Miscellaneous

Virgin Airlines: Is the Experience All It’s Cracked Up to Be? Part 1

I am not much of a flyer and I have never enjoyed an airline experience. Soon I will be jetting off to California for a trip and, as usual — I dread the flying bit.

Only, this time, my flying anxiety has somewhat lessened after booking a ticket on a Virgin America plane. I have never flown with Virgin, and I’m anxious to see what all the hubbub is about. Their advertisements always amp up what a great experience it is, and there are countless rave reviews about this airline, so I am excited to see for myself.

It is actually quite interesting to me to see how Virgin has become such a huge success and what they are doing right as far customer service and satisfaction.

So, what supposedly sets Virgin apart from all the other airlines?

Virgin Airline: In-Flight Entertainment
Virgin Airline: In-Flight Entertainment

In-Flight Entertainment: According to their site, they have a gargantuan list of special perks available on board — including a touch-screen list of movies, satellite television, premium TV, music videos, and video games — all of which you can watch at your discretion. Also, no matter what you choose to occupy your time, you can watch it on your very own touch screen right in front of your seat. You can also make a personal music playlist and jam away as you cruise across the sky. So, if you have ever had an airline experience like some of mine (where you are stuck in a stuffy cabin, being forced to watch a random rom-com on a faded, aged screen you can barely see and hear), then perhaps you might rethink Virgin as an option!

Virgin Airline: Food and Drink Options
Virgin Airline: Food and Drink Options

Food and Drink Options: If in-flight entertainment isn’t enough to sway your vote, then perhaps you’ve been annoyed by an airline’s food and soda cart that is constantly in the way (but somehow always out of reach). Well, Virgin Airlines says they have this covered as well. They have a giant list of food items and drinks that you order with your personal touch screen, which the attendant will bring to you to limit the amount of traffic and clutter. I don’t know about you, but this is radically different from any other airline experience I’ve had; usually, not only does my food takes forever to get to me, but it is always wrong and cold. Also, with most airlines, you are out of luck if you go to the bathroom and miss the drink cart that you waited an hour for. However, per Virgin, you can have countless drinks and alcoholic beverages (you have to pay after your first one, though…shucks). To make matters easier, there is no need to carry cash because all you have to do is swipe your card once from your seat, place your order, and in moments you have your refreshment!

Virgin Airline: Giving Back to the World
Virgin Airline: Giving Back to the World

Giving Back to the World: To top it all off, Virgin doesn’t stop at self-serving conveniences. Apparently the airline also allows you to help the world while helping yourself, because customers have an eco-friendly option that allows them to give back to humanity without having to leave their seats. Virgin has listed donation registries on each touch screen for Carbonfund.org (to eliminate your carbon foot print from flying), as well as worthy organizations like cancer funds, animal welfare causes, and foundations that help the homeless. How many airlines do that? None that I am aware of.

Talk about INNOVATION! I can only hope that all this is just as wonderful as it sounds! If so, I can see how they have built such a wonderful customer base and kept it. Hopefully I can report back and say that more businesses could learn a thing or two from Sir Richard Branson (Virgin’s founder) and his towering success! I guess I truly will find out if it is in fact “A Breath of Fresh Airline,” as they say.

Is the Virgin Airlines experience really one to remember, or is it just really good advertising?