Our Anniversary to Italy: Part 4 – Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Barclaycard, Chase, and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook or Twitter!

Emily Jablon:  Daraius and I went to Europe in September to celebrate our 2nd anniversary for ~2 weeks.  It was my first time in Italy so I was very excited!  In Italy, we visited Varenna on Lake Como, Milan, Venice, and Rome.

Since we were in Europe, we visited a friend in Strasbourg, France and also spent a night in Zurich.  We started our trip with a one day layover in Chicago to see friends!

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

Emily and Daraius in the Virgin Atlantic In-flight Bar

Our Anniversary To Italy – Trip Report Index:

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

Daraius booked a Virgin Atlantic Upper Class flight to London from Chicago for 100,000 Hawaiian Air miles and ~$298 in taxes and fees.  Upper Class is the snobbish name by which Virgin Atlantic refers to their business class seats.  Well, we just opened a few credit cards and got to be “Upper Class!”

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

Emily in the Upper Class Check-In Line

We earned the Hawaiian Air miles from the Hawaiian Air credit cards when they were issued by Bank of America.  Unfortunately, this redemption now costs 125,000 Hawaiian Air miles for a round-trip from the US East Coast to London!

It was my first time on Virgin Atlantic so I was pretty excited!

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

Virgin Atlantic Girl Was as Excited as Emily to fly Virgin Atlantic!

The seats were comfortable but a little small.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

Emily Tucked in her Tiny Upper Class Seat

The Upper Class Suites are kidney bean shaped and very close together.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

Virgin Atlantic’s Kidney Bean Shaped Upper Class Suites

Still, I was excited for the flight!

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

Emily Eager to Start Experiencing Virgin Atlantic Upper Class & Quit Posing for Pictures!

It was their older seats and not the new version, which we got to try out on the way back.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

The Seats Were a Little Outdated

I liked the built in footstool that doubled as a chair where Daraius could sit & eat together with me.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

The Footstool Also Functioned as a Chair

We were given pajamas but no slippers, and the amenity kits were OK.  They came with socks, an eye mask, a toothbrush, toothpaste, a mint, earplugs, and a (broken) pen.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Amenity Kit Included the Standard Amenities

We checked out the bar and took a few pictures.  A bar in the plane sure sounds great when you read the ads in the magazines!

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

Daraius Hanging out in the Inflight bar

It was underwhelming though.  No one hung out by the bar, so the staff used it as an extended prep area for the meals and beverages.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

Emily at the Inflight bar

There was a small selection of alcohol…

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

The bar was Stocked With High-End Alcohol

…and a variety of sweet and salty snacks.  We liked trying out the different Brit chips and chocolates.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

A Sweet and Salty Snack Basket was Available

We had dinner on the flight and it took a long time to serve.  Here’s the menu.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class’ Tasty Menu

We were able to sit together which was nice.  I felt bad that Daraius had to sit on my footstool, though!

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

Emily and Daraius Dining Together in Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

Daraius liked the airplane themed salt and pepper shakers.  The cabin lighting switched to blue during the meal service, so excuse the blue-tinged pictures below!

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

The Airplane Salt and Pepper Shakers Were Cute!

For starters, I had asparagus soup.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

Emily Ordered the Asparagus Soup

Daraius had an heirloom tomato salad with garlic vinaigrette dressing and mozzarella.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

Daraius Ordered the Heirloom Tomato Salad

For our main course, I had the spinach and ricotta-filled ravioli.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

Emily’s Main Course was the Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli

While Daraius had free-range chicken with baby turnips and roast potatoes.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

Daraius Chose Chicken With Baby Turnips & Roast Potatoes

I liked my soup and pasta a lot.

For dessert, we had a chocolate lava cake and vanilla bean cheesecake with strawberry sauce.  I preferred the lava cake to the cheesecake.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

Dessert was a Chocolate Lava Cake and Vanilla Bean Cheesecake

We also had an assortment of cheeses that included smoked Cheddar, Danish blue, and Gouda.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

Emily Waiting for the Cheese Plate

Daraius and I liked the cheddar cheese the best.  The food was better than the food on most US airline flights.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

The Cheddar Cheese was our Favorite

After dinner, I checked out the in-flight entertainment.  The planes have old TVs with terrible picture quality, but the screens were about the size of an iPad.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

The TVs Were Old

The TVs swiveled out in front of you.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

The TVs Rotated so You Could See Them While in Bed

There was a handheld remote control stowed in the seat cabin.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

The Remote Control was in the Seat

The flight crew handed out tablets which have about a dozen movies loaded onto them.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

Tablets With Additional Movies Were Available

There are no TV shows or games to play on the tablet, but the screen resolution was much, much better.  I also liked that you could start and stop movies whenever you wanted to.

I decided to take a nap since it was getting late, and Daraius and I had a long travel day ahead of us.  I made my bed and went to sleep.  Daraius was asleep before my bed was made.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

Daraius Resting Comfortably in his Upper Class Suite

The bed was a lie flat bed, and I had 2 pillows and a comfortable duvet.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

Daraius Having a Nightmare Where he Only had Spinach for Dinner

I slept for a couple of hours and then it was time to start our descent for the landing.  I had an “express” breakfast that consisted of a bottle of mixed berry smoothie.  There were also energy bars and fruit but I was still full from dinner!

Daraius preferred sleeping and skipped breakfast.

In addition to the to-go breakfast items, we could choose a selection of cereal or a bacon butty (a bacon roll with ketchup or brown sauce).

We got off the plane and quickly walked to customs.  We got in the Fast Break line and were through the line in about 10 minutes!

Bottom Line

Virgin Atlantic business class was a nice experience, but it didn’t live up to the hype.  But it sure was nice to pay 100,000 Hawaiian Air miles instead of the ~$4,000 retail price for the ticket!

* If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 14,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in a RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another trip report!

* If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 25,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

37 responses to “Our Anniversary to Italy: Part 4 – Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

  1. Pingback: Around The Park Hyatt Chicago | Million Mile Secrets

  2. Pingback: Park Hyatt Chicago | Million Mile Secrets

  3. Pingback: Miles And Points To Italy | Million Mile Secrets

  4. I am surprised by the choice of blue lighting during the meal service as that color has been shown to be an appetite suppressant. Maybe they want you to drink more champagne? 😉

  5. Was the cost 100,000 Hawaiian miles each or total? Where can I check that the price is going up to 125,000 Hawaiian airline miles?

  6. Flying Virgin Atlantic myself from SFO-LHR shortly, I know it will be the older 747 cabin, but looking forward to the entire service and trying the lounge at SFO. Did you visit the arrivals lounge at LHR ?

  7. I’m curious how difficult you found it to be to book on one of Hawaiian Airlines partner airlines with your Hawaiian miles. I tried booking Chicago to Paris and Chicago to Honolulu and found it nearly impossible due to lack of availability.

  8. How many credit cards did you have to open to get these flights? Or did you already have miles on Hawaiian Airlines. I’m assuming each r/t was 100k Hawaiian miles, so for both of you, it cost 200K miles. Assuming each credit card gives you around 50K miles… did you open 4 credit cards? Thanks for the insight!!

  9. Nice report plus I am surprised there was Tymbark juice from Poland. Let me guess, did they also serve Zubrowka aka Bison Vodka?:)

    BTW, what happened to BofAm’s Virgin Atlantic MasterCard? I cannot really find it anywhere on the blogs. My wife’s BofAm Amex card was converted to the one I am asking about.

  10. I dream of virgin Atlantic trip someday.. it sounds and looks like I should lower my expectations. Thanks for the detailed review. I too will be interested in your reply to how exactly did you get 200,000. Was it with 4 cards? 2 each for both of you? And how far ahead did you book your travel? Thanks!!

  11. Thank you for doing such detailed trip reports guys! It’s really fun to see the little details in everything you do!

    • @leandra – LOL!

      @Brandon – It is 125,000 miles for a round-trip.

      @James Long – We visited the lounge, but had to leave quickly to catch our train.

      @Taylor – It is tough to book and I had to call multiple times. You can check availability on the Virgin Atlantic website and then call Hawaiian Air to book those flights.

      @Juan Sequeda – Emily and I opened cards to earn most of those Hawaiian Air miles.

      @Robert – The offer on the Virgin Atlantic card has reduced to 20K, but I’m waiting for a new link to the 50K offer.

      @readytofly – The Hawaiian Air card was issued by Bank of America earlier, which was fairly easy to get. We booked the flights about 6 months in advance.

      @Jenny – Thanks for reading & glad you like it!

  12. Pingback: Virgin Atlantic Revivals Lounge | Million Mile Secrets

  13. Pingback: Our Anniversary to Italy: Part 6 - Under The Channel to Strasbourg | Million Mile Secrets

  14. Pingback: Things to do in Strasbourg | Million Mile Secrets

  15. Pingback: Hotel Cathedral Strasbourg | Million Mile Secrets

  16. Pingback: Strasbourg Restaurants | Million Mile Secrets

  17. Pingback: Park Hyatt Zurich | Million Mile Secrets

  18. Pingback: One Day In Zurich | Million Mile Secrets

  19. Pingback: Activities in Varenna, Italy | Million Mile Secrets

  20. Pingback: Varenna, Italy Hotel Eremo Gaudio | Million Mile Secrets

  21. Pingback: Eating in Varenna, Italy | Million Mile Secrets

  22. Pingback: Activities In Milan | Million Mile Secrets

  23. Pingback: Park Hyatt Milan | Million Mile Secrets

  24. Pingback: Eating In Milan | Million Mile Secrets

  25. Pingback: Shuttle and Around Hilton Venice | Million Mile Secrets

  26. Pingback: Activities In Venice | Million Mile Secrets

  27. Pingback: Eating In Venice | Million Mile Secrets

  28. Pingback: Hilton Stucky Hotel Venice | Million Mile Secrets

  29. Pingback: Rome Hotel, Rome Cavalieri | Million Mile Secrets

  30. Pingback: Eating in Rome | Million Mile Secrets

  31. Pingback: Imperial Room | Million Mile Secrets

  32. Pingback: Our Anniversary to Italy: Part 27 – Activities in Rome – Where to Go, What to See, How to Save Frustration | Million Mile Secrets

  33. Pingback: Activities In Rome | Million Mile Secrets

  34. Pingback: Virgin Atlantic Flight From Europe To US | Million Mile Secrets

  35. Pingback: Get 500 Free Virgin Atlantic Miles! | Million Mile Secrets

  36. Pingback: Our Anniversary to Italy: Part 29 – Conclusion & Blog Giveawa | Million Mile Secrets