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

Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full advertising policy: How we make money.

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The Seats Were a Little Outdated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!

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

Join the Discussion!

Comments are closed.