Virgin Atlantic A340-600 Upper ClassBack to Forum
Anonymous6 Jan 2014
After five lovely days in Shanghai it was time to head home.
My seat was pointed out to me, and unlike my outbound flight, I was not welcomed by name.
Back to Seat 11A, which would be my ‘home’ for the next 12 hours.
It was a bit tatty, with pen marks on the side.
The FSM announced that we had 168 pax on board, and a wander through the cabins later showed that Y was pretty light.
Incidentally, on both O/B and I/B flights, PE was pretty well sold. And on this flight, UC looked well patronised.
Champagne was offered before long (there was a bit of a wait, to the point that I thought it wasn’t going to happen :0 ) and refills etc. offered. And accepted.
The FSM came around to each passenger, sat on the little stool and explained the menu in great detail. She noticed I was reading Viz and said “So if I hear someone laughing I’ll know it’s you!”. y)
Later, orders were taken. The steward came around and asked everyone by name what they wanted to order, except for me 😐
Even though my name was on her sheet. Bah.
The entertainment system had to be rebooted, first in the UC cabin only, and then on the entire aircraft which took about 20 minutes.
Before long, lunch arrived. I opted for the pork and chicken terrine.
Followed by the braised beef with carrot mash.
Presentation was alright. However the food was cold! :0 :0
Before I even had a change to report it, the steward came around and apologised profusely, explaining that the ovens had failed.
A piping hot replacement followed…
Between courses, I had a look at the scenery, almost breaking my neck in the process!
The dessert was something like a lemon meringue pie (the menu described it as a custard tart).
Followed by a coffee.
Yes, the cup arrived like that.
The FSM then came along to the “Gold” passengers and welcomed them back.
I had a bit of a snooze, then popped to the bar.
Note that almost everyone had ‘bedded down’ for the, er, afternoon.
Where I managed to empty a bottle of Champagne and then a bottle of Prosecco… (ooops). The steward serving at the bar was amazing and along with the FSM stood out due to the friendly banter.
Don’t worry, I wasn’t drinking on an empty stomach.
This was a beef and bacon pie.
Then some Afternoon Tea…
As we approached London, the disturbing announcement from the Captain was that Heathrow was fogbound, so we were heading to Gatwick.
This was ideal for me, living in cool South London, however we did get a slot at LHR after all and landed more or less on time.
I waved at my house as we flew over South London
As we got closer it was clear to see the fog engulfing London…
I swear that the walk from the aircraft to baggage reclaim gets longer every time! It seemed like miles, but that might have been my slightly merry state.
My luggage was amongst the first of the aircraft, and using the kiosks for security I was in arrivals in no time and heading home.
So, when I read through the report, there seems as if there was a lot wrong with the flight.
And yet, I rated it very highly. The staff were charm personified. Any failings I noticed were cancelled out by the friendliness of the crew, which proves (to me) that it’s people that make the difference.
The time at the bar was superb and of course the alcohol flowed freely.6 Jan 2014
Great review. I haven’t flown VS for a long time…
And you are right about the people. In my former life, where I had to compete for clients, some of my most loyal relationships arose when something went wrong and I went over-and-above to fix it, demonstrating that disasters can so easily be turned into triumphs7 Jan 2014