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Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Flight Review 787 Dreamliner London to LA

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London Heathrow to Los Angles LHR-LAX

Flight Number: VS0023

Route: LHR-LAX

Aircraft registration: GV-NEW Birthday Girl

Aircraft typer: 787-900

SOBT (Scheduled off blocks time):10:15

Flight time: 10:50

Once upon a time, as a jet-setting flight attendant with Virgin Atlantic, I can't help but have a soft spot for the airline. Virgin also shines bright as a customer's best friend, constantly sprucing up their services to keep up with the latest trends. I remember the endless conveyer belt of service training.

But wait, have they gone a tad overboard? Juggling various seat options has left them with a mix match of onboard products...a business class pick n mix!

a roulette of aircraft seats and products.

Let's take a look at the time I flew as a passenger onboard Virgin Atlantic's 787 in their current and older style Upper Class suite from London Heathrow to Los Angles.

What's Included with Upper Class

  • Fully flat beds

  • Extra large leather seat

  • Select Upper Class seat anytime

  • 2 pieces 16kg max hand luggage

  • 2 x 32kg checked bag

  • Priority baggage delivery

  • Upgradeable with Virgin Points

  • Extra legroom seat

  • Virgin Atlantic also offer Pyjamas on all of their night time sectors, the red eye flights, usually the ones leaving the USA to the UK and London Heathrow.

Pre Flight Experience

Security at London Heathrow airport was a breeze using Virgin Atlantic's Upper Class private wing, and in no time, I found myself 'winging' my way to Virgin Atlantic's fancy hangout clubhouse at Heathrow Terminal Three.

The lounge has such a good reputation and is loved by Virgin Atlantics passengers.

offering a variety of amenities for a top-notch pre-flight experience.

With a deli counter, cocktails, smaller bite options, an outside terrace, a game of pool, places to work, be social, even a quick Peloton spin bike! They all make this place one of the best airport lounges in the business!

Although some extravagant features have been phased out such as spa treatments, free haircuts, jacuzzi, ski simulators, mini golf, train sets delivering snacks, shoe shining..... the list goes on!

So the pre flight experience was flawless as it has been well designed and is always being updated and tweaked by Virgin Atlantic. No delays here and off I went.......

Once I was in the air, I kicked back with a drink and some tasty bar snacks,

then a friendly crew member took a meal order.

The Catering Menu's are refreshed every 3 months at Virgin Atlantic to reflect the seasons.

Due to waste and costs, it's usually catered to the amount of passengers, so for example 33 passengers so 33 upper class meals, in that 33 meal split is a mixture of the three entree's available! Three different starters, etc and the math doesn't math here, with numerous passengers told they need to choose an alternative.

As a former cabin crew member, managing this was quite a challenge. We prioritised gold card holders, then silver card holders, before attending to other passengers if we couldn't meet your meal choice.

After it is all eventually sorted, brace yourself for a parade of exquisite wines, a delightful dessert spread, and even a cheese trolley coming by for your indulgence, perfectly paired with a glass of rich port. Cheers to luxury in the skies!

Lite Bites were offered around 2 hours before landing (think like mini sliders, afternoon tea options) I skipped this as I was making room for an 'In and Out burger' in LA on arrival OBVS.

The Seat

This 787 features the herringbone Upper Class Suite, where seats are positioned away from the windows. First introduced on Virgin aircraft in 2002, these seats are now considered somewhat outdated compared to competitors like Qatar and the Q Suite.

Virgin Atlantic currently has no immediate plans to update these seats, so passengers can expect to encounter this configuration when flying on a 787 aircraft.

So after the meal it was time to sleep for a few hours and to convert this seat to a bed you have to jump out and press a button to watch the seat flip over and convert to lie flat mode.

Seat inconsistencies

You can also saunter to the swanky bar onboard the 787 aircraft in Upper Class, a perk sadly missing on the newer Virgin Atlantic planes like the A330 Neo and A350, sporting fancy new cabins and seats. It's amusing to spot the subtle changes in business class seats on these new planes, causing a bit of a mix-up in Virgin Atlantic's business class experience.

The onboard bar and seats facing each other on the 787 definitely set a more social tone. I see many passengers enjoying the bar area, having drinks, and sharing laughs. It's intriguing how Virgin Atlantic has transitioned to no onboard bar, opting for a social space on newer planes instead. The onboard bar was a distinctive feature for Virgin and quite British.

Should Virgin keep having bars onboard?

Should Virgin Atlantis keep Bars onboard its newer planes?

  • Yes

  • Ugh gosh No!

Ten hours later, I found myself at the bustling LAX airport, feeling rejuvenated and pampered after the journey.

Virgin Atlantic holds a special place in my heart, and you know what? They truly value their customers!

The Verdict

Virgin Atlantic offers one of the finest transatlantic business class services. While the 787 seat may be slightly outdated with limited privacy and the food quality varies, the overall experience, especially in the lounge, leaves a lasting impression with its wow factor!

Travel and flight expert Paul has spent over 15 years giving first class service with a London based airline. This travel and flight expert has been crossing the Atlantic sometimes 10 times a month!

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