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Sin City Gloss & Virgin America's Chic First Class  
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6780 posts, RR: 77
Posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Sin City Gloss & Chic First Class:
Las Vegas - San Francisco on Virgin America A320




Intro
Virgin America's First Class is thematized in Part 2 of my latest trip report series. The original plan had been to try the carrier's Main Cabin product on an A319 on the Las Vegas-San Francisco route, but we ultimately ended up in the First Class cabin of an A320. In addition to the flight report I have also included numerous pictures of a two-day visit to Las Vegas.
All those who have missed Part 1 simply need to click here:
Seat Dilemma & Canyon Glamour: FRA To LAX, AC 763


Background
In spring my girlfriend and I decided to spend a two-week holiday in the United States in May. Our plan was to visit some good friends in the Los Angeles area and to go on a tour including major sights in California, Arizona, Utah and Nevada. After finding an attractive tour we had to add suitable flights. Of course I wanted to get one or two new airlines and interesting planes - which wasn't an easy task considering that I have already flown on numerous transatlantic carriers. So I concentrated on searching Air Canada and Continental Airlines flights and picked the former in the end: We booked NUE-FRA-YYC-LAX and SFO-YUL-FRA-NUE flights, operated by Lufthansa 737-300 & A319 as well as Air Canada A319, E190, 767-300ER and 777-300ER. Originally I had planned to get the LH A340-600 (via Toronto) on the outbound trip, but the fare jumped up and I had to pick an alternative including Air Canada’s 767-300ER (via Calgary). We had decided to go back from San Francisco so that we could also include a LAS-SFO flight on Virgin America (to be operated by an A319).




The Luxor Disappointment
After an enjoyable tour which included major sights such as the Grand Canyon, the Bryce Canyon and the Zion Canyon we arrived in Las Vegas. We spent the first night in the excellent Hampton Inn and switched to the Luxor Las Vegas on the next day.









The atrium measures 29 million cubic feet (820,000 cubic meters) and is the largest in the world:




While the hotel design is still striking and most of the public areas still look nice, we were shocked by the condition of our room, the floors and the elevator areas. We had booked a Pyramid Spa Suite and hadn't expected to find filthy walls, filthy furniture, filthy carpets, a filthy spa and dirty windows. The room lighting wasn't working properly either. It seems the room hasn't been maintained since the opening of the hotel. We considered complaining shortly after checking in, but decided to spend our precious time for sightseeing instead. We would spend only one night at the Luxor and it wasn't worth it to ruin the whole day by a potentially senseless discussion with potentially unkind staff.

Of course we had been aware of numerous negative reports about the hotel in advance, but we really had wanted to stay at the Luxor once. Now we know it was a big mistake and we can only warn against choosing that hotel. I wrote a letter of complaint after returning home, but it has remained unanswered, as expected.  thumbsdown 


Las Vegas Glitter
We walked down the Las Vegas Strip and passed many famous hotels and structures such as the New York-New York:



The MGM Grand Las Vegas is the second largest hotel resort complex in the world behind The Venetian complex:



The Excalibur:



Motorcycle fans can make a stop at the Harley Davidson Cafe:



One of the most notable features of the Bellagio (on the right) is an 8-acre (32,000 square meter) lake between the building and the Strip, which houses the Fountains of Bellagio, a large dancing water fountain synchronized to music:



The Paris Las Vegas complex includes a 541-foot-tall (164.6 m) replica of the Eiffel Tower:



Crossing the Strip:



The Caesars Palace:







The Bellagio, inspired by the Lake Como resort of Bellagio in Italy:





4,049 suites and a 120,000 square feet (11,000 square meter) casino can be found in The Venetian. Combined with the adjacent Sands Expo Convention Center and The Palazzo, The Venetian is a part of the largest hotel and resort complex in the world, featuring 8,108 hotel rooms and suites. The Venetian complex is equipped with replicas of the St Mark's Campanile...



...and the Rialto Bridge:



The Grand Canal Shoppes is an 500,000 square feet (46,000 square meter) upscale shopping mall adjacent to The Venetian and The Palazzo:




The mall which was opened in 1999 looks similar to the Villagio in Doha. If you want to compare, just have a look at this report:
Delights Of Doha, 773 & 77W: DOH-DXB-LHR On EK


Artificial volcano eruption outside The Mirage:



The Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas with its abundance of neon lights is the second most famous street after the Strip:





The Fremont Street Experience (FSE) is a pedestrian mall and attraction in Downtown Las Vegas. The attraction is a barrel vault canopy, 90 feet (27 m) high at the peak and approximately 1,500 feet (460 m) in length. Each show begins by turning off the lights on all of the buildings, including the casinos, under the canopy. The Queen-themed light and sound show was very impressive:







Night views of the Excalibur...



...the New York-New York...



...and the Strip:






Friday, 22 May 2009
Las Vegas (LAS) - San Francisco (SFO)
Virgin America VX901
11:30-13:05 (12:27-13:53)
Flying time: 01:05 (hrs)

Airbus A320-214
N628VA (MSN 2993), named
entourage air , delivered in 01/2007
First Class, Seat 1D



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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Andrew Hunt - AirTeamImages
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Photo © Randall Johnson




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Photo © Ben Wang
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Photo © Michael Carter



Warm Welcome
After two days in Las Vegas it was time to say goodbye. We took a shuttle to the airport and went straight to the Virgin America check-in area. A very friendly female agent welcomed us and I asked whether it's possible to check in more than two hours prior to departure, referring to negative experiences with other carriers. "We are better than other airlines", the agent replied with a smile and entered our data.
At the time of booking Virgin America still hadn't introduced a fee for the first checked bag and the free baggage allowance of 32 kg (70 lbs) was more than enough for us. However, we wanted to find out whether our bags were still below Air Canada's free baggage allowance of 23 kg (50 lbs). So I asked the agent whether she could tell us the exact weight which she immediately did.

Upgrade for 50 Bucks
Before we arrived at the airport I had noticed that aircraft had been departing from runways 25L or 25R - which meant we wouldn't see the Strip and the hotels from our pre-reserved seats (19A and 19B). So I asked the agent whether it's possible to switch to the right side. She confirmed and then asked: "Would you be interested in an upgrade to First Class? It's $50 per person." We were quite surprised by that offer considering that the upgrade would only cost some 35 Euro per person. Of course we accepted and two minutes later we got our boarding passes with seat numbers 1D and 1F. So in the end we had paid a total of $119,60 (some 90 Euro) per person including all taxes and fees for a Virgin America First Class flight.

Delay & Aircraft Change
We used the security priority lane and soon walked to our gate which was still deserted. Partly facing the sun, taking pictures through the glass windows was not easy:





While I was walking around a bit I partly missed an announcement - which informed about a delay of our flight and an aircraft change. "Airlines do that all the time", the agent added. I wasn't annoyed at all because the delay of about an hour would give me more time for spotting. Then the agent mentioned that certain passengers could switch to the next scheduled service to San Francisco, but withdrew the offer only some minutes later: meanwhile it had become clear that our plane was in the air and would leave Las Vegas roughly at the same time as the later LAS-SFO flight. Finally our aircraft arrived - which was an A320 and not an A319 as originally scheduled:



N628VA was built in 12/2006 and delivered in 01/2007.



The plane, named entourage air, was used to launch Virgin America's New York-Las Vegas flights and season 5 of HBO's "Entourage" as well as HBO television content fleetwide in September 2008. For several weeks N628VA was operating in special colors:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Dave Budd - Photorecon



Boarding & Cabin Comfort
As soon as boarding was started we entered the cabin and were welcomed by a male flight attendant in the 30s. He was polite, but somehow reserved and he wouldn’t smile at all during the whole flight - not the best choice for First Class.

Anyway, the 21-inch wide leather seats are very comfortable. You can enjoy a personal reading light, a massage function, an electronically-controlled lumbar support, 13 inches of recline with independently adjustable leg and footrests as well as headrests with adjustable wings and height adjustment.



The 55-inch seat pitch is very generous:



Mood lighting can be found throughout the whole cabin. Entrance and front galley area:




Drinks & Departure
Water bottles had already been placed at a table...



...and the flight attendant also offered other pre-departure drinks. We ordered orange juice:



Virgin America pilots wear black uniforms, similar to the flight attendants' uniforms, so it took a while to realize that there was actually a pilot standing next to the cockpit door giving a welcome speech and making other pre-departure announcements. After the pilot disappeared in the cockpit I noticed that the flight attendant would see me taking pictures during take-off from his seat. Therefore I decided to ask in advance whether it's allowed to use the camera during that phase - and he declined, as expected. So I could not make any shots of the Strip from the air, but I got over it.  Wink
We left the gate 57 minutes late and took off a few minutes later. It took a while until I could take pictures again. Red engine and Stars 'n' Stripes on the winglet:




In-flight Entertainment
Virgin America has become famous for a number of innovations, one of them is the stunning Linux-based AVOD IFE system called Red. The system features 9-inch screens and offers both touch-screen and remote control interactivity and a wealth of content and options:

  • - Watch: live satellite TV, cached specialty channels, 30+ on-demand films, premium TV and an on-demand music video library (films and premium TV free of charge in Main Cabin Select and First Class)
  • - Play: a variety of videogames (including "DOOM"), navigated by a qwerty keyboard handset
  • - Talk: seat-to-seat chat feature
  • - Journey: interactive Google maps that zoom at 8 levels and track the aircraft
  • - Eat: on-demand menu system that allows guests to order what they want and when they want
  • - Shop: on-demand shopping section
  • - Listen: library with 3,000 MP3s and platform to create playlists


Main menu:



Map:



The legendary "DOOM":


In addition to the mentioned features, customers can enjoy power outlets near every seat and fleetwide WiFi. The wide range of entertainment options really keeps you busy - too bad the flight was so short.


Snack
Of course drinks and food are complimentary in First Class, including alcoholic beverages. I ordered a ginger ale and got an LCC-style snack box:



However, the diverse canapés looked very appealing and tasted excellent:



While eating we could enjoy great views of the scenery:




Approach & Arrival
We soon left the cruising altitude and started the descent into San Francisco Airport which meant I had to shut off my camera again. We touched down after only one hour and five minutes in the air and arrived at the gate 48 minutes late. Parked next to us was Cathay Pacific 747-400 B-HUF:



I wanted to take some more cabin pictures and therefore remained seated until all other passengers had left. Main cabin, equipped with black leather seats:



The captain had meanwhile noticed that I was taking pictures and he asked whether I wanted to have a look at the flightdeck, too.


Not only did he encourage me to take pictures there - he even offered to take pictures of us sitting on his and the first officer's seat. Of course we agreed. That's what I call great service for enthusiasts!  thumbsup 



Conclusion
Flying Virgin America was a true pleasure. The seating comfort in the carrier's First Class is great and the IFE system (available in all classes) is excellent. Catering was fine, too - absolutely sufficient on such short flights. While I can only praise the friendly and motivated ground staff member and pilots, I was disappointed by the flight attendant serving in First Class.
I had wanted to make a general comparison to jetBlue, but of course that's impossible due to the upgrade. What I can tell for sure is that I have only met kind and motivated flight attendants on jetBlue - while B6 and VX ground staff members have been on par. However, jetBlue's IFE system cannot match Virgin America's Red.

It was nice to get an upgrade to First Class for a relatively small amount of money - so I could easily get an impression of the product. But I would probably reject such an offer next time - one hour is simply not enough to fully enjoy all features. However, I would love to try Virgin America's First Class again on a longer flight.

Next report: SFO-YUL-FRA on Air Canada


Best Regards,
PlaneHunter



P.S.: Just in case you missed them - other recent reports:
Seat Dilemma & Canyon Glamour: FRA To LAX, AC 763
On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330
Goodbye, Red Tails! DC-9-40/50 & Chicago Tour
Champagne & World Of Coke: Air France A340 To ATL
"Mission A380": Disappointing Legs On BA/BD/EI
Delights Of Doha, 773 & 77W: DOH-DXB-LHR On EK
A380 Really a Step Forward? LHR-DXB-DOH On EK
Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744
Taiwan Trio: TransAsia, UNI Air And The Taipei 101
"The Wings Of Taiwan": EVA Air A332, 744 Combi
SHA-SZX, Shanghai 757: Delayed By The Military
PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Striking Newcomer: Berlin-Beijing On Hainan A330


[Edited 2009-10-30 03:47:22]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi there,

Another entertaining report with a great Las Vegas picture tour, I really enjoyed.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
we were shocked by the condition of our room, the floors and the elevator areas.

I stayed there 8.5 years ago and back then I was already shocked how fucked up our room was. I will not know how it is looking nowadays.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
So in the end we had paid a total of $119,60 (some 90 Euro) per person including all taxes and fees for a Virgin America First Class flight.

Excellent deal!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
- Play: a variety of videogames (including "DOOM"), navigated by a qwerty keyboard handset

Awesome! I guess "time is flying" with all these features, even on a long coast to coast flight.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
However, the diverse canapés looked very appealing and tasted excellent:

Looks perfect for a short flight from LAS to SFO.

I will definitely check out Virgin America next time when I am in the USA. Another airline I must try is JetBlue. So far I only used the traditional carriers like Delta, United, Northwest, and American on flights within the USA. The most exotic airline I got on a domestic USA flight was - the now defunct - National Airlines, coincidentally on a flight into/out of LAS (from/to LAX).

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Next report: SFO-YUL-FRA on Air Canada

I'm looking forward!

Patrick


User currently offlineN537FX From Switzerland, joined Oct 2009, 115 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Fantastic report. Las Vegas is a place I really should visit, it looks very cool. From the pictures, it seems like you had a great time. I know many of the hotels on the strip are quite close to the airport. Would be fun to stay in a room with such a view overlooking the runways.

User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4268 posts, RR: 51
Reply 3, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi PH!

You have shown us Las Vegas in it's true colours, and what a great experience on Virgin America! I really love these seats. They're huge, for an A320 aircraft! And that snackbox looked good inside  Wink For sure a good value for money flight!

Regards,
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineLuftfahrer From Germany, joined Mar 2009, 1014 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

PlaneHunter, what an enjoyable report!
Gotta visit Las Vegas one day, amazing pictures by the way. You have to be 21 years old to be allowed to gamble, no? I'm going to wait a few years so that I can play some Blackjack myself...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Upgrade for 50 Bucks

Excellent deal. VX is on the top list of the carriers I would like to fly on in the future- for a reason...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Not only did he encourage me to take pictures there - he even offered to take pictures of us sitting on his and the first officer's seat. Of course we agreed. That's what I call great service for enthusiasts!

That's very generous. Something I always appreciate, too!
Looking forward to your next report.



Et là tu montes encore plus haut et ça persiste, alors on vole
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6780 posts, RR: 77
Reply 5, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 1):
Another entertaining report with a great Las Vegas picture tour, I really enjoyed.

Hi Patrick! Thanks a lot for your feedback, I'm glad you enjoyed the report.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 1):
I stayed there 8.5 years ago and back then I was already shocked how fucked up our room was.

Wow, you should have told me. Where did you stay - pyramid or tower? And which kind of room did you book?

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 1):
Awesome! I guess "time is flying" with all these features, even on a long coast to coast flight.

Yes, I guess it's enough for dozens of coast-to-coast flights.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 1):
I will definitely check out Virgin America next time when I am in the USA. Another airline I must try is JetBlue.

I'm sure you'd like both carriers. But I also recommend to try Southwest.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 1):
The most exotic airline I got on a domestic USA flight was - the now defunct - National Airlines, coincidentally on a flight into/out of LAS (from/to LAX).

Not bad. I remember seeing these planes frequently at LAX some years ago.

Quoting N537FX (Reply 2):
Fantastic report.

Thanks a lot!

Quoting N537FX (Reply 2):
Las Vegas is a place I really should visit, it looks very cool. From the pictures, it seems like you had a great time.

Yes, it was my second visit and I liked it. But I usually don't gamble, so two days were enough. If you also want to see some shows, you should stay longer.

Quoting N537FX (Reply 2):
I know many of the hotels on the strip are quite close to the airport. Would be fun to stay in a room with such a view overlooking the runways.

You should stay at the Mandalay Bay (the golden one next to the Luxor) which is the closest.

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 3):
You have shown us Las Vegas in it's true colours, and what a great experience on Virgin America!

Hi Eric, good to hear you enjoyed the report.

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 3):
I really love these seats. They're huge, for an A320 aircraft!

Indeed, quite different from the premium seats you find on many A32X aircraft.

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 4):
PlaneHunter, what an enjoyable report!
Gotta visit Las Vegas one day, amazing pictures by the way.

Thank you, Marius!

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 4):
You have to be 21 years old to be allowed to gamble, no? I'm going to wait a few years so that I can play some Blackjack myself...

Yes, you must be 21.

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 4):
That's very generous. Something I always appreciate, too!

I have been quite lucky this year on my USA trips. Just recently I could also take cockpit pictures on a Delta 77L.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineContact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 13
Reply 6, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi PH,

again a great report with excellent pictures. I liked that you included some pics of the City of Las Vegas as well.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
She confirmed and then asked: "Would you be interested in an upgrade to First Class? It's $50 per person." We were quite surprised by that offer considering that the upgrade would only cost some 35 Euro per person.

That's what I call a good offer. I would have chosen it as well, at least to try it out once.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Anyway, the 21-inch wide leather seats are very comfortable. You can enjoy a personal reading light, a massage function, an electronically-controlled lumbar support, 13 inches of recline with independently adjustable leg and footrests as well as headrests with adjustable wings and height adjustment.

That sounds fantastic and is much more than what European carriers offer on shorter flights in Business Class.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The wide range of entertainment options really keeps you busy - too bad the flight was so short.

When I read your description about the features I thought the same - definitely an advantage on longer continental flights but probably not necessary for one hour.

Regards
Christoph


User currently onlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6558 posts, RR: 55
Reply 7, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi PlaneHunter!

Excelllent reproort with great pictures! I was in LAS in April witth friend and we stayed at the Excalibur which was okay but fairly cheap for only USD 65 for the room. We did go by the Luxor and noticed that it seemed very worn down......

VX seems to be a very nice carrier to fly on. I think you already did a comparison with B6, sort of; B6 doesn't have First class and VX entertrainement system seems to be much better so looks to me that VX would be slightly better. Seems to be very convenient to be able to order food from the screen.

Looking forward to the last installmant of this trip! And some more from your other recent trips  Smile

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineAkhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2461 posts, RR: 53
Reply 8, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi PlaneHunter,

Amazing! Just amazing how you captured all of the glitters and glamors of Las Vegas. Now I understand why it's called sin city.  wink 

I like your covering of Virgin America very much. That convinces me more that airlines like Virgin America and Jetblue are the best way to fly there.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Now we know it was a big mistake and we can only warn against choosing that hotel. I wrote a letter of complaint after returning home, but it has remained unanswered, as expected.

I hope that you have posted your bad experience on a site like www.tripadvisor.com. It's totally unacceptable how they could get away with that.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
So in the end we had paid a total of $119,60 (some 90 Euro) per person including all taxes and fees for a Virgin America First Class flight.

That's a bargain. I would have not declined it as well.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
However, the diverse canapés looked very appealing and tasted excellent:

It's just the presentation that makes the difference. And the taste of course!  Smile

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Not only did he encourage me to take pictures there - he even offered to take pictures of us sitting on his and the first officer's seat. Of course we agreed. That's what I call great service for enthusiasts!

Glad to hear that! I think that you have showed some respects by asking the permission first of the cabin crew before taking photos. Hence the appreciation.

Thank you for sharing and I look forward to your next report.

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 5163 posts, RR: 55
Reply 9, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi, PH,

great stuff again, but nothing else expected.
Superb Las Vegas pictures. I´ve used the Luxor also, but some 15 years ago it was also not that well maintained!.

Good to read about Virgin America from your point of view.

Looking forward to the AC story.

Greetings,
Markus (FLIEGER67)



Next: The eastern Intersky!.
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6780 posts, RR: 77
Reply 10, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Contact Air (Reply 6):
again a great report with excellent pictures. I liked that you included some pics of the City of Las Vegas as well.

Servus Christoph, thanks for your feedback!

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 6):
That sounds fantastic and is much more than what European carriers offer on shorter flights in Business Class.

Yes indeed. But one has to consider that the VX product is mainly aimed at the coast-to-coast market.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 7):
Hi PlaneHunter!

Excelllent reproort with great pictures!

Hi Lars, thanks a lot!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 7):
I was in LAS in April witth friend and we stayed at the Excalibur which was okay but fairly cheap for only USD 65 for the room. We did go by the Luxor and noticed that it seemed very worn down.....

We didn't really notice anything bad outside and in the atrium - that's why we were so surprised after entering the room.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 7):
I think you already did a comparison with B6, sort of; B6 doesn't have First class and VX entertrainement system seems to be much better so looks to me that VX would be slightly better.

VX also offers a Main Cabin Select product. Would be interesting to know more about the carriers' fare policies.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 7):
Looking forward to the last installmant of this trip! And some more from your other recent trips

I have started working on the last part, but it will take some more time until I can post reports about my trip last week...

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 8):
Amazing! Just amazing how you captured all of the glitters and glamors of Las Vegas. Now I understand why it's called sin city.

Hi Suryo, thanks a lot! I'm glad you liked the report.

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 8):
That convinces me more that airlines like Virgin America and Jetblue are the best way to fly there.

I wish we had those carriers in Europe, too. Well, at least we have Niki which is a high-quality LCC, even though without similar IFE.

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 8):

I hope that you have posted your bad experience on a site like www.tripadvisor.com. It's totally unacceptable how they could get away with that.

I still need to write numerous hotel reviews. The Luxor will get a very bad rating, no doubt about that.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 9):
great stuff again, but nothing else expected.
Superb Las Vegas pictures.

Servus Markus, thanks a lot.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 9):
I´ve used the Luxor also, but some 15 years ago it was also not that well maintained!.

Really? So probably the hotel management has never cared about maintenance. It's a shame to see what happens to such a great building. I have also read somewhere that the new owner (MGM Mirage) wants to remove much of the Egyptian theme and replace it with more adult-oriented lounges, clubs and other stuff...  Yeah sure


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 11, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi PH,

Thanks for this report - the highlight for me were definitely the numerous stunning pictures of Las Vegas.

I flew SAN-SFO on VA last February, it was a fun experience, but unfortunately it was a late night flight and delayed by a couple of hours (nothing to do with the airline, just the typical Bay area winter weather - foggy) and I was very jetlagged so I slept through most of the flight. The little I remember of the IFE was very impressive and I liked the cabin ambience with the mood lighting, plexiglass walls etc. Although I think they try a little bit too much to be hip and cool.

I think I need to try a transcon on them one day - that should be awesome. A few former colleagues always used them for their frequent SFO-JFK hops as the price was usually very competitive and the onboard wifi was great for working.


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6780 posts, RR: 77
Reply 12, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
Thanks for this report - the highlight for me were definitely the numerous stunning pictures of Las Vegas.

Thanks! Good to hear you enjoyed the report.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
I flew SAN-SFO on VA last February, it was a fun experience, but unfortunately it was a late night flight and delayed by a couple of hours (nothing to do with the airline, just the typical Bay area winter weather - foggy)

Yes, the fog in the Bay area can be quite annoying. Last week I was stuck on an American Eagle ERJ at SJC - luckily we could take off earlier than expected, only some 30 minutes late.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
Although I think they try a little bit too much to be hip and cool.

Well, they had to find a way to contrast with jetBlue.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently onlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1712 posts, RR: 14
Reply 13, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hello there PH, nice to see a non-Y class report this time! Big grin

For being such a short flight, the service provided onboard Virgin America's F class looked pretty generous, and the snack box content looked pretty similar to what LH serves on 1hr J flights within Europe.

The seats looked very nice and comfy as well, and the €35 upgrade cost, seemed like quite a bargain to me  Smile

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I ordered a ginger ale and got an LCC-style snack box:

So, did you do the ginger ale test this time?  Wink

Thanks for sharing

//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6780 posts, RR: 77
Reply 14, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting LH4116 (Reply 13):
Hello there PH, nice to see a non-Y class report this time!

Hi Jonas, thanks for your feedback.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 13):
So, did you do the ginger ale test this time?

Ginger ale is widely available on American carriers, even regional airlines serve it. So the test is more suitable for non-American carriers.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 5):
Wow, you should have told me.

Seems that I missed the eMail where you wrote that you'll stay in the Luxor. Sorry, I should have warned you.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 5):
Where did you stay - pyramid or tower?

We stayed in the pyramid.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 5):
And which kind of room did you book?

We booked it in a travel agency together with a DUS-CDG-SFO/LAX-CDG-DUS flight on AF (internet booking wasn't that popular back then). I am not 100% sure but I think the lady booked it via Meiers Weltreisen so I think that she booked a standard room.

I do not know anymore why we booked the Vegas hotel in advance. We made a one month tour through California and Nevada with a rental car, usually we stayed at Sebastian's family and - in rare cases- when we needed a hotel, we booked it on location, with exception of the Luxor.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 5):
But I also recommend to try Southwest.

Good to know!

Patrick


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6780 posts, RR: 77
Reply 16, posted (4 years 10 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 15):
Seems that I missed the eMail where you wrote that you'll stay in the Luxor.

Hi Patrick! Yes, that can happen easily considering the weekly number of "newsgroup" messages...  Wink

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 15):
We stayed in the pyramid.

Did you get a high floor? The higher, the better. At least we were successful with that request...

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 15):
We made a one month tour through California and Nevada with a rental car, usually we stayed at Sebastian's family and - in rare cases- when we needed a hotel, we booked it on location, with exception of the Luxor.

Wow, one month, not bad at all! What else did you visit in Nevada?


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8536 posts, RR: 54
Reply 17, posted (4 years 10 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi PH,

Nice report & pictures, did enjoy, the pics remind me of our recent visit to Las Vegas.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
we were shocked by the condition of our room, the floors and the elevator areas. We had booked a Pyramid Spa Suite and hadn't expected to find filthy walls, filthy furniture, filthy carpets, a filthy spa and dirty windows. The room lighting wasn't working properly either. It seems the room hasn't been maintained since the opening of the hotel.

- I've staryed there a few times in the past, never noticed any problems, appears maintenance has gone down hill!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The Bellagio, inspired by the Lake Como resort of Bellagio in Italy:

- We stayed there, totally recomend it.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
end we had paid a total of $119,60 (some 90 Euro) per person including all taxes and fees for a Virgin America First Class flight

- What a great price, despite the short duration.

Nex time I need to fly JFK/LAS type sector I'll look at taking VA, the IFE will keep the wife amused  Smile

Thanks PH.

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6780 posts, RR: 77
Reply 18, posted (4 years 10 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 17):
Nice report & pictures, did enjoy, the pics remind me of our recent visit to Las Vegas.

Hi Mark, thanks for your comments.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 17):
- I've staryed there a few times in the past, never noticed any problems, appears maintenance has gone down hill!

When did you stay there last time? Interestingly, I have also talked to an older man in the airport shuttle bus and he said everything was fine. There are also numerous very positive reports on Tripadvisor - among many very negative ones. I'm wondering about these discrepancies.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 17):
Nex time I need to fly JFK/LAS type sector I'll look at taking VA, the IFE will keep the wife amused

Only your wife?  Wink


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (4 years 10 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 16):
Did you get a high floor? The higher, the better.

Yes, it was pretty high. We had a good view on the airport but spotting was not a real pleasure because of the tinted glass. We were not there for spotting anyway, Vegas is all about boozing and gambling.  Wink

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 16):
Wow, one month, not bad at all! What else did you visit in Nevada?

We only visited Las Vegas in Nevada. We had planned to drive to Vegas (and to visit a few other places in Nevada) but Sebastian's uncle advised us against driving because of the extremly hot temperatures that week. He bought then the two tickets on National Airlines for us, so he and his wife could be sure that we will have a safe trip to Vegas and back.

Since we only visited Vegas in Nevada, we had of course more time to spend in California. Basically we saw everything there, we simply stopped when we liked it and took a hotel/motel for a day or two (but we mostly stayed at Sebastian's family which is living all over California)). Cities in California where we have been within these four weeks were: Lake Tahoe, Sacramento, Santa Rosa, San Francisco, San Jose, Monterey, Big Sur, San Luis Obispo, Lompoc, Santa Barbara, Valencia, Santa Monica, Redondo Beach, Santa Ana, Anaheim and San Diego.

I enjoyed every single day there!

Patrick


User currently offlineGVAJFKflyer From Switzerland, joined Aug 2009, 101 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (4 years 10 months 5 days ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
After an enjoyable tour which included major sights such as the Grand Canyon, the Bryce Canyon and the Zion Canyon

Bryce Canyon is absolutely my favorite.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Anyway, the 21-inch wide leather seats are very comfortable.

I would definitely say so. On my last trip to Vegas, I flew AA in, and UA out. AA wasn't that good and UA was okay. But Virgin America obviously needs to be tried.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Sin City Gloss & Chic First Class:
Las Vegas - San Francisco on Virgin America A320

Oh, and by the way: GREAT Trip Report  Silly


User currently offlineEwRkId From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 594 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (4 years 10 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

The pictures of Vegas were awesome!! VX looks like a great airline, to bad they don't serve that many destinations on the east coast yet...I will have to try them one day.

User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6780 posts, RR: 77
Reply 22, posted (4 years 10 months 3 days ago) and read 32766 times:



Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 19):
We had a good view on the airport but spotting was not a real pleasure because of the tinted glass.

Hi again, Patrick. Yes, the Luxor is not ideal for spotting.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 19):
Vegas is all about boozing and gambling.

I have to disagree...  Wink

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 19):
Cities in California where we have been within these four weeks were: Lake Tahoe, Sacramento, Santa Rosa, San Francisco, San Jose, Monterey, Big Sur, San Luis Obispo, Lompoc, Santa Barbara, Valencia, Santa Monica, Redondo Beach, Santa Ana, Anaheim and San Diego.

Wow, what a tour. I still need to visit many cities and places in Northern California. How would you rate Lake Tahoe and Sacramento?

Quoting GVAJFKflyer (Reply 20):
Oh, and by the way: GREAT Trip Report

Thanks!

Quoting GVAJFKflyer (Reply 20):
But Virgin America obviously needs to be tried.

Absolutely - but you should also give jetBlue a try.

Quoting EwRkId (Reply 21):
The pictures of Vegas were awesome!!

Thanks!

Quoting EwRkId (Reply 21):
VX looks like a great airline, to bad they don't serve that many destinations on the east coast yet...I will have to try them one day.

Let's hope they will continue to expand.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26954 posts, RR: 58
Reply 23, posted (4 years 10 months 3 days ago) and read 32763 times:

Great report and really nice photos. Great to see Virgin America so good. Also nice of the crew to accomodate aviation enthusiasts.

Thanks for the report

OA260


User currently offlineTurkishWings From United States of America, joined May 2006, 1441 posts, RR: 8
Reply 24, posted (4 years 10 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 32478 times:



Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The legendary "DOOM":

Woww.. This game brings back so many memories... This is the very first game I played on the computer probably around 15 years ago (actually this and Civilization).... Good old days  Smile

Thanks for the great report... I will be visiting LAS in a few weeks for the 4th time and this came as a good motivation to me  Smile



Coffee - Tea or Me?
25 Sabena332 : It was one of the best vacations I had so far. Lake Tahoe is an area I can highly recomment. It is great for skiing in the winter but I liked it even
26 September11 : This travel report rocks! I miss Las Vegas - can't wait to go back there this January
27 Ronerone : Heya PH! Another super TR from you, filled with excellent pictures that describe the entire trip! .. The pictures of Las Vegas are amazing!!! I have y
28 NZ107 : Hi PH, Just realised I had missed this one! Another great TR, I'm guessing you didn't have the time to change the font colour? Great pictures. When I
29 PlaneHunter : Thanks Phil, good to hear you liked the report. Yes, I have been quite successful with cockpit visits recently. Thanks! Have fun on your trip! It's q
30 Sabena332 : They were still friendly during their second visit (they were pretty young guys) but they told us that this would be the very last warning and that t
31 PlaneHunter : Good to hear they were still friendly. Could have been quite the opposite... Nice coincidence! PH
32 Airpearl : Hi PH, sorry for appearing a little late at the party, but I must say I love the pics on this trip report Vegas really does look so glitzy and there's
33 PlaneHunter : Thanks a lot for your feedback, Airpearl! Better later than never! Interesting to know. Yes, that's one of the disadvantages of sitting in the first
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