VIRGIN ATLANTIC AIRWAYS (London Heathrow Airport to Shanghai Pudong Airport), AIRBUS A340-642, PREMIUM ECONOMY CLASS
Route: London Heathrow Airport to Shanghai Pudong Airport
Departure date and time of flight:
May, 2014 at 3pm
Flight Number: VS250 (Callsign: Virgin 250 heavy)
Flight duration: 12 Hours 10 minutes
Aircraft Registration: G-VEIL
Aircraft Name: Queen of the Skies
First flight: 18/02/2004
Delivery flight: 08/04/2004
Aircraft Serial Number: 575
Engines: 4 x Rolls Royce Trent 556-61
Class: Economy Premium Class
First Class: 45
Economy Premium Class: 38
Economy Class: 233
Aircraft type: Airbus A340-642
There are four variants of the Airbus A340 aircraft; the A340-200 and A340-300 were launched in 1987 with introduction into service in March 1993, while the longer versions A340-500 and A340-642 were launched in 1997 with introduction into service in 2002. The Airbus A340-642 is the longest aircraft in the Airbus family, and is powered by 4 engines.
Punctuality of the flight:
The flight pushed back from the terminal on time at a cloudy Heathrow and landed on time in a very cloudy and humid Shanghai.
Comments on the check-in and baggage issues:
No check-in issues. Virgin Atlantic Airways international flights operate from Heathrow’s Terminal 3, where the airline has a separate building for check-in. Premium Economy class passengers have dedicated check-in counters.
Comments regarding the pre-meal service:
Premium Economy passengers are offered hot hand towels and sparkling champagne prior to take-off.
After take-off, Premium passengers are served with pre-meal snacks of sour cream & cheese ‘Pen State Pretzels’ served with a choice of drinks (standard- tea, coffee, orange juice, apple juice, lemonade). There was a choice of red or white wine.
Comments regarding the first meal:
Since this was a late afternoon flight, the crew did not delay in distributing the lunch meal- and so the service commences only around 45 minutes into the flight.
Mixed leaf and cherry tomato salad
With herb dressing. Simple but appetising and healthy.
Choices for the main courses consisted of:
Minced beef with crusted mashed potato and chive top.
Sweet Chilli Chicken
In a sweet, spicy, sticky sauce with egg noodles, red pepper, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots and chopped spring onion.
Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni
Pasta tubes filled with creamy ricotta and spinach. A delight for vegetarians.
I went for the spinach.
The dessert consisted of a delicious chocolate profiterole cake and olive oil and salt crackers with cream cheese.
Comments regarding the drinks service:
A second round of drinks were offered after the meal (and again consisting of “Virgin Cola!”)
Comments regarding the in-flight snacks (if any):
The in-flight galley was open throughout the flight. Passengers could help themselves to a selection of “Mcvities flapjacks”, “Walkers Scottish Shortbread”, and “Nestle muffins”, as well as a selection of complimentary hot and cold drinks (including tea and coffee). Hot pot noodles were also on offer.
Comments regarding the second meal (if any):
Around an hour and half prior to landing at Shanghai Pudong, we were treated to breakfast. There were two choices: An English breakfast, or a Chinese breakfast (congee).
I opted for the English breakfast, which consisted of a scrambled egg, pork sausage, back bacon, baked beans, sliced potatoes and button mushrooms.
The sausages tasted as if they were cooked minutes ago, and the baked beans were just too good. The scrambled eggs and the bacon was just perfectly cooked too. Accompanying the main dish was a bottle of Tropicana orange juice, pain aux raisin and fruit yoghurt.
Comments on the in-flight system (if any):
The in-flight system was working without any problems. All the channels were showing the same as it was listed in the in-flight magazine.
Comments on the interior of the aircraft (including seat comfort):
The Airbus A340-642 has a standard 2-4-2 layout in Economy class and a 2-3-2 in Premium Economy class.
With a seat pitch of 38 inches, and a seat width of 21 inches, the Economy Premium seats on Virgin Atlantic Airways are very comfortable, and some of the most spacious in the industry. Especially for a daytime flight, it was very comfortable. Empower ports are available at all Upper Class and Premium Economy seats. You will need an adaptor to use these ports. There is no power units available in Economy. Audio Visual on Demand is available with a variety of movie and television programmes; children's channels and video games. The system aboard this aircraft is Virgin's V:Port system, which provides 14 channels and 45 CDs of Audio on Demand.
Overall rating 1-10 (worst-best):10
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This is a special section on Airline Branding, and Airline Public Relations written by me on all the flights I have been fortunate enough to have been on. These are not records taken from somewhere else, but are actual flights I have been on. Most of the flight trips are officially sponsored by the airline companies in order to promote their certain routes, and aircraft. Airline promotion and PR related work in the aviation industry is one of my expertise.
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