As a Travel blogger, you can imagine my excitement when I received an email inviting me on a Virgin Atlantic blogger influencer trip to London!! Was this really happening? I immediately replied that yes I would LOVE to join, and yes my schedule was open the weekend it was planned. Even if it was not open, you can bet that I would make it open!! So after a few months of communication and getting excited about the long-awaited incredible Upper Class flight, Virgin Atlantic’s equivalent of a First or Business Class experience, from San Francisco to London’s Heathrow airport, July 7th, had finally come!
A few things to share with you before we jump on board Virgin Atlantic’s new Boeing 787-789 aka the “Dreamliner” and I share more about the trip. Having flown this flight, I think the nickname “Dreamliner” is quite fitting! It can really make dreams come true as you fly over the Atlantic Ocean direct from San Francisco to London. I bet you’re surprised there is a direct flight? I know I was. And, unlike the direct flights from New York to London, which I flew a bunch when I lived in New York City this 9-hour flight is really the perfect amount of time to enjoy the Virgin Atlantic amenities AND get some sleep as you head to the UK.
Also, wondering what I was up to in London? Read my blog post about my fabulous weekend there!
Below are 10 reasons why you should FLY with Virgin Atlantic Upper Class from San Francisco to London
1. Complimentary transportation from your home to and from SFO
For those flying Upper Class, transportation to and from your home airport is included with your ticket. I was picked up San Francisco style, in a Toyota Prius.
Arriving at SFO and checking in for the Upper Class flight. I was so excited!!
2. Direct flights from SFO to LHR
Virgin Atlantic offers a direct flight from SFO to LHR. Also, Virgin is about to offer another direct flight to the UK you may not know about and that’s from SFO to Manchester, England. Stay tuned for that to launch in the near future.
3. Complimentary Clubhouse Lounge access
If you have never flown Virgin Atlantic or visited their Clubhouse I suggest you do so ASAP. On my way to London, we enjoyed the San Francisco Clubhouse which is incredible. For a 9 pm flight, I arrived around 6 pm to really take advantage of the incredible lounge, complimentary food, and a curated cocktail program from San Francisco’s Bourbon & Branch.
On my return home I enjoyed the London Heathrow Lounge which is their flagship lounge and is much larger in size than SFO and the type of place you’d want to spend hours if you could. When you see the images below you’ll see what I mean. I would suggest planning to spend 2-3 hours in the lounge getting a massage, eating, working, and just relaxing. It is that nice. If you end up booking with Virgin Atlantic and want access to this clubhouse email me and I can connect you with the incredible Virgin Atlantic team to coordinate a clubhouse visit pre-flight.
The business station in the London Heathrow’s Virgin Atlantic Lounge
Enjoying the Cheeseburger in San Francisco pre-flight.
The delicious Dim Sum and Cauliflower Soup at the San Francisco Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse
The incredible breakfast I enjoyed at the London Heathrow Virgin Atlantic lounge.
So I may have tried the Waffles and Bacon as well at the Heathrow Lounge. It’s not every time that I travel and I get to enjoy all of these amazing perks and the over the top Virgin Lounges.
4. Bourbon & Branch Cocktails in the San Francisco Clubhouse Lounge
Yes, you read that correctly. Virgin Atlantic has partnered with the incredible Bourbon & Branch San Francisco team offering a list of their cocktails in the San Francisco Clubhouse. Incredible, right. I certainly recommend the Old Fashioned, Margarita & the Moscow Mule. I tried most of them (just sips, it was for research) and loved them!
The incredible Moscow mule cocktail
5. Incredible Eats, Meals & Treats
After being lucky enough to fly Upper Class to and from London I have experienced the over-night red-eye flight and the day time flight, both offering incredible food and dining services. On the outbound leg from San Francisco to London upon boarding expect bubbles, wine, or a drink of your choice followed by a snack, yummy chips, and a drink before a 3-course dinner and dessert and a breakfast prior to landing. For the return from London to San Francisco it was literally meal after meal with snacks. Follow along on my eating adventures below…
The delicious Roasted Chicken entree on my return home to San Francisco
The cheese course I enjoyed post-dinner.
A light lunch before landing in San Francisco. I have had a lot of burgers and was very impressed with how good this one was, especially considering we are 30,000 feet in the air. Kudos to the Virgin culinary team on this yumminess.
6. Truly attentive, genuinely thoughtful, and adorably dressed flight attendants
I’m not sure what it is, but as an American Flying Virgin, you really take note of the well-dressed team behind Virgin Atlantic. On both legs of my trip, I adored the team. Of course, some were a bit camera shy (can you blame them), but those that were sweet enough to pose for me you can check out below. Thanks again James, Dany, Gordon, and Katie.
The lovely Katie who assisted me from San Francisco to London.
7. A breath of fresh air, best views, and best mood lighting
You may think this is an odd item for the list but with the new 787’s Virgin made fresh air a priority. The cabin air is cleaner, with an advanced infiltration system, higher humidity to help avoid that dry dehydrated feeling your skin and body feel post-flight also with lower cabin pressure. Small, but important details. Additionally, they also have the largest, electronically dimmable windows on any commercial aircraft. Wow!
The upper class seating
8. Upper Class Bar & Wine Tasting
For a girl who loves wine, a wine selection is an important element on a long flight. Let’s be honest, on any flight. Upon boarding and being welcomed with bubbles I was thrilled to see the extensive wine list available in Upper Class. I ended up enjoying a glass of the 2014 St. Veran, Domaine des Deux Roches, white wine from Burgundy France. I liked this so much that I ordered the same wine on my return to San Francisco! What can I say, I’m a creature of habit. Upper Class also offers a wine tasting during the flight. I took advantage and tried it (once again, research!) and it was great. The tasting included 6 wines total, 3 white, and 3 red. Another culinary event I recommend you try…. of course, how could I resist a wine tasting at 30,000 feet…
9. Staying as connected or unconnected as you desire
As much as I LOVE flying for a few hours and being offline, that is not everyone’s choice. It’s certainly fabulous that on the new 787’s they offer onboard Wifi throughout. As we flew from San Francisco to London, I definitely took advantage of it!
10. A flatbed option for the Upper Class passengers
This flatbed was incredible on my way from San Francisco to London allowing a lovely night’s sleep. Until you have a flatbed, you have no idea what you’re missing. But I recently flew to London again without one and I desperately missed the Upper Class Virgin Atlantic flatbed perk.
Thanks to Virgin Atlantic for collaborating with me on this post and flying me to and from London to experience your fabulous Upper Class flight experience. I highly recommend you try it and see for yourself how amazing it is!
Hana-LeeAugust 30, 2016
Looks incredible!! Might need to consider a trip to London in the near future just for this flight. PS – I love your shirt – where is it from?
DavidApril 25, 2019
i’m with a couple of friends are planning to visit London for the first time and crossed by your article while surfing in the internet. Great writing and a lot of info and that’s we decided to book with Virgin Atlantic from sfo to London. In addition, you mentioned that it would be great to visit their clubhouse lounge and you can help arrange a visit . I guess we booked the economy class, is it still ok for you to help us to visit the clubhouse? if not, it’s understandable. Thanks
Pam sheridanSeptember 30, 2019
Good review! Flying upper class san fran to london in december, but alas premium economy home (too expensive both ways! But need the flat bed overnight!)
Do you rec the earlier evening flight to london or 9 pm flight on virgin?
Also i purchase lounge access when not flying business on way home?