Why Everyone Should Fly Virgin America

VirginAmericaOK, this is one of those “you won’t believe me until you try it” moments. (For some it’s a “I’m not surprised, welcome to the club” moment).  I had a client presentation opportunity come up in Los Angeles and dreaded booking the 6 hour flight from Boston. VirginAmerica to the rescue.  On top of a relatively cheap fare and no line at Logan airport in Boston, the following points demonstrate VirginAmerica’s smart response to business travelers:

  • Fast and reliable wifi ($12.95 for a day, but worth every penny to be connected).
  • AC power outlet in seats.
  • Movies and TV on demand in your seat.  I was able to pause a movie to finish a chat over IM.
  • Food and drink orderable via your seat kiosk.
  • Headphone jack that fits the normal headsets everyone carries.
  • The opening video on safety started with “for the .001% of you who have never operated a seatbelt before, it works like this…” – full of humor (it’s a cartoon) but still appropriate.  I can’t think of the last time I paid attention to these videos.
  • Courteous employees left and right.

Because of these things I was able to write this post from 35,000 feet, somewhere over Kansas I think.  I was also able to keep up with work email, catch up to Ken Burbary via Google Chat, follow the MarketingProfs B2B conference on Twitter, book a future flight and hotel room with my travel agent, check in on the Rosetta Yammer network and watch Gran Torino.  It’s a good news/bad news about being able to stay connected – either way I made very productive use of the time.

The bottom line: What a great experience.  No, I’m not on their payroll, but whoever is designing this airline probably worked at Zappos.  I fly just about every week on at least two flights, and this would make a substantial difference if I could have these amenities all of the time.  Flown them yet?  Have one better?  I’d love to hear about it.

Last quick story: During the flight I was on Twitter and read this article shared by a few people about using Twitter and Facebook to find a job, and noticed the primary person interviewed was Rosetta’s own Brian Ward.  While I was somewhere over Pennsylvania I was able to get a hold of him and let him know the article ran, so he found out through Twitter with an assist from VirginAmerica.  Sweet.

Did I mention VirginAmerica is on Twitter?  They are listening and responding too.

UPDATE: Here is the inflight video I mentioned (thanks to the comments below).  Tell me it’s not memorable – 275K+ views on YouTube?

Photo credit: joits via flickr

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  • I love Virgin America, too. Every flight I’ve taken has been not just comfortable, but enjoyable!

    From the opening clever, funny and useful safety video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyygn8HFTCo to flight attendants who say–and mean–“please let us know if there’s anything we can do to make your flight more enjoyable,” to new comfortable planes, really good food you order when you want (not when some aisle-blocking cart rolls by).

    Virgin America makes air travel a pleasure again.

  • I have been flying Virgin America since the very beginning – my two sons and I were on the first flight out of LA on the day they started flying from LAX to New York (I have a great photo of them with Richard Branson). I bitch and moan when I have to fly another airline. From the airport experience to the in-flight amenities to the “we have to show you this but yes, we do realize it’s incredibly boring and we’re right there with you” safety video, they sold me a long time ago.

    I think one thing that’s helped is that fellow VA travelers seem to be a notch above also – hip, on the ball, considerate, not drunk, friendly. Like attracts like.

  • I love Virgin America, too. Every flight I’ve taken has been not just comfortable, but enjoyable!

    From the opening clever, funny and useful safety video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyygn8HFTCo to flight attendants who say–and mean–“please let us know if there’s anything we can do to make your flight more enjoyable,” to new comfortable planes, really good food you order when you want (not when some aisle-blocking cart rolls by).

    Virgin America makes air travel a pleasure again.

  • I have been flying Virgin America since the very beginning – my two sons and I were on the first flight out of LA on the day they started flying from LAX to New York (I have a great photo of them with Richard Branson). I bitch and moan when I have to fly another airline. From the airport experience to the in-flight amenities to the “we have to show you this but yes, we do realize it’s incredibly boring and we’re right there with you” safety video, they sold me a long time ago.

    I think one thing that’s helped is that fellow VA travelers seem to be a notch above also – hip, on the ball, considerate, not drunk, friendly. Like attracts like.

  • Travis

    I haven’t flown VX yet (but will in July) — other than that, I know EXACTLY how you feel. I love everything about this company from what I’ve seen so far: flight experience, check-in, advertising. When I was at the airport, I actually went to a VX gate just to see how they did that and it was awesome. Downtempo music, modern presentation. This airline gets it. We DO have a choice and I have no idea whatsoever why anyone would choose another airline that flies Virgin’s routes. All that, and their prices are great too? Now, if only they banned babies and annoying people from their flights, the world would be perfect. 🙂 I tell everyone I know about this airline as if I’m a majority owner!

  • Travis

    I haven’t flown VX yet (but will in July) — other than that, I know EXACTLY how you feel. I love everything about this company from what I’ve seen so far: flight experience, check-in, advertising. When I was at the airport, I actually went to a VX gate just to see how they did that and it was awesome. Downtempo music, modern presentation. This airline gets it. We DO have a choice and I have no idea whatsoever why anyone would choose another airline that flies Virgin’s routes. All that, and their prices are great too? Now, if only they banned babies and annoying people from their flights, the world would be perfect. 🙂 I tell everyone I know about this airline as if I’m a majority owner!

  • I love this!

    As an Experience Marketeer, I’m all about the value in not providing good or services but experiences. Adam I’ll need to quote your article as a case study, if you don’t mind?

    SG

  • I love this!

    As an Experience Marketeer, I’m all about the value in not providing good or services but experiences. Adam I’ll need to quote your article as a case study, if you don’t mind?

    SG

  • Hi Scott – Thanks very much, I appreciate the feedback and are welcome to quote the post. If you don’t mind please include a link back here. Thanks again.

    • Naturally there’ll be a lot of link love!

      Thanks Adam. Great blog BTW – been reading for a while but only just got myself into commenting more frequently.

  • Hi Scott – Thanks very much, I appreciate the feedback and are welcome to quote the post. If you don’t mind please include a link back here. Thanks again.

    • Naturally there’ll be a lot of link love!

      Thanks Adam. Great blog BTW – been reading for a while but only just got myself into commenting more frequently.

  • joits

    virgin america is always my first choice domestically, followed by jet blue and for the most part, i’ve always loved flying with them. service is great, the seats are comfortable, i love the mood lighting and i loved being able to surf the net while on my flight from LAX to boston. the one thing that has sort of bothered me lately is that the last four times i’ve flown on them, their red entertainment tv was never fully working, and by that i mean either some or all the channels were unavailable for the entirety of the flight. the first few times i’ve had no problem but lately, just seems like ever plane i’m on… i can’t watch some channels when i want to.

  • joits

    virgin america is always my first choice domestically, followed by jet blue and for the most part, i’ve always loved flying with them. service is great, the seats are comfortable, i love the mood lighting and i loved being able to surf the net while on my flight from LAX to boston. the one thing that has sort of bothered me lately is that the last four times i’ve flown on them, their red entertainment tv was never fully working, and by that i mean either some or all the channels were unavailable for the entirety of the flight. the first few times i’ve had no problem but lately, just seems like ever plane i’m on… i can’t watch some channels when i want to.

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