The burgers of Virgin Atlantic: A guide

By: Dave Gunner

August 30, 2018

Who doesn’t love a burger? It doesn’t matter what your normal eating habits are. You might dine in Michelin-starred restaurants six nights a week. Perhaps you’re an adventurous foodie traveller, immersing yourself in the cuisines of far-off cultures. Or maybe you’re happy with a ready meal in front of the TV. Either way, there comes a time when only a burger will do. It’s the ultimate comfort food.

Here at Virgin Atlantic we love a burger as much as anyone. That’s why, on an Upper Class, return flight from London to New York, you’ll be offered a choice of no less than six different kinds, including our brand new veggie burger from Beyond Meat. I took to the skies to devour and discover more about this revolutionary new patty that’s made entirely from plants, yet looks and tastes just like real beef.

Babu is the Head Chef at our Heathrow Clubhouse. He has been making our famous and much-loved burgers for ten years now and puts their popularity down to good quality, juicy patties and simple construction

This is the normal veggie burger served here by Zoe at the Heathrow Clubhouse. It’s filled with mushrooms and brie plus relish and the usual trimmings.

The new Virgin Atlantic veggie burger from Beyond Meat

Our new kid on the block is certainly the most intriguing of our six burgers. The Beyond Burger has got everyone talking, and there’s a growing fanbase among our customers and crew. Made purely from plants, the burger’s texture and taste supposedly appeals to everyone – and as a vegetarian myself, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

On my flight home from New York I got together for a taste test with three of our cabin crew who hadn’t yet tried it. Flight service manager Paul Megrath carefully assembled the burger, then the four of us compared notes. The verdict? It really is that good. Having tried many veggie burgers over the past three years, they are almost always a bit disappointing. The Beyond Burger is different. It has a delicious smokey barbeque taste and a really juicy texture thanks to the clever use of coconut oil, which provides that satisfying sense of ‘fattiness’ so often missing from standard veggie burgers. It even has a distinctive burger colour due to the clever addition of beetroot juice. It’s cleverly paired with Chut Up Beetroot Ketchup, an all-natural ketchup sweetened with monk fruit, which really helps bring out the savoury notes of the burger, a perfect marriage.

Without getting into the whole debate about ‘would it fool a meat eater’ or ‘would a veggie dislike it for being too meat-like’, this was simply an excellent burger that anyone could enjoy. All three crew members were meat eaters and all agreed they’d happily order this in the future. I’m genuinely excited about what Beyond Burger have done with purely plant-based ingredients. And now I’m really looking forward to buying their products and slinging them on my (underused) barbecue.

Whether you’re a committed carnivore, a veggie, a vegan or just trying to cut down on the amount of meat you eat, this is one tasty treat you’re going to enjoy. And in case you’re wondering, they’re also antibiotic, hormone, GMO, soy and gluten free.

So what does the future of the burger hold? “This is just the beginning,” says Chet Hansra, our inflight services food & beverage manager. “We cannot wait to bring you our Clean Meat burgers. Lab-grown meat is the future and something that Richard has invested in.” As incredibly interesting as that sounds I think I have a bit of thinking to do about that one.

In the meantime you’ll find the Beyond Meat veggie burger in Upper Class on our New York, Newark and Boston supper flights to London.

Here’s a rundown of the other burgers you’ll find on a trip to the east coast:

FSM Paul Megrath with cabin crew Anna Crowley and Adam Craig getting ready to sample the plant-based burger.

Served on flights from the UK, a meat burger is enjoyed in Upper Class as part of the ‘light bites’ service. Served with crisps and delicious red coleslaw. Seen here served by Flight Service Manager Aiden Flynn (centre) and cabin crew Charlotte Kerley and Sam Seton. “Our onboard burgers are a double delight,” said Aiden. Our customers are always surprised to see them on the menu and love how good they are”.

Andrea from our JFK Clubhouse team serves their version of the delicious mushroom Veggie burger.

JFK Clubhouse Duty Manager Luquesha Russell (and her amazing nails) display the JFK Classic meat Burger

Dave Gunner

Dave Gunner

I love telling the story of our people, our planes, our places and our planet through Ruby Blog.