I’ve heard a lot of people talk about Virgin America as their favorite airline.
The Bay Area-based airline is popular for its quirky style, friendly employees and reliable air service.
I finally got a chance to fly with Virgin America recently, from SFO to Dulles.
Does it live up to the hype?
I’d say so.
My morning flight was delayed, but I was sitting in the terminal next to former U.S. Secretary of Labor/Treasury/State George Schultz, who declared his love of Virgin America to the string of airline and airport VIPs who greeted him.
“It’s the only airline my wife and I like to fly,” I heard him say.
We finally boarded an hour late, and I was slightly disappointed at the intensity of the mood-lights onboard. They were there, but I’ve heard so much about them I guess I just expected to be plunged into an aero-nightclub.
The flight attendants were enthusiastic and welcoming as I’ve heard they usually are.
My economy seat was comfortable, and each seat includes a personal entertainment screen with free satellite TV and a selection of music. They do charge for premium movies.
One unique feature about the personal screens?
You can order food and drink on the touchscreen, and a flight attendant brings it out in minutes.
They even have coffee from Bay Area darling Philz Coffee, which is my favorite coffee shop in the world. It could change your life, so make sure to try it next time you’re in the Bay Area or Los Angeles.
How is the Wi-Fi onboard?
It wasn’t great, and it costed $17.
It worked well enough for standard web browsing, but really struggled when streaming video.
It blows my mind that we’ve had onboard wi-fi for about a decade, and it’s still not free and reliable. But at least Virgin America has it available for purchase.
Small snacks and drinks are free, but they offer a few entrée options for purchase.
I tried a $8 chilled turkey sandwich that tasted fresh, though the thick crust was a little stiff.
The sandwich came with a piece of dark chocolate.
Finally, the onboard safety video they play before every flight was very entertaining…the first time I saw it.
On the trip back home, I scrambled to find my headphones so I could block it out.
Here it is:
Have you flown with Virgin America? I’d love to hear your impressions!