On Sunday night I flew from New York to London Heathrow on Virgin Atlantic using Delta SkyMiles, and ended up having a very long layover at JFK. I last flew Virgin Atlantic back in 2011, and was really impressed by the whole experience, including the San Francisco Clubhouse, my Upper Class flight from San Francisco to London, the London Revivals Lounge, the London Clubhouse, and my Upper Class flight from London to New York.

I had also used the New York JFK Clubhouse back in 2011 when flying Singapore Airlines to Frankfurt, though they’ve since opened a new Clubhouse in New York that’s airside instead of landside. Given how much I enjoyed my last visit I was quite looking forward to checking out the new Clubhouse.

I ended up meeting a friend that was coming with me on the trip in New York, and we had a nearly eight hour layover before our flight to London. Usually that’s way too much time to spend in a lounge — even my favorite lounges — but I had some of the most fun I’ve ever had.

The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse is the nicest business class lounge I’ve ever been to. Now I don’t know whether I prefer the New York or London one, but they’re both phenomenal. And it’s kind of sad that I also prefer them to British Airways’ flagship first class lounge, The Concorde Room.

I’m not usually the “hip” type, so often lounges that try too hard on the “cool” factor are lost on me. But my gosh, the Clubhouse has probably the coolest vibe of any lounge I’ve been to. And the setup is awesome as well, since they have a variety of seating options, whether you prefer sitting at the bar, on one of the private couches, in a circular booth, in the dining area, etc.

Virgin-Atlantic-Clubhouse-1

Virgin-Atlantic-Clubhouse-2

Virgin-Atlantic-Clubhouse-3

Virgin-Atlantic-Clubhouse-6

Virgin-Atlantic-Clubhouse-4

Virgin-Atlantic-Clubhouse-7

But really it’s the staff that make this place. I can’t say enough good things about the people working here. Our servers, Karen and Devina, were both amazing. Aris the bartender was awesome. Evelyn and Janet in the Clubhouse Spa were great. They all just know how to have fun and enjoy their jobs, and it shows.

When we first got to the lounge we both ate, since we hadn’t eaten all day. The food was good — certainly not amazing — and service great.

Virgin-Atlantic-Clubhouse-10

Virgin-Atlantic-Clubhouse-11

We started drinking some Lanson Black Label champagne, which Virgin Atlantic serves both in the lounge and onboard in Upper Class. That’s a really solid champagne for business class in my opinion.

Virgin-Atlantic-Clubhouse-5

As a Clubhouse guest you get a complimentary treatment in the spa, ranging from a massage to a facial to a haircut. I was in dire need of a hair cut, so chose that as my treatment. I mean, seriously, where you can get your hair cut with runway views while sipping champagne?

Virgin-Atlantic-Clubhouse-8

And then we drank.

Virgin-Atlantic-Clubhouse-12

And drank.

Virgin-Atlantic-Clubhouse-9

And drank.

Virgin-Atlantic-Clubhouse-10

And drank. For the record, Aris makes a mean lemon drop — it’s his specialty, apparently.

Virgin-Atlantic-Clubhouse-11

While the lounge doesn’t have sleeping rooms, if you’ve had enough to drink you can make your own. I took the liberty of napping, and woke up shortly before 11PM to an announcement: “ladies and gentlemen, this is the final boarding call for VS10 to London Heathrow. All passengers should now board the aircraft.”

So yeah, I’d say that was a hell of a layover, and hands down one of the most fun lounges I’ve been to. I was really sad to leave and have to say bye to Karen, Devina, Aris, Janet, and Evelyn. If anyone passes through there soon, please do send them my regards. And I know I’ll be flying Virgin Atlantic out of New York again soon if for no other reason than to visit with them again.

Keep up the good work, Virgin Atlantic — as far as I’m concerned you know how to run a fun airline (which is very different than “hip” or “cool,” fortunately).

  1. December 31st, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Justin said,

    “The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse is the nicest business class lounge I’ve ever been to”

    EY lounge at IAD puts it to shame IMO… other than the spa service.

  2. December 31st, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    Joey said,

    I used to frequent the JFK emirates lounge a lot from 2008-2012 and felt that was the best lounge in JFK… until I visited the clubhouse this past summer! Wow! Did you take a shower after your haircut? If so, how was it? I didnt have time when i was there but did take a peek and saw the nyc motif. Happy new year!

  3. December 31st, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    GIl said,

    With frequent travels to London, I let EXP on AA go and gained VS Flying Club Gold, their top tier. I have been a Gold member for 6 years running now and agree that they do an outstanding job with their LHR & JFK Clubhouses. Glad to hear that you enjoyed it as much as I do. John, the manager, does an awesome job running the JFK Clubhouse. Ben, did you ever fly VS when they had the onboard beauty therapist? It was a wonderful treat.

  4. December 31st, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Joe said,

    I mean this tongue-in-cheek, but with all of your recent drinking posts, might you have a small alcohol problem?

  5. December 31st, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Nancy M said,

    flew on VS in 2011 and the clubhouse at LHR is/was amazing but did not offer free haircuts any more – wonder if that is different at JFK or whether they have now decided to make the haircuts free at both JFK and LHR after trying to charge (can’t remember what it was, but it was enough to put me off, maybe 40 pounds…)

  6. December 31st, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    PL said,

    I see a trend that your more fun recent experiences have also involved alcohol. I think you should test this out and fly United loaded and see if it is any better. :)

  7. December 31st, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Joey — I didn’t take a shower, though did look at the shower room. Looked pretty nice to me!

  8. December 31st, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    lucky said,

    @ GIl — Unfortunately I never had the chance to fly them when they offered onboard massages. Really wish I had experienced that!

  9. December 31st, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Joe — For what it’s worth I drink at most once a month. I think every time I do drink it’s on a plane or in a lounge and I write about it. Don’t ever drink outside of airports/airplanes.

  10. December 31st, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Nancy M — It does seem like they charge for some hair treatments at Heathrow, but not for others. You can find the hair menu here:
    http://www.virgin-atlantic.com/content/dam/VAA/Documents/Travel%20Information/Clubhouses/LatestClubhouseMenus/6114_MASTER_LHR_Spa_menu_v12_HAIR.pdf

  11. December 31st, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    hkairlinenews said,

    Yep, you’ve seen what I think is the best lounge in the entire world. Can’t wait for your review!

  12. December 31st, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    AAExPlat said,

    When you polish off several bottles of Champagne and people are making comments about it, I think it is time to consider whether your bahavior is still healthy. This comig from the offspring of two alcoholic parents…alcohol dependence is not always what you think of from watching movies…

  13. January 1st, 2014 at 12:18 am

    Ken said,

    Happy New Year to ALL. Also, for what it is worth…I travel the world as a geologist to some very remote places for weeks on end, devoid of alcohol either because it is unavailable or it is culturally unacceptable. However, when I am flying FC and spending hours in the lounge, I generally take advantage of the free stuff and have more than 2 drinks a day. So, does that make you an alcoholic? It is a rhetorical question that has been bantered back and forth. Like me, I think when Lucky is presented with the opportunity to enjoy the first class moment, that he is simply taking advantage of something that you would not normally pay for.

  14. January 1st, 2014 at 2:23 am

    Jorge said,

    Lol I had so much fun tonight and I cant sleep Now I am laughing and laughing. Lucky an alcoholic?? Please…

    He is young and having fun!!

  15. January 1st, 2014 at 2:23 am

    No Fly Zone said,

    I won’t go so far as to suggest a ‘problem’ but for years Lucky has been telling us what a light drinker he is. With a few more years under his belt, I guess his skills have improved a bit, especially when it is ‘free.’ Happy New Year to all.

  16. January 1st, 2014 at 7:59 am

    Dax said,

    Am I the only person who read this installment as something akin to “I drank until I passed out and almost missed my flight?” Because that’s how it sounded to me.

  17. January 1st, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Robert Hanson said,

    Seriously, a single male in his early 20′s, having already flown transcontinental, and facing an 8 hour layover before a 7+ hour TATL flight, presented with free premium alcohol in a warm and friendly atmosphere, chooses to have a few drinks and then take a nap….what debauched behavior. :)

    I am so angry and jealous that Lucky gets to fly premium class all over the world, get great service in luxurious lounges, and drink his fill of expensive champagne….but I wouldn’t seem cool if I posted that….so I’ll just accuse him of alcoholism instead. ;)

    Presented as concern for his welfare, of course….

  18. January 1st, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Alan said,

    Happy New Year, Lucky! Did you enjoy Edinburgh’s Hogmanay? Been blowing a gale in London so hopefully you had better weather, I’m heading back north tomorrow.

  19. January 1st, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Alan — Same to you! Absolutely loved Hogmanay, and the weather has been surprisingly pleasant!

  20. January 1st, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Alan said,

    Excellent, glad you enjoyed it!! I’m around in Edinburgh tomorrow but appreciate you’ll probably already have plans – let me know if not though.

  21. January 1st, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    justSaying said,

    If you get your haircuts on the road then you might want to think about joining John Allen’s which has 4 locations in NYC, Beverly Hills, Chicago, San Francisco, and Toronto. It includes the haircuts, manicure, pedicure, facial, massage and shoe shine. If you join the club in San Francisco which doesn’t have the pedicure and massage they give you traveling privileges at all of the other clubs as often as you want for $975 a year……….and once you are in you will become addicted to being pampered………..I believe if you join at one of the other sites you don’t get the traveling privilege which is really suited to your schedule…………

  22. January 1st, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    justSaying said,

    http://johnallans.com

  23. January 4th, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Dave said,

    You ordered a Lemon Drop? After years of speculation here in the comments section the issue is finally settled – you are as gay as a French Horn!

  24. Add A Comment

home top

One Mile at a Time is owned by PointsPros, Inc. Some links to credit cards and other products on this website will earn an affiliate commission, and this website has a financial relationship with several credit card issuing banks. All content unless otherwise noted or quoted is the author's own, and not provided or commissioned by any other entity. This site is for entertainment purpose only. The owner of this site is not an investment advisor, financial planner, nor legal or tax professional and articles here are of an opinion and general nature and should not be relied upon for individual circumstances.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.