On my recent trip to Florida, I booked my entire holiday via Virgin Atlantic so I thought I'd share my experience with you!
So after taking the plunge and booking my first flight in over 11 years it's needless to say I was a total and utter nervous wreck. As you may know I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks so with about an hours sleep my alarm bellows out at 6am and up I get with knots in my stomach to get ready for my trip!
We were flying from Gatwick which is around a 40 min drive from where we live in London so it wasn't a bad journey, we had decided in advance to book the V room for £40 which was a separate area from the terminals we could chill out and breakfast was included!
We did get a bit lost trying to find the V room but once we were there, we had a very warm welcome from a lovely staff member. We then found a table and went up to the hot counter to order breakfast. The chef who was there was even kind enough to make scrambled eggs for me without milk due to my lactose intolerant!
All the staff in the V room were lovely and I can't fault any of them!
After a few hours of watching planes land and take off (which I'm not really sure helped my nerves by an means...) our flight was finally called after a short delay.
We were called to terminal 13 (oh I know!!) and finally we boarded the plane. By this point I'd reached the stage of no return and decided to just sit and people watch and not think about the fact I was going to be shot into the air in a tin can full of other peoples farts for the next 8 hours.
Now we're sitting there minding my own business when they turn the engines on and all this smoke starts billowing out. So que two air stewards and various other passengers being a tad concerned (rightly so don't get me wrong, however I'm still in this state of mind of total ignorance is bliss..) we had to call the Captain to come and look.
Once the Captain has settled our fears and someone on the ground comes over to double check we've been on the plane sitting on Gatwick tarmac for well over an hour. Finally it was time.
Take off was fine and went without a hitch, the engine didn't fall off and I realise just how hungry I am after barely eating my breakfast due to nerves. Thankfully due to us being an hour delayed lunch was served!
Unfortunately this is where my flight went a bit pear shaped but was mended by a very lovely member of staff. I had ordered a dairy free meal 3 months in advance when I booked my flights but they didn't supply me with one. I was told by one steward that I hadn't booked it in time and by another they didn't have any at the terminal which was why I didn't get one. However one of the lovely stewards swapped her lunch with mine so I could eat.
I ended up with a chicken, cous cous and vegetable dish that was utterly gorgeous, a bread roll and some chocolate mousse. Unfortunately again I could't eat the chocolate pot due to being lactose intolerant so was rather grateful I had remembered to bring some snacks with me!
During our flight we were also supplied with drinks and pretzels which again I couldn't eat due to the milk content but my hubby was more than happy to take off my hands.
Our afternoon meal was also a bit of a fiasco for me as they had managed to give me a dairy free meal but obviously didn't check the ingredients as the chicken and bacon wrap actually contained milk proteins. I was also given a bag of crisps, a Naked bar and some mints so it wasn't too bad!
We had some great films, games, music and entertainment on board so I spend my flight watching Pitch Perfect 2, listening to music and playing the various games. I did try to sleep but I was so excited about going to Florida needless to say it didn't happen!
When it was time to land, it was the easiest landing in the world and we didn't even realise we were on tarmac until we had a peak out the window. There was a bit of a delay getting off the plane but before we knew it we were in a massive que waiting to go through security!
Our flight back was overnight. We were meant to take off at 8pm on the 21st from Orlando but it was delayed upon arrival at the airport and thankfully it only turned out to be delayed by 15 mins! We had the most lovely steward called Matthew who we got chatting too and was a total sweetheart, he really did make our flight!
Take off was rough to put it nicely. Due to the bad weather we were having the whole flight was a mix of minor and severe turbulence however we managed to get home in a mere 7 hours which we weren't expecting!
My food situation on the way back was a far better experience than on the way out.
They had actually supplied me with a non dairy meal which included a salad, bread roll, fruit and chicken, potatoes and veg. I even had vegan butter for my roll which I thought was a lovely thought!
I did manage to get my head down for a few hours on the flight but I think it was purely because I was so tired due to spending all day at Disney!
Before we knew it, it was time for breakfast and I got a bagel, dried fruit, actual fruit and rice crackers. Again I was over the moon with my food and it was such a vast improvement that what I was offered on the flight out!
When it was almost time to land the staff came around with bowls of sweets and once we were ready to go the staff took their seats so I spend more time chatting away to Mathew as we circled Gatwick for 20 mins waiting to land. Landing was horrendous due to the weather, it was extremely bumpy and I think everyone was relieved once we were back on solid ground!
Now for a last min bit of drama, we were about 8 foot away from the terminal when the back tail engine decided to die and we couldn't make it to the door so we could all get off. We then had to wait 15 mins for a car to be free so we could be taxied close enough for us all to get off!
Over all, while I feel Virgin need to pay more attention to the food they give to their passengers with food allergies, I really enjoyed my flights.
I can't fault the staff at all and despite the delays and dramas I'm pleased we arrived to both our destinations without too much hassle and safely!
Have you flown with Virgin?
Until next time,