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Old Aug 19, 11, 10:36 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: sheffield
Programs: BA, LH, VS Silver, EK
Posts: 60
4 VS Upper Class Flights between Lagos and London (Dec 2010-Aug2011)

Introduction

I have been longing to write this trip report since the first of these 4 flights in December but I have been so pre-occupied and lazy finally I have the time and strength to at least start it

Part 1: London Heathrow - Lagos (744) December 2010
Part 2: Lagos - London Heathrow (A346) January 2011
Part 3: London Heathrow - Lagos (A346) June 2011
Part 4: Lagos - London Heathrow (A346) August 2011

Part 1: London Heathrow - Lagos (744) December 2010
The first trip was in December 2010 during the ''serious'' winter crisis that put most of Europe to a halt. I was returning back home from school for the Christmas break and I must say I was very lucky. Apparently the airport was very chaotic and from what I saw on TV, I was very concerned so I decided to leave school a day before so I could spend the night in London in order to be at the airport early. The two preceding VS flights to Lagos where cancelled and I knew a couple of people on those flights. This made me afraid of an imminent backlog that I felt might affect my own flight so I decided to check in online and chose my usual 14K on the usual A346 used on the Lagos route. Despite this, I kept checking with the airline in case of any cancellation. A friend of mine who was supposed to be on the flight the day before was at the airport by 12pm for A 10.20 pm flight! at least I also had someone who was telling me the real situation at the airport.

I eventually left for the airport around 5.30pm and as you can trust the rush hour traffic in London coupled with the snow, it took me over an hour to get to the airport (usually 30 minutes drive from my home). Upon getting to the airport, it seemed very calm but very very crowded. At this time, I already saw a lot of people I knew waiting for spaces on the flight. I felt sorry for them as check-in took me only 5 minutes. Probably the quickest I have ever experienced at Heathrow! At this point I really appreciated the exclusive check in and security area VS has for upper class passengers. However during check in, I was informed that my seat number had changed to 19k and I knew fully well that A346's don't have 19k in upper class, so it was either I was down-graded or a change of equipment and fortunately for me, the latter was the case. Security was a breeze and in no time I found my way to the club house were i dropped my bags and went off shopping. Every time I go back to Nigeria, I always have to get chocolates and the funny thing is that these chocolates are available at home but I guess it's just tradition.

Once i got back to the lovely lounge. I had a couple of cocktails and some chicken curry which i did not really enjoy. Before I knew it, we were assigned a gate so I decided to start walking to the gate on time as it was not very close to the lounge. By the time i got there, they were just pre boarding but I was to excited and just wanted to get home I didn't mind. The flight was very full it almost seemed as if they also sold the jump seats in the aircraft

Boarding was chaotic as usual. I still don't understand why Heathrow still has single boarding bridges for heavies at all. Even when there are two bridges available, they still tend to use only one (at least on most flights i have been on ) Anyway at the end of the day I was just happy that my flight was still scheduled!

Upon entering the aircraft (G-VBIG I had gone on this particular aircraft before), I realised that I was seated in the nose section of the aircraft which I was excited about as I hardly fly 744's these days and when i did on LH and BA I was either in economy or club world.

IMG_0827 by ogepma, on Flickr

IMG_0829 by ogepma, on Flickr

IMG_0830 by ogepma, on Flickr

I was offered a glass of champagne which I didn't refuse despite my mini drinking feast in the club house. I really couldn't be bothered.

IMG_0831 by ogepma, on Flickr
my downed glass of champagne

IMG_0835 by ogepma, on Flickr
Rihanna's picture really caught my eyes

The flight was delayed as they were trying to get as many people on board as possible. I really felt sorry for all the major airlines in Europe during this period.
Eventually we pushed back and the airfield looked very white and quiet. The view was nice but it's effects were devastating . This is one advantage we have back home in Nigeria where the weather is almost always good for flying.

IMG_0838 by ogepma, on Flickr
winter wonderland
During take off, I noticed that the feeling at the nose section was different and this intrigued me! I simply love flying and I felt like an aircraft at this point After take off, i decided to look at the menu which is always boring and uninspiring although this time it didn't look that bad. After one of the flight attendants took my order, the purser came to me a few minutes later apologising that my choice for the starter was not available and sort off begged me to take the soup. I could understand the trouble the were going through so I didn't hesitate to say yes. Funny enough the soup was really nice
IMG_0875 by ogepma, on Flickr

IMG_0876 by ogepma, on Flickr
The soup with Quagmire and Joe in the background. I simple love family guy I have watched every episode at least three times !!

IMG_0877 by ogepma, on Flickr

The main course was a typical beef and potato dish which was just ok and could have been better but then again I really couldn't be bothered

IMG_0879 by ogepma, on Flickr

After this, I opted for some cheese and biscuits which was nice
IMG_0882 by ogepma, on Flickr

After the meal service, I decided to lay down and watch Inception but I was so exhausted I couldn't even remember sleeping off. This is one of the problems with the upper class beds. They are just too comfortable for me that I sleep so deep in them it doesn't feel like I am flying anymore ( i don't know why this is a problem though )At least it covers up for the awful food i usually get from VS J. I woke up a few hours later and realised that they weren't even serving breakfast so I decided to call up a cabin attendant and they offered me some self made sandwiches which i didn't feel too good about so i declined as I knew at the back of my mind that there was so much food waiting for me at home.

Last edited by ogepma; Aug 19, 11 at 11:21 pm..
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Old Aug 19, 11, 10:39 pm   #2
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: sheffield
Programs: BA, LH, VS Silver, EK
Posts: 60
Some more cabin and window shots

IMG_0886 by ogepma, on Flickr
IMG_0889 by ogepma, on Flickr
IMG_0890 by ogepma, on Flickr
IMG_0898 by ogepma, on Flickr
IMG_0899 by ogepma, on Flickr
IMG_0902 by ogepma, on Flickr

Once we landed, I was so glad to be home that I wasn't even concerned about the usual chaos one would expect at Lagos. Then again this was the only flight arriving at concourse E by that time of the morning so collecting my suitcase was pretty quick for Lagos standards. I have to say the crew were just ok. Not very memorable but at the same time they did their job on this one despite the circumstances.

Lagos was as usual-HOT! and this was a relief from the freezing temperatures of England. I was so glad to be home after only six months away and i have no idea why anyway I had a couple of socials to attend during my first week and by the second and third weeks, it was a strictly family affair. I hosted a small barbecue by my pool side and invited a few friends over on boxing day though. Maybe this is one of the reasons I miss home I also noticed several developments in Lagos and was quite impressed with the developments. This is one city that despite its not so good reputation, I simply love it. It has character and is very real. The people here are happy and that's all that matters. I took a couple of pictures that I would put up later in the report.

Part 2: Lagos - London Heathrow (A346) January 2011

After spending about three weeks in Lagos, I had to go back to school (which I was seriously dreading)and this time my mum came back to England with me. Check in at Lagos airport can be stress free sometimes especially if you are travelling in a premium cabin. There are lots of people who would help you with checking in but they aren't really doing it for free. Lagosians usually code these kind of things and usually tip them a bit. To be honest, it is more of a win win situation as it is completely stress free on your path. I can't really remember the immigration aspect which means it must have been uneventful. VS uses the Oasis lounge (i think) at Lagos airport. It is nice but very small. It's not even bigger than my flat in Sheffield! It is quite cosy though.

IMG_1871_edited-1 by ogepma, on Flickr
our sexy a340-600


IMG_1877 by ogepma, on Flickr


IMG_1894 by ogepma, on Flickr
taxing to the runway with so much forest around



IMG_1903 by ogepma, on Flickr

IMG_1908_edited-1 by ogepma, on Flickr
overview of a very small part of lagos

The flight itself was ok. Some of the crew members where quite dull and were acting like it was by force. The Nigerian flight attendant assigned to me didn't even smile once. The funny thing was that I had travelled with her on about two previous flights in which she served me. It seemed this time that she was just not in the mood or was just tired of the job. My mum even noticed it and we sort of laughed about her unwelcoming attitude. She wasn't rude in anyway it's just that she wasn't interested.

The food was very disappointing. This had to be the worst I have eaten on a plane in a while. The starter was simply ok but the main course was dreadful! I could have sworn it was a 1 year old that cooked it. It was so bad that 8 months after eating half of it I can still remember. At this time, I had flow VS upper class at least 11 times in the last 2 years and while I knew that food wasn't VS's strong hold in anyway, I didn't know it could be this bad!


IMG_1940 by ogepma, on Flickr
the salmon appetizer which was very mediocre but was still edible

IMG_1948 by ogepma, on Flickr
they called it mashed potatoes and braised lamb, I call it rubbish. Look at how sad it looks! poor entrée

I obviously didn't finish the entrée and it even made me loose my appetite so I decided to take some out-of-the-window pictures before going to bed. I was quite tired as I didn't sleep the night before so I utilized the bed properly

IMG_1956 by ogepma, on Flickr
One of the mighty RR trent 500 engines


IMG_1988_edited-3 by ogepma, on Flickr

I slept off for a few hours and when I woke up, the view outside was amazing. I took so many pictures but only few cam out well. I am still learning how to use my camera professionally.


IMG_2001 by ogepma, on Flickr

IMG_2003_edited-1 by ogepma, on Flickr
I didn't bother asking for a pre landing snack as nothing on the menu was inviting and i wasn't hungry due to my earlier experience. lol We soon stared our approach into runway 27L


IMG_2028 by ogepma, on Flickr

Landing was smooth and immigrations was very fast and unserious. I remember quite clearly how the immigration officer was speaking brap English to a fellow officer. I found it funny how unserious they were. Our bags came out on time and we left the airport early enough. The whole experience was mixed and probably my worst but it wasn't that bad. At this point we were actually considering switching airline after my next flight to Lagos but like any other airline, once in a while you don't get the splendour experience that you expect.

Last edited by ogepma; Aug 20, 11 at 12:42 am..
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Old Aug 20, 11, 1:52 am   #3
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: sheffield
Programs: BA, LH, VS Silver, EK
Posts: 60
Part 3: London Heathrow - Lagos (A346) June 2011

After the second semester was over, I took a short trip to Frankfurt at the beginning of my holiday. I did a trip report on that which I haven't finished yet but should do so this week
Lufthansa LHR-FRA-LHR C-Class : Short weekend getaway

Two days after my return from FRA, I decided to bring my ticket forward to go back to Lagos earlier than originally planned. I was really getting board in Sheffield as most of my friends had travelled and Sheffield is literately nothing without the students. My flying instructor was also not available so i couldn't go for lessons either. I was just so jobless

There was no snow or ash for me to be worried about this time so I decided to travel from Sheffield straight to Heathrow via St Pancreas and Paddington. The train journeys were smooth until I got to Paddington. There was no escalator or even a lift so I had to carry my 31.2Kg suitcase and duffel bag up the stair case. It was very annoying as I had a train to catch to the airport and there were so many people walking at snails pace. Once i got out from that mess I ran to the front of the Heathrow express train which was the first class couch. Luckily, I had upgrade vouchers from my renewed silver membership for both Gatwick and Heathrow express so I ended up paying for a regular ticket yet still having space to sit down. The train was packed!

Once I got to the airport, check in and security was swift as always. I found my way to the clubhouse and quickly ordered a cocktail. I am pretty sure by now I must have sampled at least three quarters of the cocktail menu in the clubhouse. I had four different ones and even forgot there was alcohol in them. They were simply amazing


IMG_4894 by ogepma, on Flickr


IMG_4894 by ogepma, on Flickr
This one was recommended by the waiter and was not bad at all


IMG_4895 by ogepma, on Flickr
my very cosy area in the clubhouse

Since I was early, I had enough time to window shop and of course buy some chocolates. This time I got a lot. It was so much I had some trouble finding were to keep them on the plane. At the lounge, I had a burger which was ok. It could have been better if I took it when it was hot but I was on the phone for a long time

Before I could say jack Robinson, they announced the final boarding call. I was so surprised that they announced on time today so it was very unexpected. The gate wasn't to far from the lounge so I casually walked to the gate and boarded through L1!! I was very surprised about that. This was actually my first time boarding through L1 at Heathrow. So this time boarding was not chaotic at all. It was very smooth.

The cabin attendants were warm today so the flight seemed very promising. I had a friend over in economy so I went to chat with him for a while in one of the forward galleys before take off.

I was offered a glass of champagne and despite my ''tippsy-ness'', I couldn't resist I was also offered PJs. this is one thing VS has been consistent with and their sleep suits are of very good quality. I keep collecting them even if I don't need them. I have a ton of them at home in Nigeria and the UK.

Of course some dumb passenger decided to spoil the on-time performance of the crew by getting 'lost' so we had to wait for him or her and lost our departure slot. At the end of the day, the flight was delayed at least not thanks to the crew.

Soon after, our new slot had reached so we pushed back and taxied to 27R. Take off was smooth and service soon started.

IMG_4920 by ogepma, on Flickr


IMG_4907 by ogepma, on Flickr
banking left towards Lagos

IMG_4921 by ogepma, on Flickr
cabin shot

IMG_4925 by ogepma, on Flickr
seat's begging to show its age

The menu this time looked new and different. It looked like an either hate it or love it one. I opted for the pea and basil risotto with king prawns to start with and the duck as my entrée.

IMG_4931 by ogepma, on Flickr

IMG_4934 by ogepma, on Flickr
Stewie and Brian episode--i was really laughing at some point

The appetizer was nice but so tiny i could have actually eaten it all in one bite. It was so small I asked for the second option as I saw no one really ordered that. It was ok but nothing to write home about

IMG_4936 by ogepma, on Flickr

IMG_4939 by ogepma, on Flickr

IMG_4943 by ogepma, on Flickr
first hors d'oeuvre

IMG_4944 by ogepma, on Flickr

IMG_4945 by ogepma, on Flickr
second hors d'oeuvre

The entrée was strange to say the least. I don't know if they were trying to be creative or they ran out of cooking ideas or they got it from Tesco, it was just hard to eat. I was quite hungry so i was able to finish it but it was surely a task. It was simply bland with no taste at all.

IMG_4946 by ogepma, on Flickr
the entrée didn't look to bad but taste wise, it was a different story

IMG_4947 by ogepma, on Flickr

IMG_4948 by ogepma, on Flickr
let's just say I drink a lot of liquid
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Old Aug 20, 11, 2:02 am   #4
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: sheffield
Programs: BA, LH, VS Silver, EK
Posts: 60
Once that punishment was over, I took some cheese and biscuits which was nicely presented and tasted very good too.

IMG_4949 by ogepma, on Flickr

IMG_4950 by ogepma, on Flickr

IMG_4951 by ogepma, on Flickr

When I finished my meal, I went over to economy to see my friend again. There was a free pair of window and aisle seats and we took them for about 45 mins. I was surprised at how comfortable I found the seat. It had enough leg room and recline. Maybe I just found them comfortable because I knew I wasn't going to be there for too long If that was really my assigned seat I might have taught otherwise.

I got back to my seat and laid down. I found it quite hard to sleep and I ended up sleeping for only 30 minutes. It was soon time for breakfast and I opted for the full hot breakfast which was very nice.

IMG_4956 by ogepma, on Flickr
We ended up landing earlier than expected (strong tail winds I guess) as it was still dark in Lagos and also very humid also.

IMG_4961 by ogepma, on Flickr
Immigrations was swift and my suitcase came out on time. This is one great advantage of flying VS to Lagos. You aircraft arrives alone unlike in the evening when LH, EK, BA, AZ, AF, KL, DL, UA and a whole lot more arrive at the same time, the scene at the airport is really close to hell ( I am not exaggerating )
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Old Aug 20, 11, 12:19 pm   #5
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Nice TR!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ogepma View Post
After the meal service, I decided to lay down and watch Inception but I was so exhausted I couldn't even remember sleeping off.
You should beware of sleeping on long flights...you never know who is going to be poking around your dreams!
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Old Aug 21, 11, 9:25 pm   #6
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A really nice report ogepma.

I've always wanted to try VS but have heard mixed reviews, which your report seems to confirm. It doesn't look like the suites are very private, especially on the A346 where the rows are very close together. Did you find this to be an issue?

Did you use the bar at all?

The food looks, ok, nothing special. How do you think it compares to BA?

I've heard great things about the Clubhouse and the premium check in experience and would love to try that too. Maybe when I am back in the UK I'll be able to do that.

I love Family Guy too and often take some episodes with me on my iPad as not many airlines have it on their IFE any more.
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Old Aug 21, 11, 9:31 pm   #7
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: sheffield
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Quote:
Originally Posted by as219 View Post
Nice TR!



You should beware of sleeping on long flights...you never know who is going to be poking around your dreams!
Thanks, I would certainly take your advice but sometimes you just can't help it lol
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Old Aug 21, 11, 9:44 pm   #8
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: sheffield
Programs: BA, LH, VS Silver, EK
Posts: 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by matthandy View Post
A really nice report ogepma.

I've always wanted to try VS but have heard mixed reviews, which your report seems to confirm. It doesn't look like the suites are very private, especially on the A346 where the rows are very close together. Did you find this to be an issue?

Did you use the bar at all?

The food looks, ok, nothing special. How do you think it compares to BA?

I've heard great things about the Clubhouse and the premium check in experience and would love to try that too. Maybe when I am back in the UK I'll be able to do that.

I love Family Guy too and often take some episodes with me on my iPad as not many airlines have it on their IFE any more.
Thanks a lot matthandy.

Yes VS is really a mixed bag type of airline. I have never really found privacy to be an issue because the seats can be quite private especially when you recline them. Also, on the A346, from rows 1k-8k, there is no one opposite you and from rows 9a-17A there's no one opposite you too. I usually opt for the less private areas because they are less claustrophobic.

I have used the bar before but that was a while ago. I can't remember when last I went there. It's just really a fancy addition which is not so popular any more but still nice non the less.

The food can be awful or just ok. Never really good. In comparison to BA, I would say the ground service on VS is much better. Very first class-ish. The clubhouse is very amazing. In the air, the seats on BA have more flexibility and can be more private but for sleeping I think VS is better. BA's food is also way better but still not the best I have had. The crew on VS can be really amazing too. Just once in a while you might meet sad ones
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Old Aug 22, 11, 10:22 am   #9
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Hong Kong, Toronto
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Posts: 47
Can I ask how are you a student that can afford to travel VS Upperclass?
I envy you!
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Old Nov 5, 11, 2:49 pm   #10
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
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Nice TR!

Excellent TR again! It's good to know about VS's food not being so good. I've heard this before, also. Thanks for the great TR!
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