Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Wing and Clubhouse, London Heathrow – Review
Convenience may arguably be the single factor that the busy traveler prizes above all else today. Indeed, while convenience means different things to different people, an undisputed definition would include short lines and personalized treatment.
Virgin Atlantic offers these to its Upper Class passengers departing from London’s Heathrow Airport, and the idea of convenience starts with the entrance to its private departures area, the Upper Class Wing. To put it mildly, not everyone can get in.
If you are traveling on Virgin and being picked up by a Virgin driver, getting in is automatic. If you have your own car or are taking a taxi, it’s merely a matter of placing a phone call (sorry, can’t tell you the number, it’s on a need-to-know basis).
Upon arrival, you have to be buzzed in. The driver pulls up a ramp to a series of remote-controlled stanchions that would make Buckingham Palace proud. Stanchion goes down, green light, pull in but stop at the red light and second stanchion. First stanchion goes up, second goes down, and you’re in.
All this to get to Virgin’s private check-in area at Heathrow’s Terminal 3.
And it’s worth it.
As my Virgin-provided car pulled up – and we were the only car there – an escort was there to open the door and greet me, by name. I was shown to one of the check-in desks inside, although I later returned to admire the sculpture in the center of the circular driveway.
Checking in took mere minutes, and, boarding card in hand, I headed for the security checkpoint. This was not what Heathrow calls Fast Track. This was an entirely separate lane fed from within the Virgin terminal. There was no one ahead of me in line although one person followed a few moments later.