a black car in a parking lot

I just love the movie “Almost Famous”. The film chronicles the rise and fall of a fictional band in the seventies and during a blissful moment on the rise, offers the quintessential line “It’s all happening”. When someone comes out from what looks like a hotel lobby to open your car door and hand you a boarding pass before sending a porter off with your luggage, it’s impossible not to mutter an “it’s all happening” or an “are we really at an airport?”. Sure, we’re capable of showing up at an airport curb, walking into a terminal and navigating our way to a check in line through the hoards of people, but if you don’t have to; why would you? In London Virgin Atlantic offers one of the most unique travel experiences attainable without leaving the ground.


The Upper Class Wing isn’t just an area for priority check in. It’s a wing. All Virgin Atlantic Upper Class fliers whether using miles or on a paid ticket are invited to use this dedicated airport area where you can say goodbye to standing in line. To optimize your experience it’s best to call ahead and pre book your slot by giving your reservation information, license plate number and baggage details. Happily, if you don’t know who’s taking you to the airport you are welcome to call back with license information once in the car. When you arrive at the airport you follow signs for the separate Upper Class Wing near Terminal 3 and the experience begins to unfold as you enter the private channel.


After passing the signs above you reach yet another barrier while your car is scanned. Once scanned, you drive a short distance up to this round “courtyard” style entrance with it’s signature sphere.


After a semi circle you find yourself greeted by a Virgin Atlantic ground rep who kindly brings your boarding pass and arranges a luggage porter.


Bye, bye nice man who drove us. Your car sure looks snazzy!

a black car in a parking lot

If like us they need your passports once more, you can grab a seat in this quaint little sitting area, complete with the ultimate scale airplane model for geeks like me.

a model airplane in a room

They say entrance to lounge in ten minutes and after two minutes while our passports were examined we put it to the test following these fairly intuitive signs. I’m sure some moron still manages to get lost…

a sign in a room

Fortunately for the morons there aren’t many options down this straight hallway to a dedicated security channel which virtually never has more than two people standing in front of you. Super fast…

a long hallway with a wood floor and a wood floor

Once through security you do feed into the main terminal and the all knowing, all seeing, all ruling King of England, Duty Free. Once you avoid buying David Beckham’s whiskey you follow signs for H lounges…

a sign with a letter on it

Assuming you were waiting to get your drinks in at the lounge and not before, the signs below seem fairly easy to follow. Not quite as easy after a few (hundred) drinks in the lounge.

a sign with text and directions

And voila, you’re there. The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at London Heathrow is one of the best business class lounges in the world and whether you’re in for a dip in the hot tub, a view from the roof deck, a haircut or just a hell of a lot of drinking, it’s one of my favorite places while traveling.

a sign on a wall

Well, that’s all folks. To know what it’s like inside you’ll have to wait until tomorrow post on the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse! Needless to say I slept quite well on my flight. I certainly felt like it was all happening as I made my way through this unique and creative ground experience. It certainly makes you feel special. I like to feel special….

As Always, GodSaveThePoints@gmail.com

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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