trip report-V Aus LAX-MEL

Discussion in 'Virgin Australia Velocity' started by Justinf, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. Justinf

    Justinf Established Member

    Sep 8, 2009
    White Hart Lane or Punt Rd
    #1 Justinf, Feb 27, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2011
    Hope this is not too boring, but I thought I would do my first trip report on here.
    Please forgive my 'overenthusiasm' for our trip as I realise that J travel is commonplace for most on here. But not for me, so what may seem routine for most experienced flyers on here, was a new experience for me.
    My partner and I eloped to NYC and we travelled over in Y+ with V Australia and the LAX to JFK with Virgin America. Flight was OK. Y+ is OK, although horribly uncomfortable seats.
    On our return trip, the JFK-LAX flight was made bearable by my new wife and I sitting next to Firass Dirani who starred in Underbelly 3 and played the part of John Ibrahim. He was a ripping bloke. Plus the wi-fi onboard Virgin America was terrific as I bought a new Compaq Mini in NYC for a very good price.
    On arrival in LAX, we had a five-hour wait. So my sister, who lives in Santa Monica at the moment, picked us up curbside and we went to a MExican restaurant to kill some time. Gee, southern Califronia does Mexican sooo much better than us in Oz!
    My sister dropped us back at Terminal 3 at LAX and on checkin were we informed that we had been upgraded to business class. Happy days! I don't think I have ever been so happy. Was not looking forward to the trip home, but now I was.
    I have never travelled in J internationally as 90% of my air travel is self funded, so I was really looking forward to sampling the product.
    Unfortunately, as we were upgrades, we were not allowed into the Alsaka Airlines lounge.
    The only restaurant-bar in what is a joke of a terminal 3 was packed and I couldn't even find a seat at the bar, so we decided to wait in the terminal.We had US$20 cash left to to spend so my wife spent on a few magazines at the news stand. Terminal 3 is a sick joke. One bar-restaurant, one Burger King and one Starbucks. And a small news stand.
    When boarding was called on time, we made our way and went straight through, but only after having to fight our way through the masses who were lining up in a very unorderly fashion. As we went through, we heard one woman complain to the V Aus staff that 'they' were allowed through and she had a heart fibrillator and should have been first onboard! Haha!
    As we turned left on boarding the aircraft (gee that felt good) we were immediately greeted by a friendly FA who offered to take my 'jacket' and hang it up. My 'jacket' was only a hoodie, but what the hell. Overhead space was ample for putting our hand luggage.
    I sat in my 4D seat and was a bit underwhelmed at how uncomfortable it was, but soon realised that once we hot cruising altitude, I could adjust it to recline.
    We were then greeted by our FA for the trip, Mark, who was a really lovely guy and looked after us brilliantly. He gave us champagne and when I finished mine while boarding was still going on, I asked for a top up and he gave me a generous serving!
    I usually don't mind having a few drinks on a plane, but this time I wasn't interested in having many as I wanted to fully experience the lie-flat bed and get a good sleep.
    Still, Mark took our drink order and then asked us what we wouldlike with our meal. I chose a Californinian white and then a Californian cab sav with dinner.
    We then fulled out our breakfast menu which I choose the hot eggs, bacon, sausage option. Stupidly I put 4G as my seat number, but once I'd realised this, it was fixed very quickly.
    After the longest taxi to the runway I have ever experienced (it must have been 45 minutes) we finally took off.
    The seat belt sign finally went off after about 20 minutes and I reclined my seat to a very comfortable level and settled in watch a movie. As I had seen the movies I wanted to see on the way over (The Town, Predators and 127 Hours) I decided to delve into the other sections and selected Blood Diamond. Our drinks arrived and I settled in to watch the movie and sip on my wine, which was delicous.
    Soon enough, I was asked which dinner I would prefer. I choose the lamb casserole and was asked that if it wasn't available, what would be my 2nd choice. I am always wary of choosing curries in anything other than a specialised Asian restaurant, but I choose the Thai green curry as my 2nd choice.
    Here's what I had on the way over, a lamb type stew which tasted much better than it looks:


    When dinner arrived, so did my 2nd choice. As I had already had a wonderful Mexican dinner several hours earlier I was not very hungry and ate a little bit of the salad, which was quite fresh and tasty and tasted the curry, which was quite delicious and ended up eating most of it. The cab sav went down nicely while watching Blood Diamond, which was proving to be a very enjoyable movie (Leo Di Caprio really is a good actor).
    By this stage the FA asked if we would like a sleep suit. I was wary of changing into pyjamas as I only sleep in boxers at home, but thought 'what the hell'. Unfortunately I was given an XL which proved to be very big even after tying the draw string as tight as I could. I didn't put the top on and decided that I would sleep with the sleep-suit bottoms and my T shirt.
    The amenities pack was impressive. Eye mask, ear plugs, Listerine, full length toothbrush, toothpaste, deoderant, body lotion, lip balm and socks.
    After another glass of wine, I decided that once the movie finished, I would sleep as the 6-hour flight from JFK had taken a bit out of me and my body clock was on NY time and it was after midnight.
    I asked the FA if it would not be too much trouble to make up my bed. While this was being done I decided to adjourn to the bar and sat on one of the stools and chatted with a young lady who I noticed boarded with the aid of crutches. We had a glass of wine together and she told me that she had shattered her leg months before and that it was still giving her trouble.
    After 4 glasses of wine I was feeling very drowsy and my bed had been made up and it looked like this:


    It was a beautiful sight indeed. I was beyond exhausted and the thought of even just laying down on this wonderful thing was too exciting. I am above average height at 184cm but not overly so and I actually didn't care if I didn't sleep. Just laying down prostrate was good enough.
    I took a Stilnox, which I probably should not have given that I had consumed 4 glasses of wine and two glasses of champagne, but I did it nonetheless.
    I climbed in. DId my seat belt up around me and laid out. I usually go to sleep sleep on my tummy and I was able to stretch right out. I immediately knew that I would be able to sleep and sleep well.
    Quickly, I drifted off to sleep with the sweet sound of the Boeing 777-300ER's engines humming.
    Four hours later I woke, feeling slightly cold. I manouvered myself so I could wrap the 2nd blanket over me and did my seat belt up over it. Yep, nice and comfortable now and realised that (even as the lightest of sleepers) I would be able to get back to Noddyland.
    Four hours later I awoke feel refreshed and feeling a touch of 'nah nah' to those were trying to sleep upright in cattle class.
    By this stage it was 11 and a half hours into our 15-hour flight.
    I decided not to move. Instead I just laid there with the aircraft moving at 910km/h and me laying flat out on a bed in business class. I did this for the next hour. I really savoured the feeling. It was bliss. Just laying there staring at the ceiling and those nighttime stars that V Aus have as part of its business class mood lighting.
    Once I decided to 'get up' it was almost time for breakfast.
    I wasn't overly hungry, but was craving for a decent coffee. Don't get me wrong. the USA is a great country and NYC is the greatest of great cities, but being a Melbournian I was craving good strong coffee.
    Breakfast arrived and it was not bad, but not as good as the dinner. Coffee was quite good for 'airline' coffee.Good enough to have two cups. One thing I found strange was that I ordered a muffin with jam and was given a sweet muffin like a cupcake. The FA said that quite a few people that day had mistakenly ordered a muffin with Vegemite. Obviously we thought it was going to be an English muffin and not a sweet cupcake-type muffin. The thought of eating cake for breakfast did not excite me so I left mine, but the FA insisted on heating up a bread roll and delivered it to me. Nice touch.
    After breakfast we were only 75 mins from touching down. I took this time to freshen up in the loo to brush my teeth and change out of my PJs and back into my jeans.
    Once back seated there was only one hour of the flight remaining.
    I could not believe how quickly the 14 hours had gone. I spent the next hour rehydrating on the free bottles of water that had now replaced the alcohol in the J class bar and watching the flight tracker (for some reason I love watching the flight tracker).
    We touched down on time in MEL at around 8.20am. 30 mins before landing our FA, Mark, came over to us and thanked us for flying V Aus and said it was a pleasure looking after us. He was a lovely fella and with the British accent I asked who he supported in football. He said West Ham but his brother supported Arsenal and, with me being a Spurs fan, Arsenal is taboo. We had a laugh about it.
    We were one of the first off the aircaft.
    Baggage took a while to arrive and we eventually got home to Barwon Heads around 11am with me feeling refreshed enough (thanks to 8 hrs sleep) to be able to walk the dog, who was very happy to see her mum and dad. Big thanks to the inlaws for looking after the kids while we eloped (we have been together for 15 years and the kids knew about it and were very supportive). By 7pm I had hit the wall and went to bed content in the knowledge that the perfect holiday and marrying the perfect woman had ended with the perfect flight.

    So that's my trip report. Once again, sorry for being over enthusiastic at something many on here perhaps take for granted.
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  2. bossreggie

    bossreggie Guest

    I enjoyed reading your TR. Congratulations on your marriage AND the upgrade!!
  3. Justinf

    Justinf Established Member

    Sep 8, 2009
    White Hart Lane or Punt Rd
    Thankyou. Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the best wishes.:)
  4. straitman


    Apr 27, 2003
    SE Oz (Sale)
    Flight Map:
    View my flight map
    An excellent TR.

  5. ejb

    ejb Established Member

    Dec 31, 2007
    Congratulations on the wedding.

    An upgrade seems a fitting end to a very special trip, great trip report.


  6. pshepvic

    pshepvic Established Member

    Nov 4, 2006
    I'd hope so - considering California used to be part of Mexico! Different style of Mexican food though - ours is closer to Tex-Mex which you'll get in Texas, of course, & the southern states.

    The trouble is, once you've turned left, you never want to turn right again. A friend of mine is convinced that business class travel is the reason she doesn't like doing right turns in her car!
  7. RB

    RB Established Member

    Nov 17, 2004
    Nth Coast NSW
    Good to read your experirence.
    From memory in LAX when we were in Y+ we ended up loading through the front door & traipsed through J?- seem to recall there was confusion re 2 lanes leading down to the aircraft.:) It sure is a long taxi to takeoff.

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