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Boeing 747 pop up dining experience - 12th Dec, LHR

Boeing 747 pop up dining experience - 12th Dec, LHR

Old Dec 7, 20, 4:02 am
  #16  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Over whelming demand! Tried on two devices at exactly 09.00 but Eventbrite time is marginally different from GMT so still blocked and when refreshed,, within seconds, all gone!
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Old Dec 7, 20, 4:17 am
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by Greenpen View Post
Over whelming demand! Tried on two devices at exactly 09.00 but Eventbrite time is marginally different from GMT so still blocked and when refreshed,, within seconds, all gone!
Same, I was refreshing two devices from 08:56 and only got in on my laptop at 5 seconds past the hour. Phone was too late.
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Old Dec 7, 20, 5:51 am
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
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One interesting point - three sessions with 14 upper class seats onboard; means only 42 tickets were available!
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Old Dec 7, 20, 7:46 am
  #19  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: UK
Programs: BA Executive Club, Flying Blue
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Also managed to bag 2 tickets for the Morning Session!

I don't really buy into any conspiracy as I don't think Virgin care about my 14 followers aha!

How did I do it? Most probably luck. But I had two tabs refreshing both constantly between 8:59 and 9:00:15 when it finally opened. I was already logged in my EventBrite account with my details on it so As soon as one opened I instantly clicked buy on the first time. Didn't even stop to read what time options there were and purchased successfully.

Seems a lot of people got kicked out after picking a time option perhaps those few seconds where people considered options was enough to throw you out? And of course. Tickets were heavily limited so the sell out time does not surprise me at all...
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Old Dec 7, 20, 7:53 am
  #20  
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The 'behind the scenes' stuff could well be interesting, with mechanics and engineers explaining things most people never get to see. But I can't get excited about eating mediocre food in a cramped seat on a plane going nowhere. I enjoyed the UC experience the few times I took it, but dining there for nostalgia's sake is not my thing.
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Old Dec 7, 20, 2:55 pm
  #21  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Hope the bidders enjoy their trip to see the 747,though it's going to more about the VS staff just enjoying themselves as usual.
the punters will just be outsiders looking in.
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Old Dec 11, 20, 4:28 pm
  #22  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
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In true Virgin style seems todays press day has been a mix of the usual suspects (oddly no Sam Chui) and some totally irrelevant celebs. Meal service at this event is better than the current offer in the air - with main meals served on china as opposed to a plastic box.. slightly cheeky given this will be plastered all over social media and yet the product in reality is rather different..
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Old Dec 14, 20, 6:16 am
  #23  
 
Join Date: May 2013
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I do hope that any FTers that attended will share their thoughts on the experience so that we can live vicariously. I'd prefer an FT eye view to a media eye view
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Old Dec 14, 20, 10:19 am
  #24  
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Originally Posted by rsqrott View Post
I do hope that any FTers that attended will share their thoughts on the experience so that we can live vicariously. I'd prefer an FT eye view to a media eye view
The two-part Head for Points article we wrote on Saturday on the press day is very fair, with the only caveat being that it was written by Rhys who is more of an #avgeek than I am. It was, however, genuinely excellent and there was literally nothing more that Virgin could have done. People were put into groups of two and rotated around various areas so everyone had at least 5 minutes to, for example, sit in the cockpit or the crew rest beds, or have a poke around the spare engines in the hangar. The public days were meant to have an identical schedule, potentially without the glam factor of Virgin's PR team :-)
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Old Dec 15, 20, 2:38 pm
  #25  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
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Perhaps I can provide a little more 'balanced' view if that's what you were looking for? Won't share photos as they're mainly of us, and they're quite personal (I hope that's understandable - But the ones on HFP are pretty representative). Now before you read any of this as 'ungrateful' because I had a chance to attend - I'm just giving a fair view from someone who isn't a total 'hardcore fan' or part of the press...

Overall it was a fantastic day, and one that we will definitely remember. Each and every staff member from the Chief People Officer, to the Apprentice Engineers on the Hangar floor were delighted to speak about their roles at Virgin, and their experiences of not only the 747 but the wider job, which we loved. As we all know, people make Virgin truly special. We were the MORNING event on Saturday, and things got off to a good start upstairs, but with the best intentions to have the day run to time (as Raffles said 5 mins per section, rotational).

That was great in theory, but no one in our session at least controlled this - so we spent 5 mins in some, but then 20 mins with others, and as you can imagine... groups started falling behind, or overtaking, the order went to total s***, to put it fairly. Whilst this wasn't bad because we got great first-hand chats with certain staff, it evidently led to issues with the day's schedule. Once we got back on-board for our breakfast, it was TERRIBLY rushed. I was even thinking, gosh aren't we meant to be out of here in less than 20 minutes... I don't know if it was intentional (I think it was) - But our three course breakfast turned into one course, well... one course with a croissant. The fruit and yoghurt on the menu never was offered or appeared. Quick eat and drink, then out the door because the other group were about to come in, so there was no 'formal goodbye' or anything - it was round em' up and get em' out.

That was the most disappointing aspect of the day as I'd been looking forward to it. But hey, let's not damper the day. A great experience overall!

What also didn't help with our group, and I don't know if it was the same with the following groups, but we had ITV from Britain's Busiest Airport Season 7 filming our group. We had to give consent at the start of the day and they consumed our time also trying to ask us questions about the day like 'What does it feel like to be one of the 42'... And plenty of 'Oh would you mind taking that picture/making that pose again for the camera'. Virgin's PR Team really f***ed this up. They were a hindrance to the experience, and were constantly getting in the crew's way during dinner service for example...

From what I've read, neither of these issues seem to have been experienced on the later groups, so perhaps our group was just a bit of a learning curve for them! Again, don't at all want to sound ungrateful, really enjoyed the day, glad we got to go, and as Virgin Staff constantly told us - if they could do something bigger they would have - and they were expecting to disappoint a few hundred, when in fact Eventbrite stats show 90,000 people accessed the website that morning...

Happy to answer any further questions though
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Old Dec 17, 20, 5:31 am
  #26  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Surely they could have hosted this all week?
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Old Dec 17, 20, 6:19 am
  #27  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
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Originally Posted by Qatar Airways View Post
Surely they could have hosted this all week?
Alas, no. They had to fit this into the Maintenance schedule. The aircraft is only there for a short time and there was a lot that needed doing. They were working on the aircraft during our visit and it's quite disruptive to have people in a live work environment I guess...

Equally this came together very last minute. They had to jump through multiple hoops to even make this happen and apparently it nearly didn't. Health and Safety and regulation is of course always going to be most important.
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Old Dec 17, 20, 3:59 pm
  #28  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
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I was in the last session of the day (4.30-7.30pm) and it was just fantastic! As @cattp said the people really make this airline and they were all so enthusiastic and generous with their time - we ended up leaving just before 9pm. Clearly a very difficult event to put together given the constraints and they did a great job - it was like the 2015 BA open day on steroids and I feel really lucky to have managed to get tickets against the odds!

The HfP article was a very good summary of the event. The only press around in the session was the guy from big jet tv who just popped into briefly during the meal service.

My favourite part, rather unexpectedly, was being shown the black boxes from within the crew rest area at the back of the plane, closely followed by some demos in the cockpit.

The food and alcohol was plentiful (if only I hadnt driven - the other guests were enjoying the champagne anyway!) and they gave a little goodie bag with a 747 safety card, pjs, amenity kit, celebratory menu card, the obligatory Wilbur and Orville, and a Virgin Atlantic Christmas jumper.

A truly excellent event!

Ps The number of tickets for sale via eventbrite was only 36 (12 for each session) - 2 tickets from each session were for winners of an internal competition
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