We’re both pensioners and fly to the Caribbean with Virgin at least once a year. We decided to upgrade to a Premium Economy about 8 years ago because economy seats are just so uncomfortably ‘squidged’ – particularly for one (me) with a rapidly spreading lower half.
Initially, we were made to feel special and felt that the extra charge, not insignificant to us, was worth it. However, these days – particularly the homecoming flight – aside from the fact that sitting in ‘the bubble’ is undoubtedly a more pleasant atmosphere, it no longer feels very special. The much vaunted glass of ‘champagne’ before take-off used to be quite palatable – and sometimes refilled. Now, it’s half a glass of some sharp fizzy wine which the staff can’t be bothered to even chill. Ours was so bad on the last flight that we couldn’t bring ourselves to drink it (believe me, that is BAD-bad!!). Even the stewardess acknowledged it wasn’t very good, but was pretty much indifferent to our disappointment.
The food, which I believe is the same as in economy, is usually exceptionally bad – though occasionally it is edible enough to give us hope for the next time. On the return flight, an overnight flight, the staff can’t wait to serve you, whisking away the tray almost before you finish. It is so, so rushed – annoyingly so – and we have concluded this must be because then the staff can have a bit of a break while passengers sleep.
Generally the staff are quite pleasant, but sometimes that is not the case. We pay approximately an extra £250 each, each way, for Premium seats, and have to ask ourselves if it’s really worth it. We’re going away in April and, because it’s a very special occasion, have splashed out (for the first time ever) to travel Upper Class. Sadly, it is likely to be the last time – just too expensive – but we are very much hoping that it’ll be significantly better than our last few journeys with Virgin – who seem to be getting just a little complacent.