In June, I had the chance to try out Virgin Atlantic's A350-1000. The flight in question was from Atlanta (ATL) to London Heathrow (LHR) in Economy, and this report will look at all aspects of Virgin Atlantic's flagship aircraft on just one of their many transatlantic services on offer.
Origin: Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL)
Destination: London Heathrow Airport (LHR)
Aircraft Type: Airbus A350-1041
Registration: G-VLUX "Red Velvet"
Flight Number: VS104
Departure: 7:26 p.m. ET
Arrival: 7:41 a.m. GMT
The aircraft assigned to our leg was G-VLUX, named "Red Velvet," and was delivered to Virgin Atlantic in 2019. As the time to board drew near, I noticed that there were not many passengers in the gate area. This was quite unusual, particularly as this flight is generally a full one. It certainly was not a complaint on my part as that meant a lot more space for me, and boarding was naturally straightforward. Thanks to fewer passengers, the process was completed swiftly and with ease.
The cabin was lit with Virgin's signature purple mood lighting. My seat for the flight was 51A, a window seat. The seats are comprised of a plush mesh fabric with an adjustable headrest that proved to be very comfortable. Each seat is 17.4 inches wide, features a generous 31 inches of pitch, and reclines up to 5 inches. It's safe to say that I wouldn't be lacking comfort on this 7-hour journey across the pond. On top of that, I had the entire row to myself, which added to my comfort levels no end.
Almost as soon as I got settled, we began our pushback and taxi out to Runway 27R. Our departure was relatively smooth, and watching the A350's tail camera was an extra treat. There was next to no turbulence on our climb out, and the clear day made for some stunning views.
Once we passed 10,000 feet, I proceeded to check out the seatback IFE screen. It is definitely one of the finest available on any aircraft, featuring hundreds of movies, shows, songs, and even games to keep all entertained throughout the journey. Some small headphones were provided and while they weren't anything special, they worked well. I spent most of the flight looking at the In-Flight Map, which was very detailed and had a plethora of different view options. In short, it was rather difficult to get bored on this flight.
As the sun started to go down, dinner was served. On the menu was Mexican Chicken with rice and a piece of bread and butter on the side. For economy-class food, it was certainly pleasant.
This flight was a red-eye, taking off in the evening and landing the next morning, so naturally, one will spend most of the flight asleep. Virgin Atlantic was prepared for this as shortly after dinner, the cabin lights were extinguished. Everyone was provided with a pillow and blanket which were both quite comfortable, and since I had a row to myself, I had my own makeshift bed! I was able to get approximately 4 hours of sleep in total, and as we crossed over Ireland, the sun began to rise. The flight attendants came through the cabin with muffins for everyone - not a full meal service but a pleasant gesture nonetheless. Shortly after, we began our initial descent into London.
Overall, this was an excellent flight, with a clean, comfortable aircraft, an amazing flight crew who were present and attentive, and magnificent in-flight entertainment that made it impossible to get bored. The airline created a very pleasant environment and this was without a doubt one of the best flights I've ever taken.
After that, we finally landed in London, ending a thoroughly enjoyable flight and marking the beginning of a fun trip to Europe! I would rate Virgin Atlantic's A350 service from Atlanta to London a well-deserved 9 out of 10. Thanks for reading, and I hope you get the chance to experience this stellar transatlantic service for yourselves very soon!
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