I recently got an email from Virgin Atlantic announcing that they've withdrawn their In Flight Beauty Therapy Service. Of course, you only got to make the most of this if you were in Upper Class, and only then if you were lucky. The therapists could only treat 16 passengers max on each flight. This was about what I guessed: I could gleefully anticipate a white-coated therapist rubbing my shoulders once on every four or five flights. I know, because I do a LOT of flights...
Still, why are they scrapping it? It was a little extra that made hopping across the Atlantic a bit different from BA. Virgin say that people prefer having their treatments at the spa in the clubhouse at Heathrow, and want to make the most of the fully-flat beds on the plane by actually making them fully flat and going to sleep.
The Cowshed Spa at Heathrow does offer a pleasant, if slightly utilitarian, experience -- the treatments are all 30-minute express ones, and the cubicles fairly noisy. I'm a bigger fan of the Bumble and bumble salon in the Clubhouse, as the time I spend waiting for a plane sometimes seems to be the only opportunity I ever have to get my hair cut, and they do an excellent job of it there.
If Virgin boost the numbers of treatments available at Heathrow -- you currently have to book well in advance to schedule your manicure -- that will be great. But I shall miss the occasional massage at 32,000 feet.
28th February 2014
Warm floors when you put your bare feet upon them; heated treatment beds; soft towels; attention to detail, so that your treatment room looks and smells beautiful when you arrive in it.
Cold floors when you put your bare feet upon them; therapists who use your treatment time to write up a list of product "recommendations" that they hope you will purchase.
Behind the scenes