sfflyer123
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Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:37 am

I usually fly UA PS service, which I think is phenomenal for a domestic product. However, I have wanted to see how other carriers compare. I have heard great things about Virgin's first class service, so I decided to give it a try. This also allowed me to try SFO's new terminal 2, which I hadn't been to before, so this was also a first.

As is normal for me now, I do these TR's in a video format:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1nDqJmtDq0&feature=youtu.be

here are some photos of the trip also:

seat by sfflyer123, on Flickr


appetizer by sfflyer123, on Flickr


main course by sfflyer123, on Flickr


drink by sfflyer123, on Flickr

Again, as all my videos are, this is completely 100% commercial and pop-up free.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1nDqJmtDq0&feature=youtu.be

I hope you enjoy it!
 
Superfly
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:56 am

Nice.
I've flown them in first class on a short hop from SFO to LAX back in 2007 for an Airliners.net meet.
They were serving the booze quite liberally as folks were boarding the aircraft. It was awesome!
I think I finished off an entire bottle of Pinot noir prior to push back.
Our inflight meal was beef carpaccio with cheese, olive salad, chocolate mouse and more booze.
My cocktail was vodka tonic.
I was well sauced up prior to meeting up with N11OA, Dxing, Chares79 and a few other members. I needed it for that crowd!  
Quoting sfflyer123 (Thread starter):
I usually fly UA PS service, which I think is phenomenal for a domestic product.

Interesting. The only time I flew the United Airlines PS service was for another A.net meet in New York back in 2005.
The service was great and so was the meal. I forgot what beer they served on that flight.

Virgin America is a fantastic airline and I have a tremendous amount of respect for Sir Richard Branson who keeps airline travel fun & interesting.
Bring back the Concorde
 
Burj
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:36 am

Cool trip report!

PLEASE tell me you liberated the salt and pepper shakers! They were plastic after all and I am sure are NOT reused so they just end up in the trash anyways!

That is weird about not hanging up coats! Did the back of the seat in front of you at least have a peg or something you could hang it on?

I ask because those look like the identical seats that Delta uses as their "BusinessElite" seats on their 757s which they use on the NYC-LAX/SFO transcon service...Which comes with free lounge use if you are in F (either through paid or upgrade)
 
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Coal
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:54 am

Hi Sfflyer, another fantastic trip report! VX looks awesome! I will be trying them on Thursday evening from SFO to FLL, although I won't be as lucky as you and I will be in steerage with the plebs    Plus I will be connecting from a long flight from SIN. By any chance do you know if SQ can interline with VX and as such can I skip on paying for checked in luggage?

I thought you could use the VS Clubhouse at the international terminal?

Cheers
Coal
Nxt Flts: MI RGN-SIN | SQ SIN-RGN-SIN | CX SIN-HKG-PVG | SQ PVG-SIN
 
stipica
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:09 pm

Hi sfflyer123 !
... big fan of your video art ... stipica  

[Edited 2011-12-19 04:14:53]
Open your eyes and think
 
Superfly
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:33 pm

Quoting sfflyer123 (Thread starter):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1nDqJmtDq0&feature=youtu.be

I finally watched your video this time.
You are a light eater.
One of the comments was correct about the pricing on United P.S. 1st. class. They charge more money than Virgin America's 1st. class. Therefore, no lounge and coat hang ups.
I do remember my Virgin America 1st. class experience being more festive than your video. Perhaps that was just a short time introductory special.
I found their 1st. class seats to be more comfortable than lay-flat seats.
I like a lot of cushion. I don't need 25 different motors to adjust to 25 different positions. Those kinds of seats tend to have very thin cushions.
Bring back the Concorde
 
sfflyer123
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:22 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 1):
Virgin America is a fantastic airline and I have a tremendous amount of respect for Sir Richard Branson who keeps airline travel fun & interesting.

Thank you!. Apparently, Virgin Atlantic is related only in name to Virgin America. That is, Virgin America is only 25% owned by Virgin Atlantic, so the board and the decisions are all made by an American board, since they have 75% share. Of course, I'm sure Branson still has a huge say into what's going on with the airline, but technically, it they are separate entities.

Quoting burj (Reply 2):
PLEASE tell me you liberated the salt and pepper shakers! They were plastic after all and I am sure are NOT reused so they just end up in the trash anyways!

That is weird about not hanging up coats! Did the back of the seat in front of you at least have a peg or something you could hang it on?

I ask because those look like the identical seats that Delta uses as their "BusinessElite" seats on their 757s which they use on the NYC-LAX/SFO transcon service...Which comes with free lounge use if you are in F (either through paid or upgrade)

Yes, the salt & pepper shakers were cool, right? Unfortunately, they got dirty with my food (you could see how I was a messy eater on this flight), so I could not take the little plane with me. I did look in the back of my seat, and there were no pegs like there are on many planes, unfortunately.

Quoting Coal (Reply 3):
Hi Sfflyer, another fantastic trip report! VX looks awesome! I will be trying them on Thursday evening from SFO to FLL, although I won't be as lucky as you and I will be in steerage with the plebs Plus I will be connecting from a long flight from SIN. By any chance do you know if SQ can interline with VX and as such can I skip on paying for checked in luggage?

I thought you could use the VS Clubhouse at the international terminal?

Thank you very much! Yeah, VX economy is great, though. You can watch TV the whole time, so the flight passes by very easily. It's actually a great economy product, I think. I am sure you will still have a great flight. Many times, SQ can check your bag onto VX, so you don't have to re-check it (that is, one airline can check a bag through onto another airline). However, if you come by SQ international, you will have to collect your bag anyway and then re-check it through customs. However, if you get it checked in all the way to FLL when you check in for your SQ flight, you just drop it off outside the customs terminal, and don't have to go upstairs to check it in again. Also, when you arrive, you arrive at the international terminal, but Virgin America is in terminal 2, so you have to change terminals also. I think the VS clubhouse is only for Virgin Atlantic, not Virgin America, unfortunately!

Quoting stipica (Reply 4):
Hi sfflyer123 !
... big fan of your video art ... stipica

Thank you very much!

Quoting Superfly (Reply 5):
I finally watched your video this time.
You are a light eater.
One of the comments was correct about the pricing on United P.S. 1st. class. They charge more money than Virgin America's 1st. class. Therefore, no lounge and coat hang ups.

Thanks, but I was full this day. Usually, I am a very big eater. If you watch my Frankfurt-SFO or MUC-SFO first class videos on Lufthansa, you will see that I eat a lot of food normally! But for some reason, I was not hungry on this flight (I think I had already eaten lunch).

But with regards to P.S., I usualy fly the United PS business class, which is just as nice (if not nicer) than Virgin 1st class. It is the same price, and they have lounge access with wi-fi (free), and they hang up your coats for you and deliver them to you before landing. United P.S. business class is pretty amazing. I will publish a TR of United P.S. business class soon, and you can compare the two side by side.

Thanks for your comment!
 
Superfly
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:39 pm

Quoting sfflyer123 (Reply 6):
I'm sure Branson still has a huge say into what's going on with the airline, but technically, it they are separate entities.

Most likely the important parts.  
Who knows but it's a great airline.

Quoting sfflyer123 (Reply 6):
Thanks, but I was full this day. Usually, I am a very big eater. If you watch my Frankfurt-SFO or MUC-SFO first class videos on Lufthansa, you will see that I eat a lot of food normally! But for some reason, I was not hungry on this flight (I think I had already eaten lunch).

I'll check out those reports.

Quoting sfflyer123 (Reply 6):
I usualy fly the United PS business class,

How about United P.S. 1st. class?

Quoting sfflyer123 (Reply 6):
and they hang up your coats for you and deliver them to you before landing.

That really seemed to upset you.
Bring back the Concorde
 
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rogerbcn
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:11 pm

Hola Sfflyer123!

I really enjoy your video TRs... they are very well done and nicely presented with all the essentials I am looking for in a TR.

VX seems to offer a very nice product, the seats look awesome and the food is very well presented and according to you tasted nice as well, so what else can you ask for?

On the other hand, they should consider looking at the little details to offer a more competitive service.

Salut!

Roger
"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
 
AlwaysOnAPlane
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:21 pm

Nice video covering a lot of the detail.

Reminds me of my trip with VX from LAX-SFO. I got chance to upgrade to F, which I did. Like you I could not understand the lack of a lounge. Not really good enough in my opinion. Even if they gave F passengers, say a $10 voucher to spend on food/drink in the airport that would be a touch more acceptable.

Anyway, the cabin is modern looking along with the airlines general image, but it looks like a few of the smaller/personal touches are missing.

I would use them again.

Thanks for this video report.
Cheers, Lee.
 
jetblue777
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:52 pm

Nice trip report, as usual. Love all your videos on youtube.

It's a shame that VX doesn't have their own lounge, I mean, at least a small corner at the terminal with a few snacks and drinks would do. As shown on the video, T2 definitely looks great, reminds me of JetBlue's home in JFK, terminal 5. Although I've heard some complaints about not having any "cheaper" options for dinner such as fast food restaurants for the kids.

BTW was the WiFi free for F class passengers? Their IFE from my experience is probably the best in the US (domestic) I've also seen Source Code, great movie. I'm glad that you enjoyed your meal on VX, looks delicious like you said. The salt and pepper shaker was definitely interesting! I would keep it  

Thanks for sharing! Looking forward for more.

JetBlue777
It's a cultural thing.
 
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Coal
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:11 pm

Quoting sfflyer123 (Reply 6):
I think the VS clubhouse is only for Virgin Atlantic, not Virgin America, unfortunately!
http://www.virginamerica.com/travel/airport-lounge.html

Next time I want to see this on your video report!   

Cheers
Coal
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767747
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:25 am

Good report! Thanks for sharing another video with us, sfflyer123!

Looks like you had a good flight with Virgin America. I'm impressed with the F class seat, mood lighting, and the avod. The food looks very tasty and unique; quite different from the staple First dishes AA and Delta offers, i.e., (pasta, or chicken salad, etc ...)

Looking forward to your return trip!

Matthew
I love to fly!
 
sfflyer123
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:35 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 7):
How about United P.S. 1st. class?

I can't afford it, and my company won't pay for first, only business (in a 3-class plane).

Quoting Superfly (Reply 7):
That really seemed to upset you.

It was more embarassing than upsetting. I just felt like a fool holding my jacket. Sort of like how Charlie Brown waits for the great pumpkin...

Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 8):
VX seems to offer a very nice product, the seats look awesome and the food is very well presented and according to you tasted nice as well, so what else can you ask for?

I agree. I think the product overall is quite good. Small touches are not as good as UA P.S. but overall, it's a very nice product, no question.

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 9):
Reminds me of my trip with VX from LAX-SFO. I got chance to upgrade to F, which I did. Like you I could not understand the lack of a lounge. Not really good enough in my opinion. Even if they gave F passengers, say a $10 voucher to spend on food/drink in the airport that would be a touch more acceptable.

Yeah, I agree. They should at least contract with the Admiral's club to get people in. Air canada did that with the Delta Lounge in the international terminal, even though the two are not part of the same alliance.

Quoting jetblue777 (Reply 10):
Nice trip report, as usual. Love all your videos on youtube.

BTW was the WiFi free for F class passengers? Their IFE from my experience is probably the best in the US (domestic) I've also seen Source Code, great movie. I'm glad that you enjoyed your meal on VX, looks delicious like you said. The salt and pepper shaker was definitely interesting! I would keep it

Thanks for your kind words. Yeah, it didn't occur to me to keep that little airplane! I guess I should have. Wi-Fi was not free for first class, unfortunately. I spent my time just watching the AVOD. Source code was a cool movie; I had no idea what to expect, so it was great. Thanks for the comment!

Quoting Coal (Reply 11):
http://www.virginamerica.com/travel/airport-lounge.html

Next time I want to see this on your video report!

Cheers

Thank you. I have heard some nice things about Virgin upper class. Maybe one day, I will try it. Yeah, I google searched Virgin America and Virgin Atlantic, and they are two totally distinct companies with some overlap. I thought that they would have just been the same company with different branches in different parts of the world.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 12):
Good report! Thanks for sharing another video with us, sfflyer123!

Looks like you had a good flight with Virgin America. I'm impressed with the F class seat, mood lighting, and the avod. The food looks very tasty and unique; quite different from the staple First dishes AA and Delta offers, i.e., (pasta, or chicken salad, etc ...)

Thanks very much. Yes, I must agree that the food creativity on virgin was significantly better than your "traditional American" fare on many domestic carriers. It was a little more "gourmet" than most places. I guess it fits right in here in San Francisco!
 
Burj
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:30 am

Quoting sfflyer123 (Reply 13):
Sort of like how Charlie Brown waits for the great pumpkin...

Actually it was Linus, the kid with the blanket who is Charlie Brown's best friend, who waits for the Great Pumpkin all Halloween instead of going tricker treating...

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...Pumpkin.jpg/220px-GreatPumpkin.jpg
 
tommy767
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:52 pm

Nice report but what kind of food were you seved? The presentation looks a little disoriented.
"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
 
September11
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:09 pm

I'm curious -- how much did you pay for the plane trip?
Airliners.net of the Future
 
richierich
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:22 pm

You mentioned the buzzing sound produced by the CFM engines...those look and sound just like the IAE V2500 engines to me. I've flown B6 many times and I am pretty sure it sounds the same when sitting ahead of the wings. Great takeoff video though!

Not sure if I like the video TR versus a regular TR format with photos but the final product was very nicely done! One comment though, you seem to get hung up on the hanging up of your coat. OK, OK, the lack of a lounge to separate you from the riff-raff I can understand but hanging up a coat? Is that really hugely important to the typical business flier? Maybe it is important to you, but I cannot believe that most people would consider VX a "step behind" UA's PS because of that miscue. I'm not trying to provoke an argument, just saying that it struck me as (dare I say) whining. It will also be interesting to see what becomes of PS as the merger continues to progress.
None shall pass!!!!
 
MSS658
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:51 pm

Hi there

another nice video report, thanks for sharing!
Apart from a few little points VX seems to stand way ahead of it's competitors!

Greetings
Marc
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
 
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Tigerguy
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:08 am

Nice report. You've reminded me of that long-ago time of November when I flew with VX in Main Cabin Select. The food I received there was good, so I'm not surprised at the quality of the food in F. (My sandwich was, by a wide margin, the best plastic-wrapped sandwich I've yet eaten.)

Quoting Coal (Reply 11):
Quoting sfflyer123 (Reply 6):
I think the VS clubhouse is only for Virgin Atlantic, not Virgin America, unfortunately!
http://www.virginamerica.com/travel/....html
Quoting sfflyer123 (Reply 13):
Maybe one day, I will try it. Yeah, I google searched Virgin America and Virgin Atlantic, and they are two totally distinct companies with some overlap. I thought that they would have just been the same company with different branches in different parts of the world.

I didn't have much luck with that when I went through SFO. I went to the Clubhouse and presented my boarding pass for the next flight. I got my wallet to pay for the lounge pass, but the ladies at the desk said that they couldn't allow me in since VX wasn't under the same umbrella as VS. It may have been that they were unaware of VX access to the Clubhouse, or perhaps the airline needs to update its webpage. Either way, it wasn't a make-or-break situation, so I didn't press the issue. If VX passengers can be allowed in, it may be worth pressing the issue if you really want in.
Good night, and keep watching the skis. Uh, skies.
 
xaapb
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:01 am

Nice trip report, really enjoy the video, SFO T2 looks beautiful, I remember being there back when it was the international terminal!
I will love to try Virgin America! hopefully one day, they seem to have a good service even in the back!

Greetings
Jorge Meneses
 
sfflyer123
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:27 am

Quoting burj (Reply 14):
Actually it was Linus, the kid with the blanket who is Charlie Brown's best friend, who waits for the Great Pumpkin all Halloween instead of going tricker treating...

You are absolutely correct! My bad! I am too old to remember who waited for the great pumpkin, but you're absolutely correct that it was Linus, not Charlie Brown!

Quoting TOMMY767 (Reply 15):
Nice report but what kind of food were you seved? The presentation looks a little disoriented

I had the lentils and green beans with cornbread. It was very tasty, actually!

Quoting September11 (Reply 16):
I'm curious -- how much did you pay for the plane trip?

It cost me zero. I didn't pay a dime for this flight. However, it did cost my company (my private company, not government sponsored) $3000 for the roundtrip airfare.

Quoting richierich (Reply 17):
You mentioned the buzzing sound produced by the CFM engines...those look and sound just like the IAE V2500 engines to me. I've flown B6 many times and I am pretty sure it sounds the same when sitting ahead of the wings. Great takeoff video though!

Thanks! I tried to look it up on the internet to see what engines VX bought for their airbuses. I was only guessing, so if you know better, thanks for that info!

Quoting richierich (Reply 17):
you seem to get hung up on the hanging up of your coat. OK, OK, the lack of a lounge to separate you from the riff-raff I can understand but hanging up a coat? Is that really hugely important to the typical business flier? Maybe it is important to you, but I cannot believe that most people would consider VX a "step behind" UA's PS because of that miscue. I'm not trying to provoke an argument, just saying that it struck me as (dare I say) whining

The coat was supposed to be a point of humor. Unfortunately, some people took that seriously, as if I were some entitled business traveler. The reality of it is that I really couldn't care less about hanging up a coat; I always shove my coat in the overhead bin when I travel in economy (which is how I usually travel). I thought I could make it sound funny that I was a fool holding my coat, but I guess it didn't work so well!

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 18):

another nice video report, thanks for sharing!
Apart from a few little points VX seems to stand way ahead of it's competitors!

Thank you very much for your nice comments!

Quoting Tigerguy (Reply 19):
I didn't have much luck with that when I went through SFO. I went to the Clubhouse and presented my boarding pass for the next flight. I got my wallet to pay for the lounge pass, but the ladies at the desk said that they couldn't allow me in since VX wasn't under the same umbrella as VS. It may have been that they were unaware of VX access to the Clubhouse, or perhaps the airline needs to update its webpage.

I agree. I think the website is old, reflecting when VX was back in the international terminal. Now that it's in T2, they may have abolished the privileges of getting into the VS lounge altogether.

Quoting xaapb (Reply 20):
I will love to try Virgin America! hopefully one day, they seem to have a good service even in the back!

Thank you! I have been very happy with VX economy class every time that I've flown it. However, I think jet blue is actually nicer because it has more legroom. It also has direct TV when you fly, but better leg room, so I think jetblue is actually better in economy. Thanks.
 
CF-CPI
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:13 pm

I'm a great booster of Virgin America, even though I have only done one roundtrip SFO-LAX on them. I did splurge for F, and was liberally plied with their sparking wine ('Karma'), which was actually quite good. We were served a fruit and cheese plate, and while not exactly huge, it was populated with high quality cheese and some gourmet crackers that were out of this world.

The Recaro seats at 55" pitch were fun to sample for the hours' flight, and I can't wait to try a transcon, as you have done. The mood lighting is a nice touch as well. Virgin America is one of the few North American carriers with a sense of style and 'show' in their product, as opposed to the bluegrey leather and colorless bulkheads we see so much on legacy carriers these days.

I can't wait to get back on Virgin America.
 
sfflyer123
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:49 am

Quoting CF-CPI (Reply 22):
Virgin America is one of the few North American carriers with a sense of style and 'show' in their product, as opposed to the bluegrey leather and colorless bulkheads we see so much on legacy carriers these days.

Thank you so much for your comment. I agree with you that VX definitely has that element of style that many airlines simply do not. Thanks very much!
 
AA94
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:42 am

Nice report!

FYI: VX uses the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse in San Francisco for their F passengers BUT the catch is that it costs $35 extra. (http://www.virginamerica.com/travel/airport-lounge.html)

I get that this is out of the ordinary for a F product, but they DO offer a lounge, it's just not complimentary, which is ridiculous IMO.
If you can't take the heat, you best get out of the kitchen
 
UnitedDC10Fan
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:32 pm

I just want to "second" what is already mentioned above, and that is the fact that YES, Virgin America does have a clubhouse. It is technically the Virgin Atlantic clubhouse, but it is for VA pax as well. It is located in the International Terminal on the "A" side, just to the left of the TSA screening area. You can buy a pass for 35 bucks online when you check-in, or you can buy a pass at the VA ticket counter (**NOT** the Virgin Atlantic ticket counter).

The clubhouse offers a full bar with bartender, a menu with limited choices (but good food), and very clean restrooms that are HUGE and have nice showers in them.

But just keep in mind two things: 1) VA is now in Terminal 2, so you will have to take the AirTrain (that's probably the quickest--you could walk, but that would take a while) from the Int'l Terminal to T-2. 2) You will still have to go through TSA once you get over to T-2, so allow time for that. If you are traveling First Class, there is a separate line for you. If not, plan accordingly because VA and American share this terminal and it can get quite busy.

One final note...The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse I think is only open in the afternoons. Since there are no morning flights (with Virgin Atlantic) out of SFO, it is not open. So you will only be able to use the clubhouse if you're there during an afternoon visit.
 
richierich
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:17 pm

Quoting sfflyer123 (Reply 21):
Thanks! I tried to look it up on the internet to see what engines VX bought for their airbuses. I was only guessing, so if you know better, thanks for that info!

I'm not 100% sure what VX uses either, just going by my past experience. I generally will accept the buzzing though as it is usually quiter up front once at cruise altitude!

Quoting sfflyer123 (Reply 21):
The coat was supposed to be a point of humor. Unfortunately, some people took that seriously, as if I were some entitled business traveler. The reality of it is that I really couldn't care less about hanging up a coat; I always shove my coat in the overhead bin when I travel in economy (which is how I usually travel). I thought I could make it sound funny that I was a fool holding my coat, but I guess it didn't work so well!

I wasn't sure if you were trying to be funny or come off as entitled, as you said, but no worries. I seriously hope nobody would choose one airline or another because of the coat situation, but I do understand that little details do matter and I assume that was the point you were trying to make. Let's call it as it is: United has been doing transcon Business for far longer than Virgin has, so the overall routine may be a little more polished, although I would also assume that Virgin has UA beat for style and cache!

Missing from my first post was a 'thank you' for posting this TR. It was an enjoyable read/watch.
None shall pass!!!!
 
sfflyer123
Topic Author
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:22 am

Quoting AA94 (Reply 24):
FYI: VX uses the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse in San Francisco for their F passengers BUT the catch is that it costs $35 extra. (http://www.virginamerica.com/travel/airport-lounge.html)

Thanks for this info. I wonder why the gate agent told me there was no lounge? I would definitely have checked out the Virgin Atlatnic club house. That's supposed to be famous.

Quoting UnitedDC10Fan (Reply 25):

One final note...The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse I think is only open in the afternoons. Since there are no morning flights (with Virgin Atlantic) out of SFO, it is not open. So you will only be able to use the clubhouse if you're there during an afternoon visit.

This is great advice. My flight was at 1pm, so I probably would have been in the clubhouse at 11am, greeted by a closed door!

Quoting richierich (Reply 26):
Missing from my first post was a 'thank you' for posting this TR. It was an enjoyable read/watch

Thank you for your kind words!
 
FlyASAGuy2005
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Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 4:55 am

RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Fri Dec 23, 2011 7:49 am

As to the comments about the buzz-saw sound. As it has been explained to me, that is actuall the sound given off by the tips of the fan blades going supersonic; or something like that. My wording may be a bit off but that's the jist of it.

---------------------------------------

Nice TR BTW!! They do seem to be quite funky and trendy but coats should be a given along with them already offering a pre-departure beverage. And from what i'm seeing, even if you are in first, you still have to pay for the lounge? Looks like March is when it will be open.
What gets measured gets done.
 
sfflyer123
Topic Author
Posts: 322
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Sat Dec 24, 2011 8:54 am

Quoting AA94 (Reply 24):
FYI: VX uses the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse in San Francisco for their F passengers BUT the catch is that it costs $35 extra. (http://www.virginamerica.com/travel/airport-lounge.html)

Thank you for your nice comment. I wonder why the gate agent didn't tell me about this. I would probably pay the $35 for the Virgin clubhouse. It's suppose to come with a regular meal, right? That in and of itself would be worth it.
 
LH4116
Posts: 1183
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Sun Dec 25, 2011 1:15 am

Hey there Sfflyer123, great report!

I must say I'm a big fan of your work, and I've watched through all your videos. I don't recall there being anyone who makes such well documenting and "right-to-the-business" video reports as you. Normally most video reports tend to contain cheesy music, uninteresting footage, and poor quality that make them barely watchable. Anyways keep up the good work!

Oh, and the Virgin America flight. Firstly I must say those F seats look quite nice, same model as Delta's old BusinessElite on the B777ER IIRC? I don't know much about the ticket prices for domestic F, but it seems like 90% of the pax are upgrades. So I'm assuming VX are also offering some sort of gate upgrade?

The lack of lounge is a real bummer, especially if you've payed full price for the ticket. The food looked quite decent as well. All in all I've to agree with you that United's PS service still has the upper hand on this route. Then again, will it still be offered as the airline is being turned to Uninental/Continited Airlines, or will it be cut?

Thanks for sharing
//Jonas
SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
 
sfflyer123
Topic Author
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Sun Dec 25, 2011 3:52 am

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 30):
Oh, and the Virgin America flight. Firstly I must say those F seats look quite nice, same model as Delta's old BusinessElite on the B777ER IIRC? I don't know much about the ticket prices for domestic F, but it seems like 90% of the pax are upgrades. So I'm assuming VX are also offering some sort of gate upgrade?

The lack of lounge is a real bummer, especially if you've payed full price for the ticket. The food looked quite decent as well. All in all I've to agree with you that United's PS service still has the upper hand on this route. Then again, will it still be offered as the airline is being turned to Uninental/Continited Airlines, or will it be cut?

Thank you very much for your nice comment and your kind words. Yeah, i have never flown Delta's business elite. From what I've heard, it's quite good, and I'd like to try it sometime. I didnt know that most of the pax in F on VX are upgraders. I'm not sure how they do it, but I assume they have a frequent flyer program like UA that lets them do it. It will be itneresting to see how the new PS service on UA pans out when CO takes over. I have heard that it will be a 2-class configuration only, but the business will be lie-flat seats. Thanks very much!
 
jfrworld
Posts: 367
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 8:21 am

RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:10 am

Hi Sfflyer123,

Again, I love your detailed and thorough trip reports. I'm always looking forward to the newest one  
Quoting sfflyer123 (Reply 29):
I wonder why the gate agent didn't tell me about this. I would probably pay the $35 for the Virgin clubhouse.

Before T2 @ SFO opened in the April 2011, VX was flying out of the International Terminal at SFO and was co-located with the VS Club House. VX used to offer the passes to the Club House for $35 which was an absolute steal. The Club House offered complimentary made to order food and complimentary alcohol. Since I'm a fan of the bubbly, I could always get a few glasses of champagne at the Club House. Basically you were getting a Business/First class lounge experience for less than a day pass to the RCC. Since, VX moved to T2, they really don't offer the passes anymore as it would be hassle for most, but I'm sure if you had hours to kill, they would sell you one.

While I normally agree with your trip reports 100% of the time, I will offer a different opinion in this case. While it is true that VX does not hang coats (if you notice they don't have a closet and they clear dividers take away that space as a place for a coat hook), you could argue that VX offers a F class product that is competitive, if not, more superiorthan the legacy carriers. I always say that it depends on what you value.

Me? I value Food, Alcohol, and then Wifi. I think VX F class food is among the best domestically. They are very generous on the portions as well. They also offer bubbly onboard (Karma california sparkling). I do love my bubbly. I've heard that UA PS is offering Wifi, but I find having Wifi to be an absolute god send. As long as you send me Fat with Food, Buzzed with Bubbly, and with a Wifi Connection, I'll forgive a lot of things
           
 
ual757
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Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 12:58 pm

RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Mon Dec 26, 2011 9:42 am

Gotta be honest, VX's catering looks quite weak.

But nonetheless, great report.
 
UnitedDC10Fan
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:13 pm

RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Mon Dec 26, 2011 1:10 pm

Quoting ual757 (Reply 33):
Quoting ual757 (Reply 33):
Gotta be honest, VX's catering looks quite weak.

Yes, it is quite weak indeed. I'm a VA "regular" in First Class, and I can't stand their food. On their short haul flights, they serve a "snack" which is always made up of food items that make me go "blah!". I suppose if you are a "foodie", you would love what they serve--but I'm not a foodie. For example, their current snack is a plate that comes with olives and peanuts that are covered in a curry flavored oil. It's disgusting. Most of their food in First Class is like this. I always have to ask the flight attendant to grab something for me from the back, because that's where the "normal" food is.

As far as the FC upgrades, yes, there is a trick. Once you are at the point of being six hours before your flight time, you can log on to their website, find your reservation, and then click on "Change Seats". When you do this, a seat map will pop up. You just click on any open seat and then pay the upgrade fee. For a short haul flight (SFO-LAS), the cost is $79 one way. Keep in mind that if you want to do this, you must NOT check in online for your coach seat like you normally would. Because once you check in with your coach seat, you can no longer do the FC upgrade. You have to wait until six hours prior to your flight. You can also upgrade from coach to Main Cabin Select if you'd prefer to do that. I forget what the price is for short haul--35 bucks I think?
 
sfflyer123
Topic Author
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:04 pm

Quoting jfrworld (Reply 32):
VX used to offer the passes to the Club House for $35 which was an absolute steal. The Club House offered complimentary made to order food and complimentary alcohol. Since I'm a fan of the bubbly, I could always get a few glasses of champagne at the Club House. Basically you were getting a Business/First class lounge experience for less than a day pass to the RCC.

I agree with this. I think that a normal glass of champagne is $10 to $15 or more at the airport. If you've a full meal, that is easily $20-$30. So for what you get, it's a great deal. Certainly, it's a better deal than the $50 for the cheese & crackers at the Red Carpet Club.

Quoting jfrworld (Reply 32):
While I normally agree with your trip reports 100% of the time, I will offer a different opinion in this case. While it is true that VX does not hang coats (if you notice they don't have a closet and they clear dividers take away that space as a place for a coat hook), you could argue that VX offers a F class product that is competitive, if not, more superiorthan the legacy carriers.

No worries. People disagree all the time, so it's perfectly fine to disagree. I tried to make the coat hanging thing a joke, but I guess it was hard to convey via text writing on a video. I actually completely forgot about the coat, but during take off, it's boring for some people, so I try to write something interesting to keep their attention during the take-off. Personally, I love the take off itself, and I will watch it for just the take off. However, I know that others may find it boring, so I try to make a "theme" during the take off to keep people interested. For instance, one of my videos, it was about the buzzing of the engines, the other was about how slowly the A340 took off, etc. But the coat is a very minor thing; I just tried to make it humorous, but I guess it doesn't always work!

Quoting jfrworld (Reply 32):
They are very generous on the portions as well.

Yes, I could not finish my food.

Quoting jfrworld (Reply 32):
I've heard that UA PS is offering Wifi, but I find having Wifi to be an absolute god send.

Yes, United PS has had wi-fi for many years now. I believe it started 3 years ago.

Quoting ual757 (Reply 33):
Gotta be honest, VX's catering looks quite weak.

But nonetheless, great report.

Thanks for your nice comment!

Quoting UnitedDC10Fan (Reply 34):
For example, their current snack is a plate that comes with olives and peanuts that are covered in a curry flavored oil. It's disgusting.

Hilarious!

Quoting UnitedDC10Fan (Reply 34):
Most of their food in First Class is like this. I always have to ask the flight attendant to grab something for me from the back, because that's where the "normal" food is.

You must love United Airlines food, then right?

Quoting UnitedDC10Fan (Reply 34):
Once you are at the point of being six hours before your flight time, you can log on to their website, find your reservation, and then click on "Change Seats". When you do this, a seat map will pop up. You just click on any open seat and then pay the upgrade fee.

This is great to know. I had no idea. I assume that you cannot upgrade with Virgin miles, right? It's all with cash?
 
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cotparampguy
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Mon Dec 26, 2011 11:45 pm

Great trip report. I'm planning on flying VX to SEA in early January.

VX has CFMs on their whole fleet.
 
sfflyer123
Topic Author
Posts: 322
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Tue Dec 27, 2011 6:05 pm

Quoting cotparampguy (Reply 36):
Great trip report. I'm planning on flying VX to SEA in early January.

VX has CFMs on their whole fleet.

Thank you! That's great to know about CFM's. I thought that was the case!
 
emirates202
Posts: 237
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Wed Dec 28, 2011 5:10 am

I'm waiting for the day you fly Emirates first class!
Fly Emirates, Hello Tomorrow
 
sfflyer123
Topic Author
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:40 am

Quoting emirates202 (Reply 38):
I'm waiting for the day you fly Emirates first class!

Thank you, but that will probably be a long-time coming! Maybe if I win the lottery, I will do it! Thanks.
 
FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:39 am

Quoting sfflyer123 (Reply 39):
Thank you, but that will probably be a long-time coming! Maybe if I win the lottery, I will do it! Thanks.



You wonder though, how much money they're actually making with these "suites". Many a trip reports i've seen on here where the member was the only pax in the forward cabin, or just one or 2 other people. We'll really never know with the way they do business over there though...I think one member said it best. It's all about pride and showing off, really and its evident in the cabins are designed. So opulent it almost looks 'cheap'.
What gets measured gets done.
 
emirates202
Posts: 237
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:13 am

RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:36 am

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 40):

I beg to differ. Being a frequent EK First/business class flyer, most of my flights in First are always full, whether it be JFK-DXB, DXB-JFK. I just flew in from JFK the other day, and the flight was booked 100% full in F, about a month before the flight. My dad and I were the last ones to buy seats on that flight, and it was completely full, as most of my F flights are.
Fly Emirates, Hello Tomorrow
 
sfflyer123
Topic Author
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:30 am

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 40):
You wonder though, how much money they're actually making with these "suites". Many a trip reports i've seen on here where the member was the only pax in the forward cabin, or just one or 2 other people. We'll really never know with the way they do business over there though...I think one member said it best. It's all about pride and showing off, really and its evident in the cabins are designed.

It is interesting. I saw one of homer's TR's and he was the only guy in first class.

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 40):
So opulent it almost looks 'cheap'.

I agree, to some extent. It's somewhat gaudy. But hey, if I get to sit in those gaudy seat, I ain't complaining!

Quoting emirates202 (Reply 41):
I beg to differ. Being a frequent EK First/business class flyer, most of my flights in First are always full, whether it be JFK-DXB, DXB-JFK. I just flew in from JFK the other day, and the flight was booked 100% full in F, about a month before the flight.

This is great to know. There must be lots of wealthy people out there!
 
FlyASAGuy2005
Posts: 3965
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 4:55 am

RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:53 pm

Quoting sfflyer123 (Reply 42):
I agree, to some extent. It's somewhat gaudy. But hey, if I get to sit in those gaudy seat, I ain't complaining!

Oh yes, don't get me wrong I wont turn down the seat if it was given to me!! 
What gets measured gets done.
 
PlaneHunter
Posts: 6522
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:17 am

RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:19 pm

Great video report! The catering in particular looks quite impressive. I flew in the carrier's First Class back in 2009 and really liked it, unfortunately it was just a short hop.

Sin City Gloss & Virgin America's Chic First Class (by PlaneHunter Oct 30 2009 in Trip Reports)


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
sfflyer123
Topic Author
Posts: 322
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RE: Virgin America First Class: SFO-JFK A320

Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:10 am

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 44):
reat video report! The catering in particular looks quite impressive. I flew in the carrier's First Class back in 2009 and really liked it, unfortunately it was just a short hop.

Sin City Gloss & Virgin America's Chic First Class (by PlaneHunter Oct 30 2009 in Trip Reports)


PH

Excellent TR, plane. I really enjoy vegas, but the trip is so short, I never do a TR. I should do a TR on Vegas also! Thanks for the post!

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