Virgin Atlantic Flights to Florida – Is Premium really worth pushing the budget for?

When we were looking for Florida holidays we decided to book with Virgin holidays which meant we would having Virgin Atlantic flights to Florida.

We decided to fly different classes for the 2 flights – Economy Delight for the outbound flight and Premium for our overnight return flight, we weren’t disappointed with our choices!

From Heathrow to Florida

Our Virgin Atlantic flights to Florida were departing from Heathrow. At Heathrow it is still mandatory for you to wear a face mask* for the entire time you are in the airport (unless eating or drinking obviously) *Correct as of 22nd November 2021

The check in was CRAZY I have never seen it so busy and we ended up being pulled out of the queue on last call for check in as it was taking so long to get everyone checked in!

We didn’t have long in the airport at all, just enough time to grab a drink and head off to our boarding gate, which was probably for the best as 7 bored kids isn’t easy!

It did amuse the girls that there were flights to ‘Charlotte’ even though we never call Lottie by her full name she was still impressed that it was a place.

We flew Economy Delight on the way to Florida, this is the 3rd level of seating available and gives you 3 Inches of extra legroom, premium check in and priority boarding.

Everyone over 3 had to wear a mask and we got Oscar one so he didn’t feel left out, not that it stayed on for long but he looked cute for a few minutes!

Because we booked so last minute (only a few weeks before we flew out!) our seats weren’t great for the outbound flight and we were quite split up and we were about 20 rows apart.

Gaz and I were sat with Holly and Oscar which was the most important part, neither of us wanted to be left alone with these 2 for the whole flight!

We also booked Oscar his own seat, even though he isn’t yet 2 we felt we would need the extra room and it also means he was allocated food too.

In Flight Food

The kids meals came in these super cute boxes and were packed full of snacks along with the main meal, which was great for keeping them occupied for longer

The adult meals weren’t quite so impressive. I really didn’t like what we had, I don’t eat cheese so I also didn’t eat any of the snacks that came with it.

I did however take the opportunity to try out some different gins starting with Bombay Sapphire (For the record, I only managed one before feeling like I was several hours into a good night out!)

We also got another light meal later on in the flight , again it was all buttered or cheesy so Oscar ended up with several sandwiches which he didn’t seem to mind and I swapped him for his biscuits.

Virgin Atlantic Barbie

Holly saw this Virgin Atlantic Air Hostess Barbie in the magazine and she wanted one (there is also a Pilot one) She didn’t let go of her the entire flight and even cuddled up to her to go to sleep.

From Florida to Heathrow

We chose to fly different classes on both flights, mainly due to the cost with 11 of us, and we thought flying Premium on the way home would be better for the overnight flight.

For Premium you get extra legroom leather wider seats with extra recline, more choices on the entertainment and an upgraded menu. You also get priority check in and baggage delivery.

You can compare cabin classes here

Check In…

We actually had some real drama at the check in desk. While in Florida the rule changed for incoming flights to the UK and anyone arriving after 4am on 7th December had to have a pre departure negative covid test.

Annoyingly we were due to land at 6am meaning we needed to be tested.

Virgin were great keeping us up to date and letting us know about all the changes (thankfully I had also been keeping up to date on them which came in VERY handy)

Virgin customer services sent us a few options of where we could get our tests done prior to check in and we opted for having the Lateral Flow Tests done at the airport as they were guaranteed results within 30 minutes and were administered by a nurse which was another requirement of the fit to fly certificate.

Gaz, Miles and I needed to have the tests done at the airport – all negative – and off we went to check in. Or so we thought.

While lingering around waiting for check in to open a member of staff came and asked if we had had our pre departure tests done, we said we had and showed our fit to fly certificates. He then told us that LFT’s were not acceptable and it had to be a PCR test – which to get them back as quickly as we would need was over $1000 EACH!

I pulled up the UK government website where it shows the information and clearly states it can be either a PCR or LFT – His paperword stated it needed to be a PCR or LFD and not for love nor money would be believe us that an LFT (Lateral flow test) and an LFD (Lateral flow device) were the same thing.

After around 40 minutes of arguing, sending him off to get clarification from his seniors and showing him both the communication from Virgin and the .gov uk website he finally allowed us to check in with the understanding that ‘if we were refused entry to the UK at the border it wasn’t their problem’ funnily enough the UK border control didn’t even ask for our test confirmations after all of that….

Once we were finally on board we could relax a little after all the airport drama!

Holly was very excited with the amenities pack that we all received and instantly wanted to brush her teeth while drinking her orange juice!

It contained a red Eyemask, spongy ear plugs, a bamboo toothbrush and toothpaste and a Virgin Atlantic pen all stored away in a recyclable zip bag.

We were also provided with a pillow and blanket each. Our seats were just across one row with a couple of us 2 rows behind so much better than our flight out.

Return Flight Menu

We were a little bit disappointed with the menu coming home – they first gave us one that said we were getting a pork and cider stew which sounded amazing but they then came back round and said this was the correct one.

I was however, pretty excited when they handed me a cup of tea in a proper mug! Holly was quite happy with her food and film combo.

The childrens meals were a bit peculiar (or maybe thats just the way we eat!) The side bowl has some sort of cottage cheese at the bottom so none of them would eat any of it because it had covered everything.

There didn’t seem to be any choices available for the little ones which was a shame as all of ours wasted pretty much all of their meals.

There was a much better choice of entertainment in Premium and all the kids enjoyed the movies and games they could play.

One of the downsides of flying Premium is that the armrests don’t move. So we can’t create extra space for Holly and Oscar to sleep which was a bit of a nightmare for an overnight flight

Oscar did eventually go to sleep in this very peculiar position but we weren’t going to try and move him once he was fast asleep!

Virgin Atlantic flights to Florida Summary

We would 100% fly with Virgin Atlantic again, the staff were so lovely and helpful. The seats were pretty comfy considering the length of time we spent in them.

Although we enjoyed premium, for us it probably isn’t worth the extra cost. The food all went to waste and it was really inconvenient not being able to move the armrest. We would definitely fly Economy Delight again though.

You can check out Virgin Holidays here

You can read more about our Florida stay here

ChrissyJ xxx

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