Now, I know what you're thinking: another airline? It's true that we have quite a few of them these days, but before you write this off as a waste, let me tell you some of the things that promise to make Virgin America different from most of the airlines flying today:
- Outlets at every seat with standard 110v power, USB connectors, and Ethernet for broadband Internet access
- Self-serve mini-bars and fresh food that can be ordered from your seat and bought with the swipe of a credit card
- Mood lighting that changes over the course of the flight to create a relaxing atmosphere
- A First Class cabin with reclining leather seats with footrests, equivalent to what you'd find on international business class on America's legacy carriers
- On-demand digital entertainment including television by Dish Network, pay-per-view movies, and video games
- Will upgrades be available using points? (Probably.)
- How many points will it take to book an award seat?
- Is there an elite status tier system?
- And the big question: will Virgin America's eleVAte program include partner affiliation with Virgin Atlantic's Flying Club?
Anyway, flights scheduled to start on August 8, with initial routes operating out of San Francisco/SFO with service to New York/JFK and Los Angeles/LAX. Direct LAX-JFK service should start on August 29, and VA plans to add Washington-Dulles and Las Vegas-McCarran to the mix before the end of October. (Refer to the route map.)
I'm planning my first flight on Virgin America to be over Labor Day weekend. Check back for an update at that point.
* Virgin America has been assigned the code "VX" because "VA" is already assigned to Virgin Atlantic. But I think most people will refer to them as "VA" anyway, especially since the airline chose to call its frequent flyer program "eleVAte".