1. Travel
Send to a Friend via Email

Virgin America Review

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating
User Rating 1 Star Rating (3 Reviews)

By

Virgin America Review

Purple mood lighting in a Virgin America airline cabin.

© Susan Breslow Sardone.

The Bottom Line

Virgin America wins rave reviews from appreciative passengers by taking a modern approach to jet travel. The planes are clean; the seats are leather; and the flight attendants are pleasant and helpful. More than that, Virgin America creates an environment where passengers can determine what they want to see, hear, and eat on demand, making air travelers feel less like prisoners and more like customers. Virgin America flies primarily between the East and West coasts.

Pros

  • Seatback controls put passengers in charge of their inflight experience
  • Numerous entertainment options include movies, TV, music, games
  • Web site makes online ticket purchase, check-in, and seat choice/changes simple
  • Power plug at each seat and onboard wi-fi
  • Frequent sales; follow VirginAmerica on Twitter for alerts

Cons

  • Flies to a limited number of major cities in the U.S.
  • $20 charge to check a bag
  • Seats lack lumbar support
  • No pillows or blankets provided
  • Fee for snacks and meals

Description

  • Virgin America flies Airbus 320s, a relatively new model plane.
  • Human beings staff airport counters and there is rarely a wait to check in or drop a bag.
  • "Mood lighting" during boarding and flight puts passengers in a buoyant state of mind.
  • Cheerful flight attendants are a welcome relief from typical airline employees.
  • Passengers settle into leather seats that have seat-back entertainment units.
  • Use iPod earbuds to listen to onboard entertainment or pay $2 for Virgin America's headphones.
  • Feeling under the weather? The touchscreen offers remedies for headaches, body aches, and sleeplessness.
  • Recognize Virgin America planes by their orange tails emblazoned with the Virgin logo and painted like the U.S. flag.

Guide Review - Virgin America Review

Billionaire entrepreneur and adventurer Richard Branson applied his savvy to developing a domestic United States airline, and the result is Virgin America, a brand that puts the "Big Six" (United, Delta, US Airways, American, Continental, and Northwest) to shame.

Having been the victim of many long-established airlines where the passenger comes last and the crew is sour, resentful, and not even helpful, it was a delight to encounter Virgin America's staff. Not only did they make me feel safe on a series of recent flights; they also made me feel comfortable and welcome.

Most airlines offer passengers a movie en route when the flight lasts a couple of hours. Virgin America offers more than a dozen to watch for $8 each, less than what most movie theaters charge; foreign films are $5. There are also TV choices such as HBO and Showtime; they cost less.

If you'd rather not spend anything more that the cost of your ticket, you can watch "Best of the Web" selections and music videos. Or create a music playlist with songs from dozens of artists. In the R section alone, fans could pick tunes by Ray Charles, Regina Spektor, and Radiohead among others.

In addition to offering multiple entertainment options, Virgin America lets passengers eat when and what they want. The drawback: It'll cost you. Rather than getting standard airline swill to scarf, hungry passengers can select a snack or meal when they want using the touch screen in their seatback and swiping their credit card. Within moments, the flight attendant delivers the item.

After the plane touches down safely, you may find yourself asking: Why choose any other airline? The only answer I have is this: Virgin America doesn't fly there. But with continued and well-deserved success, it will.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 1 out of 5
first and last flight with Virgin America, Member Balageho

New York to Los Angeles 3 weeks ago. At the cabin door I was instructed to hand over my cabin luggage, despite notification, that I have laptop and camera in it. The explanation was, that they don't have enough space in cabin for my luggage and that my luggage will remain in perfect condition. The flight was delayed. First we were waiting for engineers to change some aircondition sensor. After three hours they found out it wasn't sensor. We had to get to another plain which took another two hours. Five hours delay in total. We got little tiny snack as apology. In fact it was cookie you get with cup of coffee. The best part coming now. checking my hand luggage was the first thing I did when we arrived at the Los Angeles airport. My laptop screen was shattered. I was waiting for Virgin America agent another two hours to hear that this damage isn't covered under their policy. Laptop purchased for 1500$ gone. Didn't even start windows.I spoke by phone with ten different people from Virgin, same answer. We are very sorry but our policy do not cover your damaged laptop. So first night I booked in hotel was for nothing as I didn't have time to sleep. I couldn't. Now three weeks after that accident I decided to share my story because it is important for people to know, that those few dollars you could save for flight might be lost somewhere else. I absolutely do not advise to fly with Virgin. I will never fly with them again anyway. There are other companies, whose will deal with issues like this fair way. Well because they pay full insurance. If you look at those exceptions Virgin has, you wonder what would have to happen that they would actually pay you for your loss or damage. Virgin America? NEVER AGAIN!

0 out of 3 people found this helpful.

See all 3 reviews

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.