Tag Archives: Virgin Atlantic

London in films – why don’t they get it right?

I went to see the new Clint Eastwood movie ‘Hereafter’ at the weekend. I knew nothing about the film before seeing it, I was just in one of those ‘why not catch a movie’ moods and was passing the cinema… I saw that Clint had directed it, so that was enough.

And it was OK, quite an enjoyable film. Matt Damon is getting better as he gets older and Clint is having something of a renaissance in his twilight years. Of course, being about the afterlife you need to suspend disbelief and assume that there really is a place you go when you die that is all bright lights and people floating around in eternal happiness… but apart from the ‘Ghost’-like plot devices, it all works quite well.

But, being a Londoner I was appalled by some glaring issues with the film. And this is just from sitting there watching it, not scouring the web for bloopers.

1. Since when did Virgin Atlantic fly direct from Thailand to France?

2. The London Book Fair at Alexandra Palace? It’s always been at Olympia, except for the past few years where it has been at Earl’s Court, but never at Ally Pally.

3. Liverpool Street Station is featured in the film, but re-badged as “Charing Cross Station” – why?

The last time I noticed so many misrepresentations of London in a film was in ’28 Days Later’ where the geography of London was all over the place and it’s annoying for locals when surely the filmmaker doesn’t need to do it? Or am I being naive and ignoring the need to scrape together product placement dollars wherever they can be found?
Phoenix Cinema

Checking in – just in time

I had an interesting experience getting to India. Quite stressful.

I booked a flight with Virgin Atlantic. I did not realise it was going to be a code-share until I got the ticket… it was going to be operated by Jet Airways. Which is OK, because I like Jet too… but a day before the flight I logged into the Virgin website to check-in. Nothing worked. I thought maybe I need to go to the Jet website and check-in over there. The reference number didn’t work.

So I couldn’t check-in online with Virgin because it was a code-share flight, and the Virgin reference number did not work on the Jet Airways website. So I called up Virgin and asked them what to do. They said, don’t worry, just come to the airport and check-in at the Virgin desk.

I was thinking it’s strange to come to Virgin if I know I am on a Jet Airways plane, but the Virgin customer service guy had heard the exact problem and he sounded like he knew what he was talking about.

So off I went to Virgin at Terminal 3 in Heathrow.

Virgin automated check-in at the airport did not work. They don’t fly to Mumbai. I asked the staff what was wrong. They told me that I needed to go to see Jet Airways… I was a bit exasperated at the conflicting advice, but I didn’t argue. I just asked where to go for Jet, they said around the corner, further along T3.

So I went looking, only to find that Jet Airways is in T4.

I went to the train transfer. 15 minutes to the next train. So I went to the Underground and went back to Hatton Cross, then back into the airport again so I would be at T4.

I got to the check-in counter and they were about to close. I had 2 minutes left before check-in for my flight was closing. When I asked to be in an aisle seat the girl laughed… she said the only available seat was wedged in against the window with two people blocking me. I explained my sob story of how difficult this whole procedure had been and by that time the check-in had closed and she could see an aisle seat with a no-show… the guy had not arrived at the airport so the seat was free.

Thankfully I got that seat… but how do I check-in on the way home now?