How Virgin America changed my perspective on air travel


Ever since my first trip on Virgin America last week, I’ve been trying to nail down what, exactly, makes the airline so special. I’ll begin with a few highlights:

– The security line at O’Hare was a winding nightmare, and after 20 minutes with almost no movement, I was genuinely worried that I’d miss the flight. But then a Virgin America staff member walked over to the line and called for all the Virgin America passengers who were traveling on my flight. She put us into a separate line, and I presume everyone made it on board. 

– When you order water on the plane, it comes in an actual bottle. Speaking of food and drinks, the coffee was great, and the snack boxes they sell onboard are reasonably-priced and quite tasty. I’ll never buy food in the terminal again when I’m flying Virgin America, so that’s one less thing to worry about.

– The in-flight entertainment system was a little sluggish, but being able to order food and drinks from your seat is amazingly convenient. Instead of having to wait for the drink cart to head your way or flagging down a flight attendant, you simply punch in the order and it appears at your seat a few minutes later.

What’s the common thread here? Virgin America makes nearly every part of the flying experience less stressful. Everything about the airline feels relaxed and predictable, which is a huge contrast to any other airline that I’ve flown with. As a passenger, this means you spend a lot less time worrying, and more time noticing the little things. Of course, Virgin America has all those bases covered, too — from comfortable seats to perfect lighting to a flight crew that actually seems to enjoy their job.

When you put it all together, I’m actually excited for the next time that I get to fly with Virgin America. And that’s something I never thought I’d say about an airline again.