They say all good things come to an end and sadly, this post marks the end of my European escapades. Over the last 4 months I have visited 43 cities across 22 countries, taken upwards of 50 trains, driven one car, been driven 8 hours across the border by a crazy (a good kind of crazy) Romanian man, and zipped over to both Asia and Africa for short stints within the time frame.
As an Australian passport holder, I’m allowed a total of 90 days in the so called ‘Shenghen Zone’, a collection of European countries, within the time frame of 6 months. I used every last day possible, adding on extra time by going to countries outside of this agreement – such as the UK, Romania, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Ireland.
But alas! It has come to an end as I get ready to board my Virgin Atlantic flight from London Heathrow to Johannesburg, ready for my next adventure.
Virgin Atlantic have certainly built a name for themselves as the airline of choice for British travellers. However after such an enjoyable first experience, I can say with certainty they’ve converted an Australian and I’m sure I’m not the first.
After checking in for my flight to find a cheeky upgrade on my ticket, I made my way through security, immigration, and through to the Virgin Club House. As I turned the corner into the club house I couldn’t help but to notice the paparazzi standing outside waiting for someone to exit (who it was I am unsure, as I’m not one for star spotting at the best of times).
The Virgin Clubhouse
After checking my name off the guest list, I entered the Virgin clubhouse to a reception that can only be described as being welcomed as a VIP guest to the party. Each staff member inside the clubhouse treated me as if I were a guest of their own, and the experience only got better from there.
The menu was extremely generous for a lounge, offering everything from tapas through to main meals, lavish desserts, and of course the all-important cocktail menu.
This, combined with everything you could imagine for a perfect childhood ‘club house’ (such as a pool table, books, magazines, a sweet treats station, bubble chairs, computer stations, wi-fi, etc. etc.), make this the perfect pre-flight hangout. Actually, I could happily hangout here any day.
Virgin Atlantic Upperclass Review
Being that I was so content in the Virgin Clubhouse, I was somewhat reluctant to leave and catch my flight to Johannesburg. But alas, the lady calling the flight over the speaker had other plans. I rushed through to my flight to find I had been upgraded yet again to the front of the plane and would not only be experiencing my first Virgin Atlantic flight – but this would be in upperclass!
Having only flown at the pointy end of the plane a few times prior, I noticed some immediate perks about Virgin Upperclass that I simply have to share.
As you are seated inside your own little hub, the mandatory glass of champagne makes its way to you and the VA girls are all smiles and British accents to welcome passengers on board the experience – not the flight – the experience. It’s all about the experience, darling.
Next is the sleep pack (a fancy name for overnight pyjamas), which makes its way to me, and shortly thereafter the journey begins.
Undoubtedly the best highlight of flying VA upperclass is the privacy offered by each passenger’s hub. From my lie-flat bed I cannot see anyone, and no one can see me – a luxury you don’t get in many business class setups on other airlines. Each of the window seats are taken, but almost the entire middle row is empty – increasing privacy and attention to detail with the staff ratio quite personalised.
The cuisine was another highlight – particularly the sticky toffee dessert, a British classic. After losing self control over the Virgin Clubhouse menu it was difficult to fit in my entire three course meal, but the food was so delicious (remember I am on a plane here, too), that I somehow managed to so.
After finding myself in somewhat of a fine dining food coma, I had my bed turned down and tucked in for a perfect nights rest in my lie-flat bed, complete with fluffy duvet and thick comfy pillow.
Why fly with Virgin Atlantic?
Upperclass aside, the Virgin Atlantic experience is hard to rival. The staff are more enthusiastic than on most other airlines, they’re there because they love their job and they’re ready to entertain you rather than go through the motions of a regular ol’ flight.
After flying upperclass with VA I will find it difficult to revert back to premium economy or indeed economy, as I have seen how enjoyable the in-flight experience can be.
World of Wanderlust was a guest on this Virgin Atlantic flight, however my opinion is as always my own.