Even on the most glamorous of airlines, flying 14 hours across the Pacific in economy can be a long journey we’d rather do without.
But on the 10th anniversary of Virgin Australia’s Sydney to LAX route, a flight manager has exclusively spilled the beans to Yahoo Lifestyle on how to get the best bang for your buck in economy – including leg room and perks!
Christina Carter, who operated the inaugural 2009 Virgin Australia flight to Los Angeles, says it is easy to get the most out of your flight.
“There are two seats on either side at the back of the Economy X section that are great for people travelling in pairs,” Christina told us.
On a Boeing 777-300ER this is row 27 and you can choose the seat at no extra cost when buying your tickets online.
But for those who have a spare $200 (roughly) Economy X is an upgrade featuring premium check-in, premium boarding and noise-cancelling earphones.
“With extra legroom, first meal choices and designated bathrooms you’ll be glad you invested in these great seats on a long flight,” Christina said.
To celebrate a decade of the iconic Virgin Australia LAX journey, the crew flying to L.A. today will be the same crew who operated the debut flight 10 years ago.
“[It] was the craziest flight I’ve had to date,” Christina told us.
“It was anything but a ‘normal’ flight, with celebrities, media, competition winners, games over the PA and a drag show at 40,000 ft! I don’t think many people slept and there were definitely some sore heads on arrival!”
A lot has changed since Christina took that flight a decade ago including an ultra elegant upgrade to the uniforms.
“Our uniforms changing to the ones you see now was a huge change for us as crew.
“It really helped with our more professional image in the rebranding to Virgin Australia too as our previous uniforms were a little more casual! We all felt so smart moving into the Juli Grbac uniform and really stand out when we walk together as a crew through the airport.”
Wifi onboard, new Business Class individual suites, Nespresso machines, new cabin layouts and 4,000 more employees are a few other changes to the Virgin Australia LAX route. Virgin Australia’s ‘10 Year Challenge’ might just be the best one of all. And after 15 years of flying long-haul, Christina has seen it all, she knows how to fly like no one else.
Here are some of her tips to slaying a long flight:
Surprising thing you should never do on a plane?
I make sure I’m wearing shoes or socks at all times, if the bathroom floor is slightly wet from the hand basins splash, you don’t want to get wet feet!
Inflight menu highlight?
As a rule I don’t normally eat dessert on the flights however, the chocolate tart that has been on our Business Class menu and Economy’s mini cheesecakes we get from Los Angeles are to die for! I’ve made an exception for those.
How do you get your perfect red lipstick to last 15 plus hours?
I always have an Elizabeth Arden eight-hour lip balm in my bag. They are amazing, especially for us wearing red lipstick for such long shifts.
We can make up to 50 coffees for breakfast so remembering which goes where can be really tricky!
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