Long time V-Flyer, first time trip reporter!
This is a Trip Report from the Economy cabin
Food & Drink
With family in New York including a soon to be nonagenerian (had to look that one up), we've flown the JFK route at least every 2 years for the last 10 years on VS, before that exclusively on BA...before we saw the light that is. Having last visited for Xmas'18 and spotting some decent fares the week before Feb half term we jumped on this opportunity to head back to the east coast, conveniently also trying out the new A350s and Economy Delight for the first time. The latter of interest as we've also previously flown PE or standard EC.
Arriving at T3 very early, just over 3hrs before departure due to an uncharacteristically quiet M25, check-in was quick and efficient. Being in Economy Delight we could use the Premium desks albeit most desks were very quiet at this time of day. If we thought this might be a sign of a quiet day at Heathrow, we would be wrong. After the usual trawl through duty free (we couldn't arrive empty handed) we found a quiet spot in departures just past the high-end shops, Fendi et al; noticing round the corner was a lot noisier and there wasn't a square inch of space free. Soon enough our gate was called and we made the trek to gate 22 to catch our first glimpse of the newest of the new gems in the VS fleet G-VJAM.
Despite the gate only just opening, boarding seemed to commence straight away, gaining priority under our Economy Delight tickets and then straight onto the plane. One thing I noted was that priority boarding was grouped Upper Class, FC Gold, Economy Delight (and some others I can't recall). How do people feel about this? To me it seems like this results in a lot of people boarding with priority.
First impressions of the new aircraft were good. The mood-lighting and new loft definitely give a modern and fresh feel. The UC cabin also looked impressive albeit from afar. Passing through PE to our seats though I did think that the gap between PE and Economy - particular if in extra leg room/bulkhead seats is narrowed vs. other aircraft. Anyone else think similar? This may of course have just been my thoughts of consolation for not actually being in PE this time!
Due to the, at the time impending Storm Ciara the captain explained our route would take us further north, flying more over Greenland than typical for East Coast flights. This would also result in a slightly longer flight time of c. 7hr 45. We were introduced to the cabin crew as usual but one thing we did notice was how keen they were over the tannoy to show off the new tailcam feature. I can concur it is something special to a geek like me. Despite the impending storm the flight was very smooth and we arrived into JFK at sunset. Fortunately we seemed to be the only large flight arriving into T4 at that time so the immigration hall wasn't has painful as it could have been. Having said that, I did manage to get sent to the 'naughty corner' after getting an X on my electronic immigration form. Anyone know whether this is due to an error on my part or are random people selected for 'manual' entry?
Food & Drink
Lunch options consisted of 1) Chicken in mushroom sauce w/ mash potato, 2) Macaroni Cheese with Pancetta; and 3) Vegetarian Curry. Luck was on our side and we seemingly got the last 3 macaroni dishes which were proving very popular and rightly so. Having said that 2 negatives from me - no bread roll anymore and a salad consisting of simply salad leaves and cucumber. Is the bread roll only a PE offering? On reflection neither negative was a big deal , but was different to my recollections of past EC trips, the Gu dessert always smooths over any minor cracks for me at least in any case.
Afternoon tea - this Eric Lanlard offering was new to me since my last VS flight and I was looking forward to this. Mozzarella, pesto and tomato roll and the infamous Scone with jam and cream. Nice option and I think standards apart from other competitors on the route, however my grip with this was that it was all very cold. In EC I'm not expecting anything fancy but closer to room temperature would have been welcomed. Hopefully they pick up on this in the future.
I'm a big fan of the tailcam and vera system in general. Unfortunately the routemap wasn't working at all for the flight.
My view of the seat and EC delight in general on the A350 is very positive. Although this was a day flight I did have a power nap for a few hours and the new head rests which can be shaped to cushion you head made all the difference. I easily found it the best EC seat I've personally been on. The extra legroom was also very generous for me (at 5'11) and having experienced PE it certainly supported my initial thoughts that I would be willing to substitute PE for EC delight given the cost-saving, space still sufficient to be comfortable on a long flight and some of the IMO 'important perks' of PE - baggage/boarding priority all capture in this ticket. It also made me think with VS offering three streams of EC is the demand for PE impacted? I for one would be happy to stick with EC delight.
Hopefully the above hasn't come across too much like ramblings but it was my first. I'd be interested to know others' views on Economy Delight.