Our Experience

A Fresh New Take On Plane Dining

by Moderator November 2011 - last edited February 2013 by Community Manager

 

We're excited to announce a brand new offering in our Economy class cabin today, with a fresh new take on plane dining - part of our recently announced £100 million product investment.

The new service introduced from 1stNovember will feel much more like a restaurant service with a menu offering a fresh approach to on board dining including a number of unexpected treats.

 

The welcome cocktail

During the drink service, we've introduced a welcome cocktail - a refreshing blend of fruit juices with or without  vodka, served in a fab new purple glass with a stylish swizzle stick that makes the drink uniquely Virgin Atlantic.

 

A refreshing welcome cocktail

A refreshing welcome cocktail

 

The meal service

You'll now receive a brand new menu and your meal will arrive on a new soft touch, non slip meal tray which is a third smaller than the current tray giving you more space on your table. We've also introduced new bespoke crockery and ergonomically designed cutlery.

 

 

The meal service

The new Economy cabin meal service

 

On our shorter flights you'll be served a cold breakfast or quintessentially British afternoon tea in a cute deli style box adorned with the words ‘High Tea’ or ‘Good Morning’ in the widely spoken languages on board our flights, including German, French, Spanish, Hindi, Mandarin, Arabic and, of course, English.

 

High Tea

A quintessentially British afternoon tea

 

Dessert Service

Our  new separate dessert and hot drink service gives you a more comfortable break between courses. You'll now receive bigger desserts, served with a choice of tea, coffee or a comforting cup of hot chocolate on night flights. The hot drink will be served in a specially insulated paper cup which is much more like something you would get from a coffee shop on the ground.

 

 

The new dessert and hot drink service

The new dessert and hot drink service

The usherette tray

The new usherette tray is a fun and retro way for our cabin crew to serve ice creams. Crafted in high quality materials and ergonomically designed, the cabin crew will now walk through the aisles wearing the usherette tray offering snacks during the movies.

 

 

The new usherette tray

The new usherette tray

 

Sustainability

The new soft-touch durable tray means we've been able to remove the paper tray liner and our new menu is printed on FSC approved, part recycled card. The new tray is 46% more greenhouse gas efficient over its life cycle than the tray it replaces. With all these changes, Virgin Atlantic will save 132 kilos per aircraft, which is a 4% reduction in CO2, the same amount used to produce 167,000 of our stylish new Economy glass!

 

Best of all, you'll now have more time to relax at your seat, and enjoy the full in-flight entertainment experience.

 

Virgin Atlantic's brand new Economy cabin meal service - full of unexpected delights

Virgin Atlantic's brand new Economy cabin meal service - full of unexpected delights

 

For more information or to book a flight with Virgin Atlantic, log onto virginatlantic.com.


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Comments
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Dan November 2011
The Gatwick Fleet is getting renovated next year to match the A330s and will also have a new Upper Class introduced onboard.

Also Airlines are not required to offer any compensation for the No Inflight Entertainment as, your contract with the airline is to get you from A to B and IFE provided as part of that. Fair enough it is an annoyance for it to be inoperable. But 15 years ago, most people flew much longer flights without it and the majority of other airlines would give the same compensation as Virgin gave you, if not less.

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Dan November 2011
Dont worry! The Manchester 747s are the Gatwick 747s they are just rotated between the two airports!
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sharonadey November 2011
Not very Impressed with Virgin this time, when we flew out from Heathrow to Lax on 19th Oct, NO Entertainment System working!!!, I hope it doesnt happen again when we fly back next week, all we got was a voucher!!!, not a happy customer at all!!!, I see other people have also had the same problem, well they have had over 2 weeks to sort this problem out, whats going on?????
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vene2ia November 2011
Just read about the changes and will be flying in a few hours from Vegas to Gatwick. I am interested to see the changes but I am also worried that the tray got smaller as there will be less food. Hope that Virgin is not trying to make something negative sound as positive... Anyways, look forward to flying Virgin again!
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November 2011
Hi Dom, I'm Greg I'm a social relations executives at virgin atlantic. I just wanted to let you know that a new menu will be offered with the new on board service. We’ve worked hard with our suppliers to redefine and restyle our food as well. Hopefully you'll find it more to your taste next time you fly with us.

In addition, we'll always try to ensure we have enough drinks on board for each flight with the limited storage available on an aircraft. However, we may occasionally have to stop serving drinks on an outbound flight as we are not permitted to restock the aircraft with alcohol overseas due to customs restrictions. In view of this, we need to monitor how much we serve on the outbound flight so that we have enough for the return. Hopefully we'll see you on board soon. Greg

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November 2011
Hi Jo, I’m Greg I’m a social relations executives at virgin atlantic. As has been mentioned above our premium economy passengers receive a number of added benefits to make their experience that extra bit special.

That said, the new economy meal service above is the first new service of a £100 million product investment we're making. I can't say to much at this time but we've got some other exciting new things coming in the next 6 – 12 months, so watch this space.

I'm sorry if we many on longer be your airline of choice after your upcoming trip, but I hope, in time, you will have a change of heart and that we will have the pleasure of welcoming you on board again in the not to distant future. Greg

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November 2011
Hi Emma, I’m Greg I’m a social relations executives at virgin atlantic. Just to clarify our Gatwick, Manchester and Glasgow operating 747's are to undergo the refit next year. These aircraft are mainly based at Gatwick, but as rosie6 mentions they operate from Manchester and Glasgow as well. If you fly from Manchester you'll see the make over's during 2012 from there as well so not to worry.

In addition, the new economy meal service will consist of the same amount of food, if not a bit more, despite the smaller tray and will be distributed differently during the flight and not all on the one tray. As mentioned in the article above the tray is smaller so it will be less cluttered and will give more space on your table while eating. Plus due to it's size it is a lot more sustainable. Hopefully, you'll get to enjoy it on board soon. Greg

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November 2011
Hi Sharon, I’m Greg I’m a social relations executives at virgin atlantic. I'm sorry you had some difficulties with your entertainment system on your flight last month. I know how important it is to have something to keep you entertained, especially on such a long flight.

While we'll always try to make sure all systems are fully functional before take off, occasionally something will on only get identified when in the air. Wherever possible our crew will always try and resolve any issues with the resources they have on board. However, I'm sorry if they were unable to fix the problem this time but I hope your return flight is more enjoyable. Greg

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irenemcclure November 2011
hi, whatever plan is afforded us when we fly from gatwick on 13th december, are the type that are 2 seatsd - 4 seats - 2 seatd and what would be best part of plane for my husband to request near the toilet (mobility problems and when he has to go he has to go). flew virgin years ago and remembered the lovely welcome pack with socks, eye mask etc and because we paid extra for premium received salt n pepper mementoes to keep(i saw on tv these are "collector" items now but i cant remember what we did with ours, also will be able to purchase virgin vie products on plane
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TomFoolery November 2011
I appreciate the fact that a transport carrier is charged with providing transport from A to B, but if the company is going to sell it's product by marketing ammenities like in flight entertainment and the like, there should be a reasonable expectation on the part of the customer to have the advertised product. To this end, if the advertised ammenity is not available, is it not reasonable for the customer to be disappointed with the product not meeting his or her expectations? (mind you, the customer's expectations are based on what the seller indicated would be available). Finally, what good are dissatisfied customers to a service organisation like an airline, hotel, restaurant, etc?

While an airline should not be regulatorily obliged to offer compensation for such events, on a business level, some sort of service recovery gesture should be (as opposed to must be)expected.

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SarahKeeling November 2011
Manchester to Orlando have to be THE worst plans that Virgin still run? We've decided they put all the oldest planes on that run as they assume it's going to be full of over-excited kids who don't care that the seats are grubby, entertainment often does not work etc etc. We've been using Virgin for the past 15-odd years and the last few years it's certainly not been what it used to be. Off to Boston from Heathrow next Spring (where they put some of the best planes, because only adults would want to go to Boston?!) so hopefully along with the new meal service, things will be back to how they should be . . .
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darrenturner November 2011
just got back from grenada ,again 10th trip in 12months meal improvements

big joke,really virgin,who did you ask,9hour plus flight,not to mention the one hour trip to airport,2hours in airport.flight then min 1hour luggage not to mention the massive walk at gatwick,

none of that your fault,exept the food,breakfast=a microscopic muffin,a yogaurt,and four chunks of fruit/that no one could tell me what it was.

im flying back this thursday and i can bet you,the entertainment system wont work,again,these plains are not only old but would benefit from a real deep clean,the times i have to ask for the tray or tv screen to be cleaned,and the trollys,minging old stickers,etc.standards seem to be going out the window.

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Jon November 2011
Just flew Virgin Atlantic LHR to Cape Town, am only going to respond to the blog above about the new menu. While we were intrigued to see on the menu: "To start", welcome cocktail or drink of your choice, starting the drinks trolley behind the food trolley meant that only those in the first couple of rows got to enjoy their drink with their meal. For those of us further down the cabin, we didn't get our drinks until about 15 minutes after finishing the meal. Surely this is misleading? Furthermore, there was no water on the tray, so nothing to drink with your meal, and the drinks trolley then takes longer pouring people water.

The "revolutionary" idea of serving dessert after main meal sounds great, until it takes an hour to turn up. On a night flight, this is especially frustrating.

We had no problem with the food itself, but advertising this new way of serving food, and then making it worse than before is just bizarre.

I overheard a couple who were regular flyers on the route complaining about the change and I hope that Virgin listen to their customers.

I'll probably head back to BA for this route and just hope they aren't on strike.....

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Julie November 2011
It's a shame the same can't be said about the pre-ordered veggie meals. Just returned from PE flight Heathrow to NY and the meals were pretty bland and boring in both directions (although the non-pre-ordered choices sounded much better). Just occasionally, a little bit of thought would be nice...
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201109 November 2011
Atlantic)のエコノミークラスのミールが変わるようですね。 こんなカンジ
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Anne December 2011
Have been travelling to Orlando & Las Vagas for quite a number of years now and have felt that there is a decimate decline in the standard of service. Can anyone tell me why the food on the return journey from USA is always terrible!

Generally speaking I think the food on Virgin is acceptable and sometimes quite nice - however on return journey food is always diabolical!

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Kelly January 2012
Hi There, I have just booked to fly Virgin Atlantic from Gatwick to Las Vegas 12th May 2012, will the plane have the improvements to it as previously stated? With the entertainment systems, are they controlled individually by yourself? Never flown with Virgin before so looking forward to it. Thanks
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JohnB January 2012
"a decimate decline in the standard of service." Fascinating - that would mean there was a 10% decline. How would you measure that?

I think you are one of the many who think "definitely" is spelled "definately" so you wrote "definate" and the spell-checker looked for the nearest word and came up with "decimate." Am I right?

It's DEFINITELY DEFINITE.

"Decimate" came from Latin and relates to removing every 10th one of something. For instance, if a regiment soldier mutinied, every tenth soldier was killed as punishment. I don't think you have seen every 10th passenger chucked overboard, but maybe I missed something...

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JohnB January 2012
..that should have been " if a legion mutinied." My brain has been decimated...
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Barry January 2012
I am a regular traveller Gatwick-Orlando.Virgin PE is the best.BA PE is way behind:-No priority boarding,£30 EXTRA each way to pick your seats,same food trays as economy.But BA is more likely to be on time and the entertainment usually works.
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RichardImber February 2012
After traveling with virgin to Orlando 3 years ago, We was treated so well that we booked up last Aug to go again this November!! We had problems with the movies for the kids, and the flight crew could not be more helpfull, They gave each member of our group £10 to spend on the duty free!! So looking forward to our next trip, And the V-Room!!! :0)
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James February 2012
@Barry - just to correct you - BA have recently upgraded their PE / WTP to include a choice of two main meals from their Business / Club cabin. Air New Zealand do the same.

I do prefer that lovely Virgin PE seat though, and premium check-in.

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Dawn February 2012
stop moaning if you read the details you would know what you are paying for I flew with Monarch and paid for the upgrade to premium economy and was put in economy and when I got to the other end at the hotel I found out that other people got what I paid for without paying never again will I fly with Monarch as they would not credit me.

This is why I have changed to Virgin lets see what happens here?

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Sharon February 2012
Smaller meal trays = smaller meals ?? and if it's anything like the food I had in Premium Economy to and from Barbados last year that wont be a bad thing, some of the worst airline food I have ever attempted to eat ! Also why is it that caribbean flights seem to have the airlines oldest planes ??
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Carol March 2012
Booked to go to Barbados for Xmas 2012, upgraded to PE outbound at that time and the staff at our local Virgin Holiday Shop diaried to book for our return PE, Not possible as already block booked by group!!!!! So what happens to our extra baggage allowance? and as we cannot prebook our seats until?????? are we in for a good flight.
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About the author: Maxine

Maxine Sheppard

Maxine is the editor of the Virgin Atlantic blog. Travel and music are her joint first loves, and despite having written for Virgin for more years than she cares to remember she still loves nothing more than jumping on a plane in search of new sights and new sounds.