Virgin Atlantic Upper Class JNB-LHR: Pumba in Flight


The Virgin Atlantic Upper Class JNB-LHR Flight Review is part of the South America & Africa Points Heist Trip Report.

If you’re looking for a good laugh, buy a huge pumba and put it in the overhead without closing the bin. Pumba startled the flight attendant who was coming around to inquire as to what I desired for a pre-departure drink. I can see the novelty of bringing a prop on points trip but, pranks aside, TPOL is not going the monkey route.

Losing My Virginity 

This is the second time I’ve flown Upper Class, the first was on my way to the Athens Marathon from DTW-LHR. That flight was more of a party because of the personality of the passengers, and because there was no turbulence. This time, turbulence rendered the bar unusable, requiring me to have my meal in my seat. Like last time, the crew was very friendly. I admitted that I had lifted the salt and pepper shakers on my last flight. As a result of my contrition, the flight attendant presented me with special edition salt and pepper shakers and told me to go in peace.

The ordinary
The extraordinary

The Food 

After flying from worst to first, I find it challenging to rate food on airplanes. Sometimes food in coach is pleasant (see Egyptian and Ethiopian). Sometimes food in business is overrated (see Cathay HKG-BKK). On this flight, the food was average. Had it been my first business class flight, I would’ve been overjoyed that I was having steak on a plane. Since I’m spoiled, I will complain that it tasted like typical airplane steak.

I could not touch the dessert. 

The soup, on the other hand, was very nice.

The Seats 

The points game has killed my appreciation for business class travel. Now when I see a herringbone seats, I long for the elusive first class seat. It’s not because the seats are uncomfortable, it’s because they pack in as many passengers as they can. On this 787, each of the 31 seats + one pumba were occupied. That’s a lot of people to appease with business class service. 

The Amenities Kit 

I used to keep the amenities kit. Then, when I was packing for my move to Scottsdale, I found myself with a closet full of useless kits. No longer interested in combs that I will never use, I left this one behind, except for the toothpaste of course.


Two bottles of wine at Grillhouse Johannesburg, a drink at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JNB, and a few more on the plane were more than enough for me to pass out. I tried to start Goodfellas, a solid choice for in flight entertainment, but did not get past the Lufthansa heist. 


I should have started this post by stating that I booked my return on Virgin Atlantic Upper Class from JNB to SFO with a layover at LAX for 95k Delta SkyPesos. Therefore, any complaints that I might have are unwarranted and should be ignored.


  1. Thank You for not “monkeying” around…..

    10 year old girls will be heartbroken…..

    But the show must go on….

  2. Some people, who shall remain nameless, have conspired to kidnap that monkey and send him on a one way flight to nowhere.

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