Wednesday, 2 May 2012

VS 27 - a passenger comments on the emergency landing

You may or may not have seen the comments section of the VS 27 blog?

Anyway, another really great comment came in recently which is shown below.  It is another fantastic endorsement of how the ground staff, cabin crew, pilots and emergency services helped the passengers. Also, it shows the amount of people that are trained and ready to help and the obvious excellent training that they all have received.


I was on this plane and can't praise VA enough for their handling of this flight. In the evacuation, the crew were clear and efficient in their task, I was in the first off at our exit, little panic from passenger's and outright professionalism from staff. The only things to be heard were, "Get off the plane" "GO" and "Run away from the Plane". This was all shouted and effective. 10/10 for cabin crew.

By the time we reached the various muster points the emotion began to overwhelm adrenalin and passengers rallied round one another comforting those separated from loved ones. Made me proud to be English. From the side of the runway we are put onto shuttle buses and escorted to a gate assessed and administered by VA ground crew, medical and police.

We were given food, drink, blankets and emotional support where suitable, VA Ground staff were exceptional in there manner and informative. The police were efficient and often lightened the mood with a touch of humour where appropriate. Two of our party of ten were seen by medical staff quickly, one of whom was taken to Brighton hospital as a precaution.

Our details taken and our capacity for Boots sandwiches, teas and coffees exhausted we were escorted to the Gatwick Hilton. Greeted by yet more VA staff we had showers in excellent rooms, buffet for dinner.

Any travel needs were met, one of my party had torn leggings to the groin and a Virgin employee was soon back from Tesco with a replacement pair for the night. All similar requests were seemingly met, even a ridiculous one whereby a passenger was bought a nail file?! Some people.

By 10pm our cabin baggage was back at the hotel, meticulously sorted seat by seat, and with the exception of a few magazines we now had our belongings passports and cash back. Off to the bar!...

On Tuesday morning we ate a delicious brekkie in the Hilton, quite a task for the hotel staff I'm sure with an extra 300 mouths to feed at short notice.

Checking in on VS127 we made our way to departures with ample vouchers for food and drink, a disproportionate amount spent on the latter in an exercise of nerve calming :)

Aboard VS127, crew were again a delight to deal with, and an abundance of spare seats on our bigger plane accommodated some rather sprawled out postures!

The Pilot was again a pleasure, spending time to speak to every group of passengers in some detail, both about the previous days events and many more humorous and trivial matters.

We then spent 9 wonderful days in and around Orlando, all a little disappointed at the late and traumatic start to the holiday but nevertheless appreciative of all the efforts of the crew, ground crew, police, fire, medical, airport staff and the generous compensation package that has been offered by Virgin.

Surely the rest of our travels would be 'plane' sailing?!

Checking in on our return flight VS28 at 17.55 27/04/12 our palms were again crossed with enough refreshment vouchers to satisfy a small army, virgin again going beyond the call of duty.

Unfortunately at about 0700 GMT my somewhat now nervous partner(she wasn't before!) noticed a passenger jet alongside no more than half a mile away, and soon realised the skymap was showing a diversion to Shannon airport and soon after Cardiff, the pilot came on to explain our fuel requirements and the proposed diversion. Not again we thought! A few tears were shed. Comforting her we were soon departing Cardiff for a short stint to LGW. The cabin crew team leader came over the tannoy on our approach

"Cabin Crew take seats for landing at Gatwick....." "woohoo!" *chuckles all-round*

These comments of praise were echoed by all but a very few, unfortunately the few whom attracted the attention of the media.

Will we fly Virgin Atlantic again? Even after our free flights?


Tom Jackson, Bedfordshire.

1 comment:

  1. Christine Dalton2 May 2012 at 22:08

    What a fantastic positive attitude to Virgin and the problem that occured. I actually shed tears reading this as I am a bad flyer and will be flying again with (and only) Virgin to New York in June and the reality of whay can happen hit home again.. People are always ready to complain but not many pick up the pen or laptop to give praise where praise is due!
    Kind regards
    Christine Dalton