Skip to content
February 25, 2017 / oneworld82

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse @JFK – A lounge with character!

The trip started in DFW, where Thuy left for Tokyo about 90 minutes before I was leaving for NYC. After bidding her farewell, I had time for a quick stopover at the Centurion Lounge for some breakfast – the frittata was very good.

01f813435f2a7933c584076fc401e95c48cc11b112-copy-copy-copy 010d077acac7adacb3283a0e4beab92145c79e4d29-copy-copy-copy 01f38c06a7731976f89109f2b4f2e899010ada482f-copy-copy 0183c8ca58a6e1600d056df488942f5ba025c0d81b-copy-copy-copy 01ad825ef755dc094341d9a0d95314e8e8e93c087c-copy-copy 01d85e7804bbfbfab7205e0b8ee583970898c32992-copy-copy-copy 01c374188a6a957e1d7b30eab810c30a70fc6bd6d3-copy-copy-copy 01906d507406d645095424ab712493542e2b4e170b-copy-copy-copy

The flight to JFK was uneventful.

0150a7ac83c9f42315abdd64268140289008f8132f-copy-copy 01b8d1921371a02bb1527bfdcd153d3ed47fdbbab1-copy-copy

After collecting my bag I left Terminal 8 and made my way to T4 were Singapore Airlines operates from.

T8 Arrivals

T8 Arrivals

017c1fbd436ef60e4eb98037d13bdb30e0b812b45f-copy-copy

This is also Delta and Virgin’s terminal, and their presence is very strong.

I proceeded to the Singapore check in area, which was almost empty as I was there around 4 hours before my scheduled departure time. I made my way through the First Class check in area, and the cheery Indian agent greeted me smiling and saying I was the first first class customer of the day. As it turned out, SQ was carrying out a manual exercise to cope with system outages, so all boarding passes for the day were issued manually. That took longer than usual, but I can’t help but cheer to their effort to prepare the staff for unexpected glitches.

0189d0a0b314baa19e19c5346b3128abbf33b7f242-copy-copy 01d6ac8714fdbf4fac24f7a109d104f72269e33711-copy-copy

My bags were checked in all the way to Hong Kong, and I was handed both boarding cards for my JFK-FRA-SIN and SIN-HKG flights. I proceeded through security – a dedicated line for premium customers made it very easy – and within minutes I was walking through the terminal towards the Virgin Clubhouse.

T4 is very nice (compared to T8), as it has plenty of shops and not much wasted space. I did not see many food options, but near the VS gates there was a decent food court (although the establishments were more like proper restaurants, they happened to be clustered together).

01571769c58b723a25f3b19f21403bad527bf1a404-copy 01b08ab5804f5ae249845901f1b7f705093efcc9a7-copy  01be3d7ed4b6ffcc1bc302e4a050cf000d4e839cc4-copy

The Clubhouse is located near gate 5 (where SQ departs from), upstairs and in front of the Emirates lounge. I was greeted by an agent from the Caribbean – most of the staff here seemed to hail from the islands – and I was promptly admitted. The first impression was not of “wow” like many people describe – but 20 minutes later I was definitely wowing at everything.

01a04debdd9007ae7ebc013e3d4a43b2ecdbe111ee-copy

You see, the lounge is really nice – great decor, nice and trendy furniture, sleek bar – typical Virgin. Yet, the service and the quality of both food and drinks made all the difference!

Let me explain.

The lounge is not too big – it has two “wings” with seating areas overlooking the tarmac and a more lively central seating (play?) area with the famous pool table and the bar.

dsc_0030 0127232e016b2495fed0d03a2c03bc82e11195d8e6-copy 01dbca15611d8894bacff21c47b53974f526d4d3fc-copy

The seats are nice and tasteful – the middle section is simple sleek (it reminded me of a W hotel, but classier).

dsc_0028 dsc_0029 dsc_0033 dsc_0032 dsc_0034 dsc_0038 01c2d00f7c687f754feec41d53ca7efd49befd4031-copy 01c398b319c3f1d264ea5d7c1e2854e0d15e787d95-copy

Yet, the service made all the difference. As soon as I seated a waitress – very polite and professional – came by asking me whether I wanted anything to eat or drink (and she handed me both menus, just in case). The proactive staff was certainly the highlight of the lounge, as they resembled more ANA First Class attendants than anything I had ever seen before on US soil!

Ready. Set. Go!

Ready. Set. Go!

dsc_0027 dsc_0022-2

I ordered a gin and tonic, and while that was being prepared I took a look around. I went to the spa to make an appointment with Bumble & Bumble – the famed London hairstyle salon – and I got an appointment right before my flight was supposed to board – perfect! Unfortunately, the service was complimentary only for passengers flying on VS, but since I needed a haircut anyways that was not a big deal.

01c2d00f7c687f754feec41d53ca7efd49befd4031-copy

After finishing my G&T (and doing some work) it was time to get some food. I proceeded to the main restaurant area, which looked like a proper restaurant with tables and white tablecloths. As soon as I sat down I was handed the menus by another very polished waiter.

dsc_0039 dsc_0036

After ordering a glass of Lanson (if you like this champagne chances are you’ll pick Kruger over Dom Perignon) I took a look at the food menu, which read as follows:

01a7b2537072e09fb2af1146a82386e315ae0583e2-copy 0173ffb2c4e15a48082fabd093c07b2b3475a16f58-copy 013afdf7e4c79aeeef578d5f1396970982019a1af4-copy 0150e14782321174c6142405d4199a27e25a56db5c-copy 01f674ef5dbcc3a1e5db49f2bcae6727805728b2b7-copy 015c242f73d909df12bdfc07b1dfc1e3f811ee7c57-copy 0195f6fc6d179e7e929ea5a879067a5e0f097fdeac-copy 010d5f722b549c46f6a3b6ab93a82dd1c4a7f995de-copy

I decided to go with a nice salad and the chicken tikka masala. Both dishes were taken out at the same time within perhaps 10 minutes, and boy were they good! The salad was very fresh and with a great vinaigrette, while the chicken tikka masala was insanely good – so good in fact that I had another glass of Lanson with it 😉

Lanson and water

Lanson and water

salad

salad

Chicken tikka masala

Chicken tikka masala

01736d1933c11b5d97fdf299eb7050624695b69ae1-copy

Expecting a feast on the plane I skipped dessert and I went for a shower. The bathroom situation is odd, as there are 2-3 bathrooms and 2-3showers, but since there is no attendant everyone is basically free to use the ones they like. I fortunately found a shower room open, and so I jumped in. The water pressure in the shower was nice, as were the products. The room was large – big enough for three people and accessible to disable people as well.

dsc_0049 dsc_0050 01f5b00a4dc1c0fd76a4a5016031934b404aa86a7a-copy dsc_0051

After refreshing it was almost time for my 7.15p haircut – and so I just loitered around the spa. Perfectly on time I was called in, and I enjoyed a great cut overlooking the tarmac. Not a bad experience if you ask me…! 😉 The range of hair products used is extensive, and the stylist was fast and good at her job.

Spa and salon area

Spa and salon area

Haircut view :)

Haircut view 🙂

Before than I knew it it was already time to board, and so I bid goodbye to the lounge. This place is so hyped up that I had very high expectations. Well, they were almost all met – and the staff’s attitude and professionalism made all the difference.

Definitely a job well done, Virgin!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: