Planes, trains & signs – another classic real time Trip Report

This week’s trip report features a traveller familiar to many of our members. Famous for their real time trip reports where pictures speak louder than words, Erkpod is sharing their journey overseas as a Virgin’s Velocity Platinum member for the first time. In keeping with the frequent flyer spirit of why fly direct, we are heading to Bytown, or Ottawa as it’s known today. With stops in the UAE and UK along on the way, it looks like we are being treated to something of a northern hemisphere sampler.

With that shiny Platinum card handy, check-in is a breeze, and we soon find ourselves in the Etihad lounge in Sydney. Despite it being early June, it appears the May lunch menu still features for those wishing to sample the a la carte service. Given the newness of the lounge, it’s probably forgivable that our traveller soon experiences something not on the menu.

I was greeted & walked down to the main area downstairs which is very swish. Apart from a small incident where the guy accidently spilled my Pepsi everywhere (including onto me), the staff are attentive & nothing is a bother.

With the lounge experience soon over, boarding commences and we are given a glimpse of life in row 5 of business class with Virgin Australia on their 777. Situated near the bar, Row 5 is essentially a mini cabin featuring a single row of seats, many of which can be curtained off for privacy. Clearly Virgin were aware they had a star trip reporter in their midst, someone who is something of a trendsetter when it comes to the in-flight pyjama wearing!

For my own amusement, I wore the PJ bag as a beanie. My FA later found that she was amused by it as well & found it cute.

Like many flights in Business, the flight goes quickly, and we are soon in Abu Dhabi. Over the past few years, the region has experienced tremendous growth in tourism and airline traffic, and sadly much of their infrastructure is struggling to keep pace. Abu Dhabi airport is no exception, with aerobridges at a premium, so it’s not unusual to find yourself at a standoff bay, with a bus waiting to take you to customs and immigration.

Formalities are soon complete and the hotel located. It’s time for a bite to eat. Despite it being after midnight locally, our traveller’s body is still on Sydney time, demanding breakfast. It is after all a 6 hour time difference between Australia and the UAE. Soon that traveller’s emergency food supply comes to the rescue, in the form of the always reliable golden arches.

In less than a day, our traveller has gone from limo rides & First Class a la carte dining to having nuggets for breakfast. With another few weeks on the road, there is no doubt contrasts are going to feature quite often in this trip report. Why not join Erkpod on his adventure HERE – it certainly won’t be boring 🙂


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