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Where the rich are investing 2016

Cabin Comfort
Fly Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class to London, and discover a world of luxurious relaxation, private bars, a quaint tea service, and the warmest staff.  

Priya Kumari Rana

Left to Right: Virgin Atlantic’s Clubhouse Lounge at Heathrow Airport; Serene ambient lighting in Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class; The unique bar in Upper Class; The long bar in the Clubhouse Lounge

Flying to London, and on towards New York is literally a dream on board Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. (From London-New York it’s on the A340-600.) With daily flights to Heathrow from New Delhi, the smoothest way to do this is inside the airline’s Upper Class, in a luxury leather armchair that literally cocoons you in privacy (thanks to the clever angle of the seating), and turns into a fully flat bed with a comfy mattress (for which it’s won design awards). You’ll also get a pair of pyjamas and slippers.

You literally feel you have entered an exclusive lounge, with the mood lighting morphing into colours from soothing lilac to peaceful blue and soft pink. Soon after you board, you’re served a glass of Gardet Premier Cru Champagne. From the pre-dinner drinks (you can choose the cocktail of the day), to the gourmet meal, everything is served on designer linen with matching crockery and cutlery. A bar area lets you “hang out” and enjoy a drink and crisps attended by the super-friendly stewards and stewardesses. The highlight for us was the afternoon tea service where we were offered tea, and a variety of pastries on our very own tiny cake stand! 

But the most special part of flying Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic is the staff. Karina, our ever-smiling purser told us that they have to clear around seven exams to work, with six weeks training for a Boeing alone. “It’s about what we stand for, and the way we portray the airline,” she says. 

So while you enjoy the Dreamliner’s optimized air pressure and humidity levels for the most relaxing flight ever, enjoy some in-flight entertainment on the 11-inch screen in front of you, with a choice of 14-20 video channels, and 10-15 games, depending on the aircraft. 

Once you land in London, and while you wait for your next flight, the Clubhouse Lounge at Heathrow offers a rather unique service. It’s one of the few lounges in the world to have a hairdressing and beauty salon, nail bar, and massages to prime you for your next destination!

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