[philiptellis] Walking the world in search of interestingness

Monday, January 17, 2011

Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy

I flew Premium Economy on Virgin Atlantic from Heathrow to Boston early this year. It wasn't quite business class. The seats are quite wide and roomy, but the seat belts are the same length as they are in economy, which makes them rather small for premium. Leg room isn't great either because each seat has some kind of block below it making it hard for tall people to stretch their feet out too far. My knees were bent the whole flight. The seats recline decently, but not all the way, so you're still at around 120 degrees. A little better than Economy, but the lack of leg room meant that sleep wasn't going to be easy.

Once you're seated, you get a glass of sparkling wine, which is apparently the only thing they're allowed to serve while on the ground. I'm not sure which authority that rule comes from.

The video screens are small. About the same size as the screens in Economy and half the size of the Economy screens on Jet Airways. The system was slow starting up but quick once it did start up. It appeared to be running X on linux.

Now while Premium Economy is a separate section on the aircraft, there are no toilets in this section. The nearest toilet is in Business Class, but you're not allowed to use it even if Business Class is empty. The toilet in Economy is two sections back, which means a long walk every time you need to use the loo. Not a big problem, but inconvenient.

On the whole it was an average experience. Not at all what I'd expect from Richard Branson's Virgin brand.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

My year in towns and cities 2010

Time for another one of these annual summaries. This year was a long one with about 70 flights and me hitting Star Alliance Silver status early in the year. It's too bad all the US domestic Star Alliance carriers suck or I'd have reached Gold too. Anyway, here goes:
  • Mumbai, MH, India
  • Dubai, UAE
  • Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • Boston, MA, USA
  • Brussels, Belgium
  • Rio Grande, PR, USA
  • Vieques, PR, USA
  • San Juan, PR, USA
  • Montreal, QC, Canada
  • Hong Kong, China
  • Bondi, NSW, Australia
  • Sydney, NSW, Australia
  • Newcastle, NSW, Australia
  • Melbourne, Vic, Australia
  • London, England
  • Berlin, Germany
  • San Diego, CA, USA
  • West Yellowstone, MT, USA
  • Wapiki, WY, USA
  • Wright, WY, USA
  • Sarasota, FL, USA
  • New York, NY, USA
  • Seattle, WA, USA
  • Stowe, VT, USA
  • Burlington, VT, USA
  • Richmond, VA, USA
  • Ithaca, NY, USA
  • Ann Arbor, MI, USA
  • Bangalore, KA, India
I've listed each city only once even if I've made multiple trips there. 19 of these trips were pleasure and the rest business. I will probably not travel as much in 2011.