Flight Review: VS20 SFO-LHR in Economy

It’s our first trip to Europe since Tara moved to the west coast and I was looking forward to not having to stop in New York. Say what you will about the long flights, but they get you there a lot faster than stopping on the east coast.

 I scored a great deal through Delta for a $420 roundtrip flight from San Francisco and was excited when I noticed it was a Virgin Atlantic-operated codeshare. It was our first time on what was once Richard Branson’s airline and I was looking forward to the uniquely British hospitality to properly set the tone for the start of our trip.

We were among the last third of passengers to board the aircraft after spending a little too much time in the Air France-KLM lounge thanks to Priority Pass. Since we were near the back of the plane, everyone around us was already seated and the overhead bins were closed. Fortunately, the 777 has plenty of room so we had no problem finding a spot for everything.

There was a slight delay pushing back from the gate, but we still departed on time.

I immediately started swiping through the In-Flight Entertainment system and was disappointed by the selection. Perhaps I was spoiled by United’s IFE when we went to Asia, but I felt there was a lack of blockbusters and past hits. I eventually settled on a movie and waited for dinner service.

By the time they got to us, my first-choice meatball linguine entree was gone and since I don’t care for mushrooms, I went with the vegetarian paneer tikka masala. The gravy wasn’t particularly spicy, but it was flavorful, which was important since the spinach was bland.

I found it interesting Virgin chose to serve an American pretzel snack. I would have expected a more native snack choice, but it wasn’t a huge deal...just an observation.

The highlight by far was the red velvet cake cup. It was delicious!

I started to notice the service wasn’t as “hip” as I expected. Aside from the mood lighting, Virgin colors and funky fonts on the menu, it could have been any airline. I expected frequent reminders of the cheeky, upstart that once was Virgin Atlantic. To me, that’s achieved through the flight attendant’s attitudes and service. While they did their jobs adequately there wasn’t a special touch that you might get on a Southwest, ANA or Singapore flight.

After an offering of tea or hot chocolate, it was time for sleep. I was knocked out for almost the duration of the flight. The woman in the middle seat marveled at my ability to stay asleep so long. She finally had to wake me to go to the lavatory since I was in the aisle seat.

I nodded off for a bit longer, then the flight attendants came around with an offering of croissants with cheese, fruit and yogurt. My phone was tucked well away at that point otherwise I’d have taken a picture. It satisfied the rumbling tummy at the time, but didn’t hold me over for long. After going through customs in Terminal 3 we walked over to the Plaza Premium Lounge in Terminal 2 for a quick meal before heading into London.

Flight Review: VS20 SFO-LHR in Economy Flight Review: VS20 SFO-LHR in Economy Reviewed by Brandon on June 20, 2018 Rating: 5

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