Flying home from South Carolina via JFK…(and Shake Shack)

by Sasha Wilkins on October 17, 2013 · 8 comments

(Shroom Burger & Crinkle Cut Fries at Shake Shack JFK. And my Molami headphones – gifted)

I have some Charleston posts to come from my twenty four hours in this heavenly city, over last Thursday and Friday, but I am just skipping ahead to my journey back from South Carolina to London, via a seven hour layover in JFK airport, as I have had a very busy week – I thought it a good idea to go to Paris on Monday – and consequently haven’t had time to do Charleston justice yet.

I just couldn’t make flights from Charleston to London work without a very long layover, unless I took a non-direct flight, and all that would do would give me extra hours in the air. So I had a brainwave: I knew there was a new Dr Hauschka treatment mini spa in the JFK Virgin Clubhouse, so I arranged to review it for LLG. (I am queen of multi-tasking.)


But first of all I felt it was incumbent upon me to check out the recently opened Shake Shack in Terminal 4, in the new Delta extension, for the benefit of you all. I know: I am just *so* thoughtful.


I can report that everything tastes just as good as ever.


It is a bit of a trek from the Virgin end of the terminal though, so if you are determined to lay your hands on the crinkle cut French fry goodness, you’ll need to leave around thirty minutes to walk there and back (there are lots of travelators), and longer if you want to eat there (as opposed to taking it away).

There is also Cake Tin, a cupcake purveyor nearby, although it’s a bit too warm in the concession for the icing – they need to chill things down as the icing was gloopy from the heat.

2013-10-11 13.50.23

I was very grateful for the comfortable calm of the Virgin Clubhouse after my burger trek. Although I flew Virgin every single time I crossed the Atlantic for the five years I lived in America, it’s two years since I’ve been in JFK ( I usually fly into Newark), and this was the first time I’d been in the newly re-positioned Clubhouse.

There’s lots to like: high sided couches for semi-private snoozing, wall pods for the same, ample provision of charging points, computer terminals, a generous bar and pool table, a sit down eating area, as well as food service to all seats. It makes the Lufthansa lounges I’ve been using recently look like the relics from the Seventies that they probably are.

The food is excellent



and the beauty section a joy (more of this later)


Sadly I was back into Economy for the flight – I was using up my Virgin miles, but the standard of service reminded me why I flew with them so often. Lovely charming cabin crew, excellent in-flight entertainment, useful amenity kits, which are unusual in goat class these days, and decent sized pillows.

The food was a hell of a lot better than my Lufthansa Business Class meal from Rio last month too. I approve of anyone who serves me a Gu Pud for a start.


The only downside was that I was on a red eye, and got a total of one hour’s sleep. Consequently I have been like the living dead since I returned – a 6am wake for Paris on Monday didn’t help, and I have still to catch up the lost hours. Oh and the mosquito bites haven’t helped: I was bitten well over a hundred times all over my body in my sleep in Charleston, and I look like I have chicken pox!

Thank you to Virgin Atlantic for hosting me in the Virgin Clubhouse at JFK

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