Flying Virgin Atlantic? 3 simple tips for your journey
If you've flown with Virgin Atlantic recently, you may have reached a similar conclusion to me - despite a flurry of sales in the last six months, business is as slow as a legless donkey. From personal experience over the past fortnight, mid-week flights between Heathrow and New York are barely half-full; on my outbound flight last week, everyone had two or three seats to themselves, with capacity somewhere closer to one third.
Mid-week flights are always less popular, but it's unusual for the passenger manifesto to be so short. So good news if you're flying with Virgin over the coming weeks. Here are some basic points to watch out for:
- if you can, check-in online and reserve your seats as soon as possible. If you're a couple and fancy extra seats, check the back of the plane and book alternative seats, leaving a seat between you. Or, if you want a window, book one seat at the window, then the aisle seat on the row behind. Other passengers will look for their own space closer to the front of the plane, but if the flight is light, it won't be a crush to get off anyway.
- if you want extra legroom, just ask for it. You can't reserve the exit-aisle seats when you check-in online, but Virgin's procedures dictate that all seats on exit rows must have able-bodied adults occupying them. So ask when you check in, and you've a good chance of bagging the extra room. Failing that, keep an eye out when you board and offer to take the seats - if you don't, they'll only ask somebody else.
- watch out for empty baggage bins. Less passengers may mean less of a squeeze to fit your hand luggage in the overhead bins, but it also means that it's likely to take more of a battering. Thanks to my pilot slamming the plane into the tarmac with the grace of a skating horse, I've a crack across the screen of my laptop, because it was only one of three bags in a long bin. Pack your hand luggage in tight with that of other passengers, rather than let it rattle round in isolation.