Thursday, December 20, 2007
In Da Club
I came out to LA to for The Knux video for "Cappuccino" (more on that this weekend when I get time to up some photos), and for the first time I flew on Virgin America. Virgin Airlines was founded by your boy Richard Branson, and before a couple of months ago only flew trans-Atlantic to the UK from NY. Now this has all changed, and Branson (and mostly Americans, because the FAA doesn't allow domestic airlines to be majority owned by non-Americans I learned) has brought his "hip" brand of commercial air travel stateside. They fly from NY to San Fran, LA, Vegas and there are some Seattle and Washington, DC flights in the mix as well. They have super low introductory flights right now (first class to LA was $600 one-way, coach was available for $300).
The photo above shows the efforts by the airline to make the flight more stylish, complete with a purple/blacklight style nightclub'ish lighting system (which kind of became annoying after a few hours) and white-leather seats. The best feature on these planes is the Virgin Red entertainment/media system. There are very recently released to DVD films (I watched The Simpsons movie), a bunch of mp3's from which you can create playlists, video games with a controller and full keyboard, you can order food and drinks from your seat via the menu feature, and they even have a "chat" function where you can sent texts to someone in another seat. It isn't very fun when your movie stops and someone from 15D wants to holla at you, though... I didn't reply when I was contacted for chats. The seat wasn't as comfortable as I remember the Virgin flights to London that I have taken in the past, but the food was decent enough.
Overall I'd say Virgin America is certainly worth trying, and they have made a sincere effort to update and stylize the commercial flying experience. Go check it out, especially at these early introductory rates. Or stay home for the holidays, Scrooges.