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Flying Virgin Atlantic Upper Class …. whilst pregnant

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This is my review of Virgin Atlantic Upper Class …. whilst pregnant.

Yes, we’ve done lots of flight reviews on Head for Points – I’ve written quite a few of them myself – but this is a first for us.

I would say I’m an experienced traveller, especially after three years working on HFP.  I know my way around airports and get on planes like other people get on trains.  I have never worried much about anything other than getting to the airport in time, until Rob asked me if I would travel from the US to Europe at 23 weeks pregnant.  The Head for Points Summer Party was here and I wanted to catch up in person with our key marketing contacts.

I knew I couldn’t run around as fast as usual or carry a lot of luggage.  I was also worried about having to sit on a plane for hours.  Giving the date, however, it was likely to be my last chance to get back to Europe pre-baby.

After doing some research, reading a couple of mummy blogs and talking to my husband, I decided to do it.  After all it meant I could book in a number of work meetings, see my London friends and tag on a visit to my family in Germany. I knew it was going to be stressful, but I was also excited to finally get back to Europe after almost a year.  And I needed more German mustard …..

Flying Virgin Atlantic whilst pregnant

The rules on flying whilst pregnant

Airlines have their own individual guidelines about accepting pregnant passengers and you should always check before booking.  At 23 weeks, which I was on the outbound (and 25 weeks when I returned), no special information is required.

The British Airways guidelines for flying whilst pregnant are here.  For BA you cannot fly after:

  • the end of the 36th week if you are pregnant with one baby
  • the end of the 32nd week if you are pregnant with more than one baby

BA recommends that you carry a letter or statement from your doctor or midwife confirming whether your pregnancy is single or multiple, your expected due date and that there are no complications with your pregnancy.

With Virgin Atlantic (their guidelines are here), you can fly until your 28th week without needing to inform the airline.  Beyond the 28th week, Virgin requires certain information:

  • if you’re expecting one baby and want to travel between your 28th and 36th weeks, you require a certificate from your doctor which must be produced on request during the trip
  • for multiple births, you need a certificate if you want to travel between your 28th and 32nd weeks

After your 36th week (32nd week for multiple pregnancies), you cannot fly with Virgin Atlantic unless it is for urgent medical or compassionate reasons and the airline has given you pre-approval to travel.

The trip

I decided to bring our smallest suitcase which would keep me from bringing too much stuff that I would end up unable to carry – I have travelled with a full 32kg suitcase in the past!  I chose a backpack as my carry-on luggage instead of my go-to handbag plus a small purse for my documents.

I don’t live near an airport with direct flights to Europe and therefore had an overnight layover in Boston.  This actually made the trip much easier as I didn’t have to worry about missed connections or changing terminals.

Instead I got to relax and sleep at the Hilton Boston Logan Airport before getting on the next flight the next morning. The hotel was in walking distance to Terminal E (about 12 minutes) but there is also the option of taking an airport shuttle bus.

The Clubhouse lounge in Boston

Virgin Atlantic has a Clubhouse lounge at Boston Logan located on level 2 opposite gate 11.  Don’t expect this to be anything like the Heathrow Clubhouse lounge – it is far smaller, but nevertheless it’s a pleasant place to spend an hour.

There was a kitchen at the back where you could order hot breakfast or get a selection of cereals and bread with cheese or cold cuts. The lounge personnel were very attentive and happy to bring drinks to my table.

Virgin Atlantic lounge Boston

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class on the A330-300

I had never flown Virgin Atlantic before and was intrigued to find out if I would like their unique seat arrangement.  (If I had flown after 10th September we would have chosen a JFK flight on the new A350, which is a totally different seat to this one.)

Long-term readers will remember that Virgin Atlantic refurbished these aircraft in 2017 after it admitted that the previous 1-1-1-1 layout was far too tight.  The current layout is 1-1-1 with 31 seats in total (10 / 11 / 10).

You can find out more about the refurbishment on the Virgin Atlantic blog here.  Here is a PR picture:

All seats were facing the aisles whilst the windows were always behind you – that is if you had a window.

I was in seat 8A, which funnily enough was Rob’s seat back in 2016, though on a Boeing 787-9 – you can read his review here.  In the picture above, the ‘A’ seats are on the right, so I was looking at the wall behind the ‘G’ seats.

Direct aisle access and close proximity to the toilets were definitely a plus on this flight (pregnancy bladder ……).

I found it a little bit tricky to take a full picture of the seat as the aisle itself was fairly slim. The seat and footrest are separate and you cannot slide your seat all the way down to meet the footrest.

Virgin Atlantic Businessand

Virgin Atlantic Business

As you can see in the picture above the screen is roughly where your shoulder is and in order to watch a movie you need to fold it out. When folded out the screen was roughly on chest height which meant my belly wasn’t in the way.

The IFE screen is 11.1 inches.  This sounds small in contrast to screens on other aircraft, but because the screen is very close to your face it doesn’t feel tiny.  Unfortunately the movie selection wasn’t the best and I ended up not watching anything.  Apologies to readers who were expecting my usual film reviews …

There was a small pop-out shelf next to the IFE screen where I stored and charged my phone. There was also some storage space underneath the foot rest, but that was about it. I kept all my bags in the overhead locker – Virgin Atlantic added central overhead lockers during the 2017 refit, which meant there was easily enough space for everyone.

The table was also inside the divider and I found it tricky to get it out.

The amenity kit had the usual items in it (socks, sleeping mask, creams, toothbrush and paste, ear plugs and a pen) but no Happy Socks.  The pouch was by Herschel and should fit some diapers and wet wipes from November – I think I’m going to transform my selection of amenity kits into diaper bags! (Ok ok nappies!)

Virgin Atlantic Business

The flight was a day flight, but as I was going to arrive in London quite late and had plans to meet up with two friends, I put my seat in bed mode and tried to sleep for a couple of hours. What I found slightly annoying was that in order to get the fully flat bed you had to get up and push a button which flipped the back of the seat over.

I know I am not the first person to complain about this but I still found it a pain.  I find the sliding down systems other airlines are using in their Business Class way more appealing – they are easier to operate and you basically get any option between sitting up straight, reclined and fully flat at the push of a button.

With that being said the bed itself was very comfortable. The pillows provided were a great size, the comforter was thick and the mattress was comfortable enough for me to sleep on my side.

Here is a picture of the seat in bed mode taken from the Virgin Atlantic website:

upper class bed a330

The bar

The on-board bar is, to be honest, a bit of an afterthought on the A330-300.  Here is a PR picture:

It isn’t anything like the bar you would find on an Emirates, Etihad or Qatar Airways A380 but that is not an equal comparison given the size of the aircraft.  To be fair to Virgin Atlantic, I’m not sure if any other airline has a bar on a Boeing 787 or A330.  The new A350 comes with The Loft, which is more ‘social space’ than bar – you can read about that in our A350 overview here.

The food

The first meal on board was breakfast with a selection of:

  • Fresh orange juice
  • Freshly pressed green juice
  • Maple butter danish
  • Blueberry and pomegranate Cooper Street granola cookie bake
  • A selection of breakfast cereals
  • Fresh fruit salad
  • Warmed croissant
  • Warmed bacon butty
  • Breakfast bagel

You could pick as much as you wanted but as I had had breakfast in the lounge I only had some fruit with yogurt and a croissant – with the one cup of coffee a day that I was allowed to have.

Legs on the footrest as in the picture below was actually not the most comfortable position for eating. The table was a little bit too far from the seat and also a bit too low. That said at least this table won’t interfere with a growing pregnancy belly.

Virgin Atlantic Business

I had decided to order the vegetarian meal online in advance as I was worried that I’d be served raw or smoked fish and half cooked meat – which I usually love but is unfortunately a big no when pregnant.

However, when I saw the food menu I realised that Virgin Atlantic is amazing at catering for vegetarians even without pre-booking it. Both the appetizer and the main course had vegetarian options

The appetizer options were

  • Cream of mushroom soup
  • Smoked scallops
  • Goat’s cheese and orange salad

If I hadn’t been pregnant I would’ve picked the scallops.  I would also have loved to try the soup but for some reason I was served the salad (without goats cheese) due to me having pre-ordered the vegetarian meal.

Virgin Atlantic Business

The main course options were

  • Braised short rib with roasted tomato sauce , roesti potato and green vegetables
  • Sticky Asian pork with soba noodles, edemame beans and pak choy
  • Roasted butternut squash with lentils, fennel salad, coriander and warmly spiced siracha yoghurt
  • Seared steelhead trout with curried potatoes and Cafe de Paris butter sauce

I had the butternut squash dish which was very tasty.

Virgin Atlantic Business

There were two cake options as desert

  • Chocolate brownie pudding
  • Lemon and blackberry mascarpone cheesecake

The cheesecake was divine!

Virgin Atlantic Business

Conclusion

My first experience travelling from the US to Europe whilst pregnant was really not that bad.  I was, of course, in Upper Class where you can stretch your legs, sit at the bar or walk around – and economy would be a different story.

The whole flight was really no big deal, which is more of a compliment than it sounds – there was nothing about the seat, the table or the IFE screen that got in my way and I was still able to sleep for a while.  It doesn’t make for a hugely exciting review but that is good news from the point of view of having a trouble-free flight.

In terms of logisitics, it was definitely a wise choice to split the trip into two parts, with the overnight in Boston.

I should have done the same on my way back. To give you the short version, my return flight was SWISS Business from Dusseldorf to Zurich, then SWISS Business from Zurich to Chicago and finally a Delta regional flight to my hometown.

The SWISS part was actually pretty good (a review will follow) but immigration in Chicago was awful.  There was also a bus replacement service to get to the domestic terminals and I had to run from one end of the terminal to the other in order to get to my gate.  On top of that I was exhausted as my trip was a total of 18 hours.  For comparison, this Boston to Heathrow flight was just six and a half hours.

(To be fair, we had booked the return flight using Miles & More miles with only a few days notice after I ended up staying in Europe longer than planned.  Compared to some of the other potential routings we considered I did pretty well!)

I would have no qualms about travelling again during the second trimester but next time I’d make sure to split my trip into bits with overnight stays at airport hotels.  The alternatives are both unattractive – either long connections to remove the stress but which make your day even longer, or short connections which leave you in a constant state of worry.  My message is that, at least in this stage of pregnancy, you shouldn’t be concerned about taking a trip if it is in a premium cabin.

That’s it now.  My next flight will be with the little one, all being well.  That’s another HFP series to come 🙂

Flying Virgin Atlantic whilst pregnant

How to earn Virgin Atlantic miles from UK credit cards

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Flying Club miles from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Flying Club miles.  That page is regularly updated with the latest special offers and will still be accurate even if you are reading this article months after publication.

(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

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Comments

  1. I didn’t even know you were at the summer party at the hotel in St Pancras Station as I didn’t see anyone wearing an Anika badge (I saw and talked briefly to both Rhys and Rob) and nor did Genghis (who finally decided that it was safe to risk meeting me and reveal his real world name, which I have now stupidly forgotten), LadyLondon or Polly tell me you were there or point you out to me.

    It would be interesting to meet you at a future HfP party as and when you are able to attend again after entering the world of motherhood……..

    Regarding the flight I have to say I don’t like the look of that seat layout at all as despite my tallish height (6ft3in or 1.90m) I have always been a big fan of the window seat and looking out of the window on any aircraft that I travel on.

  2. A nice read and all the best for the baby. I’ve flown virgin upper with a 1 year old which was a fun daytime flight!

    • But how much fun exactly was it for your near by fellow Virgin Upper Class passengers I wonder?……

      Not being sexist but just saying that people pay quite a lot of extra money to travel in a quiet and refined environment and babies especially and children much under 10 in general cannot be guaranteed (even though I know some individual babies and younger children can behave nearly impeccably virtually all of the time) to accept that those are the rules of the game…………

      • If you want a quiet and refined environment, don’t take public transport. And please continue this argument on another forum as it’s been done to death thousands of times.

        • Spurs Debs says:

          It’s not for you to decide what’s said and what isn’t.
          Subject of children in premium classes might have been discussed at length just like every single Amex, curve, 241, etc question. Who made you this blogs moderator.

        • It was Louise and not me who started the “one year old in Upper Class” discussion.

          Also I think most people would feel that the term “public transport” is better ascribed to a bus or normal aircraft steerage class (although steerage class seats can be surprisingly pricey in some circumstances) than to a significantly more expensive airline cabin product deliberately aimed at an elite group.

          Travelling by private jet is normally only within the reach of the Donald Trumps of this world whereas the private motor car is by contrast within the reach of the vast majority of the employed population in the western world.

          • gibboooo says:

            “…an elite group.”

            Are actually serious?

          • If your not “elite” enough to have access to a private jet then your also not elite enough to avoid children I’m afraid.

            Until the law says children can only fly economy then your opinion is comical in so far as you think you can dictate other people’s actions.

            I say that as someone who really doesn’t like children as well, but understands if I want to exercise my freedom within the law then I should extend the same courtesy to others.

          • The airlines could of course stop Under 2s from being able to travel on mother’s laps for free at all in the name of enhanced baby safety (as terrible things have happened to unsecures Under 2s in various major airline crashes where a good chunk of the passengers have survived) and I suspect that might reduce the number of parents who took Under 2s with them in premium Class cabins.

            On that particular point it would be quite interesting to see the overall percentage distribution of tickets issued to under 18 passengers in premium class cabins (if under 2s have a ticket at all, which I am not sure about) by age as I suspect that under 2s may well make up a disproportionate percentage of under 12 premium class passengers (2 to 12 year olds normally fly for only 25% off the adult fare and I think on low cost airlines 2 to 12 year olds may pay full fare) compared to other year cohort age groups between 2 and 11. The reason for this would obviously be because under 2s can travel in the premium class cabin for free.

            It just would seem odd to go on letting under 2s travel for free when not travelling in a seat may actually cause a significant and unacceptable safety danger to these passengers and when it may distort parental choices about whether it is worth paying extra to take a very young person with them in a premium class cabin.

        • Matthew says:

          +1. Normally get more hassle from obnoxious grown ups.

      • Michael says:

        What are you talking about? Anika’s pregnant and why would that affect other people’s comfort??
        Some people on this site are so rude it’s unbelievable!

      • Scallder says:

        Julian – a one (or two, or three…) year old has just as much right to travel in premium cabins as an adult. If airlines wanted to make child free cabins then they would have done (I think Malaysia might not allow children under a certain age in first). But alas they haven’t.

        • A 0 or 1 year old doesn’t actually pay anything to travel on most airlines so I would argue they don’t have as many rights as those paying to be in the premium cabin and especially not the right to destroy the enjoyment of other passengers.

          Babies are complicated things but in my observation sometimes the ones who cry incessantly are also in part the product of how their own parents handle them. Thoughtful parents will always get up and walk around with a crying baby until it calms them down. Thoughtless parents tend to stay in their seat with the crying baby inflicting maximum noise levels only on those who are close by.

          • Andy Young says:

            Oh listen to yourself, give your head a shake.
            So…….. people with children should not travel in premium cabins but be confined to SLC.
            I’ll get my mate Busta Rymes to sit next to you on your next jaunt and see whether you’d prefer him breathing down your neck or a 2 year old

      • Scallder says:

        Also your comment being prefixed with “Not being sexist but” – I’m guessing you wouldn’t have made that comment had a man made that comment. As a dad my little one has flown Singapore business to NZ, BA first and BA business to/from the US East coast and also Club Europe.

        Therefore your implication that mothers should be made to feel bad if they have young children in a premium cabin IS inherently sexist.

        • Sorry but sensitives about comments being deemed as sexist are almost always on the female side and 9 times out of 10 are about comments made by a man (of course I know that feminists will then argue this is because men are for more sexist or have far more inherent advantages in life that they aren’t aware of than women).

          When sexism happens in the reverse direction (eg womens only groupings for swimming or on subjects such as divorce or domestic abuse) most men usually suffer in silence and don’t say anything at all.

          The one exception seemed to be Green Leader Caroline Lucas’s ridiculous recent proposal for a women only cabinet on BREXIT, which to be fair several other women did also criticise.

      • I did a rather interesting survey for e-rewards the other day, which I qualified for on the basis of having flown long haul J class recently.

        It was asking for preferences about what should be included in a Business Class ticket, and what I would be happy losing or paying extra for. This included evaluating fast track, lounge access, food, and car transfer from the terminal to the plane. One of the options was paying extra to travel in a child free cabin.

        It wasn’t possible to tell which airline is looking at this seriously, but personally I would happily pay an extra £50 to travel long haul in a child free cabin or on a child free flight. I am surprised none of the major airlines has trialled this on routes with multiple daily flights, such as NYLON. I have had flights spoiled by obnoxious adults, but I had a J class night flight on AA spoiled by two screaming toddlers who were in the middle seats on the 77W and were probably terrified as they wouldn’t have been able to see anyone. I don’t understand why a parent would think that putting a young child in isolation was a suitable choice. Surely PE, where you can see and easily interact with your child, is more appropriate.

        • I think the point is that obnoxious adults can be threatened with physical restraint or the flight being landed and their offloaded as a final deterrent (which generally works in most cases and shuts up the perpetrators) but an obnoxious baby who screams violently throughout the flight cannot be threatened with any such sanctions to shut them up.

          I have only encountered this a couple of times but when it happens in a big way throughout the flight and the flight is full and you can’t move elsewhere it is pretty unbearable at the time.

      • I don’t actually dislike children per se (even though circumstances not completely under my own control and arguably to some extent more under control of members of the opposite gender – who have never apparently never seen me as desirable marriage material for various reasons connected with my personality type – have dictated this outcome) and I always enjoyed seeing my nephew and niece during their childhood and miss their disappearance in that form when they turned in to rude, cheeky and wise cracking teenagers (who in general are far less impressed with and much less deferential towards uncles once they turn 11 or 12).

        Yes I realise that one doesn’t dictate one’s fellow passengers but if a fellow passenger in Club or First has an under two year old who is travelling with them free in a near full up Club or First Class (wouldn’t be as bad in a half or largely empty First or Club cabin where you could move to somewhere else) and they are very near you and do a lot of crying to indicate their displeasure at flying then it will be pretty galling for anyone who has paid full fare or even anyone who has used up a lot of airline points to be there rather than in Economy class.

        At the end of the day I suspect that potential circumstances such as this indicate that paying full fare for Club is a somewhat risky business since the value of your expensive purchase can be totally destroyed by circumstances beyond your control (yes it happens more often in Economy but it won’t be nearly as annoying as the journey wasn’t meant to be as special in the first place and didn’t cost as much). Also one can’t even avoid the baby or under 5s problem by travelling outside the school holidays and of course travelling within the school holidays is probably likely to be even worse in terms of noisy and disruptive younger passengers who destroy your enjoyment of the intended luxury experience (although leery, rude and drunk adults can sometimes be even worse).

        For that reason and having travelled as high up as First on a long haul flight (although a while ago back in the final year of Concorde but I’m talking about First on a 747 with BA here) my net conclusion is that I would never spend real money on this extra status experience and would only experience it if I can get it for no more than an Economy seat with airline points……………..

        People who pay real money for First or Club rather than upgrading with airline points are mainly people who both have and earn so much money that to them the cost is no more in real terms than travelling Economy for most other people.

      • The worst behaviour I’ve experienced on a flight have all been from adults. One flight where it was long haul overnight, everyone reclined their seats to sleep (in economy) so I did the same, the woman behind me yelled and screamed at me then proceeded to punch me! No one, not even cabin crew came to intervene (I was fairly young back then).

        Another time a woman in the next row in WTP decided to change her kid’s nappy in the cabin and absolutely stank it out. Everyone complained but it was too late – deed already done.

        The majority of babies and kids are well behaved in my experience. Maybe I’ve been lucky.

  3. But how much fun exactly was it for your near by fellow Virgin Upper Class passengers I wonder?……

    Not being sexist but just saying that people pay quite a lot of extra money to travel in a quiet and refined environment and babies especially and children much under 10 in general cannot be guaranteed (even though I know some individual babies and younger children can behave nearly impeccably virtually all of the time) to accept that those are the rules of the game…………

    • Yvonne M says:

      I landed back on Virgin PE Hong Kong to Heathrow yesterday, the grown man to my left had elected not to shower in some time, the one two rows in front of me decided to use his phone without headphones for half the flight.

      The babies and children in the area?

      Didn’t disturb me at all. Not a peep.

      • It’s usually fat middle-aged snorers who disturb me in CW. And people who book a flat bed overnight flight but decide to stay up chatting with the lights on. If you aren’t going to sleep, why not just book economy and you can get right up close to your travel companions. If there weren’t other people who we would be disturbing I’d make my child scream and shout.

        • John, your latest comment ‘re fat middle aged snorers and people flying CW at night talking instead of sleeping is as judgemental as Julian’s ‘re babies crying in CW.

          It is not up to you or Julian or any passenger to decide who or how anyone else travels in any cabin. If you pay the fare you’re entitled to travel providing you comply with the rules and regulations of the operating carrier. That includes the option of staying awake watching movies or chatting or working all night instead of sleeping. It also allows babies to cry.

          What we should do however is be aware of how our actions on board may be affecting other passengers and to be courteous to all. That includes taking crying babies to galleys if possible or trying to calm them down, not just letting them keep crying disturbing other passengers. It also means possibly talking quietly or going to the galley and talking there. If you are bothered by another passenger speak to them or if you prefee not to engage directly speak to the crew. If I was bothering another passenger I’d rather know about it so that I can do something to alleviate the issue if I can. But being fat or snoring are not going to be something that can be easily resolved. Neither should one be banned from flying or forced to fly economy because either of those conditions bothers you.

          We all have our dislikes and preferences and we are all entitled to think and express them. We are also entitled to disagree but please let’s be civil and less judgemental.

          • Personally I would never pay the vast amount of extra money or airline points for Club or First if I was mainly going to sleep on the flight as I would rather pay the extra money towards another night in a hotel room and stay awake on the flight so as to experience all the rare advantages of long haul club travel. I’m not saying I wouldn’t sleep at all in Club but I would probably only sleep for 3 or 4 hours at most, even on a 14 hour flight.

            Of course I realise the scenario is different for people who travel long haul in Club or First all the time and who’s time is worth a lot of money and who’s companies generally pay for them to fly Club or First so they can manage to sleep on the flight and operate more efficiently (at their highly valuable per hour senior executive or technical expert level) when they arrive at their destination.

          • Of course it’s judgmental. I’m sure other passengers are judging me based on the nasty looks I get for dressing like a homeless person (although I hopefully don’t smell, unless I have had to run through multiple airports with no time to clean up between flights).

            The only time I say anything is when other people complain about children.

    • Luckyjiml says:

      We live in a society the vast majority of people are supportive of parents and tolerant of young children. My business class fare buys me a bigger seat, better food and a few minor perks, nothing more.

      • Exactly that is all it buys you. Which is why it is never worth paying the cash fare to travel First or Club unless you are extremely well off or your company is paying for the privilege. If you can manage to get the seat with airline points then the equation is somewhat different.

  4. Pharma Frank says:

    We’ve got BA flights to/from Mauritius coming up and my partner is pregnant with our first child. I’d be grateful for any thoughts on the BA experience when flying business/WTP, thanks

    • BA were great when my wife was pregnant, although I’d suggest CW over WTP just for the extra space. And I really like the two middle CWseats downstairs on the A380 for flying when they’re small – creates a nice little enclosed space without the need to step over anyone if you pick the right ones!

    • I will hear you overflying me a few miles out of the airport (assuming takeoffs are westerly that day as they mainly are) as BA’s heavily laden and elderly 777-200s to Mauritius are amongst the very noisiest flights out of the airport (because the aircraft are elderly and they are carrying near to maximum takeoff weight with all the luggage and fuel) along with Virgin 747-400s to Las Vegas or Orlando and BA’s 777-200 flight to Las Vegas.

      Because these very noisy flights are now so rare I nearly always know which airline and which destination that noisy flight that troubles me will be even before I look it up on Flightradar24.com

      • Actually I did comment on the seat configuration in my first response and indicated that I would not enjoy seating that wasn’t aimed at allowing me to enjoy the view out of the window.

      • ankomonkey says:

        I’m surprised you can hear the engine sound over all those crying babies travelling free in premium classes…

  5. Firstly, congratulations! Wishing you and bump all the best!

    Great to see this article – there aren’t many “with bump” or “with baby” reviews out there. There are many things during flight travel that can assist or hinder this type of travel e.g. screen height when folded out, that a typical traveller would not notice.

    @julian You’re right that babies/children can behave impeccably on flights. Whilst there is no guarantee, likewise there is no guarantee for well behaved adult passengers either. BA offer bassinet seats catering for babies in Club World – they certainly have the expectation that babies are welcome. There are also many reasons why someone may choose to travel with child. Having seen my wife go through pregnancy & both of us having general lack of sleep post-pregnancy, a business class seat is hugely valuable at a stressful time, if you’re fortunate enough to be able to afford one.

    Finally, there are so many reasons why someone may choose to travel with baby. I personally think it’s naive to question whether it’s necessary or considerate on others.

    • guesswho2000 says:

      Agree re kids on flights – majority of kids I’ve experienced on flights in J/F (although yes, some of them I’ve endured) have been perfectly fine. The remainder are nothing a decent set of noise cancelling headphones will block out.

      I don’t complain, mostly because I realise it’s public transport and I’ve got no right to, but also because I’d do exactly the same – I’m not sitting in Y and enduring that discomfort just because someone might be offended by the presence of my child!

      • guesswho2000 says:

        *nothing a decent set of noise canx won’t block out, is what I meant.

      • Optimus Prime says:

        I don’t have any problems with kids or babies, we’ve all been one. Just once I had a problem that was caused by stupid parents who think cabin crew and rest of passengers are responsible for looking after their children.

        It was the start of Christmas holidays, so obviously loads of families on the flight. Dozens of kids/babies, all of them behaving perfectly – playing with their own toys, watching cartoons or playing videogames with headphones on, etc. Except for a couple whose kids kept banging on the back of our seats, running down the aisle, climbing over other passengers, etc.

        Parents didn’t apologise even once. All they did is say to their kids after landing: “once we get to your grandparents’, do keep wreaking havoc”.

  6. Jonathan says:

    I’ve travelled both BA J and F with an infant and VS upper with an infant. I tend to find VS is made up more of families and children. With both airlines it certainly isn’t uncommon but fortunately my daughter is on the more impeccable side of the scale. Her only outbreak was laughter at getting her own bed in F earlier this year.

    I’m trying to book an Emirates business class redemption. It wont let me book a lap infant though, only in economy. Baby is not born yet, so am I best to follow the BA route and book what I need now and add the infant over the phone later or is this Emirates policy and they downgrade me?

  7. Hi Anika,

    Thanks for the report. Looking forward to the one with baby/child. Tips, policies etc.

    All the best for the next phase!

    Will

  8. MissGeekChic says:

    Hey Anika, I absolutely loved reading this review! I travel the JFK/BOS > LHR every few weeks and the upper class product is very good. Just a couple of small points: The table actually slides forwards and can reach all the way to your belly if thats how close you want it to be! Also, it’s worth mentioning that Virgin will give a “paternity leave” break to it’s loyalty card holders so that you don’t lose your status while in your first year of parenthood. Thought that was pretty cool! All the best with bubbs! x

  9. RussellH says:

    OT (but it is mentioned in the article):
    Which sort of German mustard?
    Bavarian sweet mustard or Bautzen?

  10. When my wife was 36 weeks pregnant we travelled Club Europe with BA (it was planned in earlier in the pregnancy but the other child caught measles and the Avios ticket free of charge by BA).

    We took the doctor’s letter but no-one asked for it – nor even questioned us about the bump. Having the doctor’s OK for the travel is the right thing to do, but very relieved we didn’t an inquisition at the airport!

    And to the other topic of kids in Business – we took our smallest on board, long haul, twice: all the opinions that kids should not be in business worried me, but yes there’s so many other noises on a plane (including the plane itself!!!).
    Thankfully my 2yo slept the overnight leg with a bit of preparation (no pre-flight snooze for them!), but I was prepared to scoot to the quietest corner of the aircraft as no-one, not even the parents, wants to hear a crying baby overnight!

    On the daytime leg, there was some crying, so child was taken to the galley where the cabin crew offered help, sweets, drinks! On our flight, they were fine with children in any class – to them the child was a customer too.

    For me, kids in ANY class can be wonderful or a pain… kicking chairs in economy anyone? Parents can (and should) help mitigate, but children will be children!!!! We were all one once!

    • I don’t suppose that they are too worried short haul about ladies who appear obviously pregnant as they know they can get back on the ground again pretty quickly and also the short flight is much less likely to trigger off a birth during the flight.

      Long haul they are much more worried as the costs of a transatlantic or transpacific diversion in particular are pretty substantial. However if someone travels while flagrantly ignoring the rules they will probably simply send them the bill for the cost of the diversion in the event that this is the actual outcome of ignoring the airline’s advice.

    • I have also had some horrible adults who insisted on reclining their seats fully on to me in very narrow seat pitch configurations in charter or economy and will not accept this is unreasonable with someone tallish with long legs behind them. Loud drunk and leery passengers can also be pretty awful.

  11. Congrats Anika!

    We flew Virgin Upper to Boston when my wife was a very similar stage and found it to be very pleasant.

    On the kids in premium debate… recently look my 1 year old daughter in CE – she was very well behaved, smiling at other pax etc. Her only noisy moment was when we were reading a book together and she did a great lion roar! I couldn’t bring myself to ask her to be quieter…!

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