I realized, maybe fifteen minutes after I was seated, that I have been enormously, horribly spoiled by JetBlue. JetBlue is very good at two things: getting you to your destination on time (out of the roughly eight flights I’ve taken with them, one has been late – and two have been early), and legroom.
As it turns out, these are the two things Virgin Atlantic are *not* good at. Granted, the delays may not have entirely been their fault – NYC had a line of about thirty planes waiting for take-off, Heathrow had a small delay as there was a line to come down – but the legroom is inexcusable. It’s particularly inexcusable when you realize that you’re stuck on the plane for at least six hours, and overnight (read: sleepy) hours at that.
I was also woefully underimpressed with the attendant staff, who did not answer a page I made for thirty minutes – and then merely turned off the light rather than asking if I needed anything. Just immigration forms, nothing important. (sigh)
On the small list of positives, the food was adequete, and the in-flight entertainment thing had six episodes of [The Catherine Tate Show](http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/guide/articles/c/catherinetateshow_999040216.shtml), which was quite good.
They have another flight ahead of them to redeem themselves, and lord knows they have no real motivation to do so, but my advice at this juncture is a strong caution.
After landing, of course, was a whole different adventure. Customs and baggage claim were a piece of cake. However, the Tube was (of course) busted. So we had to leap onto the Heathrow Express at a cost of £15.5 a piece. Then, there was waiting in four separate lines to try and get weekly Oyster cards (another £22 each), and then finally made it to the hotel.
The total commute, from leaving our apartment in Astoria to arriving at the Cumberland, totalled around fourteen hours, of which I slept maybe three. Needless to say, my body is terribly confused about the time of day that it is but I think I’m starting to adjust.
The hotel is quite pleasant – modernish, right near Hyde Park, let us check in early. However, there is one downfall, and that’s the internet access. 24 hours of access costs a ridiculous £15.99 – again, for people converting to US Dollars, just double. I don’t need to mention that we probably won’t be buying it daily.