As I mentioned in the post below, I missed my Jet Blue flight to LA yesterday because I got stuck in traffic. It took about two hours to get to JFK and I arrived at the airport about ten minutes before my flight left. Since it was the last flight to LA of the day, the kind folks at Jet Blue credited me back the cost of the flight (thank you, Jet Blue!) and I ended up hopping on a Virgin America one.
I was kind of excited to check out Virgina America because I've heard a lot about the planes. The cabin inside was waaaay cool, very modern and stylish, kind of like an Ian Schrager hotel. Here's a photo that I took:
It's a little blurry because I wanted to capture the lighting and didn't have the flash on, but it should give you an idea of what it looked like. Here's another pic that I took from Virgina America's website:
Pink and blue lights illuminated the cabin, the seats were black leather with white high-gloss plastic backs, and futuristic-sounding music echoed throug the plane while we boarded and taxied to the runway. The whole mood was so cool that I half expected a disco ball to drop from the ceiling or the flight attendants to start passing out hits of ecstasy, but they didn't. (Thank God... could you imagine?)
Virgin America was a little like Jet Blue in that each passenger gets their own TV, but VA had less channels to watch than JB. Like I couldn't watch any of the major network channels, but I could watch Bravo, E!, CNN, and some others. They did have episodes of what they called "Premium TV Shows" like The Office and Lost, but you had to pay $2 for each of them, which is a little steep to watch something I've probably already seen. The TVs also had movies you could watch, but they were $8 each, which I again thought was a little pricey. What do they cost on Jet Blue? Does anyone know?
In addition to this you could listen to music, play video games, and IM with people in other seats. That's pretty cool. (But also a little scary post 9/11.)
Re: food & drinks... The flight attendants didn't go up and down the aisles and ask you if you'd like something to drink like they do on most commercial flights. Instead, if you want something to drink or eat, you order it from the TV in front of you, and then they bring it to you.
Speaking of the flight attendants, considering the plane was so hip, I expected them to have cool uniforms, but they didn't. Like, did you know that Emilio Pucci designed flight attendant uniforms for Braniff Airlines in the 60s? Here they are:
Virgin America needs to hire a hip designer and get those ladies and men dressed up to complete the experience. (For more super-cool flight attendant outfits, click here.)
Andie... You said you were considering flying Virgin Atlantic in the spring. I'm not sure if they have the same planes or amenities as Virgin America, so you might want to look into that. I'd give it a try though, I have no complaints.
Also, someone also recently asked how Beverly flies. She gets to go with me in the cabin. If the flight is full, she has to stay in her bag under the seat in front of me. If it's not, the flight attendant usually lets me belt her in to the seat next to me, like this:
She's incredibly well-behaved on flights and sleeps most of the time. I make sure she goes potty before we leave so she doesn't have an accident.
So all in all, Virgin America is stylistically superior to any other airline out there, but I think Jet Blue has better entertainment options (for a more affordable price.) Because the prices are similar, if I had to choose between the two, I'd choose Jet Blue. Virgin America didn't do anything wrong (aside from overcharging for TV & movies), but since Jet Blue credited me back the cost of my missed flight (they didn't have to) they win in my book.