With facilities this good, you won’t want to get on your flight – even if your flight involves a fully-flat bed, Virgin’s glamorous stewardesses tending to your every need and entertainment on demand (unless you fly to Chicago – why?).
Being the old-fashioned kind of flyer, we see each trip as an expedition. An adventure. An occasion. We’re not bored by travel – unless you make us fly Ryanair. So, we dress accordingly. No Abercrombie baggie sweats and scuffed-up sneakers for our travel team: we dress up, we dress smart, we pack our cashmere PJs to change into once we’re up in the air (and have quaffed a glass of Champagne) and we’re ever-so lovely to the check-in staff and the team on-board.
For us, one of the finest things about flying Virgin Atlantic is the Clubhouse: the lounge to redefine all lounges. Where Virgin have led, the other key airlines have scrambled to follow and years after its inception it’s the still the king of Heathrow.
Before our last flight from LHR we started off with a fine breakfast – eggs Benedict and a sky-high stack of pancakes with bacon and maple syrup washed down with great coffee. Once the caffeine had kicked in we headed to the beautiful bar area, with its cheeky and charming mixologists who tried to push cocktails on us at 10 in the morning – boy, are these guys persuasive. Had we been feeling really naughty, we’d have definitely have opted for a Virgin Redhead: fresh muddled raspberries and berry liqueurs shaked with Bombay Sapphire and finished with the house Champagne. After much arm twisting, however, we decided to sup a beautifully chilled glass of Lanson Black Label Champagne before heading over to the Cowshed for a manicure – despite the Clubhouse being busy, there were plenty of slots free.
At every turn we were confronted with friendly, super-efficient staff – warm, knowledgeable and, something so rare these days: fun. As the tannoy kicked in and announced that our flight to Chicago was ready to board we sighed heavily, finished off the remnants of our third glass of bubbly and dragged our heels all the way to our Upper Class seats.
Head there in the coming months and make sure you try their 25th anniversary specials, including prawn cocktail, duck à l’orange and Black Forest gateau. Genius.
Best thing: Apart from the free-ness at every turn? The food is excellent for an airport. The addition of Babington House’s Cowshed spa and a Bumble & Bumble hair salon is inspired. Spacious. Comfortable seating. Helpful staff. Free Wifi. And fresh bread from Daylesford Organic’s bakery in the Cotswolds every morning.
Worst thing: That we couldn’t have checked in the day before to make use of all of the facilities.