I flew Virgin Atlantic on my most recent trip to and from England. I’d heard good things about Virgin travel products, including the now-sold Virgin America, so I was excited to try it out.
The first thing you see when you board the plane is the bar, with a bartender at the ready. Oh wow! So it’s that kind of party?
I walked back to my seat realizing that the bar was probably not for me in coach. This suspicion was confirmed when I later asked on of the flight attendants. While I didn’t have access to the bar she did, however, offer to get me any drink I wanted.
I got settled into my seat, which was actually pretty comfortable. Before takeoff we, of course, had to go through the safety demonstration. Like many airlines it’s done via video, but theirs is done in a fun ’60s/’70s British pop style.
We hadn’t even taken off yet, and I was already enjoying the vibe I was getting onboard.
When taking an overseas flight the entertainment system is vitally important. Virgin Atlantic has a wide selection of tv shows and movies. They also have a unique feature where as you’re searching through titles you can add them to your watch list so you have them at the ready later.
The one drawback to the tv library is that they only have one episode per series. I was glad I got a change to watch The Good Fight and Claws, shows I’d been meaning to check out, but I was only able to watch the pilot.
I’d watched enough tv and movies, and I wanted to get some sleep. That sleep was hard to come by. Luckily, I was able to tap into the music library to find some ambient music to help me drift off.
Your seat-back console also comes with a Seat Chat feature. Let’s say you’re traveling with friends/family, but you weren’t able to sit next to them. Seat Chat helps you stay connected. Just select the program, enter your friend’s seat number, and start typing away.
Many domestic and most intercontinental planes have a screen where you can map the progress of your flight. On Virgin Atlantic you can also get virtual views of what’s outside of the left and right sides of the plane. I think this is a nice feature, especially if you’re sitting in the middle section of the plane with no window access.
Now let’s talk about the food! This was my favorite part of the whole experience. There was a menu at my seat outlining the meal options. The choices were creamy pesto gemelli bake, chicken bulgogi, or rosemary garlic beef stew. Wait a second…chicken bulgogi? That seemed like quite a departure for airplane food. I went for it, and it was actually delicious! I was so shocked to have such a tasty meal on a plane.
The meal on the flight from London back to Miami was even better. I opted for the Korean BBQ again, but this time it was with pork. It also came with a side of tabouleh. I have never been so enthusiastic about an airplane meal in my life. I finished every bit and savored every bite. I had half a mind to ask if they had any extra meals that I could take home with me.
All in all I was pleased with my first Virgin Atlantic flight. One of these days I’m going to upgrade to Upper Class so I can sidle up to the bar, but until then I’ll enjoy the meals in Economy. Thank you, Richard Branson!
When You Go:
- It costs $40 to select a seat up until 24 hours prior to your flight. After that you can choose your seat for free.
- The food is delicious, and Virgin Atlantic has lots of options for many kinds of dietary requirements: Kosher, halal, gluten free, vegan, and more. See the list here.