Journey to Elite Retreat – Virgin Upper Class is the business

My journey to Elite Retreat begins, the started at 3.45AM though I did manage to get a bit of shut eye in the taxi on the way to the airport. For this trip I bit the bullet and decided to donate some of my earnings to Sir Richard Branson rather than Mr Taxman by flying first class and so far it is exceedinging expectations.

Normally when I fly from London Heathrow I spend at least an hour queuing to check-in and then queuing at security before joining the queue for the x-ray machine. This time however, I’m checked in within minutes, pass straight through security and x-ray and am in the Upper Class lounge within 15 minutes of arriving at the airport, cool.

The Virgin Upper Class Lounge at Heathrow is the coolest lounge I’ve ever been in. There’s a free bar, a la carte menu (I had toast and marmalade 🙂 ), free phones, pool table, games consoles, arcade game tables, a free bar, toilets that don’t stink of piss, sky news, sport, etc and did I mention there’s a free bar.

As checkin was so fast I’ve had a bit of time to manage emails, sites and do the odd blog post, I’ve also finally signed up with Twitter (influenced by fellow late starter Patrick) so as well as blogging at ER I will also be twittering (if that’s the word or it). You can follow my twitterings over at but be warned I’m a Twitter virgin with 4 hours sleep.

About Al Carlton

Al quit the 9 to 5 rat race in January of 2007, before then he was a software engineer and systems architect of financial system. Nowadays Al spends the days running his various businesses and experimenting with different ideas and opportunities.
Al can be found on twitter at AlCarlton.


  1. I think you are missing the major advantage of flying with Virgin and not BA your baggage is going with you 😉

  2. Fast Track Lanes are the best.

    I can’t stand to queue up with all the normal people in Manchester.

    The upper class lounge does leave something to be desired though. Not nearly as good as hethrow’s

  3. Hey Al!

    Just was in Virgin Upper Class today 😛 View:

    Its so amazing, isn’t it! Haven’t heard from you in ages, have a fun trip!


    • Nice pictures there Michael ad it was only 3 weeks since we last chatted, though weeks is likely ages for somebody your age I suppose 🙂

  4. Toast and marmalade Al? *LOL* So much for flying upper class 🙂

  5. Sounds like fun ,ahha?

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