Meanwhile, on the roof of the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse in Heathrow Terminal 3 …..

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If you are flying on Virgin Atlantic between now and 14th January, you are in for something different.

Virgin has launched a tie-up with London’s Coppa Club to install one of their heated igloos on the roof of the Heathrow Clubhouse lounge.

Based on Lower Thames Street, Coppa Club has been placing its signature igloos on the Thames Path for the last two years, allowing diners to eat whilst enjoying views over the river.  Reservations for 2017 sold out in four hours.  Click to enlarge:

The igloo installed on the roof of the Virgin Clubhouse seats eight people.  It has runway views and food and drink from the Clubhouse restaurant will be served inside.  It is “luxuriously decorated in a Nordic style with Virgin flair”.

Virgin Atlantic Coppa Club

You can expect to see a number of new Virgin events and innovations going forward as the company attempts to bring back some of the sparkle it has arguably lost in recent years.  One of the top Starwood marketing executives, Daniel Kerzner, has now taken the ‘customer experience’ role at Virgin Atlantic, and I think both companies have a similar DNA.

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse Coppa Club igloo

Unlike the ‘head of customer experience’ role at British Airways – in which the first two people to have the job resigned in frustration and the third was recruited internally, which defeats the object in many ways – Virgin is genuinely backing this as far as I can tell.  Interesting times are ahead.

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  1. Alan Wan says:

    I was invited by Virgin Atlantic to an event at the Coppa Club a few weeks ago. It was great they sat us in one of the igloos and plied us with food and drink and asked us lots of questions of why we loved Virgin Atlantic but also how they could improve. There were a lot of flight crew acting as hosts/question askers and we met the new head of customer experience.

  2. Johnny Tabasco says:

    Well, the addition of any sort of extra seating in the Clubhouse is very welcome. Even if it is only for a few weeks…

  3. BA has a customevexpeience role? Ha ha ha ha ha…..

    • Yeah I think Hilda Ogden is in the position currently

    • She’s called Caroline. First bit of bad news – she came from Iberia (but her predecessor came from Avis!). Second bit of bad news – she went on the BA FutureTrends (or whatever it’s called) flyer forum and asked people to tell her what was wrong with BA ……

  4. As somebody living in a Nordic country the phrase “luxuriously decorated in a Nordic style” makes me smile.
    “luxuriously decorated” and ” in a Nordic style” don’t really go together and the more “luxurious” the less mysig.

  5. The Virgin Clubhouse definitely needs more space. I was there last February (thanks to HfP) and since the Delta folk use it it’s now more crowded and less exclusive feeling.

  6. thehornets says:

    Do you need to book?…as I will be there in January ????

  7. Intentionally Blank says:

    A few years ago, Virgin stuck a Jag XKR up there. Was wonderful. As the doors were open, you could climb in and, despite the noise outside, once the doors were shut, it was bliss.

    In this day and age, I’m still amazed that this space still exists

    The one thing the lounge needs is a dedicated business space. The Library used to be good, but now it’s tables for the (very excellent) restaurant

  8. I agree Virgin is in need of a bit of a relaunch when it comes to the innovation and that overall slightly fun feel it used to have! I used to fly with them in UC quite a bit but haven’t for years! I do think Daniel Kerzner is exactly the sort of person needed to do this and I will be keeping an eye on Virgin going forward!

    • Some of his plans are very interesting. And not expensive. Good architecture tends to cost the same as bad architecture, to nick a phrase from another sector.

      Take Norwegian. Passengers in economy seem to enjoy being able to order a meal from their seatback – at a time of their choosing and from a wide selection – even if it costs money. They prefer this to being given a poor free meal from a limited selection at a time chosen by the airline. I am not saying Virgin will do this, but I am saying that if you look at things from a customer viewpoint things can improve at little cost.

      • It makes a lot of sense and anything that makes Virgin look more innovative and less stale will make a difference! It is long overdue an I would say a bit of an uphill battle but to be fair BA these days are doing all they can to make Virgin look good regardless!

      • I can only echo the ability to order a meal from the seatback at a time of my choosing as a huge plus, I’ve never flown Norewigian but if they also take the payment from the seat and not as they deliver the food to you this could end up actually costing the crew less time not more and giving the passenger more flexibility.
        In flight payments need some work, it frustrates me hugely that we cab’t somehow pre authorise a card to bill to our seat and to not have to faff around on the aircraft with cards or cash.

  9. Quick question, flying Virgin PE.. does that get you any lounge access? Or am I having to rely on my PP?

    • Graham Walsh says:

      No Lounge Access, need to use your PP

    • No. But the No 1 Lounge and the Club Aspire lounge in Heathrow T3 are excellent and accept PP.

      • Ah thanks. Gutted, wanted to give the clubhouse a try as well. No. 1 in LHR is always so busy.

        • the real harry1 says:

          the hot food in Club Aspire was very poor on Saturday afternoon – basically a choice between runny maccaroni cheese or pasta & runny dogfood sauce – didn’t actually look fit for pets

          the rest – salads/ drinks – was great, but I felt disappointed for my kids, who obviously didn’t get the benefit of loads of G&Ts/ beer chasers

    • Go up to the clubhouse on the day and see if you can pay to get in. I have done this before when flying PE, £60 which I think is well worth it considering how much booze I managed to drink 😉

      • That’s an interesting idea. Given how many PE upgrade vouchers I currently have, that would make sense if it works.

      • Trouble is the VS Clubhouse is busier than it used to be now with the Delta pax, and the PE entry is or was dependant on it being quiet.

  10. OT but virgin related. They cancelled my flight out to Vegas next year, putting me on one the next day, which is rather inconvenient. Could I ask to be routed on delta via Salt Lake City instead?

  11. One Igloo seating 8 people is hardly going to make a huge impact. More likely raise expectations then disappoint when it’s full and they can’t get to try it out.

    • I wonder what the acoustics are like inside. No doubt somebody will be doing face time showing it off to a woman at the other end wearing a bathrobe as seems to happen in most lounges now.

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