Posted May 11, 2009
Just got back from my trip last night. With any trip I bring a fair amount of gadgets and I use a number of services as well. I wanted to give a review on a few of these gadgets and services. The first one is of Virgin America Airlines. This was the first time I flew them and my experience was mostly positive with a few little quirks here and there.
Virgin America airlines is one of the latest airlines to open to try to entice customers with their service at a great price. I must say that they were the cheapest I could find as far as ticket prices were concerned. I was looking for a cheap flight from Southern California (LAX, Long Beach, or Orange County airport) to Boston. Not only were they the cheapest I found for that day, but they one of the few direct flights. Unfortunately, living in Orange County, about 10 minutes away from the Orange Country Airport, they only had flights out of LAX. The good news is, while I was in Boston, they had their grand opening for flights flying out of Orange County.
My reviews will never be long so let me get to my likes and dislikes. There were a few things that I did like about the whole experience. One of the main advantages of being a new airline is that your planes look and feel new. This ranges from the bathrooms to the individual seats in front of you. Another small but innovative thing they did was food ordering from LCD monitor in front. Of course, we don’t like the fact that airlines charge for food now, but what makes it even worse is that they push the carts down the aisle trying to sell you the food. Ordering food from the LCD not only makes it a lot easier to pay for your food (slide your credit card right there), but it also means that there is less cart in the aisle. The cart only came through once the whole time with drinks, which was a nice detail. This was also the first flight that I’ve been on to offer WiFi. The only thing that I didn’t like at all about it was the fact that they never mentioned that it was going to cost $10. I’m not surprised that they are charging money for it. I just didn’t like the fact that they kept on highlighting it but never mentioned the price.
The main thing I didn’t like was the entertainment interface. It was okay but I felt that the system was slow and the menu interface would get a little bit mixed up, particularly when I switched from TV to maps and vice versa. My particular unit seemed to be a bit deffective. For part of the flight I couldn’t get a TV signal. I know that with satellite this can happen, but other people around me were enjoying their television fine. I know that this is not too big of a deal because it could just be an isolated case, but first impressions are something.
Overall, I thought Virgin America Airlines was good. I didn’t care much for the ambient blue light that was glowing in the ceiling. I must say that it seems like they are trying to sell this to a little bit young demographic with all their designs, seemingly younger flight crew, and entertainment options. I will say though, when buying airplane tickets, the #1 thing I’m still looking for is lower prices. That said, if I can get a lower price and fly on Virgin America, I will say that is a plus. In conclusion, I will say that I wasn’t blown away. What I’m trying to say is, the amenities that were offered, I almost expected them to be there, especially with Jet Blue offering very similar features.