NEWS: Virgin Atlantic new onboard meal service, Morocco bans UK & easyJet opens a lounge!

Some links on Turning Left for Less pay us an affiliate commission to support this blog

Virgin Atlantic new onboard meal service

As Virgin Atlantic ramps up services to popular destinations such as San Francisco and Cape Town, the airline is introducing new Autumn menus including the re-introduction of some Upper Class favourites as well as all new sustainable wine in cans for Premium and Economy – all available onboard this month. While wine in cans used to be something of a laughing stock due to the deterioration in taste, cans have come a long way since then. I have visited respectable vineyards that are now offering wine in cans for things like picnics. 

Virgin were one of the better airlines in terms of maintaining a decent onboard service during the pandemic. Now they are going further and introducing more of their usual service items back.

Barista style coffee

Upper Class customers will see the return of Virgin Atlantic’s famous cocktails and barista style coffees, Supper service and Extra Bite menu, as well as enhanced menu options. New starters available include a pear and Waldorf salad or smoked duck breast followed by a main choice of braised pork cheek, roasted trout fillet or vegan spiced cauliflower pie.

Upper class

Premium Economy updates see new antipasti plate as a starter followed by an autumnal venison stew, spicy jerk chicken or vegan penne Bolognese and finally a  dessert option of a New York style cheesecake. One of my onboard favorites on a night flight is also back as the hot chocolate service has returned across all cabins. 

Premium main chicken

As part of Virgin Atlantic’s commitment to reducing waste, Premium and Economy customers will be trialling the service of Nice Drinks Sauvignon Blanc or Argentinian Malbec as part of the complimentary wine service. The cans are 100% recyclable, plastic-free and a more sustainable, lighter weight option than wine bottles. What a great idea someone had to introduce this as an alternative to the usual plastic bottles which are not eco-friendly. Nice Drinks will be available onboard from late October.

I have always really enjoyed the food on Virgin with plenty of choice and some interesting light and vegan options. I am sad not to see the return of the hot dessert yet as this was always one of my highlights on board. 

New menus

This is what you can expect outbound from the UK

 

New Upper Class Menu:

  • Welcome champagne and snacks
  • Including full bar service and the reintroduction of cocktails and barista style coffees

 

Starters

  • Pear Waldorf Salad, baby pear, toasted sunflower seeds and lovage leaves (v)
  • Smoked duck breast, fennel and dill salad, Seville orange marmalade and crostini

Entree

  • Braised pork cheek, cauliflower purée, potato fondant, kale and red wine jus
  • Roasted fillet of trout, chickpea masala, Gujarati green beans, red pepper pakoras and creamy curry sauce
  • Vegan spiced cauliflower, spinach and lentil pastry pie, sautéed Lyonnaise potatoes, garden vegetables and herb gravy (ve)
  • Plus regionally inspired dishes on specific routes

Desserts

  • Lemon and coconut dome, coconut cream and freeze dried raspberries
  • Wensleydale with cranberry, cheddar, chutney, grapes and crostini

 

  • A night flight supper service
  • Cream of tomato soup, served with a warm double cheese toastie (v)

 

  • Extra Bite Service

Eric Lanlard Mile High Tea

  • Mozzarella, artichoke and lemon basil mayonnaise in a mini malted roll and harissa chickpea and red pepper wrap
  • Scone, clotted cream and strawberry jam; Lemon posset éclair, passionfruit tart and blackberry and bay macaron

Burger

  • Buttermilk chicken burger, red cabbage slaw and crisps + chocolate gateau

Mezze

  • Kuku sabzi, baby artichoke, sundried tomato, lemon zest marinated olives, with a tabbouleh and pomegranate salad + Rose financier

 

New Premium Menu

  • Restart of welcome drinks

 

  • New antipasti plate
  • Feta, pea and herb frittata bite with olive tapenade and sun dried tomato (v)

 

  • Entree
  • Venison stew, wild garlic new potatoes and braised red cabbage
  • Spicy jerk chicken, rice and beans, with sweetcorn chilli salsa
  • Vegan penne Bolognese (ve)
  • Plus regionally inspired dishes on specific routes
  • Dessert
  • New York cheesecake

 

  • Snacks
  • Refreshed range of Wander Wall self-serve snack options including new Creative Nature 14 allergens free fruit bar

 

New Economy Options

  • Entree
  • Chicken butternut squash pasta
  • Thai green vegetables curry
  • Plus regionally inspired dishes on specific routes
  • Dessert
  • Cheese & crackers
  • Pots & Co Dessert Pot (ve)

 

Corneel Koster, Chief Customer and Operating Officer at Virgin Atlantic commented: “At Virgin Atlantic we know that the travelling experience is about so much more than just getting from A to B. As restrictions continue to ease and customers return to the skies, we’ve introduced some exciting new Autumn menu options, and reintroduced onboard favourites and little touches that make all the difference in enhancing the flying experience for our customers. We’re also proud to be making changes in line with our commitment to offering a more sustainable service, by trialling recyclable wine in cans from Nice Drinks.

“Those joining us on board for the first time since the pandemic can rest assured knowing that health and safety remains top of mind, ensuring that everyone flies safe and well with Virgin Atlantic. We cannot wait to welcome our customers back on board, flying them safely and in style, on a well-deserved holiday or to reunite and reconnect with loved ones, colleagues, business partners or customers”.

 

NEW MENU UPDATES

(Based on menus for UK outbound flights. All menus across the network showcase a refreshed range and vary per route.)

 

New Upper Class Menu:

 

  • Welcome champagne and snacks
  • Including full bar service and the reintroduction of cocktails and barista-style coffees

 

  • Dine service

 

Starters

  • Pear Waldorf Salad, baby pear, toasted sunflower seeds and lovage leaves (v)
  • Smoked duck breast, fennel and dill salad, Seville orange marmalade and crostini

Entree

  • Braised pork cheek, cauliflower purée, potato fondant, kale and red wine jus
  • Roasted fillet of trout, chickpea masala, Gujarati green beans, red pepper pakoras and creamy curry sauce
  • Vegan spiced cauliflower, spinach and lentil pastry pie, sautéed Lyonnaise potatoes, garden vegetables and herb gravy (ve)
  • Plus regionally inspired dishes on specific routes

Desserts

  • Lemon and coconut dome, coconut cream and freeze dried raspberries
  • Wensleydale with cranberry, cheddar, chutney, grapes and crostini

 

  • A night flight supper service
  • Cream of tomato soup, served with a warm double cheese toastie (v)

 

  • Extra Bite Service

Eric Lanlard Mile High Tea

  • Mozzarella, artichoke and lemon basil mayonnaise in a mini malted roll and harissa chickpea and red pepper wrap
  • Scone, clotted cream and strawberry jam; Lemon posset éclair, passionfruit tart and blackberry and bay macaron

Burger

  • Buttermilk chicken burger, red cabbage slaw and crisps + chocolate gateau

 

Mezze

  • Kuku sabzi, baby artichoke, sundried tomato, lemon zest marinated olives, with a tabbouleh and pomegranate salad + Rose financier

 

New Premium Menu

  • Restart of welcome drinks

 

  • New antipasti plate
  • Feta, pea and herb frittata bite with olive tapenade and sun dried tomato (v)

 

  • Entree
  • Venison stew, wild garlic new potatoes and braised red cabbage
  • Spicy jerk chicken, rice and beans, with sweetcorn chilli salsa
  • Vegan penne Bolognese (ve)
  • Plus regionally inspired dishes on specific routes
  • Dessert
  • New York cheesecake

 

  • Snacks
  • Refreshed range of Wander Wall self-serve snack options including new Creative Nature 14 allergens free fruit bar

 

New Economy Options

  • Entree
  • Chicken butternut squash pasta
  • Thai green vegetables curry
  • Plus regionally inspired dishes on specific routes
  • Dessert
  • Cheese & crackers
  • Pots & Co Dessert Pot (ve)

 

For further information or to book please visit www.virginatlantic.com 

 

Morocco bans the UK

Main square of Marrakesh in old Medina. Morocco.

When I read this news that afternoon my heart sank. Not because I want to go to Morroco but because it reminds me of the last few times when countries started banning the UK in quick succession. Let’s hope that history does not keep repeating itself. 

Morocco will suspend flights from and to the UK from 23.59 Morocco time tonight, until further notice.  The ban also applies to Germany, Netherlands, and Russia. Airlines are currently canceling services with easyJet cancelling all outbound flights to Morocco from the UK until 30 November.

A spokesperson for easyJet said: “We have two flights operating from the UK from Manchester and Gatwick to Marrakech which we will operate as ferry flights to return customers due to travel back today.

“We are still awaiting clarity from the Moroccan authorities as to whether we are permitted to operate repatriation flights beyond midnight today. Pending guidance from the Moroccan government, we intend to fly inbound in the coming days to offer passengers repatriation flight options.

We are contacting all customers whose flights are cancelled with their options which include a free of charge transfer, receiving a voucher or a refund.”

British Airways has cancelled flights until 11 November. 

 

easyJet opens its first lounge!

I have to say I never thought I would be writing this story, but it certainly shows how much BA are up against with its return to Gatwick.   

With business travel slowly starting to return, easyJet has today announced it will open the doors to its first airport lounge in collaboration with No1 Lounges at the North Terminal at London Gatwick Airport. Opening on 21 October, the new lounge can be booked in advance through easyJet’s partnership with Holiday Extras, at https://parking.easyjet.com/easyjet-lounges.html or you can also book in on the day of travel. It doesn’t say where it is yet but it looks like is the former MyLounge that has been closed since Covid. 

A range of one, two and three-hour packages are available with prices starting from £18.50. I think having different amounts of time is very clever. It stops people taking the mickey by using it as an office for the day while drinking the bar dry (that would be me!) and keeps prices low if you only want a short stay.

The lounge is open from 6am to 6pm every day and you can use the lounge up to 1 hour before your flight

The Gateway will offer passengers comfortable spaces space to eat, drink and work before their flight. The Gateway will offer customers a choice of complimentary hot and cold menus with a selection of, freshly prepared dishes brought to you table as well as a range of self-serve side dishes and hot and cold drinks. Destination-inspired signature dishes, which change every quarter, will be offered for those wishing to get that authentic taste of Europe, as well as the lounge’s own signature cocktail list.      

The Gateway provides free Wifi and areas to work with convenient charging points; a choice of dining and lounge soft-seating,  as well as areas that families can enjoy exploring including the TV den and games room.   

Rachael Smith, Commercial Proposition & Innovation Director for easyJet, commented:

“We are delighted to be launching our very first airport lounge in partnership with No1 Lounges to serve passengers at London Gatwick, where we’re proud to be the largest airline. 

We’re always looking for opportunities to offer travellers more choice and great value, so we’re proud that The Gateway will be able to offer something for everyone whether it’s all the essentials for a workspace, somewhere comfortable to relax before jetting off or to entertain the family.

“The launch is timely as we are seeing the recovery begin in the UK, not only for leisure travel where winter sun destinations are proving popular once again, but for business travellers too, who are returning in their biggest numbers since before the pandemic.

“Whatever the reason for travel, we are confident that the lounge will provide the perfect destination for customers wanting to get their trip off to a perfect start.”

Now that easyJet have a reasonably priced lounge, would you consider using easyJet instead of BA to save money? Let us know in the comments below. 

1 Comment on "NEWS: Virgin Atlantic new onboard meal service, Morocco bans UK & easyJet opens a lounge!"

  1. As far as I am aware BA haven’t even reopened their lounge at Gatwick yet so they had better get their act together fast!

Comments are closed.