Sometimes you just need to treat yourself. Traveling can be stressful and my journey back to my parents’ abode on Amelia Island, Florida was scheduled to be a fourteen hour trek, including a layover in JFK. Add in the fact that it was Christmas and that tends to make people crazy, I approached my travel day with an inevitable feeling of trepidation. Would the security queues be crazy? Would I make the connection smoothly in JFK? As I entered the Virgin Atlantic check-in area at Terminal 3, I was approached by a Virgin employee who asked if I was interested in upgrading to Premium Economy for £199. Uh, yes please.
When I boarded the plane, I was surprised at the quality of Premium Economy. Most other airlines’ versions of Premium Economy consist of a few more inches of legroom and maybe a free bag of pretzels. Virgin Atlantic, on the other hand, has gone a step above most other airlines (as they tend to do anyway, across the board). The layout is 2-3-2, while the economy section is 2-4-2, so a full economy seat has been removed allowing for much wider seats, as well as increased leg room. The quality of the seats is high, similar to domestic first class in the USA, with a good recline and a footrest that pops down, and of course this being Virgin Atlantic, the whole cabin is bathed in slick purple lighting. The Virgin’s entertainment system is also first-rate, with hundreds of movies and TV shows available.
Pre-takeoff drinks were offered and menus for the meals were handed out. I skipped the pre-takeoff drinks since it was 8am and I have some semblance of willpower, but after a few hours when the meal service started, I decided to indulge in a bloody mary. The flight attendant even asked if I wanted to add tabasco, worcestershire sauce and lemon juice. Bloodys mixed to order? Dear diary, jackpot! I had signed up for a gluten-free meal when I booked, so I received the basic economy meal, though they offered me the Premium Economy menu if I wanted to change my mind. I felt guilty for the inconvenience, so I just went with the my pre-arranged meal.