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Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Flight - VS201 Hong Kong to London

After a refreshing fruit salad and a couple of cooling drinks at the Upper Class lounge it was time to re-board the plane. Our amenities kit had been replenished and what had been a half-filled cabin was now just about full.

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Dinner is served not long after departure - a different menu from earlier. This time I remember to take a photo of these cute salt and pepper shakers

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I have to laugh at the message on their underside

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I have to wonder how many disappear.

THE FOOD

For starters:

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Even though the menu is different the Spicy pumpkin soup is still on it - this time we both order it.

MAINS:

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Paalo order the chicken breast served with a balsamic reduction on mashed potatoes - not too bad according to him


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I try my luck with another beef fillet - this time it's served with potato gratin(which was excellent) and a good rich, flavoursome jus. The fillet however is overcooked but surprisingly tender.


There's still a long way to go and most of the cabin have turned in for the night and we decide to find out what the Upper Class bed is like. It's not like say the BA business seat where the seat folds out into bed, here the seat has to be turned upside down, so the back of the seat is the bed. They attach this rather sad excuse of a padded sheet to form your "mattress" and you're given a top sheet with instructions to keep the seatbelt buckled where they can see it.

In theory it should be good but neither one of us was particularly impressed with this bed. It's about as comfortable as sleeping on the floor, which is surprising since the seat back appears to be padded but there's just so much machinery in there that it is hard. It's also a really awkward shape and length - I really wish designers would start catering for people that are taller than 5'6". The sides of the chair that cocoons you is made of really hard plastic and you can't help but constantly bang parts of your body against it.

I wouldn't call myself overly tall but I had trouble keeping my feet within the boundaries of the seat and would get woken up by flight staff walking past and banging my foot. I gave up on the idea of the bed after about 6 hours - the ache in my back was just too much and turned it back into a seat. I think on the return flight I'm just not going to bother - it's just painfully uncomfortable.

Generally, I think the seat is badly designed, the side pocket to store items is edged in hard plastic that cuts your skin if you accidentally scrap the edge. It's also long and narrow and pretty useless. The screen can't be moved to a position where it is watchable if you are lying down in bed and the control is extremely clunky. I cracked so many nails removing it from its cradle it's not funny. The back on the footrest is also pointless and just serves to constrict the space available for your feet.

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Rather than have breakfast on the plane when were at the stopover at Hong Kong we elected to have our breakfast at the Virgin Revivals Lounge at Heathrow which is probably one of the best decisions we made on this flight.

Arrival:

As Paalo is an English citizen going through immigration isn't a problem for him. I'm given an express pass due to being in Upper Class but it's not that much of a express lane with only 2 immigration officers working.

After immigration its off to collect our bags and then customs, which as have nothing to declare is a doddle. Quick as a flash we're out and on the hunt for the Revivals lounge.

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