So this was my second 350 flight and what transpired over the course of this experience was both my very very best and very worst experiences of VS. I was on the 154 not the 138 but the site doesn’t have the 153/154 rotations on.
This is a Trip Report from the Upper Class cabin
Food & Drink
So the tale of woe starts end of July when I had a nasty fall outside Leeds station and have damaged all of the ligaments around my knee. It’s left me unable to walk long distances and I have good days and bad days with it. I’m not gonna hide it it’s pushed me into feeling very depressed and this holiday, whilst not what was originally planned because of my knee was much needed!
Fort Lauderdale was nice and relaxing the hotel was lovely the weather for the most part was great, and it was all small and easy enough to get around.
I flew from FLL back to JFK via Atlanta and on the outbound was into JFK terminal 2, but the return ended up onto Terminal 4....gate B37! I could have cried as I know how long a pier that is! I spoke to the Gate Agent in JFK and asked for a buggy and they couldn’t be more helpful, one turned up (actually 2 did!) within 10 mins and I made it to bagage reclaim just as bags started arriving!
Stayed a night at the JFK TWA hotel which is incredible, it’s expensive but it’s an experience like no other!
Hobbles my way back to T4 on the AirTrain, through security which was pretty painless and a slow walk with a few rests to the Clubhouse. The walk took me about 20/25 mins.
Gets to the Clubhouse, welcomed back all good! I asked at the concierge desk what gate we were on...A3...wonderful no issues there whatsoever. I explained to her if if changes to a B gate can she let me know and I will need assistance. “oh you should have booked it in advance” I explained to her that every time I’ve ever flown with VS to LHR it’s always been the A gates and I can just about manage those so I didn’t need to book assistance.
Anyway I’m clearly annoying her so walks off into rapturous welcome back from a few of the JFK CH staff who I always have a great time with.
15 mins later the girl from the concierge desk comes and finds me “your gate has changed to B31 now” (across from the DL skyclub....a major major issue for me to get there from the VS CH)
I asked about assistance, she was insistent that it was my fault and she couldn’t book it “this late” ...this was 3pm for a 1940 boarding call, and then told me that I needed to walk back to duty free on the main shopping plaza and speak to someone there. I can only assume there must be a desk there for assistance, but as I said, that was gonna be at least a 20 min painful walk in current condition! I explained this to her she and she kept making excuses about “oh well it’s not our job, and we don’t deal with this and it’s Deltas terminal and Delta don’t help us we don’t have anyone to sort this out” generally I was made to feel like I was an annoyance to her.
Anyway had my treatment at 6.30 and then consigned myself to having to make this walk. I thought if I set off around 6.45 with the moving walkways it might not be so bad.
Anyway one last ask at the desk if they had sorted something. Anyway apparently they had! Excellent I didn’t have to waste my valuable Clubhouse time....no not quite I had to go downstairs and sit and wait as the buggy had to come straight away.
And I waited!
And I waited!
About 20 mins later I collared one of the assistance people who had been dealing with the Kuwaiti flight at A6....I assumed since the Assistance teams belong to the airport it was a fair chance that they would be able to find out....apparently not as despite wearing the same uniform as the guys on the B gates they are different companies?!
It’s now 1915 and i’m panicking cos I know this is gonna take me best part of an hour to walk it.
From somewhere the girl from the concierge desk showed up “i’m going to chase it down for you...” and eventually 5 mins later turned up with the buggy. I can only assume a last minute change of heart from her as she had never shown anywhere near that level of concern in any of the previous encounters.
Anyway the buggy ride took about 10 minutes down to the far end of the B Gates and the lady driving was more than helpful and I arrived just as boarding commenced.
The whole experience left me wishing for home, I felt really let down, I didn’t choose to have this injury, but I do choose VS as I trust them a lot, and the way I was made to feel was awful. I felt let down, vulnerable, I was sat there at A5 waiting for this buggy, that as it happens couldn’t come down that far and I had to be picked up from outside McDonalds. I lost pretty much an hour in the Clubhouse, an generally was treated like it was my fault and I was in the way!
I’ve managed railway stations with big assistance teams, and I’ve never been on the receiving end of it myself but the whole thing has left me feeling quite disappointed in this day and age how we are still treating people!
Anyway, I managed to board the aircraft without much more fuss....
End of Part 1, remember I said that this was the worst of times but also the best of them too...