:31
flyingfox wrote:
I think most things are back to normal now in all cabins, in Upper table cloths have returned the only thing I noticed was the bar is not stocked or staffed but crew are happy to get you a drink which you can enjoy at the bar, friend who was in PE didn’t notice anything different, catering was back to normal, pre departure drinks, wonder wall etc, I can’t think what if anything would be lacking in economy either.


I think there's a chance that was crew specific. On my recent Upper outbound, the bar was in full use and very popular. Inbound it wasn't used much, but it was set up as normal.

I found that even pre-covid some crews had a habit of making up some of the rules as they went along. It was very dependent on who the FSM was and how "on the ball" they were.
#965136 by jonathanb
26 Jun 2022, 08:21
Also missing hot clothes, you would think this is quite a hygienic thing to do as everyone has wiped their hands.

One thing on my last flight in Feb was that I thought the dessert was poor, it was the chocolate dome thing and no other choice, I understand there is a choice again now though. We fly in just over a week in UC so will be interesting to see how it goes.

Jonathan
#965139 by cambs
27 Jun 2022, 22:38
FLYERZ wrote:Interesting timing of this post. Recently flee LHR-BGI-GND in Economy Delight, the first long-haul and VS flight since Feb-20. I too had questions around on-board service albeit only around catering. My experience in Economy was otherwise seemingly back to normal in all other respects. My main thought after though was around the meal service and the long-term battle between sustainability and cost savings (maybe part Covid led).

Our meals

1) Post takeoff drink/pretzels (normal)
2) Lunch (I will expand)
3) Follow up drinks/tea/coffee
4) Ice Lollies
5) Afternoon tea (normal)
6) BGI-GND snack (normal)


The only area I thought was lacking was the lunch which cane in a cardboard box instead of tray. There were 2 options (chicken or veg pasta) rather than 3 before (from memory) and the salad and cheese/crackers no longer a feature.

Having not travelled through Covid on VS I couldn’t tell what was due to cost saving vs sustainability. E.g. cutlery was no longer plastic but a sustainable composite. Were the lack of trays the same or intro’d through covid with various airlines giving ‘food boxes’ to reduce physical touchpoints.

Either way I had an interesting internal debate about what sustainability means for perceived service. Clearly all companies (airlines not excluded) face pressures to be more sustainable but in a service industry like this I think this can have a negative impact on public perception. Also on these flights there were no physical menus which previously was a differentiator for VS in economy vs other airlines but an onboard announcement of the menu clearlybis a more sustainable solution, albeit could be seen as a compromise to service quality.


Bit rambly but just my observations


Yes this is what I was referring to the service in Economy and PE. A cardboard box with 2 hot meal selection, no starter etc was introduced as part of Covid measures into Economy. Will a full tray service come back at all?
#965144 by VS075
28 Jun 2022, 09:31
FLYERZ wrote:Interesting timing of this post. Recently flee LHR-BGI-GND in Economy Delight, the first long-haul and VS flight since Feb-20. I too had questions around on-board service albeit only around catering. My experience in Economy was otherwise seemingly back to normal in all other respects. My main thought after though was around the meal service and the long-term battle between sustainability and cost savings (maybe part Covid led).

Our meals

1) Post takeoff drink/pretzels (normal)
2) Lunch (I will expand)
3) Follow up drinks/tea/coffee
4) Ice Lollies
5) Afternoon tea (normal)
6) BGI-GND snack (normal)


The only area I thought was lacking was the lunch which cane in a cardboard box instead of tray. There were 2 options (chicken or veg pasta) rather than 3 before (from memory) and the salad and cheese/crackers no longer a feature.

Having not travelled through Covid on VS I couldn’t tell what was due to cost saving vs sustainability. E.g. cutlery was no longer plastic but a sustainable composite. Were the lack of trays the same or intro’d through covid with various airlines giving ‘food boxes’ to reduce physical touchpoints.

Either way I had an interesting internal debate about what sustainability means for perceived service. Clearly all companies (airlines not excluded) face pressures to be more sustainable but in a service industry like this I think this can have a negative impact on public perception. Also on these flights there were no physical menus which previously was a differentiator for VS in economy vs other airlines but an onboard announcement of the menu clearlybis a more sustainable solution, albeit could be seen as a compromise to service quality.


Bit rambly but just my observations


I noticed this too. I think the menus were given out in PE at least as I noticed passengers had them in their hands when we walked through to get to Y, but it seems like with Y despite some of the changes being done for environmental reasons (and I applaud VS for cutting back on plastic waste) and presumably to reduce waste (maybe the cheese and crackers were often being left?), the meal service was an austere experience. Heck, on the nightflight back I'm old enough to remember when in Y 20 years ago you got a decent-sized amenity kit with eyeshades, ear plugs, toothbrush/toothpaste, notepad and pen, as well as the usual blanket and pillow.
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