Seat is still OK, a little chipped round the edges; the table is solid and good for working on, the little drinks tray is precarious and it’s easy to spill things.
Perfectly OK, but did feel more Premium Economy to me when in seat mode, and not an environment I would want to sit in for 24 hours on a Sydney hop for instance.
The diamonte accents throughout the cabin were a fun touch at the time, in an Austin Powers way, but now are beginning to look rather dated.
The mood lighting worked well throughout and gve the cabin a sophisticated feel.
IFE is as ever superb, with the ability to pre-programme your planned viewing schedule so no need to scarbble round every time a show ends and decide what to watch.
Was spoiled for choice as usual on VS.
Food and Drinks
I am sorry to say VS recycle their menus, so I cannot tell you what was on the menu; he nicked mine before I could ask to retain it.
It is also alleged that they recycle their sleep suits, so watch out for embarassing stains…
The wines are pretty standard on VS; lots of California and Chardonnay, and nothing really stands out; I ended up sticking to champagne and Buck’s Fizz.
Champers did run out about five hours into the flight, but after locating the CSD and making it clear this was not acceptable, some was located for me, probably from the return sector stock. There was plenty of Sparkling Wine in evidence so make sure of what you are getting served.
One big plus is the dine anytime offering. I think I was the only person who opted for this; don’t think the Steward was too pleased I asked for this option, but he didn’t *say* anything, just a body language issue.
Having had a brekky already in the Clubhouse I needed to wait for another offering, and enjoyed a lovely and tasty soup followed by Steak Pie about which I cannot complain at all.
Pottered over to the Bar post sups, but it was as it always seems to be populated by a boring looking accountant types chatting up the stewardesses and a slutty looking female pax, so thought I would leave them to it!
The usual faff over changing over the bed for a nap, though I did sleep almost too well, getting three hours on this 11h flight. A real hassle removing all your drinks and setting up all the matressing etc, trying not to knock you drink form the mini drinks tray which is stupidly in the way of the converting seat and also trying to keep the seatbelt from jamming the mechanism.
Some nasty looking sandwiches were available for nibbling, and I asked for something mid flight, really just to try it out, but that never arrived.
Afternoon Tea was offered pre-landing. Crap, dry sarnies and no second tea round; the crew were obviously getting tired and standards were slipping.
Lovely landing over LA, always best to sit on the North facing k side (on both BA and VS) as you don’t get afflicted with bright sunlight and get a nice view of the Hollywood Hills on descent over LA.
Gentle landing and there we were; A340 deffo MUCH quieter in flight than a 747, hardly needed my Bose NC Headphones.
Usual LAX taxiiing shenanigans and waiting to be towed into the gate; saw a BA plane at a remote stand whcih seems to be quite normal, and was pleased that we landed at (T2?) not the God awful TBIT Tom Bradley Terminal.
TBIT was being renovated when last I went through in 2008 on Lufty and was shocking, hot and very Third World.
T2? was a dream and was first in line for immigration (a few minutes later and my story wouldhave been different, as an AirNZ and another Chinese? 747 arrived, swamping immigration).
Bags were prioritised within five minutes and out into the LA air.
Flying Club is a good scheme for those not needing to travel on Fridays, miles were easily earned via the MBNA Amex cc, with several good promos and also 15% Membership Rewards bonuses operating (I think this is on right now BTW).
Liked the ability to pre-book a treatment via email, the check-in, dedicated security and Clubhouse, and really fun to boot, but to be fair VS is only dealing with longhaul pax, with no alliance contamination and so volumes are significantly smaller than BAs.
Massage was the only downside to the lounge experience; will avoid next time.
On board, crew seemed perfunctory but professional, no real complaints. Stewardesses were very, um, pneumatic….
Food was better than expected, wines significantly less good than when I last travelled with them, and was shocked they could run out of ‘poo.
Seat is not my favourite, but IFE makes up for it. It is super as a bed, but a faff to convert.
Was pleased we didn’t arrive into TBIT, and overall enjoyed my business class Upper Class experience, which held up well against CW, but was not a patch on BA’s First against which Virgin attempts to position its significantly less good product.