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The Joys Of Flying Virgin Upper Class

I'll admit, I'm spoiled when it comes to flying to London or Paris and back to the states. I have flown all but one flight in either business/premium economy or UpperClass over the past two years using points, upgrades and bonus coupons on Virgin Atlantic, the late and lamented MaxJet, Eos or even L'Avion/Open Skies. And it sure makes a difference.

This summer, since June 3rd there have been three round trips from the left coast to London, with this trip combining what would have been two trips back and forth by wrapping my vacation in the middle of them in Europe. Without flying Upper Class, it never could have happened.

As a road warrior I know what I can do to stretch/stress my body (and my mind) and be able to get off a plane and go right in to "work" mode. Coach may be good for holiday travel, and I flew mostly coach around Europe this trip including flights back and forth to Barcelona, then Club Europe, which is more like Economy plus to Mulhouse, coach back from Montpellier and over to Vienna and then Club Europe back from Vienna to London (the legroom is the big plus) but most of all this mode of travel starts to make a business person's life much easier.

But the amenities inside the Virgin Clubhouse are what makes it my favorite experience in flying.

1) Salon and Spa--I have zero time this week to get my locks sheared after what is about six weeks or so. Sure I could have tried to get a trim in London or Vienna, but after a cut in Barcelona my hair is a tad out of shape and with a panel to moderate at IT Expo this week I'd like to at least not look like Cosmo Kraemer or the second coming of Professor Brown from "Back to the Future."

2) Food-not only is the food cooked to order, its fresh and tasty.

3) Room to relax. There are five or six different zones ranging from a sit down dining area, a work zone, an upstairs meeting area and a bunch of relaxation couch areas that make it easy to sit back and enjoy the soccer matches on the 15 foot widescreen.

4) Power stations--Virgin realized people will be plugged in, or want to plug in, and there's more than enough outlets, both USA and UK format to keep you powered up and working.

5) Wi-Fi- powered by T-Mobile, Virgin gives you the access for free, and while it's not FIOS or FTTP speeds, it's at least the speed of a T1.

Most of all, you get to relax before you fly, and then when they call your flight, you just walk a few minutes and board your flight.

Call it spoiled. I call it civilized when you travel as much as I do.


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