Virgin America I adore you, but sometimes you disappoint

Those that know me can attest to how strongly I vouch for Virgin America (@virginamerica) flights. I frequently go out of my way to ensure I fly Virgin America. Last Thursday’s flight, was somewhat of a disappointment compared to their normal excellent service.

I opted to upgrade to Main Cabin Select which is a bit pricey considering what you get but sometimes worth the upgrade fee. For those who haven’t flow Main Cabin Select you receive much more leg room, access to all their on-demand videos ($8.00 each), all the food, drink, alcohol you can possibly consume, priority boarding, and priority security access (my personal favorite).

I never buy my Main Cabin Select seat outright; I wait until I check-in to see how many of the seats are available. If I can snag an aisle seat and the middle seat is empty I’ll upgrade right before my flight. I think upgrades the day of tend to be a little bit cheaper. I usually pay $110 for my upgrade, but I can check my bag w/o any additional fees ($25 value) so my upgrade fee ends up being $85.

This flight experience left something to be desired. I’m sure my sub-par Virgin America experience would have beat any other airline I could have taken.

Items of concern

  • Hair found in sink
  • Consoles in row froze multiple times
  • Safety video was not played – old school demonstration, delayed departure time
  • Flight crew seemed disoriented and disorganized prior to take off
  • Excessive amount of pre-boarding for those who obviously did not need the extra time. As a Main Cabin Select passenger there were approximately 20 people on the plane when I boarded. One of the main reasons I upgrade is to be able to walk right to my seat. Today, I was 5 back waiting in the walkway to board the plane
  • Flight Crew Captain asked all passengers to refrain from using Google Maps on Red due to excessive unit freezing

Saving grace

  • Google’s free wifi made the flight more bearable
  • Luckily no one was in the middle seat (I normally take aisle)
  • That I upgraded to Main Cabin select (not really your saving grace as I paid a premium upgrade fee)
  • Amazing Red interactive environment (when it wasn’t frozen)
  • Satellite television at every seat
  • AC Power Plugs at every seat for your laptop, iPod and anything else you need power for

Things that added to my annoyance but out of their control

  • Crying babies
  • Turbulent flight
  • Consider offering a voucher for Main Cabin Select and First Class passengers for GoGo In-flight wifi.

I will admit that I am the one that decided to travel during Thanksgiving. Being away from family for most of Thanksgiving Day is bad enough. I don’t think I was asking much, I was just hoping for the normal Virgin America experience. Hopefully my return flight will fare better.

 

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