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03/12/2008 – Virgin Inches Closer To Completely Circling The Globe
Currently only one airline can take passengers completely around the world, Air New Zealand. Singapore Airlines is close, but leaves passengers 37 miles short of completing a full round-the-world journey.
For those adventurers who want to span the globe, travel through four continents and two hemispheres the Virgin family of airlines will allow you to do just that starting on the 28th of February.
On the 28th of February Virgin’s “V Australia” airlines will launch its services from Sydney Australia (SYD) to Los Angeles, California (LAX) completing Virgin’s global reach of long haul flights provided by Virgin Atlantic and V Australia, and short-to-medium haul flights provided by Virgin Blue and Virgin America.
Virgin’s services around the world are unique, centered on the ‘passenger experience’ and in my experience their customer service has always been fantastic.
The one downside to flying Virgin Atlantic as a photographer in economy class is the strict single carry on limit for Virgin Atlantic flights. This is not one carry on, plus an additional person items, you are simply limited to one single carry on bag, so you must pack wisely.
An upside to Virgin Atlantic and V Australia is the ‘tweener’ class of Premium Economy. Premium Economy, while more costly than Economy, is significantly more affordable than business class (Upper Class on Virgin Atlantic), while allowing for additional carry-on baggage, better cuisine, more leg room, roomier seats and a dedicated check-in to help eliminate the lines at the airport. I have enjoyed Virgin Atlantic’s Premium Economy on a number of long haul flights and always have enjoyed the space and service.
The new route is a mix of Virgin Atlantic, V Australia and Virgin America. From where I live my routing would look something like this
New York (JFK) – London (LHR) / Virgin Atlantic
London (LHR) – Hong Kong (HKG) / Virgin Atlantic
Hong Kong (HKG) – Sydney (SYD) / Virgin Atlantic
Sydney (SYD) – Los Angeles (LAX) / V Australia
Los Angeles (LAX) – New York (JFK) / Virgin America
Of course this route can be done in reverse, or with any starting point that works for you. You can also skip Virgin America and fly LAX to LAX, skipping New York, or use Virgin America on the last leg and fly around the world from San Francisco (SFO).
I’m interested to see how these three completely independent airlines, that all share ‘the same tail,’ flying the flag of three different countries, can work together as one seamless integrated global carrier.
So next time you’re planning to explore the world, you have a new option for a seamless journey starting at the end of February.