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Ice cream delights at check in this summer

By: Virgin Atlantic

July 4, 2019

First the science bit

Nobody was surprised when a couple of years ago scientists announced that ice cream really does make you happy. The experiments at the Institute of Psychiatry in London involved scanning people’s brains as they ate vanilla ice cream, and an immediate effect on the orbital frontal cortex was discovered – the same reaction as if listening to your favourite music. That might explain our lifelong obsession with these delicious icy delights.

Checking in at Manchester with her family and friends, Janet kicks off the 50th birthday celebrations with  a tub of our delicious ice cream

sprinkles and syrup

We also reckon that nothing says ‘summer’ like an ice cream, and no other treat accompanies travel so well. That’s why you’ll be able to enjoy a delicious ice cream on us this summer, if you’re flying with us from Heathrow, Manchester or Gatwick. Our ice cream carts will be stationed at each check in area, where you’ll be offered a complimentary whippy style ice cream tub or a vegan friendly lolly. The ice cream tubs come with a flake, and a choice of sprinkles and syrup (choose from salted caramel, strawberry, mango, Oreo or cherry cola). It’s all part of our determination to make the time you spend in our company, whether at the airport or onboard, as enjoyable as possible

Daniel from Sweet Spot and Megan from our Gatwick team welcome customers to the ice cream stand.

A long standing love affair

We’ve always had a thing about ice cream, and why wouldn’t we. Back in the early 90s when onboard movie choices grew in number and inflight entertainment systems were becoming more sophisticated, our marketing director at the time, Chris Moss, set a challenge to make flying more like a visit to the cinema. The answer was to offer ice creams, usherette style, as your chosen movie played. Like all the best ideas it wasn’t easy to do. There are no freezers onboard so the ice cream has to be driven out to the aircraft and stored in dry ice until needed several hours later. Early flights suffered from rock hard ice creams, but after a bit of trial and error we came up with just the right way of doing things and you’ve been enjoying our ice creams with your movies ever since.

Ice cream even features in our latest TV advert, being dispensed from the air vents in the aircraft ceilings. If only.

As we approach the busiest period of the year for airports, our teams are always looking for ways to delight our customers and kick-start a great trip”. said Hayley Parker, our vice president, airports. “Following the success of ice creams at check in last year, I’m really excited that we’re bringing them back, and even bigger and better than before! Rebranded as the ‘Sweet Spot’, based on a 1950s ice cream parlour, our customers are already telling us how much they love this surprise at check in and we’re seeing lots of great shares on Instagram”.

The kiosks at our airports this summer will be there until the 25th August and we really look forward to seeing you there.

Categories: Our Experience

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