9 Reasons Virgin America Is The Best Domestic Airline Flying Today
October 8th, 2008 · 34 Comments
1. Flies out of SFO’s International terminal, so you get to feel like you’re a global jet-setter even if you’re just going to Seattle. The terminal is newer, more spacious, has better food and is a much more relaxed environment than the domestic terminals. This has nothing to do with Virgin America, but it sure adds to the mystic and overall experience.
2. The check-in area has fresh flowers and white Mac-like self check-in kiosks. There’s a red carpet leading up to the first-class counter. You feel more like you’re in a retail environment than standing in a human corral.
3. The gate agents seem younger, hipper, friendlier and more eager to provide good customer service. They even smile!! Some of this may be perception, drafting off other Virgin brands and Richard Branson’s personality, but it is also illustrated through their advertising and even the uniforms worn by the gate agents themselves. Black t-shirts are not uncommon.
4. First-class is not astronomically out of reach. Yes, it’s more, but only by a hundred bucks or so each way. And if your flight still has open seats in first, they release them for only $50 more at the gate. So there’s always the possibility you’ll be movin’ on up like the Jefferson’s.
5. You don’t walk onto a plane, you walk into a club. Mood lighting makes all the difference. The crew is wearing uniforms, but they are far from stogy. The sleeves on the stewardess blouses had delicate ribbon details that made it look like it might be for sale at Macy’s.
6. The planes are brand new. You feel safer and they seem fresher and cleaner than the ratty-tatty planes of the Delta / United type airlines. No Cheerios crumbs all over the damn place.
7. I don’t know if it’s the mood lighting, but even the passengers seem more hip. Less mom hair, more gel-spiked bangs and tattoos. Perhaps Virgin attracts a more fashion conscious customer than Southwest. I felt cooler by association.
8. The entertainment options are good. No one is forced to watch “Air Bud: Golden Receiver.” TV, movies, games, there’s even a chat option if you want to pick up a fellow passenger.
9. The safety video is a great example of Virgin’s attention to detail. Yeah, they could have just got a couple of community-theater actors to mimic seat buckling skills in a rented studio space, but instead they made the video something you would actually watch. The video makes you like the brand. They treat safety in a way that acknowledges our collective intelligence without coming off as flip. Delicate balance handled astutely.
Tags: Air Travel