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REVIEWS


VIRGIN ATLANTIC Upper Class, Airbus A350


THE ROUTE: Heathrow to New York JFK on the new A350.


THE LOUNGE: The Clubhouse at Terminal 3 is without doubt the best lounge I’ve visited. It’s enormous, and unlike some Heathrow lounges, has plenty of places to sit. There is an impressive selection of food to choose from, plus waiter service for those wanting to make the most of the included drinks. Two of my favourite aspects are The Den games room, featuring retro video games consoles and a pool table, and the Wellness Spa, which even offers some complimentary spa treatments and haircuts. But the cream of the crop is the outdoor roof terrace – a great place to get fresh air ahead of > lon}-h>Õl joÕÀniÞ oÀ LiÌÜiin VonniVÌin} yi}hÌð


FIRST IMPRESSIONS: /hi ViÀVÕmÃÌ>nVià ov mÞ yi}hÌ ÜiÀi a little unusual. I was boarding the inaugural celebration yi}hÌ >lon}Ãi`i oÌhiÀ mimLiÀà ov Ìhi mi`i>] >}inÌà >n` vÀiµÕinÌ yÞiÀÃ] Ão ÌhiÀi Ü>à moÀi ov > «>ÀÌÞ >ÌmoëhiÀi Ìh>n you’d usually expect. The design of the new A350 is slick, >n` Ìhi vÕn 6iÀ}in y>Ài ià Vli>À ÌhÀoÕ}hoÕÌ Ìhi 1««iÀ l>Ãà >Ài>° Ü>à im«ÀiÃÃi` Ìo wn` Ìhi >miniÌÞ L>}] oÀ oo`ii Bag as Virgin calls it, was made from recyclable paper and wlli` ÜiÌh ÃÕÃÌ>in>Lli iÌimÃ] inVlÕ`in} > ÌooÌhLÀÕÃh ÜiÌh > biodegradable handle – a clear sign of the airline’s ambitions to be more sustainable in its approach.


THE FACTS: The A350 has 335 seats: 235 in Economy, 56 in *ÀimiÕm >n` {{ ¼ÃÕiÌiý in 1««iÀ l>Ãð 1««iÀ l>Ãà h>à > £-Ó-£ Vonw}ÕÀ>Ìion >n` i>Vh Vl>ÀiÌ li>ÌhiÀ Ãi>Ì h>à > Ãli`in} privacy screen; however, this doesn’t give complete privacy >à Ìhi ÃVÀiin `oiÃn½Ì VloÃi inÌiÀilÞ° /hi Ài>l LiniwÌ ov Ìhi screen is for those in a middle seat who aren’t sitting next to someone they know. The seat area is spacious but there is not mÕVh ÃÌoÀ>}i ë>Vi° 7h>Ì Ü>à «ÀiÛioÕÃlÞ > L>À in oÌhiÀ 1««iÀ Class cabins is now known as The Loft. The unique feature of this chill-out area is a 32-inch screen with Bluetooth capability.


WOW: An impressive feature is being able to order food and drink from your seat’s TV screen. You go into the F&B section, choose what you’d like and then select whether you want the item to be delivered to your seat or served in The Loft. Impressively, my gin and tonic arrived within 90 seconds of me tapping in my order. The food is also worthy of praise, with an impressive choice for diners, and the afternoon tea, created by French pâtissier Eric Lanlard, is not to be missed.


BOOK IT: Return flights from Heathrow to JFK in Upper Class start at £1,473.


VIRGINATLANTIC.COM Hollie-Rae Brader


120 ASPIRE NOVEMBER 2019


aspiretravelclub.co.uk


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