After taking advantage of the lucrative bonus sign up bonuses recently offered on the Amex Delta Gold and Platinum cards, I began brainstorming on ways to utilize my new SkyMiles points for my trip to Europe this past summer. I’ve always wanted to try Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class product and figured 62,500 points for one-leg to Europe in a bed was not too shabby. Though I couldn’t find any availability out of LAX, I was able to find availability from San Francisco and was able to piece together a Los Angeles-San Francisco-London itinerary by flying the LAX-SFO route on Delta.
These tickets can sometimes run up to almost $10,000! A value of 16 cents per point! Unfortunately, Delta has increased the amount of points needed to redeem an itinerary like this from 62,500 to 70,000 points but that’s still amazing value at about 14 cents per point. To find credit cards like these that help you earn valuable points for your next trip, check out my page for Top Credit Cards.
Virgin Atlantic 42
San Francisco (SFO) – London (LHR)
Sunday, August 21
Duration: 10hr 40min
Aircraft: Boeing 787-900
Seat: 4A (Upper Class)
I had read many reviews on the older A340 plan that Virgin Atlantic has been flying for years and read the reports on how the seats are quite outdated and cramped. So I was very eager to try their newer product on their B787 and I was quite pleased with my experience. Before boarding the plane, I made my way to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at SFO to relax and grab a drink. One thing I have to say about flying Virgin, the lighting on their planes and in their clubhouses gives off a really cool vibe and makes you feel like you’re actually about to go clubbing.
I enjoyed a lovely crafted signature cocktail while watching the airplanes outside my window and relaxing before a long flight across the pond.
Finally I heard the call for boarding and made my way to the gate. One thing to note about the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at SFO is that it is situated before security but a Virgin Atlantic member will help expedite you to the priority lane (which turned out to be longer than the TSA Precheck line). Boarding was quick and easy and I quickly noticed that the seats looked updated and quite new compared to the older cabin aboard the A340s. The seats are, however, a little tight in width and can lack in some storage besides for the space below the footrest. Being 6″3 though, I felt like I had just enough space to feel comfortable for the flight. The friendly flight attendants offered pajamas, as they do for overnight flights, and I grabbed a large (although I’m normally a medium) as I’d rather have roomier clothing on when I sleep. The pajamas were sooo comfortable and I still wear the pajama pants at home!
I found the flight attendants to be very nice and attentive throughout the flight and offered a really top-notch service overall. I don’t normally review food on these flights as I keep Kosher (which was absolutely dreadful) but the menus had some delicious items and I did make my way to the bar in the back of Upper Class a few times to pick up some snacks and drinks. I don’t recommend sitting in the back of Upper Class as it can tend to get loud with the lavatories and people walking back to the bar throughout the flight.
Dinner service started about an hour and a half into the flight and took some time to finish, so I watched a movie while I waited for the service to wind down:
Finally, I asked one of the attendants to make my bed while I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth. I didn’t expect the bed to be too comfortable due to my height and I usually have trouble falling asleep on planes, but I slept like a baby! I really think the new Boeing 787’s have done a great job in improving the cabin air. I felt very comfortable and I noticed that my jet-lag, early on in my trip, did not last nearly as long as it normally does.
I got a solid 6 hours of sleep before getting woken up due to the breakfast service commencing. I had a bowl of cereal and a coffee while the cabin began preparing for descent into London Heathrow.
All in all, I would highly recommend flying Virgin Atlantic if you’re looking for a great way to redeem some Delta SkyMiles. Delta does not charge fuel surcharges for this flight, which normally run well north of $500 for an award ticket. If you’re looking for a solid product with great service and amazing value, look no further than Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class!