Virgin Atlantic's seriously rewarding Flying Club programme has been specially designed to help you move as quickly as possible through our three tiers - Red, Silver and Gold. It's free to join, so if you're not yet a member here's all you need to know to get yourself on the way to some pretty special benefits and rewards.
Once you've signed up, you'll notice that we love to tempt you with exclusive events and competitions whenever we can. Over the past few years, we've had some incredible prizes up for grabs, including British Grand Prix and Super Bowl tickets.
Just recently, our Gold members had the opportunity to win a trip to Boston to watch the 2012 Deutsche Bank Championship golf tournament which featured the top 100 PGA Tour players, including past champions Woods, Simpson and Mickelson. We also threw in access to the 'Champion's Club' with enhanced views of the 17th Fairway and Green, and four nights at the luxurious Ames Hotel. Our lucky winner was Kent-based publisher Angela Berry who has recently returned from her trip, and we're thrilled to have her on board today to tell us all about her amazing prize.
Strike gold with Flying Club
Angela, tell us about your travels as a Gold member and how you felt when you heard you'd won?
I was tickled pink when I discovered I’d won, I never usually win anything! It was a perfectly-timed treat which came in between a very busy travelling period with my family and with work, so it was a wonderful opportunity to go to somewhere different and have some time to ourselves for a few days!
I love being a Gold member and this is my second year of membership. I travel regularly across Asia and America for business as I work in international financial publishing. I also choose Virgin for leisure and frequently fly out to the Caribbean where I go sailing with my family several times a year.
How was your experience of our Premium Economy cabin on your flight to Boston?
I often fly in Premium Economy; the seats are wonderfully comfortable and you have so much space, you're barely aware if there is a stranger sat next to you. As with all levels on board, the staff are always terribly accommodating and there is just something special about having a real napkin and silver cutlery on an aeroplane journey! As well as a glass or two of Prosecco, of course!
We've heard you're something of a Boston enthusiast: what do you love most about the city and can you share any recommendations for things to do and see?
Boston is a terrific city. The people are very friendly and it feels very different to New York and Miami which are places where I also go frequently. The architecture is beautiful and there is a great atmosphere. This was another great trip – the sun shone down on us, and when we landed on the Friday night, we had a limo take us to Ames Hotel which was very decadent. We then went for supper at an Irish pub called Mr Dooley's, where a bunch of people were celebrating a birthday and an Irish singer was belting out Van Morrison and Cockles and Mussels; such a great atmosphere!
Saturday saw us up and about early, walking the Freedom Trail. The hotel was just round the corner from King's Chapel so we walked down from there, taking in the Benjamin Franklin statue and the Old State House amongst other landmarks. We rode the Swan Boats on Boston Common and then we did some serious shopping before a meal at Scollay Square restaurant, which was just the perfect end to a wonderful day.
We also took the subway out to Harvard and wandered around soaking up the history and hoping some of the intellect around would rub off on us, and on our final morning we visited the fantastic Museum of Fine Arts. And the Ames Hotel was really wonderful; modern and minimal and a refreshing change from the style of hotel which I usually visit, with a very central location.
You spent two days soaking up the atmosphere at the 2012 Deutsche Bank Championship – what were your highlights?
On day one we followed a Lee Westwood game around the course and I cheered in my best British (we’re here supporting you!) accent amongst all the American voices. People were very friendly and kept asking me how I liked the golf and telling us how much they loved us!
On the final day, Rory McIlroy went into the final round three shots adrift of Louis Oosthuizen but we anticipated an exciting day and were not disappointed. With Tiger breathing down their necks it went all the way to the 18th, with Rory's penultimate putt defying the laws of gravity and failing to drop. This left the South African needing to sink his putt to force a play-off – fantastic theatre. Louis missed, leaving Rory to collect the Deutsche Bank Championship and more FedEx points; can't wait for the Ryder Cup!
The Champion's Club was manned by some incredibly friendly Virgin staff. There were three Upper Class beds and two sets of Premium Economy seats on display, all with a number of people trying them out – and the crazy golf where you had to put a ball under a model Virgin plane was hugely popular. The Flying Club Swingers Golf League was also being promoted – we of course thought it meant something else!
If you're an international golf enthusiast then don't think twice before booking a flight with Virgin Atlantic. As long as your golf equipment weighs in at 23kg or less, we'll fly it for no extra charge in addition to your free baggage allowance. This can include one bag containing a maximum of 14 clubs, a dozen balls, one pair of golf shoes and an umbrella.
And once you're a fully signed-up Flying Club member, you'll be able to join Flying Club Swingers, our very own and exclusive golf league. You'll compete with like-minded golf lovers around the globe and hopefully climb the leaderboard – and you might even earn the opportunity to represent Europe or the Rest of the World in our annual final. Here's everything you need to know.
Header shot of Boston © walknboston
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About the author: MaxineMaxine 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.