For the last two years I’ve been flying with Virgin religiously! I’ve not even looked or even considered flying with another airline…..well UNTIL Virgin couldn’t offer me a direct flight from London Heathrow to Chicago O’hare International Airport, absolutely tragic I know. The thought of connecting flights makes my skin crawl, I can’t actually think of anything worse than your first flight being delayed, then missing your connecting flight stuck in a random airport wondering when you’ll finally reach your destination. A situation like that is just not good for my blood pressure.
So I had a browse on Skyscanner as you do and came across a British Airways flight which was powered by American Airlines. The price was good, it was a direct flight, the times were perfect and I knew that this would be the only realistic option for me. So I booked. Receiving email confirmations from American Airlines, I felt like such a traitor but at that time Virgin couldn’t deliver want I needed, so I had to reassess my options.
Arriving at the bag drop on the morning of my flight, I was eyeing up the Virgin Atlantic line admiring how short the queue was while I was literally in the middle of a 40 man strong line of Americans who not only had luggage, but Kayaks, Bikes and all sorts! After the long process of checking in, going through security and finally boarding the plane the harsh reality of not being on a Virgin Atlantic flight hit me.
I quite enjoy the whole flying experience, but as soon as I hit that 5 hour mark of sitting on a long haul flight, I start to question whether the holiday I’m about to embark on is really worth it. The only thing that physically gets me through the trauma is the in-flight entertainment. Unfortunately for me I am not one of those people who can't sit and watch 3 - 4 movies back to back no matter how hard I try. I envy my best friends who can sit there and watch movie after movie. They sit there crying through the rom coms and laughing out loud at the comedies and I’m literally sat there with a straight face and no emotion.
Now flying on Virgin, I'll watch one film, listen to an album, watch a few TV programmes, sleep for 30 minutes, have a cheeky gossip with the girls, listen to another album and basically repeat this process until I have landed. Let’s just say American Airlines didn’t offer me that sort of luxury. I shall never take for granted the beautiful facilities Virgin offer their passengers again!
There was a choice of about 15 films and 20 TV episodes. They had an audio option, but no music uploaded at all! There was no wi-fi on the plane, no USB ports (but a fax point)…really its 2015! Who is using a fax!! The worst part of it all was when you decided you wanted to watch a film, you would have to either start watching it at the scheduled time or you would have to join halfway through. It was like being that one really late person who walks in the cinema halfway through the film and they literally start climbing over you and squeezing past to get to their seat which is always in the most inconvenient place ever.
Landing in Chicago I was so relieved to get off that plane. As my weekend drew to a close I was already dreading the trip home. On the way back, I dealt with delays of over an hour and a half plus the normal 8 hour 35 minute journey whichis long enough without being stuck on a plane that hasn't even attempted to touch the runway yet. Luckily being on a night flight, I tried to force myself to sleep the entire way through. Moonwalking my way off the Boeing 767 with excitement, I then found out my suitcase was missing! There was around 10 of us stood in the middle of the baggage hall absolutely fuming that our luggage was nowhere to be seen. As the customer service staff slowly started to take everyone’s addresses, miraculously our baggage ascended from the baggage hall heavens!