Virgin Atlantic, Upper Class
THE FLIGHT: Flight VS250 from London Heathrow's Terminal 3 (13.30 departure) to Shanghai Pudong (08.30 arrival local time), operated by a B787-9. I travelled in Upper Class, which had a 1-1-1 configuration.
THE CHECK-IN: Our group took advantage of the chic fast check-in service offered in the Upper Class wing. We glided through the private security channel and within 10 minutes were sipping drinks in the Virgin Clubhouse.
THE LOUNGE: Spacious with a range of seats, work stations, dining areas and a 14-metre bar, the Virgin Clubhouse has the airline's typical flair. Other facilities included showers with complimentary products and spa treatments such as haircuts and manicures. For those not looking to work or eat, The Den offers a range of distractions including a pool table, video games and televisions. I took advantage of a traditional afternoon tea, finished off with a Virgin Redhead (that's a cocktail, by the way).
THE SEAT:Seating in Upper Class is arranged in Virgin Atlantic’s traditional herringbone formation, with every seat having direct aisle access. I was seated at the back of the cabin. The seat had a pop-up shelf for drinks and snacks as well as a larger pull-out dining table. Built in to the seat is an 11-inch TV monitor with USB connection, access to an extensive choice of films, TV shows, music, games, flight information and health tips. The seat cleverly flips over to convert into a comfortable fully flat bed.
THE SERVICE: No sooner had I reached my seat than a fl ight attendant was off ering a pre-departure beverage with a choice of Champagne, fruit juice or water. The evening meal menu off ered a choice of two starters, three mains and two desserts. Cheese and port was also available after dinner. The extra bites menu available throughout the fl ight included a selection of cakes, a salmon burger, smoked salmon salad or Chinese tasting selection.
THE VERDICT: I’d not flown Virgin Upper Class before but I was extremely impressed. The service and attention to detail offered by our flight attendants was second to none – nothing seemed too much trouble
THE DETAILS: Virgin Atlantic flies daily to Shanghai from London Heathrow. Return fares in Upper Class start from £3,038.virginatlantic.com.
Reviewed by David Clare (2016)