My flight VS301’s take-off time was 1305hours and since I was eager to get a good seat and get my luggage checked in without standing in long queues, I’d checked-in online and also printed my boarding pass. I was at the airport at 1000hrs and I was the only one at the Virgin counters!
All checked-in, security-check done, declared my camera gear with Customs so I’m not harassed on my way back with “Ooooh! New equipment, pay duty.” etc. The Customs officers made it really easy though – I think it was because I was accompanied by Sandeep from Virgin Atlantic. He knew exactly what to do.
And off they go – both my #EyesForLondon suitcases! I need something more colorful for other upcoming international journeys – gray is so not me.
There he is! Sandeep. Thank you for hanging around and making my life easy! Definitely my #FITFOO moment! What I had anticipated would take about an hour, was done in a couple of minutes tops! #FlyingInTheFaceOfOrdinary
Check that out! The Premium Plaza Lounge that Virgin graciously provided access to for me. It was calm and quiet, the food was great, the people were nice and I had plenty of time to configure my camera for use on board the flight.
Coffee and cookies. To start the “Feeding session”.
And a Bloody Mary. It was quite well made.
Food! The “Jerk Chicken” was fabulous.
There is the Jerk Chicken dish in all its glory. Yummy!
The drinks bar.
And there she is. Chhavi Tomar from Virgin Atlantic who showed up to help me with boarding the flight. Love how smart and well turned-out she is!
Love that scarf! Red is my favorite, so Virgin Atlantic has the advantage of my “color-love”.
Good color on the shoes too – I’m not so sure about the “looks” of the shoes but then they better be comfortable to compensate for those looks!
Even the coat buttons have VA!
And there’s my airplane! I’d be on the Diamond Girl to London!
And here’s my tribute to the Diamond Girl. Glinting reflection of my diamond ring on the airplane interiors!
In the plane now. Headphone, the entertainment system and great seats that recline AND have extra leg space.
And we’re off! The VA flight was on time all the way through. The take off was impeccable.
The landing card that will be provided to you if you are a tourist / non-UK citizen. You need to hand this over at immigration once you land in the UK.
Another very important card here. The menu! And quite a range of food. I had a few wine + Pepsi glasses, “aloo chana” chaat, a fried chicken piccata and the berry and chocolate mousse was lovely. And then the penne pasta chicken before we landed. Good stuff. Water can be filled in tiny-tiny cups from the water-tap next to the loos. Since those glasses were too small for me, I kept the purple plastic wine glasses for my water. A +8 hour flight means walk around a bit and don’t forget to drink your water.
These are some fantastic potato pretzels! My neighbor had two. My neighbor was a physiotherapist who lives and works in London with his wife and daughter. He is originally from India. Nice guy.
My savior : the purple Virgin Atlantic plastic glass! Cracks easily though – as I found out when I carried it out with me – I wanted to make a picture.
The entertainment system has a live map of your flight’s path as well and I was over Afghanistan. Had to check out the view.
Three movies. Fast and Furious 6 with Mr. Samoan Thor Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel. The animated film EPIC and the short, entertaining but completely missable Hansel & Gretel ” Witch hunters. [ I picked the latter only because that was all the time I had before the flight landed. ] Quite a good selection of films otherwise. Silver Linings Playbook as well, which I will watch on my return flight hopefully.
Oh look! Looks like Europe!
That layer of clouds reminds of what to expect in London.
And we’ve just flown over Copenhagen.
Good landing but really long queue at immigration! The hot girl at immigration wanted to know what I wanted to do in London for almost 30 days and there was so much to tell that I momentarily blanked out. Then “London Fashion Week, London Design Festival, etc.” She looked like she might’ve been from India and said “Isn’t it wedding season in India? You’re a photographer and I’m sure you shoot weddings, so what are you doing here?” I corrected her that wedding season in India is primarily November and December and that I couldn’t possibly handle the cold temperatures in London later.
My suitcases crawled out soon enough and someone even recognized me at the airport because they’d seen enough photos of me online and then they saw the “Naina” scrawled on the suitcases as well! Thanks for coming and saying hello Neha and hope to see you in India soon!
Thank you for the great experience Virgin Atlantic, Kanika, Bhakti and the rest of the crew and now I’m in London! So much more to write about and show here. Thankfully I’m living with wonderful hosts & the lady is exceptionally tuned into what I’m into and I’ve already gotten a low down of how London works.
Some views before I headed to bed. Thankfully no jetlag.