Trip Report: Virgin Atlantic (B747-400) Upper (Business) LGW-MCO

The Details

  • Flight: VS27
  • Aircraft: B747-400
  • Class: Upper Class (Business)
  • Seat: 1A and 1K
  • Route: London Gatwick (LGW)-Orlando International (MCO)
  • Distance: 4,349 miles
  • Duration: 9hrs 42min
  • Departure: 10:47AM (delayed 15min)
  • Arrival: 3:02PM

The Preflight

To say that I was excited for this B747 flight would be an understatement. I was positively bursting with excitement as my SO and I made our way from St. James in London to Gatwick International Airport.

We made sure to arrive three hours before the 10:10AM departure in order to take full advantage of the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse. There was a dedicated check-in area for Upper Class passengers which was packed. It took us about 10 minutes until a counter opened up.

Virgin Atlantic also gives all Upper Class passengers access to the Gatwick Premium Security Lane.

Virgin Atlantic Checkin

We quickly made our way to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse on the upper level of the terminal.

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse

The front desk staff escorted us to dining area where we were presented with a dining menu. I started off with the Virgin Redhead drink while my SO had a cup of Earl Grey tea.

Virgin Redhead and Earl Grey

Virgin Atlantic offers an expansive breakfast menu including a full afternoon tea set for brunch.

Breakfast Menu
Brunch Menu
Drink Menu

We decided to share the Mile High Brunch which was beautifully presented on a silver tray.

Mile High Tea

While the salmon and truffle scrambled eggs were phenomenal, the cheese scone was cold, and brioche roll a bit dry.

Mile High Brunch

My SO and I both decided to partake in the complimentary spa treatment offered at the Wellness Spa. We both had a refreshing facial which was the second one I have ever had. The very first being in Abu Dhabi.

With 45 minutes to go we made our way to the boarding area. Our bird was the majestic B747-400 “Barbarella” registration G-VROM. She was delivered to Virgin Atlantic in 2001.


No plane is more gorgeous than the Queen of the Skies.


Boarding began promptly at 9:15AM.

The Flight

Virgin Atlantic offers 14 herringbone Upper Class seats in the nose of their 747s. The upper deck features 20 premium economy seats in a 2-2 configuration and 33 economy seats in a 3-3- configuration.

747 Upper Class

Such a beautiful business class cabin.

747 Nose

I was lucky enough to snag the very front seats 6A for myself and 6K for my SO in the nose.


Each herringbone seat offers 78 inches when fully flat and has a width of 22 inches.


The IFE screen and controller popped out from the left side of the seat shell.

The ottoman doubled as a tiny buddy dining seat.

Footwell and buddy seat

Another nose shot…

On the left wall of the seat was the IFE screen, reading light, and drink holder.

IFE Screen

Below the IFE screen was the remote and literature pocket. I am happy to report all of the buttons worked unlike my first class seat aboard Virgin’s competition.

IFE remote

The left hand armrest was adjustable with a small storage space perfect for phones and passports.

Adjustable armrest

Behind the armrest was a bottle holder and large storage area.

Bottle holder

On the right wall of the seat were the controls.

Seat controls

The IFE screen itself was dated and had poor resolution with glare.

I happily touched it…

Touch me

Our flight route from London Gatwick to Orlando.

Moving map

I appreciated that I could have the flight map pulled up while watching a movie.

Double screen

At each seat was an amenity kit made of recycled material. I loved that Virgin Atlantic also gives passengers a stylish pair of socks.

Amenity kit

There was also a pair of standard noise cancelling headphones.


The center piece of the Upper Class cabin was a bar area with two stools. Some chilled champagne and water were available during boarding.

Menus were also presented. The drinks and food options are below.

Predeparture beverages included champagne, water, and orange juice. I had a glass of sparkly.

Predeparture beverage

I had a great view of our neighbor G-VNAP, a A340-600 delivered in 2005.


We pushed back almost 40 minutes late due to dreary weather around the London area and had a brief taxi to the runway. We passed by the awesome Star Wars themed Millennium Falcon Virgin 747.

Millennium Falcon

The ride out was a bit bumpy due to the poor weather. Once we cleared the clouds it was smooth sailing.

Service began with another round of drinks and a small bowl of chips (or crisps).

Champagne and Chips

We passed over some dramatic clouds on our way across the Irish Sea.

I decided to switch over to a Bloody Mary which had a spicy kick.

Bloody Mary

My SO and I decided to dine together at my seat. The flight attendants set up a very stylish dining arrangement.

Dining for two

I loved the salt and pepper shakers.

Salt and pepper shakers

Warmed artisan bread was served next. Options included rye, sourdough, and fig rolls.


To start I had the citrus seared prawns with watermelon salsa. It was incredibly refreshing and the sweet chili lime dressing was excellent.

Citrus seared prawns

For my main I had the Cumberland sausage and mash with some peas, baby carrots, and onion gravy. This dish was excellent and probably the best sausage I have had aboard a plane.

Cumberland sausage

My SO had the seared honey and thyme chicken linguine. It was topped with a delicious pistachio and mint pesto sauce.

Chicken Linguine

We shared the cheese plate featuring a Stilton, Brie, and cranberry cheese.

Cheese plate

I was on a mission to try as much food as I could so I also ordered both of the dessert options. The chestnut and vanilla sponge cake was served alongside a delicious blackcurrant macaron.

Sponge cake and macaron

The chocolate lava cake with anaglaise crème was very decadent.

To finish I had an Americano.

Flight attendants offered a turn down service and set-up our beds. Both the mattress pad and comforter were top quality. My SO decided that she needed an extra pillow and so commandeered mine. The flight attendants went out of their way to try and find me another pillow. They ended up being creative and stuffed two economy pillows into a pillow case.

Upper Class bedding

I had some tea served in a playful mug.

Virgin Atlantic mug

The one quirk of the herringbone seats is that your feet faces the aisle instead of your head. It was definitely weird to stare at my SOs feet while I tried to fall asleep.


During the flight, cabin crew set up the bar area with self-serve drinks. There was also a variety of snacks including chips, chocolate, and fresh fruit.


With about an hour and a half to go until arrival into Orlando my SO and I decided to have some afternoon tea. To start I had the hot smoked salmon in a beetroot wrap and ham hock malted roll. In addition, I had a fresh scone with packaged clotted cream and strawberry jam.

Afternoon Tea

My SO had the patisserie option which included a chocolate and salted caramel éclair and passionfruit and yuzu macaron. Both were very tasty.

In comparing the quality of scones to Virgin’s competitor I’d have to say that British Airways has superior scones.

Afternoon Tea

As we were nearing the coast of Florida I made my way to the lavatory. The window near the galley provided beautiful views of the two CF6-80C2B1F engines.


The Upper Class lavatory was fairly clean and tidy.

There were some incredible views of Kennedy Space Center on our landing path.

Kennedy Space Center

Our landing featured a few clouds with the usual Florida sunshine.

We taxied for a few minutes to Terminal B. I managed to catch this gorgeous shot of the 747 with the blue sky reflecting off her hull. Thanks for the ride!

Any flight aboard a 747 is very special for me and this one was no exception. I loved being able to dine with my SO in Upper Class while also sitting at the very front of the nose of the Queen of the Skies. The food was excellent, service friendly, and overall across the board great experience. Truly, one of the most memorable flights I’ve taken.

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