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I have been a loyal Virgin supporter for over 20 years, but I have to agree that the product and service is slipping and inconsistent these days.
We just came back from a return flight to NY in UC on the 747. As usual the transfer, drive thru check in and Clubhouse was excellent and I cannot fault it.
However, the flight itself was not great. We were in the upper deck, both of our seats still had socks and rubbish left from the previous flight in the pockets. The seat was grubby and my screen could not be stowed away as the latch had gone. I realise they are in the process of replacing the seats, but the cleaning is an issue.
We were looking forward to be able to start watching the IFE as soon as we boarded, a service only recently introduced. Only problem was the IFE didn’t work. We had to wait until the system was reset , which took 45 minutes. It worked for 15 minutes and then froze again. This was the case all over the plane. In the end it was stopped and reset over 4 times but only started working properly 2 hours before landing. They have also dropped the afternoon tea offering from the NY service (wonder why as the Boston flight still has it and that is a shorter flight, as far as I know)
Trying to sleep was difficultl, as the seat didn’t go completely flat which left a ridge just where your shoulder is, making it very uncomfortable.
Although the CSD came upstairs on a few occasions to go into the cockpit, he never once bothered to introduce himself or in fact even acknowledge any of the UC pax ( we are both FC gold members and in the past the CSD would at the very least come to introduce him/herself).
Towards the end of the flight when he came upstairs again, I approached him and discussed my concerns with the service. He had a real superior air to him and was extremely condescending in his manner making me feel that I was in the wrong for raising my concerns
On arriving at Newark we were keen to get off quickly for immigration purposes. The only problem is that with the new layout you have to wait for the economy passengers also on the upper deck, to disembark first. Although annoying if you pay for a UC ticket, it’s not the end of the world. However in reality it meant that most of the downstairs PE pax also disembarked before us and we were made to wait for almost 15 minutes after the doors had opened, and we ended up at the back of a very long queue at customs.
The return flight was better I have to admit, but when we arrived in The revivals lounge and tried to book a treatment we were told there were no slots available for 3 hours. There was a total of 4 people in the lounge at that time, so they must have only had one ( very slow or thorough massage therapist!)
I am not a fan of BA at all and have always been vocal in my support of Virgin. I have written to them about the issues mentioned and will see how they respond, but I am starting to wonder if I need to start looking elsewhere.