Our contributor Radhika Tandon felt like a celebrity when she experienced the exclusive services of Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class. She gives us the lowdown on the uber-luxe flying club. Text by Radhika Tandon
Stylish is the first word that comes to mind about Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class. It begins with a private chauffeur service. In London, you’ll feel like a rock star when you arrive at their dedicated wing in Heathrow Airport, to be greeted by staff waiting with your boarding cards ready. Breeze through the private security channel and you’re in the Club House within minutes.
The Club House is a far cry from your average airport lounge. If you can, give yourself some time to enjoy it. From the friendly 14-foot bar to the spa, where you can get anything from a manicure to a haircut (there is a complimentary 15-minute treatment for all Virgin customers), do as much or as little as you want. You can grab a bite from the deli counter, retreat to a quiet work station, lay back on a recliner in the movie room, or try out the pinball machine in the Den. The Viewing Deck overlooking the runway is a bright and comfortable spot where you can relax with a glass of the signature cocktail, the Virgin Redhead, or order dinner off the à la carte menu. Children enjoy a dedicated play area. If you decide to step out for some duty-free shopping, hand luggage can be left at the lounge.
The fun thing about Virgin is that it’s constantly innovating, which translates to happy surprises. For instance, on the new A350s (as on the Heathrow-JFK flight), every seat in Upper Class faces a window, and you can dine with friends in the large social space dubbed The Loft. The onboard bar, introduced first by Virgin, remains a staple of the Upper Class experience. As are flatbeds, complimentary Wifi, and touchscreen entertainment systems. The seats are arranged at an angle, a clever design that gives every passenger aisle access and a window view. Virgin’s recent acquisition of regional airline Flybe in the UK has widened its connections out of London and Manchester. With the upgraded Dreamliner plying on India sectors from October 2019, along with a new daily flight out of Mumbai, Indian passengers have much to look forward to.
The verdict? Virgin’s Upper Class, a combination of First and Business, is an experience that begins long before you get onboard. For luxurious, stress-free travel with an inbuilt sense of fun, this is a great way to fly.