Ever fly a full service airline for a low budget cost? That was my experience flying Virgin Atlantic Economy Class.
Flying economy on long-haul flights can sometimes be a daunting experience with cramped seats and limited amenities. With the popularity of budget airlines flying to Europe from the East Coast, one may book the flight, but later be disappointed paying extra for a checked bag and food.
If you’re planning to fly from New York to London and not sure which airline to choose, keep reading this Virgin Atlantic Economy Class review including important things to know, comfort, amenities, service, and my overall experience.
Virgin Atlantic Economy Options
At the time of my flight, Virgin Atlantic had two Economy options: Economy and Premium Economy. There are now four options available for Virgin Atlantic Economy: Economy Light, Economy Classic, and Economy Delight, and Premium. When I took my flight, I flew the Economy Classic equivalent.
- Economy Light – Virgin Atlantic’s basic economy, offering hand luggage only, no refunds or changes, and seats are assigned at check-in
- Economy Classic – Offers hand and checked luggage, free seat selection, and the option to upgrade with Virgin points
- Economy Delight – Provides extra leg room in economy, featuring a 34″ seat pitch, free advance seat assignments, premium check-in, and priority boarding
- Premium – Provides extra legroom in economy, featuring a 38″ seat pitch, free advance seat assignments, premium check-in, priority boarding, and priority luggage delivery.
Virgin Atlantic JFK to LHR Flight Information
- Scheduled: 21:30 (02:30 UTC) – 09:30 (09:30 UTC)4
- Duration: 7h 0m
- Actual: 22:22 (03:22 UTC) Departed 52 min delayed 10:19 (10:19 UTC) Landed 49 min delayed
- Duration: 7h 49m
Booking and Check-In Process
Virgin Atlantic’s website was very user friendly and allowed me to select my preferences, including seat choice and any dietary requirements.
Tip: To get the best seats, book your flight as early as possible.
24 hours before departure, I checked in and added my boarding pass to my phone for use at security and boarding. I packed light for this 10-day Euro trip and only had a carry-on, so I went right to the TSA Pre-Check line before going through security.
A benefit for traveling out of JFK for me is taking the LIRR or bus to the air train that stops at each terminal. Virgin Atlantic is a partner with Delta and flies from JFK Terminal 4. Taking advantage of being a SkyMiles member, I was eligible to receive points for this flight.
The boarding process surprisingly went well. I’m used to long lines and disorganization from fellow passengers, but each everyone boarded when their row was called making the process very smooth.
Stepping onto the aircraft, I was pleasantly surprised by the spaciousness of the cabin. The seats were equipped with adjustable headrests and ample legroom, making the long flight ahead more bearable.
The mood lighting and clean interior design created a relaxing ambiance. Besides using the restroom (which was clean), I only got up to walk around when my seatmates decided to do the same.
Virgin Atlantic Economy Class Seating
The cabin for Virgin Atlantic economy seats had a 3-3-3 arrangement with each seat having its own entertainment screen and an amenity kit that included headphones, blanket, and pillow set.
The seats were comfortable and there was plenty of legroom. My economy class seat, 46H was an aisle seat and I comfortably stretched my legs on occasion without touching the footrest. There was more than enough space to load my carry-on in the overhead compartment.
The attendants started cabin food service by bringing us landing cards, menus, and hot towels. The menu offered a range of options, including special meals for dietary restrictions. The meals were complemented by a selection of soft drinks, water, or complimentary wine and spirits.
I had sour cream and chive flavored pretzels as a light snack and chose the mushroom farfalle bake as my main meal with Sauvignon Blanc. The meal also came with a bottle of water, white cheddar cheese, and bread. Shortly after meal service, the flight attendants came around offering tea, coffee, and water.
Here is a photo of the Virgin Atlantic food menu for my flight from JFK to London.
About an hour before landing we received a yogurt with granola, orange juice and a choice of coffee or tea for breakfast. I didn’t have any orange juice, but I did have the yogurt with some hot tea and it filled me up until I got picked up by my aunt and uncle at the airport.
In-Flight Entertainment System
I was very impressed by Virgin Atlantic’s in-flight entertainment selection on this flight. The user-friendly interface and personal touch screen monitors made navigating the options a breeze.
In addition to showing flight information and movies, there were a variety of TV shows, music, and games for passengers of all ages.
Since I worked my full 9-5 shift and just came home to shower and get my luggage, I thought I’d be knocked out on the flight. Unfortunately, I did not sleep and instead caught up on movies like Thor: Ragnarok, Marshall, Dunkirk, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and War for the Planet of Apes.
Overall Virgin Atlantic Economy Class Review
And that is my full Virgin Atlantic Economy class review. As a first time flier, the Virgin Atlantic flight experience was impressive and I will keep them in consideration for international flights to London or other long-haul routes in the future.
The flight was slightly delayed, but after a little over 7 hours, we finally landed in London Heathrow Airport. The attendants were friendly and helpful when needed, I enjoyed my meals and due to my insomnia, the in-flight entertainment was perfect.
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time flier, I recommend flying with Virgin Atlantic from JFK to London. Book your ticket and embark on an unforgettable adventure!