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Virgin America First Class LAX/SEA + pics

Virgin America First Class LAX/SEA + pics

Old Nov 20, 09, 11:15 am
  #1  
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Thumbs up Virgin America First Class LAX/SEA + pics

I don't see trip reports for Virgin America very often here on FT (especially the ones with pics ), so I've decided to do one.

On my recent trip to Seattle, Significant Bliss and I decided to try Virgin America. We'd always wanted to try them, but it's so hard giving up earning miles! We thought we might as well try them on semi-short flights like these so we wouldn't be giving up too many miles.

The check in lobby was pretty cool, but I'd seen their check in areas before since they used to be next to UA's premier lobby at LAX T6. The area was pretty empty. We went to one of the kiosks and printed our cool square-shaped boarding pass. There was no premium security line at T3 . However, the line was pretty empty on a Friday evening, so we breezed through it in no time.

We picked up something to munch on and went to the gate ~40 minutes before departure. They had already started boarding! We boarded and settled into our seats in first class:


The young and friendly FA came to offer predeparture beverage of our choice (VX:1, UA:0). They had a variety of premium non-alcoholic as well as alcoholic beverages that other airlines do not offer on domestic routes. They had things like bubbly, sake in cute bottles, and premium iced teas (honest abe). I asked for a Pomegranate Honest Tea:


The FAs came to chat for a bit. It's SO refreshing to see people our age running the aircraft After a few minutes, the FAs went to the couple in front and offered them beverages. The couple informed the FA that it was their anniversary so the FA congratulated them and came out with 2 nice small bottles (cute bottles too!) of sake to surprise them.

A young pilot and the first officer (30s, FO in his 20s.) came out and greeted the passengers personally (This happened on both flights...They also do that on Jetblue...love the personal touch) He said they would try to leave early because that's what VX does We left the gate shortly after.

Upon cruising, the FA quickly came to take our drink orders, showed us how to use the red entertainment system, and offered our dinner choices:


The choices were either pork medallions with roasted potato, broccolini, and apple with fig or eggplant ratatouille topped with oven baked melted cheese. I picked the former and had a chance to play with the seat


The seats were the latest generation of the ricaro seats that Delta uses for their 757-200 BusinessElite (their version of the p.s. flights). The seats were identical to Delta with a couple of modifications (remote control added). I normally find the Delta seats to be pretty comfortable so I naturally LUV'd VX's version. After watching a few minutes of live TV, the FA came with our meal:


I picked the pork tenderloin while significant bliss ordered the ratatouille. I was initially disappointed with the fact that no salad was served but quickly realized that on such a short flight (900 miles), who else would serve meals that look and taste as good as this? I was happy with my selection, but the ratatouille was even better! Hot, melted cheese all over the top with nice garnishes. I don't remember having a delicious meal ever on a domestic flight.

Dessert came separately with coffee and a creative and fastastic presentation of cream and sugar. The dessert was a french blueberry pastry with vanilla bean custard sauce.


I was thoroughly impressed with their attention to detail on the little things. The presentation was fantastic! They also had the cutest salt and pepper shaker ever! It's a little airplane that splits open with salt and pepper on each side. Adorable!


After the meal, we watched some more TV, played some games on the IFE unit. The FAs came by very often to offer beverages and snacks. Before we knew it, we landed at SEA.


Overall, I was very impressed with Virgin America. They are without a doubt the airline that offers the best domestic first class product (except for Delta's new BusinessElite service between LAX/SFO/JFK because DL offers a true international business class experience). The service was fantastic and amenities were excellent.

If only they had a frequent flyer program thats based on miles with a strong international alliance...

(To see more pictures of Virgin America first class and other pictures of mine, go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/dunkindonuts/) or click on the link in my signature.)

Last edited by BlissWorld; Nov 20, 09 at 11:52 am
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Old Nov 20, 09, 11:28 am
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Thanks for the write up and pics...I'm flying on Virgin Air in Dec for the first time BOS-LAX and can't wait..It won't be first class but it should be fun.
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Old Nov 20, 09, 12:46 pm
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Yes, VX first is definitely very nice. I just took a LAX - SFO, but there wasn't much food served as my flight was so much shorter than yours. Remembered that I sat on the wrong seat (I was in like 2C) as they were numbered differently (ACDF) instead of like (ABCD) on UA. The pictures do not really show the legroom available I'm 6' tall and even with my legs full stretched out, they would not reach the seat in front, a big difference compared to UA's 2 class domestic first seats.
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Old Nov 21, 09, 12:16 am
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I took the same flight a few months ago, but in Y. Virgin America seems pretty modern and high tech, definitely a change from WN/AS/UA and QQ (RIP). I didn't care much for the night club look and lighting. Also you have to be quick in Y if you want to order food, and unless you are in the know that you have to pre-order BOB via RED, you'll be out of luck.

Nice to see what F offers, since there are only 8 F seats and this is such a small airline right now, not many trip reports...thanks for showing us.

PS, your dessert was Clafoutis with blueberries and Creme Anglaise.
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Old Nov 21, 09, 8:52 am
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Great Report!
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Old Nov 21, 09, 12:07 pm
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Your results may vary with the FA. I flew this route last year and my FA walked around with the attitude of 'I'm too pretty to be bothered dealing with you people', spent almost the first half of the flight sitting and reading, then grudgingly came over to provide ONE round of drinks and our meal trays, sat back down while we ate, removed the trays, did not serve the provided desert and declined to serve us anything more so he could sit down and continue reading his important magazine.

Luckily the flight was short, the fare dirt cheap and I was more interested in the scenery outside (including a view of Yosemite Valley) - but I won't pay to fly them again, especially now their F prices have pretty much tripled from last year.

Dealing with arrogant and prissy little sh**heads like this is why I won't stay at W Hotels either.
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Old Nov 21, 09, 5:48 pm
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I love how some people demand to be treated with respect when they stereotypically judge others by calling all employees at W Hotels and Virgin America "arrogant and prissy little sh**heads." I'm so sure the reason why W Hotels and Virgin America are so successful because all of their employees are "arrogant and prissy little sh**heads"

Treat others with respect and you will be treated with respect, unless of course, you are so repulsive that you should be ignored to begin with.
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Old Nov 21, 09, 7:28 pm
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Originally Posted by sobore View Post
Great Report!
I agree. He is brilliant trip reports. I'm glad that he is enjoyable for flying on VX out LAX-SEA but, it was really short flight is 2 hours flying time. It wasn't too bad for him at all. I'm sure he will get more pictures at VX ticket counter & gates areas, too. HE will be very successful for his flight out of LAX.
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Old Nov 21, 09, 8:07 pm
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Well done report!

Thanks
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Old Nov 21, 09, 9:43 pm
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Thanks, the pics are much better on ur flickr page.
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Old Nov 21, 09, 11:19 pm
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Originally Posted by BlissWorld View Post
...Treat others with respect and you will be treated with respect, unless of course, you are so repulsive that you should be ignored to begin with.


Unless you were on the flight with me, it's odd to speculate how I "treated" the FA. Also, please point out where I said ALL employees of VX and W act in this manner. I did not. However, enough of them do, by reputation, that I have little interest in dealing with attitude when I'm the one paying for service or accommodations.
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Old Nov 23, 09, 4:07 pm
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
Your results may vary with the FA. I flew this route last year and my FA walked around with the attitude of 'I'm too pretty to be bothered dealing with you people', spent almost the first half of the flight sitting and reading, then grudgingly came over to provide ONE round of drinks and our meal trays, sat back down while we ate, removed the trays, did not serve the provided desert and declined to serve us anything more so he could sit down and continue reading his important magazine.
I have to agree with you. Until I read this report, I didn't know VX offer wellcome drinks at all. I often just see mini bottle of water on the drink stand, no one ever offer to let me know how to use the PTV, until I took almost 30 min to figure out myself with all the programs in there.
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Old Nov 23, 09, 4:25 pm
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Originally Posted by ORDnHKG View Post
...Until I read this report, I didn't know VX offer wellcome drinks at all. I often just see mini bottle of water on the drink stand, no one ever offer to let me know how to use the PTV, until I took almost 30 min to figure out myself with all the programs in there.
How is that any different than any of the legacy airlines? There are bad apples everywhere. Have you had the FA offered predeparture beverage on United 100% of the time? I have not. The FA showing me how to use IFE was a "GETM." Have you ever flown on a UA flight where the FA volunteered to show you the IFE? Perhaps, but rare.
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Old Nov 23, 09, 4:42 pm
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Originally Posted by BlissWorld View Post
How is that any different than any of the legacy airlines? There are bad apples everywhere. Have you had the FA offered predeparture beverage on United 100% of the time? I have not. The FA showing me how to use IFE was a "GETM." Have you ever flown on a UA flight where the FA volunteered to show you the IFE? Perhaps, but rare.
Prefeparture water or OJ, yes 100% of the time, choice of drinks, no. But on VX just simply a bottle of water place on the seat so that FA doesn't even need to walk around was a step down from what UA FA did.

Well there is a program guide about the UA IFE, whereas VX don't even have one. Maybe they have it now, but back then nothing else in the seat pocket other than the safety card.
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Old Nov 23, 09, 6:44 pm
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Originally Posted by ORDnHKG View Post
Prefeparture water or OJ, yes 100% of the time, choice of drinks, no. But on VX just simply a bottle of water place on the seat so that FA doesn't even need to walk around was a step down from what UA FA did.
100%? Of my 400,000 BIS UA miles/flights, there have been more than enough times where they skipped the predeparture beverage, not even water. Just search "predeparture beverage" in the UA forum or even Delta you will find countless number of threads indicating people not getting predeparture beverages. How many flights have you flown on Virgin in F and how many did they not serve any predeparture beverage? I'm guessing once or twice. The water is there for you on top of the departure beverage, just like Delta. UA is the one that's subpar by providing nothing.


Originally Posted by ORDnHKG View Post
Well there is a program guide about the UA IFE, whereas VX don't even have one. Maybe they have it now, but back then nothing else in the seat pocket other than the safety card.
There isn't one for UA on domestic flights either, only for international. Delta doesn't have one either. Delta tells you that they offer AVOD. It's touch screen AVOD. It's pretty self explanatory.

Last edited by BlissWorld; Nov 23, 09 at 6:56 pm
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