New plane

On a recent journey home from New York I had the good fortune to travel in a brand new Virgin Atlantic plane. I’ve travelled quite a bit for work over the past few months and had gotten used to the 20-year-old-plus British Airways cabins so this was a rare treat.

Everyone on board seemed more chatty than usual, including the crew, and everyone seemed to be talking about the interior. The cabins were wider than usual, with four seats across instead of the usual three. Although the seats were very comfortable, it was a little weird to be in what felt like a double bed with a little divider and a random stranger next to me.

As the plane is so new, I was able to go back a few days on FlightRadar24 to see some of the test flights that it had taken. It seems to have spent a lot of time in the air above Glasgow, and even further back had taken what could only be described as ‘the long route’ between Gatwick and Heathrow.

The flight time to London from New York on a modern jet is so short now — we made it in 6h14m — that it almost doesn’t make sense to do it overnight anymore. By the time you get to sleep you are an hour into the flight and then you need to be upright and ready to land 40 minutes before you touch down. I had to continue my personal sleep journey at home when I got there just so that all my systems were fully operational for the day.


  1. 6.25 hrs (London – New York) is awesome. I’m sure about a decade ago it was about 8 hrs? Maybe 7.5 coming home with a tail wind? We need similar improvements to translate to rail travel!


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