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VS3021 15JUN13 LHR-ABZ Dep 09:10 Arr 10:50
Saturday morning flight from Heathrow up to Aberdeen. (Finally found a use for VS Flying Club Miles!)
I had just picked up a new book and had nothing to use as a bookmark so decided that I should have a good old fashioned paper boarding pass for this purpose.
I got off the tube and went into T1 and had a wander around checkin, went through to the BA desks and then back towards the entrance which is when I eventually saw they VS check-in desks. They are at the back of the first block you come to when you walk in.
I went to the Premium desk (as VS silver and a couple of people waiting at the normal desks) and the very nice ground staff there was more than happy to print one out for me.
Security was a little crowded, one thing that would be great would be VS Silver members being able to use premium security.
Through to the departure area and I then headed straight through to the 8 gates. There were a fair amount of VS crew milling about, including some cabin crew who were charging phones and reading papers around the gate but all very nice (none Irish though as far as I can tell).
The flight was delayed by 10-15 minutes due to a tech issue in ABZ delaying the inbound aircraft but once it arrived they turned it round easily enough and off we went.
Seating – The load was light, I mean about 30 people light, and they ha dblocked off the front and the back of the aircraft for weights and balances. I was in 8A and I must admit I was surprised how tight the seat pitch was, I think it is 31″ but I must admit I am a BA regular and can book seats in advance so am always in their 34″ rows and I was surprised at the difference 3″ can make, I felt really cramped. The seats were very stylish in that purple leather and perfectly comfortable however.
IFE – drop down screens would have been good to see the route but instead we were entertained by the obligatory screaming baby seated in 9A, thank you very much. I had clocked this on boarding and had asked the cabin crew if I could move after take off but they were very good and as soon as we were all aboard, they moved the lady with the baby into row 3 or 4 and had a much happier plane!
Catering – I had a good cup of tea and a giant cookie. These cookies are a great idea but they are a bit dry and EXTREMEMLY crumbly which must be a nightmare for the cleaners and I would say that a more gooey one would save a lot of crumbs in the long run. The Cabin Crew didn’t sound at all Irish and they were very smart in their VS uniforms.
On the VS website it says that they offer a breakfast on flights before 09:00 so unfortunately on this ABZ flight, you just miss it.
Arrival into ABZ was fine, straight to gate, down steps and out of the door to jump on the bus. Ever half an hour at weekends (20mins during the week) and £3.50 for a day pass for any of the Stagecoach (not First) buses in ABZ and about half an hour into the centre of town.
The Verdict? – To be honest, if you are able to pre-book seat on BA I would stick with them as they are much more comfortable in their forward rows. If there is a price differential, then, for the length of the flight, VS Little Red is fine. Onboard the difference is minimal.
As an aside, when I was flying back in the evening, the last VS flight ABZ-LHR was cancelled and they had to reprotect people onto the 18:30 BA service. I am not sure why this happened but there does seem to be a fair few instances of tech delays and cancelled flights which will have to be sorted if people are going to be able to depend on this service.