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#950759 by nickw
06 Jun 2019, 18:57
Ground Staff
Food & Drink
Cabin Crew
I flew back on this service last night with my partner and two young kids. It was my first trip on a refurbished A330-200.

We got to Boston Logan in plenty of time, the check in area was very quiet with four Virgin staff stood around in front of the desks, then more sat round doing nothing behind them. Collectively they all watched my partner and I struggle with our bags, double pram and two car seats. No one came to help and they just gawped at us.

Went to the upper class checkin desk and spent nearly 35 minutes waiting for the woman to check our bags in painfully slowly. They then said our car seats had to go in a big bag. Cue 10 min wait for a woman to go get a bag, but she got the wrong ones. Then another bloke went to take a look... another 10 min wait. Not an upper class experience in any respect.

If the Virgin ground crew in BOS had a collective IQ in double digits, I’d be shocked. Absolutely awful staff and I’ll avoid flying through there again with my family.

The TSA queue took about 40 mins to clear. The business/first line was about 50 people deep with one person working it. The standard queue was totally empty with 5-6 agents working it. We weren’t allowed to switch queues and had to stand there. BA special services escorted two parties of travellers to the front of our queue while we were waiting patiently, which p*ssed me right off too.

Went to the Club House once through security but the menu wasn’t up to much for the kids, so ended up in BK. We watched the planes out the window and the Heathrow flight on G-VNYC seemed to wait 40-50 mins for a stand to come available, as did an Alitalia flight. Glad I wasn’t on either of those planes!

Boarding soon commenced and the same dummies from check in organised it, so naturally it was a disaster. We managed to get onto the plane in an orderly fashion and found our seats.

I booked the “love seats” and 5K. All three seats were nice and the refurb makes the planes look brand new! Not bad for 20 year old air frames. A huge upgrade on the Air Berlin interiors (I’m aware they’re practically the same seats, but the new trim goes a long way). Row 5 was too close to the toilet for my liking and I wouldn’t book any of these seats again. IFE seemed good enough (and brand new) but none of us used it as we all slept.

We didn’t eat anything on board as we had something prior to the flight so can’t rate the food. Crew were absolutely brilliant, as always! CSM introduced herself and all crew were brilliant with my kids. This is why I keep flying Virgin!

Going back to the cabin for a sec, it’s incredibly cramped. The aisles are so narrow I have to shimmy down sideways. I’m 6 foot tall and the bed isn’t long enough for me so it’s super uncomfortable. All first world problems though and it’s much better than economy or premium economy - just not as good as the Virgin 747 or 787 cabins, imo.

We landed on time and parked at the furthest gate away from immigration so that was a lovely dash with two kids, hand baggage and no pram.

All in all the flight itself was OK and all four of us got some shut eye. Ground staff at Logan were dreadful and the new cabin while a major improvement, just isn’t as good as the Virgin upper cabins on other planes.
#950766 by Francis007
06 Jun 2019, 21:21

We have been flying Boston Heathrow in UC for many years now and in our experience there has always been a problem with boarding at Logan. The same thing happens every time.

We enjoy the Boston Clubhouse which is nice and comfortable with good food and excellent staff. The late evening flight is then called and then by the time you take the lift from the Clubhouse up to the departure gate, there is always absolute chaos. It seems to us as though Economy, PE and UC are called at the same time. There is usually only 1 checking gate and so all 3 streams of passengers have to funnel in to the desk. In our experience.....and I think we have flown this route over 30 times priority is given at all and so you have a scrum at the desk and in the tunnel to join the plane.

In our limited experience ( Dulles and JFK ) this only happens at Logan. I did write to Virgin some years ago to say how poor this is but got no response.
#950771 by mitchja
07 Jun 2019, 10:02
Thanks for the TR. I'm doing this route in August which will be my first time on the A332's. Already grabbed one of the window seats in J!

Yep, VS A/C boarding at BOS is often chaos. You would have thought they would have got to grips with it by now but it seems not to be the case!
#950772 by Sealink
07 Jun 2019, 11:52
Logan boarding is usually chaotic. Never had an issue with checkin staff and have a real soft spot for the little Clubhouse.

Security is often poor there, not sure why they cannot get this right.

Have never been escorted by BA staff even when flying F, and boarding was also a poor experience, despite being direct from the lounge.
#950776 by nickw
07 Jun 2019, 13:56
Thanks for the replies! The Club House there is one of my favourites, but on reflection better for adults or business travellers, not much in there for kids (and aside from the burger, nothing mine would eat). I do like it though and can’t wait to get back in there in Sept when I’m in Boston on business.

Last time I departed Boston on my own I was in the lounge, and by the time I got down to the gate from the lounge, I’d missed boarding. Like mitchja said, you’d think they would have sorted it by now! On Wednesday they didn’t even call priority boarding over the tannoy, we had to ask what was going on.

Oh well, at least the hard product on the plane was a definite improvement on my last trip from BOS.
#950779 by Francis007
07 Jun 2019, 14:30
Hi Nick again.

Clearly from your experience at Logan and mine plus the comments from Sealink and Mitchja, boarding at Logan for the late evening flight back to Heathrow is and has always been utterly chaotic.

And clearly Virgin know this but have constantly failed to sort it out over a long period of time and I wonder why not .

Ok, clearly it is a First World problem that we who are fortunate enough to fly UC exit the lift from the Clubhouse to find a scrum scrambling to get a place in the queue to the final desk and have to wait for a bit to enter the tunnel to the plane. However, the situation doesn't do Virgin any favours I think

As I have said before, it is a route we have used a fair number of times and it always happens. We have also flown a number of time on the late evening flights from Dulles and JFK back to Heathrow and everything there works well.

It is a particular bugbear of mine as for 16 years now, since my retirement, we have flown into Boston in October to begin a 3 week road trip around New England. And everything is enjoyable. From the wonderful Drive thru facility at Heathrow, the UC Clubhouse, the food and service there, the great VS flight with the best cabin staff, the sights of Maine, Vermont and Cape Cod, the incredible Americans we meet and chat to on our travels, the food etc etc.

It's just that every time we get back to Logan, drop our rental car off at Hertz and then head for the lovely little Clubhouse to wait for our flight and mull over our latest wonderful memories another great New England Autumn road trip, the chaotic boarding at Logan always occurs.

It would take just a little management of the procedure to sort it out. I'm certain Virgin know of the failures there.

Ok rant over....and back to the World Cup Cricket.
#950802 by nickw
08 Jun 2019, 22:45
Totally agree, Francis! Hopefully they will do something about it pronto.

I too enjoy a good drive round New England while I’m there, thinking about going across to Quebec when I’m there in September. What a place :)

I’d be very tempted to move there if it wasn’t for the winters!
#950815 by Francis007
09 Jun 2019, 22:36
Hi Nick

May I ask, if you are thinking of going across from the State of Maine to Quebec in September ?

If you are , may I make a suggestion. We have found that most people who tour Maine,probably don't go further north than Portland or Kennebunkport or maybe Bar Harbour. all those places are truly lovely and worth spending a few days at each to explore

However, if you decide to go further north up to the Canadian border, you really do start to find true wilderness in the northern woods of Maine.

A favourite of ours is the area around Moosehead lake. A hidden and relatively unknown gem. So if you do decide to head that way and need some advice on what to do and where to stay , please just get in touch.

We have a particular favourite Inn in the little town of Greenville on the shores of the lake that I think you would love. And from there it's only about 60 miles to the Canadian border.

Have a great time in September.

#950878 by nickw
13 Jun 2019, 20:44
Thanks Frank!

I generally just decide where I’m going and when I need to be there, then see where the journey takes me. Will definitely check out Moosehead Lake on the way :)

Very much looking forward to another drive round New England, hoping for some late summer sun when I’m in town!
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