Saturday, August 1, 2009
Virgin on the useless
We arrived safely but not happily in the UK, thanks to Virgin Atlantic. I had always been led to believe that Virgin were a classy airline, all those red suits and smiles looked promising. However the reality, as is so often the case, was somewhat different.
Boarding the plane was interesting and took forever. "Virgin Atlantic is pleased to welcome aboard our upper class passengers, and passengers with children", "Virgin Atlantic is pleased to welcome aboard passengers in rows 65 to 64", "Virgin Atlantic is pleased to welcome aboard passengers wearing red sweaters", "Virgin Atlantic is pleased to welcome aboard passengers with more than 24 hours worth of stubble...." You get the picture.
When we eventually got inside the cabin, the seats were roomy enough (as good as you can expect in cattle class), and there was an immense array of movies available on demand from the entertainment system. The food was average. "What sort of wine do you have?" I asked. Now I'm not dumb enough to think he was going to present me with a wine list, but I did think he may say "Its a Merlot madam", or something similar. "Its a house wine" he replied. OK, I thought, shouldn't it be an airplane wine?..
I had taken the somewhat risky move of wearing white jeans for the flight. I was extremely careful not to spill gravy on them, and even when we experienced some turbulence right after my plastic cup was filled to the brim with "House", they still stayed gleaming white.
After the meal the stewardess in red with hair scraped back into a doughnut, leaned across us both and flipped down our window shades. Didn't ask us if we wanted them down, just did it anyway. We settled down to watch a movie, Tony sipping on his overflowing cup of coffee. All was well until the "House-man" came down the aisle, and bumped his swinging hips into Tonys elbow. The entire contents of the coffee cup went over my jeans. He didn't even stop and apologise. Just continued on his merry/gay little way....
We were woken up to a breakfast that consisted of one sad looking, sticky, over-processed blueberry muffin. I took a bite then left the rest on my tray. As the red stewardess was preparing for landing, she told us to put our trays up. "Can you please take the remainder of 'breakfast' away then?" we asked, only to be told to "Pop it in the seat pocket". Then she leaned over and flipped up our seat backs, nearly sending us into the seat-back pocket along with our half-eaten muffins.
So in summary, lots of red suits and doughnut hair (and that was just the men), but not very friendly or courteous. I think their good reputation is based mostly on their extensive entertainment system rather than their service.