Flying High... Virgin Atlantic!

35,000 ft in the air, I must have been somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean? Seated comfortably in the Upper Class bar on-board Virgin Atlantic's Indian Princess otherwise known as G-VGOA. My first trip home to England after nine months working at Newark's Liberty Airport as a Passenger Services Agent took an unexpected turn. The Virgin Atlantic Airways experience was flawless, B!

Checked into my flight at Newark Liberty International Airport's Terminal B, that was a breeze because I had almost missed my previous flight from the next check-in desk! It was surreal to have colleagues check me into that flight, for the occasion I had dolled myself up. Maybe an Upper Class upgrade might happen? To be going home after nine months for me was like giving birth to a whole new possibility! Newark life has been challenging, it has been and continues to be unstoppable but I'd love a Yorkshire Pudding from time to time! Really? That morning had me feeling all kinds of emotions, I had checked many passengers into their flights during my 'Industrial Placement'. Because of my current employment I had gained a greater sense of appreciation for airline and airport staff, handing my passport to the Hallmark/Virgin employee, I stood as the passenger. At least I wasn't running for the plane like the last incident, I put that down to airport tiredness because that is another strand of sleepiness. Clubhouse or not? Well?

Feeling prouder than actual brewed punch, I made my way to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse for some early morning hospitality. After what seemed like a lifetime the day, I had finally arrived for my first flight back to England for that whole weeklong! No word of a lie, I was treated like a superstar by the Lounge Concierges, they knew me! I indulged in some breakfast, I had a bowl of scrumptious oatmeal with fruit and a glass of fresh orange juice. After working with the Clubhouse team for almost one year, I had made friends with the waiting staff, so I suppose it's not what you know, it was definitely who you know! The Clubhouse was quite busy for the morning flight. Feeling like a rockstar, I did my own thing and enjoyed every moment being an Upper Class passenger! I picked up my bags and headed for the TSA checkpoint to reach gate 55. This Virgin Atlantic experience from the inside was hitting right, come on flight experience! TSA! Each bus commute from Newark Penn I'd see them! Sure, I kept it really real at EWR! OK?

From passport check to remembering where the usual Terminal B satellite was located, it was one whole experience. Seeing my friends and colleagues as the staff members made me feel some kind of way! It was my time to revisit Mother England after my USA absence had me living like a Newark Ironbound resident and part-time New York City Boy! My uniform and airport pass had been left in my Lafayette St room for safekeeping, it was time for me to make my flight! If truth be told, I was much too excited to take a photo of the Virgin Atlantic G-VGOA Indian Princess aircraft, in that moment that didn't matter. As the Clubhouse members made their way out of the lounge along with myself for that rare passenger occasion, I felt really proud. As my plane had been waiting from the previous VS17 flight that had landed the previous night, so ready! Where was my passport? B, I had everything in my fancy bag that I had bought during that New York City shopping trip to Macy's! Never tell me what I can and cannot spend, baby B! 

The final boarding calls were made by another new gate-lead in training. Gate 55 were poised for the daily departure for the London Heathrow bound VS18 flight, finally I was passenger! Being ushered to take a few minutes until I was allowed to board, now that did plant a seed of confusion into my head? Yes, but all would become clear in the end? I just wanted to board my Indian Princess aircraft bound for Mother England. Now, would I still be sitting in 56D? Within little under ten minutes my economy seat was changed to 12A! My new seat wasn't in the Economy cabin anymore, it was at the front of the Upper Class cabin! I would be flying high with the wealthy and possibly famous! Now, I had witnessed some famous faces travel in Upper Class and for that reason, I couldn't believe my luck! Don't get it twisted because that aircraft would be flying to one common destination, no matter if the seat was in Upper Class, Premium or Economy, we all had one aircraft to fly onboard! Drama onboard? No, you did not! VS18, let's fly!

How could this be happening? After my passport was checked I made my way to my Indian Princess where I was greeted by the Flight Service Manager who was in charge of the cabin. I was welcomed on-board the aircraft with several friendly smiles and pledged to me that if there was anything that I needed, I just had to ask one of the cabin crew members throughout the course of the flight. I've always experienced top quality service during my previous Virgin Atlantic flights but this Upper Class experience would take me to new heights! I was in a state of shock, before take-off as I made my way to the Upper Class bar where I helped myself to my first glass of Champagne, a drink that I would become quite familiar with during that flight to London Heathrow Airport. I simply had to get a photo of myself stretching out on the purple fully-reclining seat. Oh, how I wanted to proclaim; "Champagne for everyone!" Yes, Newark Liberty had me feeling thankful for Brick City's ode! Heading for the clouds, it was home-time! 

Reclined, relaxed and feeling like a complete superstar, I lounged in my seat and gazed at the Upper Class cabin in awe. It was time for the breakfast service to pass through the cabin, due to the layout of the Upper Class cabin there were no trolleys for everything was ordered and served to the passenger at their own table within their pod. A second breakfast? Do you really think that I was going to say no to another slice of Virgin Atlantic Upper Class hospitality? I think not! Silver service was present throughout the flight, I truly ate like a prince and enjoyed every course. I politely requested a Bacon Butty with a cup of English tea with two sugars and some milk, now if that's not a personal enough service for you then I perish the thought. I don't think that I'd be travelling that way for a long time after that flight, so I wanted to enjoy every-single moment while it lasted! It was such a pleasure to see things from the other side,  I feel blessed to have travelled so much, but that regal experience was seamless! V, get me to London Heathrow!

After having some drinks at the Upper Class bar, you know I had asked those key 'Upper Class' questions! Dinner was served about three hours into the flight, a lot of the Upper Class guests had requested their Upper Class pods altered into 'bed mode' because the early morning departure meant we had to check-in at Newark Airport from 04:30 am. I was completely euphoric, so sleep wasn't possible for me no matter how hard I tried to catch a few z's. I dined from the finest bone china plates and used silver cutlery as I enjoyed a flavoursome cheese-board accompanied by a deep glass of Australian Rioja wine that complemented the Stilton and crackers perfectly. Moving through to the main course, I chose a sirloin of beef which was accompanied with garden vegetables in a red wine sauce, enough red wine? No! The steak melted in my mouth, that airplane food was exquisite! It was a shock to my system, but were those in my uni class having such an 'Upper Class' experience? Unfortunately, they were not. BB!

My entire VS experience was mind-blowing, I couldn't have asked for anything more than what I had received on-board my London Heathrow bound flight. I was comfortable and extremely well catered for throughout. I had made use of the Upper Class bar but always remained classy because nobody wants to be trashy at 36,000ft in the skies! Ey! My Virgin Atlantic Cabin Crew were extremely attentive and polite, nothing was ever too much trouble. From the moment I arrived at Newark Airport right through to my express disembarkation, I could not had faulted the high level of customer service and professionalism made by the Virgin Atlantic Airways Ground Crew and Cabin Crew! I was reclined all the way from Newark Liberty to London Heathrow with several intervals at the Upper Class bar, where I chatted with the Upper Class Cabin Crew. The flight from EWR to LHR was magic, the whole experience was like no other flight! I have to thank the Station Manager for Virgin Atlantic at Newark Liberty, she's the best!

Britain's True Flag Carrier!

Joseph Harrison


Popular Posts