Last Updated on August 21, 2023 by Eve Dawes
Virgin Atlantic Review: Upper Class – Boeing Dreamliner 787-9 London Heathrow (LHR) to Las Vegas (LAS)
Virgin Atlantic Upper Class review of Virgins equivalent of first class, does it live up to it’s name? I’ve flown Virgin Upper several times and each time it’s been slightly different both at the Virgin Clubhouse AKA Virgin Atlantic Lounge at Heathrow Airport and onboard. So I can’t say it’s consistent but here’s what I can say. From arriving at the airport for the departing flight to arriving in my final destination. Along with my thoughts on the Virgin Upper airport lounge, service, food and amenities offered from Las Vegas to Heathrow and Heathrow to Las Vegas.
This Virgin Atlantic review is not sponsored but it does contain affiliate links which do not affect the price or my opinion.
Virgin Atlantic Upper Class review
My husband and I fly United a lot. However, I tend to prefer flying Virgin Atlantic Upper class from London to Heathrow than United First as they offer a direct flight which United doesn’t. I’ve had everything from great to not so great experiences mainly due to inconsistencies in services, service and what’s being offered.
Virgin Atlantic Upper Class check in and security
Arriving at Virgin Atlantic Upper class departures at Heathrow airport is easy. It’s clearly marked and you know longer have to call in ahead with your license plate number. I’ve never found it to be busy and it makes getting through security fast and efficient. As you have your own dedicated check in and security line
Virgin Clubhouse | Virgin Atlantic Heathrow lounge (upper class)
The Virgin Atlantic lounge at London Heathrow is pretty easy to find. We always stock up on chocolate en route and I like to stick my head into Chanel to see if they have any new or different.
While the Virgin Atlantic Heathrow lounge is smart, clean and well equipped it has changed a lot since before and after Covid. They used to offer complimentary mini spa treatments like facials at the Virgin Clubhouse but got rid of the spa and all treatments during covid and never brought them back.
On the plus side, if you want to work out they have a workout area complete with Peloton bikes. I love my Peloton bike but have never worked out at an airport lounge. It just seems to much work to then go and shower and wash your hair again. As well as so much more you need to pack in your carryon. Unless you have a ridiculously long layover. In which case you’ll still probably find me at the bar or on my laptop vs working out there.
Virgin Clubhouse food and drink
The Virgin Atlantic Heathrow lounge food is always a bit hit and miss too. Although I do enjoy their champagne and ‘Breakfast Martini’. They used to do a great poke bowl which they no longer offer and a lot of their food menu is spicy.
The magazine selection in the Virgin Atlantic lounge at Heathrow has also gone downhill. They used to stock magazines like Vogue, Vanity Fair and Hello. Now it’s more a case of some newspapers and travel magazines but still not bad.
There are boards to keep an eye on flights, gate changes, etc but they also make flight announcements which is helpful.
The staff have always been lovely in the lounge and always fast at acknowledging and helping you.
It’s definitely a lot better than the Virgin Atlantic lounge in Las Vegas which is non existent! They don’t have a dedicated lounge but share The Club LAS with which isn’t even comparable to the Virgin Clubhouse at London Heathrow and is always very busy.
Virgin Atlantic Upper Class onboard experience
Our experience onboard Virgin Atlantic Heathrow lounge has been all over the place from excellent to, we just paid how much for that? In regards to both the food, drinks and service.
We’ve had the absolute loveliest service at times and at other times the most cold service or where no one’s anywhere to be found. I get it, they need to sleep and they work long hours but it’s been night and day difference on some flights to others.
The Captain’s always seem to have the best sense of humor and are great about communicating about any flight delays and with flight details and updates.
Virgin Atlantic Upper class beds
The Virgin Atlantic Upper beds are pretty private but the only issue with them is the length. I’m 5’2″ and even settled with my head pretty much all the way to the top my feet are at the end. Which means if you’re taller they’ll hang way past the end.
The other issue which is the same on a lot of newer planes now is that there are no window shades. I find these type of windows, even though you can alter the brightness/dimness manually let in a lot more heat during the day time.
The time of your flight also affects the amenities you’re given. For night flights you’ll get PJ’s and an amenity kit but for most day flights you won’t. Although you can always ask.
Virgin Atlantic Upper class food and drink
The food and drink in Virgin Atlantic Upper class is hit and miss. I’ve had some lovely moist chicken and some dry, inedible chicken. I’ve been served both warm sparkling wine before take off and some wonderfully chilled champagne. The wine on the menu also changes frequently.
Once you’ve booked your Virgin flight you should get an email with the option to pre-order your food on board. If you can pre-order your in flight meal, I’d definitely suggest that. One to ensure that you get what you want and two because sometimes they offer slightly different options.
The bar on our flight didn’t have glassware so you couldn’t self serve. There was also no diet coke or still water left out, only sparkling in between service and no one to ask for it. So I constantly had to keep ringing service bell for water throughout flight. Versus the previous flight where I’d been given a 1.5 litre bottle which was perfect.
Virgin Atlantic onboard entertainment
Entertainment wise, the movie choices are pretty good but they tend to be on most airlines. On the down side, you can’t start them until after take off. Whereas you can on United.
One thing to note on the Virgin Atlantic flight from London Heathrow to Las Vegas is that it’s more of a party flight. I also don’t mean to sound snobby or offend anyone but people also move around between cabin classes.
Noise levels and privacy
Upper class was packed and loud as people from other cabins were coming in with drinks and sitting on the seats at the end of the upper class beds having loud conversations even ear plugs won’t block out. I promise I’m not a misery, I just want you to have clear expectations before using lots of points and/or cash to book.
Virgin Atlantic Upper class review conclusion
In conclusion there’s both pros and cons for flying in Virgin Atlantic upper class. The biggest issue is the consistency in all areas. The main pros are the dedicated check in, cleanliness and the fact that it’s a direct flight from Las Vegas to London Heathrow. Which is why I’ll probably remain loyal to Virgin.
How does Virgin Atlantic upper class compare to United International First
I always preferred Virgin Atlantic upper class to United First in the beginning and Virgin’s direct flights keep me coming back. However, United beds are bigger and more private on their new planes and the Polaris Lounges feel more higher end. There’s also a reason Virgin Atlantic upper class cabins on the Boeing Dreamliner 787-9 are dubbed coffin class.
Food wise, I go back and forth. United First sometimes has a really good steak or short rib but other times I don’t want to eat anything from their selection.