I recently took my first flight on Virgin America, from San Francisco to New York City.
I had low expectations for the flight. Virgin America is known for its chic atmosphere, and I expected a lot of smoke and mirrors instead of quality service and overall performance. But I was pleasantly surprised!
I’ll share my thoughts on the flight and my full Virgin America review!
Virgin America Review – Exceeded My Expectations
When I think of hip, I think of design over substance.
I had never flown Virgin America until recently. I expected a visually appealing experience that was inefficient in other aspects. Kinda like going to a “hip” restaurant and being disappointed with the food.
Virgin America does NOT fall under that category!
I found Virgin America quite wonderful! It had a stunning cabin AND efficient service. For example, flight attendants offered to help passengers put items in the overhead bin! You don’t see that very often anymore.
My flight departed from Terminal 2, Gate 51B. I always appreciate being able to use a mobile boarding pass. That said, it was a bit confusing because there is no app. I had to log-in on the Virgin America website and was then able to view the boarding pass.
Enroute to the gate, I was impressed by the fact that a Yoga Room was available for passengers to use. Then again, this was San Francisco.
There were plenty of staff working the gate, and the boarding process was orderly and hassle-free.
Even the waiting chairs were hip and modern.
If you want to use the in-flight entertainment but forgot to bring your own headphones, you can purchase a colorful set for just $3.
I made my way to 9F, a window seat. Every seat has a touch screen.
Another thing I loved is that it was only an extra $49 for the exit row on a trans-continental flight! I’ll gladly pay that for a comfortable seat on a flight lasting 5 hours.
I really liked the color scheme, and Virgin’s distinctive branding. The seats were really comfortable, too. It almost didn’t feel like I was on a regular plane!
I wasn’t a fan of the rap safety video, though. I didn’t get it, and I honestly wouldn’t have known what to do in an emergency if I hadn’t seen safety briefings on other airlines. What do y’all think??
Waiting to push-back, I caught a glimpse of my favorite plane – a Boeing 747-400, operated by Qantas.
We departed San Francisco behind another Virgin America Airbus A320.
The onboard service was polite and efficient. Another great feature on Virgin America is the ability to order drinks any time from the display on the seat in front of you.
You can also order snacks, like veggie chips, nuts, and jerky sausage…
…and more substantial offerings for noshing.
I was happy to get work done on this flight. But if you’re bored (or like making new friends), there’s an option to chat with other passengers on the flight in real-time. I could see how this might be creepy if you prefer privacy, but there’s a way to block messaging if you’re not interested.
The time flew (ha!) by! Most passengers kept themselves busy with the in-flight entertainment.
And when we landed in New York, I was thrilled to get a peek at Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A380, which operates the JFK – Frankfurt – Singapore route. Another one for my bucket list!
I won’t judge the book by its cover next time. Virgin America’s planes, staff, and customer-friendly experience was a very pleasant surprise.
Bottom Line – Virgin America Review
Virgin America impressed me with their gorgeous cabin and friendly, efficient service. It didn’t feel like any airplane I’ve been in before!
I’ll definitely fly with them again when I have the chance.
If you’ve flown Virgin America, what did you think? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments!