Content Produced in Partnership with Virgin Atlantic, Visit Britain and Marketing Manchester

Virgin Atlantic was born in the ‘80s with a founder known for his eccentricities in an era known for rock-and-roll. Decades later, the company is still shaking up the airline industry with fresh perks and never before seen amenities. From food to entertainment, flying Virgin has always been an experience more than merely a method of transportation.

To celebrate the new direct routes from San Francisco and Boston to Manchester, here are a few fun and quirky tidbits about the airline and city.

  • Virgin’s inaugural flight from London to Newark took place on June 22, 1984. At the time, they only had one aircraft. Now, they operate 39 planes.
  • Fashionista Vivienne Westwood designed the head-to-toe getup. The red shoes worn by the female crew members provide a twist on the iconic hourglass heel.

  • Virgin Atlantic is the first airline to provide a direct link between San Francisco and Manchester.
  • Manchester and San Francisco are two northern cities that share many similarities. One city is built on a heritage of silicon and technology, while the other is rebranding itself as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution to a British tech hotspot. Both are famous for their trams, music, LGBT scene, and street art.
  • Virgin Atlantic provides direct access from Boston, San Francisco and (soon) New York City to Manchester, but it’s also a gateway to the region’s national parks including the stunning Peak District and Lake District.
  • Virgin Atlantic is connecting people between San Francisco to Manchester, but the bar scene is linking up, as well. Science and Industry at Cane & Grain in Manchester and speakeasy, White Chapel in San Francisco, have also partnered up to provide signature cocktails at the SFO Clubhouse.

  • Virgin Atlantic Lounges aren’t your typical airline lounges, which is why they’re called Clubhouses. They offer amazing food, fantastic facilities, and a chilled out atmosphere to relax before your flight.
  • Mixologists are on hand to recreate your favorite cocktail, but the premium wine list is also tempting.
  • These Clubhouses can be found in JFK, EWR, SFO, BOS, LAX, IAD, JNB, and of course LHR. In gateway cities without Clubhouses, there’s still an opportunity to relax. In Manchester’s case, you can make the Escape Lounge your preflight ritual.
  • Flight attendants have received very weird requests onboard, such as someone trying to order a Big Mac. Unfortunately, Virgin Atlantic doesn’t serve McDonald’s, but they do have customized service menus for daytime and nighttime flights to make sure your journey is as comfortable and fulfilling as possible.
  • Miss Sunshine, Champagne Belle, and Lady Love are just some of the names of the fleet of A330s, which will be flying the SFO to MAN and BOS to MAN routes. The best part? You can drink at the nine-foot bar adorned with over 1,000 Swarovski crystals and colorful LED lights to make you think you’re having cocktails at a swanky club rather than at 30,000 feet. We’ll cheers to that.