Looking back, I constantly wonder how I ended up doing what I do for a living. I was a kid who played tennis, then a music nerd who ended up working in that business and somehow now I run a large blog talking about travel on a daily basis. Through it all, air travel was the fabric that wove those passions and in the world of air travel, nothing has had greater impact on me than the skies between New York and London. Tomorrow, I’m more excited than I’ve ever been to fly the route, and in case you didn’t know, I fly it quite a lot…
Growing up, it was the rumble of Concorde or the inimitable pitch of a British Airways 747 circling over on approach for Runway 22 that got my early #avgeek going. I’ve always loved planes and taken every opportunity to jump on one, even at a moments notice. In that sense, I suppose it’s no surprise at all that I do what I do. Since those early days, the skies between New York and London inspired my now blogging life, lead me to my wife and have kept me connected to both sides of the Atlantic, with the people that matter most to me.
But for almost 20 years now, the skies between New York and London have been much the same, at least as far as the planes and seats within them go. I love the Boeing 747’s, Airbus A330’s, Boeing 767’s, Boeing 777’s and Airbus A340’s but other than the Queen, they’re just planes. Nothing new, nothing all that cool, with the exception of the 787 Dreamliner.
Tomorrow, that’s changing.
When a flash sale popped up, I jumped on the chance to book myself a ticket on the inaugural A350 flight for Virgin Atlantic, flight 153 from London Heathrow to New York’s JFK Airport. To the best of my knowledge, which I know you will correct either way, it’s the first time an Airbus A350-1000 will fly between London and any US gateway, let alone my hometown airport. Furthermore, Virgin Atlantic is making JFK a priority with the A350, bringing 4X daily flights by December.
The A350 is my favourite plane currently flying, thanks to ultra quiet interior inside, an improved cabin pressure and lots of nice new tech. Plus, it kinda looks like a racoon and has really cool wingtips. But its the combo of the new plane smell outside, and the first brand new interior in well over a decade that I just can’t wait to experience. I’ll never forget my first time flying BA first, or Virgin Upper Class, mainly because I spent most of my life walking directly past them, all the way to the back, but it’s been so long since there was something genuinely new to jump up and down about.
Frankly, it’s almost an odd feeling for me. I was able to see a full scale mock up of the seats in each cabin on the ground at Virgin base months ago, but to be an actual passenger, kick your feet up and put a real live version through its paces is something totally different. I’m so comfortable on most planes than I know my exact seat, where each part of my bag will go, where to stash my wallet (that’s a secret) and all that stuff, but tomorrow, it’s all new – again.
If you’re interested to see how Virgin Atlantic’s new Airbus A350-1000 stacks up, follow along with me tomorrow on Twitter and Instagram, where I’ll be posting live and interactive content. Of course, you can expect resources on best seats and reviews of each cabin to follow shortly too : )
For selfish and personal reasons, I’m quite excited.