View Full Version : Virgin Web Check-in - worthwhile?

Self Loading Freight
2nd Sep 2004, 20:57
I'm off to sunny SFO on Saturday, crammed into the back of VS19 in what my e-ticket says is Torture Compartment 41E. Oh, that it's come to this!

I'm coming back on VS20 on Sunday week, in an equally gruesome container for my mortal remains.

However, while trying (and failing) to reassign my seat via the Virgin website, I noticed that you can check in before you leave home online. As I've often enjoyed the truly awesome queues at LHR for pleb class before now, this sounds like an offer too good to refuse... but, reading the rubric, it seems that there's still some paperwork to do at the airport.

Is it a good thing to do? Will I end up in an even longer queue, as hundreds of Web-savvy punters try to get their bags into one tiny chute while an implausibly cheerful clippie minutely checks the docs? Or is it worth ignoring this and doing the usual sad business of trying to get there early enough to avoid the rush (ho ho)?

And is there any chance of getting my seat changed? I doubt it, the company that arranged my flight only managed to get the seat by the skin of its teeth.

It was going to be United, so I'm not going to complain too much. But some advice about strategy would be very welcome.

(I can still change my meal preference for the flight back. I'm an omnivore, but there are a few interesting alternatives - anyone gone through the menu?)


2nd Sep 2004, 21:22

It will probably be worthwhile checking in online at T-24 hours ( I think) as once at the airport you should have " a Fast Bag Drop" which should be quicker"

Also I think only 60% of the seats are available for assigning prior to check in so I would imagine that web check in will allow you to choose from more seats.

The SFO run should have a good chance of having Vport in all cabins ( video on demand)

Good luck and happy travels.



Self Loading Freight
2nd Sep 2004, 22:34
Aha! VPort! That makes me very happy. The last time I got that was the only time I got off at San Francisco with stuff unwatched on the IFES that I still wanted to see.

I'll go for the 24 hour check-in option, and see what happens. I guess it removes the chance of getting bumped.


B Sousa
3rd Sep 2004, 01:08
Special Meals(vegetarian) get fed first and are usually better.
I think you got my seat from a few weeks ago...........Movies were good enough to kill the whole trip. Was not bad at all.
Im also betting that Virgin is better than United, but as long as your in Cattle Class, none are real fun.

Self Loading Freight
3rd Sep 2004, 11:37
Well, I'm now checked in and I've moved my seat away from the loos and out of anyone's trample path. Who could ask for anything more (apart from an upgrade, of course)?

Thanks, all. Looks like Virgin's still thinking about its passengers.


Self Loading Freight
14th Sep 2004, 23:20
Just for the record, now I'm back in terra firma Inglesia...

Web check in pro - it's very fast. I walked past all the queues. got my bag dropped off in a couple of minutes and was off. Took longer to buy a breakfast panini. Seat allocation worked fine. Same on return. The staff don't seem that experienced in managing it, though: on the way out, it took a moment for them to find a security person to check my passport and ask the 'did you pack your bags yourself?' question, and on the way back I had to be called back to the desk because the person who asked that question wasn't around and nobody had noticed.

Web check in con - the other chaps on my flight who took the old option and arrived at the last minute got upgraded. Gah! I suppose it's a question of whether you want to be guaranteed a good seat or... do you feel lucky, punk?

As for the IFE on VS19/20 - of course, I got the old system on the way out (when you want to stay awake) and the new one on the way back (when it's a good idea to get as much sleep as possible). And is it my imagination, or are the new configurations even tighter on the bum than the old? I could barely move...


15th Sep 2004, 11:54
Poor SLF, my comiserations on having to slum it. :eek:
Seats: AFAIK, VS 019/020 are LHR 744s?

SeatGuru.com states: Economy Class: 32.0" pitch 17.5" width.
They list seat maps for the LGW 744s and the A340s.

"I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you any different." Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Self Loading Freight
16th Sep 2004, 01:21
Paxboy --

Yes, both LHR 744s, but with different seats The one on the way out had the old(est) IFE and tattier cabin furniture, VS020 had the snazzy vport stuff and smarter seats but was a noticeably tighter squeeze on the SLF lower regions. Less room for the legs, too. If I hadn't necked a potent combination of sleeping tablets and melatonin, and stuck the iPod on maximum soporific, I might even have been unhappy.

Slumming it, yes - economics in my world are a bit naff at the moment. But I had a window seat and great weather on the way out, and can I help it if the moment the bugger surges down the runway I get a smile the size of Branson's until the moment I have to confront the joy removal operatives at SFO immigration?