After my visit to the very pleasant Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse I made my way to the far-flung Gate 20 for the A340-600 to Los Angeles.
I expected a secondary security check and aggressive questioning, as this was the case with some flights to the US a couple of years ago, but there was none. I was able to walk through to the plane after showing my boarding pass and passport.
The business class cabin was just about to fill up and no seats were left empty on this flight. Service started with a pre-take-off champagne. I found a fresh Economist to read and had time to get settled in. No pyjamas were offered this time, though they were available on request. Maybe because this was a daytime flight? I asked for some at take-off and and again 2 hours later to finally receive mine.
Take-off was bumpy and it took a while before the 'fasten seat belt' sign turned off. Service started really slow as it did during my last flight with Virgin Atlantic. You really need to be patient – no quick dinner and dozing off to sleep with this airline.
Also, my seat was still stained from prior usage – not a big deal but still not too comfy.
The food was lovely again for this flight. The portion size was on the small side for the appetizer and entrée but huge for the dessert and cheese.
The way it's set up, it's hard to comfortably eat and watch TV. It's possible, but you will need to keep on staring to the side.
I rang the service bell but there was just a soft chime in the cabin. 5 minutes later and nobody had seemed to notice but the flight attendants were busy with the dinner service in the full business class cabin. Thankfully things improved once dinner service was over.
The flight attendants came through with drink offers a couple of times. Snacks and drinks were on offer at the bar at the back of the cabin for the rest of the flight.
There were few movies that I liked on the entertainment system so I kept using my laptop. Eventually I had the flight attendants convert my seat to a bed and I dozed off.
Since I slept the last two hours of my flight I'm not sure if there was a dinner service. I did not see in on the menu. Snacks were available on request, so maybe that's all that was served.
All in all, this was a good flight. The Virgin Atlantic's Upper Class is a solid product. It feels a bit antiquated now and I wish the IFE would be better and the seat wider.