When my boyfriend and I decided to do the long distance relationship, we knew that flights will be a huge part of our lives. That’s why we always save money for tickets and we always keep an eye on travel websites, looking for the best deals (we use Momondo and Student Universe). I never really cared much about what company I was going to fly with, until I found my favourite one: Virgin Atlantic and I decided that I will choose to fly with them whenever I can. I already flew four times over the Atlantic Ocean with Virgin Airlines and I still recommend them to all my friends. Here is why:
Even if you are not a picky person, when you have an 8 hour flight ahead of you, comfort is something you will be interested in. Despite the fact that the seats are soft (and fancy), you can get up to 31″ of seat pitch. The best part is yet to come – sometimes, if the plane didn’t reach full capacity, you can change your seat after departure or even use two or three sits for free, as long as it is within the class you originally bough your ticket for (for example if you bough an economy ticket, you could change your seat with any other available seat in the economy class. You can upgrade to business or a higher class too but you would have to pay for that). One time, there were available seats next to me and I was able to lay over 4 seats and have a comfortable nap rather than waking up with a stiff neck because of sleeping on a chair. Of course this was just good luck, but there are companies which wouldn’t let you get the extra comfort free of charge.
2. Free Amenity Kit
When I flew overnight with Virgin, I received a free toothbrush, toothpaste, eye mask, earplugs, socks and pen. It helps you stay fresh which is something valuable, considering the 8 hour flight.
3. Direct Flights
You can easily find direct flight from London to Chicago, which is great because it saves time and effort.
4. Quality Meals
Airplane food has a reputation for being pretty bad but the meals I had on board Virgin Airlines seemed fresh and tasted really good. I was able to choose either the chicken, beef or the veggie menu. I had orzo pasta salad for starter, beef burgundy for the main meal, and a salted caramel chocolate mouse for desert – sounds like the menu at a posh French restaurant right? The other great thing is the second meal. On a 8 hour flight they serve you the second meal a little while before landing. If it is day flight, the second meal will normally consist of a nice chicken wrap and if it is an overnight flight the last meal is usually breakfast. Plus they give you candy just before landing. You can check out the other menu options here.
5. Children Friendly
Spanish style chicken and veggie bolognese might sounds appealing to you but children have different taste. Luckily, Virgin also offers the children’s menu option (if required in advance), serving the little ones something they will enjoy. They will also receive a special children’s backpack with an eye mask suitable for kids, socks and a colouring pencil. Virgin also has an entire selection of children’s movies, cartoons and games.
6. Fantastic Entertainment
Virgin has some of the best movies, as well as some of the newest ones. The airline also offers the option to watch something educational. There is also a wide range of TV shows to choose from, documentaries and even music. I actually watched a documentary about Dubai and more precisely about the most luxurious and expensive hotel in the world – Burj Al Arab (unless you are flying to Dubai, it really makes you feel like you’ve chosen to fly to the wrong destination). Another cool feature is the fact that they have short videos with things to do in different locations, so while I was flying to Chicago, I got the opportunity to watch a travel video about the best paces to visit, about nightlife and about where to eat in the Windy City. My favourite part though, are the educational videos. I used to wear contact lenses all the time and I was wondering why my eyes get so uncomfortable when I travel, only to find out from one of their videos about how to have a comfortable flight, that on airplanes, the air is about 40% drier than on land. Makes sense really.
7. Nice Selection of Drinks
I like the fact that even with an economy ticket, you are still given a wide variety of drinks to choose from, so I had a nice gin & tonic to sleep better. By the way, their coffee and hot chocolate are pretty good too. Something that has been really helpful was being given plenty of water. You normally get water when the flight attendants go around the plane and fill a tiny cup for you but for me that’s just never enough and what’s great about Virgin is that they give you a water bottle so you have it at your own discretion for when you need it.
8. Great Service
The crew was friendly and helpful each time, from the moment I checked in to the moment I got off the plane.
9. Complimentary Magazines
I didn’t get free magazines every time but the last time I traveled from London to Chicago, in the waiting area there was a table with the latest numbers from some of the most famous magazines and newspapers from the media industry. I remember I almost bought a travel magazine a few hours before, but I didn’t because it seemed too expensive and then I received that exact magazine with compliments from Virgin.
10. Crew Uniforms
Guys, their uniforms are made out of recycled materials! Taking about sustainable development.
11. On Board Wifi
This is something you have to pay for but in case you have a long flight ahead I would say its worth checking in on Facebook from 35000 ft above the ground.
12. Power Source
You now have the option to charge your electronics. It is recommended you only do it if you really need to but guess what? You have an important phone call to make when you land but your battery is dying? That’s all been taken care of for you my friend.
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