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A Virgin Experience: First Virgin America Flight+JetBlue A321

Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:39 pm

Imagetitleimagegreat by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Hello everyone, and welcome to my trip report, "A Virgin Experience". In this trip report, I will document my travels on a pair of firsts, including my first Virgin America flight, and my first JetBlue A321 flight! This will be a longer trip report for a trip that took place in all of about 12 hours!

For the first time, I've made this entire trip report available as a video trip report. I've divided it into two separate videos- one documenting the Virgin America flight, while the other covers the JetBlue A321. So, if you'd prefer to watch it, the links are here:
Virgin America Flight 500:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGkgBbjPL30
JetBlue Flight 1201:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSroWYM9CrY

Imageintro by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

On April 4, 2016, it was announced that Alaska Air Group would be acquiring Virgin America. As an avgeek who's never flown VX, I was screaming internally. I knew that I had to fly on Virgin America at least once! I started looking up flights to the West Coast. Being a university student in Boca Raton, that meant flying out of Fort Lauderdale (FLL). Unfortunately, everything was too expensive (upwards of $350 RT). Then, I remembered a conversation I had with my roommate- Christian- a few weeks prior, about the weird Virgin America FLL-JFK route. It's one of those weird routes that don't seem to make sense, because in this case, Virgin's flights on the East Coast, normally end up in the West Coast (with the exception of JFK-DAL). So, I started looking up that flight, but I realized it was only a winter-seasonal flight that ends on April 26th! I saw some much more reasonable fares, and contemplated a weekend visiting my family in New Jersey, but realized it would interfere with my hockey playoffs. I realized that I would have to do an out and back trip to JFK, and considering airfare and my hockey schedule (my school schedule didn't really matter because airplane trips), I would have to settle on flying Virgin America on April 26, the last day of the flight before the summer season schedule.

I convinced my mom to let me do this trip as an early birthday present, (my birthday is May 10) and she thought I was crazy at first, but then when I explained to her it was all that I wanted for my birthday, she agreed to pay for me to do it. With financing for the trip secured, it was time to do one of my favorite things- book airline reservations! Since the JFK-FLL flight departs before the FLL-JFK flight arrives, I would have to fly Virgin America only once on this trip, and return the same day with another airline. I contemplated flying American Airlines (my all time favorite airline) back to Miami, and then ubering back to Fort Lauderdale to get my car, but decided that would be too much. I looked up fares for JetBlue (Christian's all time favorite airline) and saw they were $20 cheaper than American, and I would return back into FLL. That $20 savings would later be negated after I opted to fly on the A321, as opposed to the A320 which would've saved me the $20. I wanted to fly the JetBlue A321 because it would complete my JetBlue collection, as I'd already flown on their Embraer 190 and A320 previously, and because my roommate always told me nothing but great things about it.

Booking process...

ImageIMG_2237 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

I love Virgin America's stylish and easy to use website!

ImageIMG_2238 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

No extras for me, just the standard VX experience!

ImageIMG_2278 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

I originally selected 5A, but I changed it to 6F, for a reason you'll see very soon...

ImageIMG_2280 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
ImageIMG_2282 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Full flight it seems. I was surprised that Virgin America charges $20 for advanced seat selection. That's more than Spirit on comparable flights. I really liked the cool characters that showed occupied seats.

Imageconfirmed by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Finally the moment I had been waiting for! I was finally confirmed on a Virgin America flight! This would be my first new airline since I flew Winair to SBH in 2014! The booking process on Virgin America was easy and user friendly, but was also very unique looking and definitely had that extra little bit of flair they're known for.

Imagebooked by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

The Manage Itinerary section on the website. I really love how the cool characters appear once again, in the form of New York City stereotypes, with the Statue of Liberty eating a New York style Pizza, a taxi cab driver, and a character climbing the Empire State Building, as well with what Fort Lauderdale is known for- the beach and the sunsets! It's clear right from booking that Virgin America wants you to know that they're a fun-loving airline that is different from all the others. JetBlue and Spirit have similar mentalities- but aren't nearly as exciting as Virgin. With my outbound flight booked, it was time to go to JetBlue and book my return! I didn't take too many screenshots because JetBlue is pretty standard when it comes to booking.

ImageIMG_2279 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

This flight sure looks a lot emptier! I was originally booked for 24F, but when I changed my Virgin America seat, I switched to 26A. I like to sit on opposite sides of the cabin when I book roundtrip tickets.

Imageconfirmed b6 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

And I am officially "Set to Jet" as JetBlue likes to say!

So within about 6 hours of hearing about the merger, I went out of my way and booked a day trip to New York City for no reason other than to fly on a cool airplane for $190. This day trip was cost $2 more than when I flew MIA-DFW-ORD-DFW-MIA in January (see: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=980477&p=13174147&hilit=jeffh747#p13174147), and then I got to log the 777-200, 787-800 and another 767-300! But little did I know that this trip would be worth every single penny. Thanks for the birthday present, mom!

So after a few days, Christian went on his already-planned trip to New York for the weekend to visit his family, taking his JetBlue A321 up and down. When driving home, he saw a Virgin America billboard outside of JFK that said "EVERY FLIGHT DONE RIGHT", with a URL to virginamerica.com/seatview, which is essentially a Google StreetView map of their A320. I had heard about it weeks before but forgotten about it, so I logged on to go see my seat. I was really disappointed when I saw the way it was aligned with the window.

ImageIMG_2276 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

The window wasn't aligned really good with seat 5A, so I took advantage of "SeatView" to see which seats would have a better window view.

ImageIMG_2277 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

I then saw seat 6F had it aligned right perfectly with the headrest on the seat, and quickly changed to 6F before anyone else looking to potentially change their seat snaps it right up! I was thankful that Christian sent me that picture of the billboard otherwise I would've had a very uncomfortable flight, craning my neck forward to see outside! So with a seat now on the right side of the airplane, I switched my JetBlue A321 seat to 26A. Perhaps this was a blessing in disguise because row 24, where my original seat was, went out completely full, while row 26 was empty at the time I changed my seat!

So the longest three weeks of my life passed, and it was finally time to Check In for my first ever Virgin America flight! Just as the reservation process was fun, the Check In process was even more fun, and looked even more stylish!

Imagecheckin0 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Time to check in for VX500!

Imagecheckin1 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
ImageIMG_2356 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Love everything about the site- the font, the colors, the layout!

ImageIMG_2357 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

No need to upgrade my ride even more! I'm already flying in one of the nicest planes! I'm more of a Boeing guy, but Airbuses aren't bad at all- especially if Virgin America or JetBlue are written on the outside!

ImageIMG_2358 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
ImageIMG_2359 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

I'm not really into buying priority boarding or screening for any airlines. Luckily I didn't in this case!

ImageIMG_2360 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

No need for bags for a 17 hour trip!

Imagefinally checked in by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Finally checked in for my first Virgin America flight!

Imagee boarding pass by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

The first of three boarding passes I would receive. I'm not into using print at home boarding passes (or in this case, print at university xD) unless I'm flying Spirit, but I still downloaded it and saved it anyways. Surprisingly, Virgin America does not have a mobile app, so I was not able to get a mobile boarding pass. It was also cool that even the print at home boarding pass still had that extra bit of Virgin flair! I was happy that I got "Group A", which I assumed to be the first Boarding group following Pre-Boarding, which meant a few more minutes in the moodlit cabin!

It is worth mentioning that for some reason, online Check In was not available for my JetBlue flight, even though I tried checking in 20 hours before. I called them at 11pm the night before asking why and they told me to try again in the morning, which I did, and then it worked.

After checking in, it was time for another day of classes, and time to get ready for the biggest game of the school year. I helped start the ice hockey team at my university, and this was our first season. We were playing in an adult league at the local rink to set the ball rolling and we had made it to the championships, to be played April 25, the night before my Virgin America trip. Our game was at 9, 12 hours before my flight, and I just focused on playing (I'm a goalie), and it was a tough game, but we scored the game winning goal with 30 seconds left in the third period. After a barrage of shots in the last few seconds, I saved all of them and we won our first championship! By the time our celebration ended and I was in my car, it was 11:15 at night, and it was time to drive back to my dorm and go to sleep for 4 hours (after showering of course and then head to FLL.

My alarm woke me up at 04:30. My plan was to leave my university at 05:15, and get to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport at 06:00. My best bet was to just drive there and park my car. The economy lot was $6, but I shelled out an extra $8 for the convenience of parking at the Hibiscus Garage, which has a great aircraft observation area. After a quick breakfast at the cafeteria, I jumped into my Ford Explorer and headed off onto a new adventure! I only carried with me a small shoulder bag with the camera my girlfriend lent me, my iPad, my Galaxy camera, and my chargers for such. I also had my JetBlue earphones I bought on a previous flight with them. Nobody in their right mind would ever get to an airport three hours before a scheduled domestic flight, much less so in the morning, but I did it because the airport, like most avgeeks, is my happy place and I am never calmer than I am when I'm at the airport. I left university right on time at 05:15 and drove on a barren i95 South to FLL.

I stopped at a Dunkin' Donuts in Dania to get myself some yummy goodies to hold me over until I decide to go into the terminal. Once I got my order, I drove two minutes up US1 and arrived at the Hibiscus Garage- not before driving around the airport loop once though! I parked at the very top and took in the breathtaking view of the airport. Terminal 1 was right in front of me, with Terminal 2, and Terminal 3 off to my left, and Terminal 4 behind me. It was still pitch dark when I arrived, at 05:36, but I could see a bright, airborne light descending from the West. The light touched down on 10L.

Image20160426_054734_LLS by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

I smiled when the plane got closer and realized it was a Virgin America A320, arriving from LAX. My first picture of the day that I would be getting my first Virgin America flight, was that of a VX plane. I sat in my car for a few minutes before getting out to see a couple departures fly out right in front of me. I took in the view of the terminals and the airplanes resting. It was so quiet and relaxing, and adrenaline pumped through my veins when I thought that soon, I can be here as much as I want, when I'm a pilot myself (only 1170 more hours to go!), and I realized again, that there is nothing else I could do as a career, that I was born to fly airplanes.

I watched a couple more flights takeoff- a Southwest 737 in the Heart livery, and an American Airlines A319. I smiled when I saw the A319, as it was going to my home airport-Philadelphia International, PHL. Soon, the sun became to come up and the airport began to come to life.

Image20160426_065457 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Image20160426_065544 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Goin' back home to LAX...

Image20160426_065731 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

I love how you can see the moodlighting from outside of the planes...

Image20160426_070232 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

The sign many of my fellow passengers will be dropped off at within just a few hours...

ImageIMG_4087 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

I was excited to fly out of Terminal 1. It would be my first time doing so since 2011 when I flew Southwest to BWI.

Image20160426_070241 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

The giant is slowly waking up...

ImageIMG_4086 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

When I saw this Virgin America plane, I was worried that my flight would be out of Terminal 2. But apparently VX just RONs it there and tows it over to T1. When I saw it being towed, I then assumed it would be my plane. Soon after, my excitement got the best of me, so I locked my car, patted the American Airlines sticker my girlfriend gave me, and started walking to the elevated walkway to Terminal 1.

Image20160426_070317 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

General map of the airport terminals and parking garage...

Image20160426_070644 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Image20160426_070700 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

It was a nice, short walk that brings you to the Departures level, with nearby escalators that can take you to Arrivals. Terminal 1 is really nice and modern and consists of two concourses, B&C. Concourse A, is currently being constructed and will be used primarily by Southwest.

Image20160426_070840 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

I got my first glimpse of the Virgin America Check In desks and excitement continued to build up. I decided to walk outside to get a good view of the ramp action.

Image20160426_070916 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

There's the Jeff-Mobile!

Image20160426_070951 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Image20160426_071036 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

I was looking at the United action when I heard the reverse thrust from an A320 landing.

Image20160426_071056 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

It ended up being Virgin America A320 N846VA, the plane that Flightradar 24 told me would be operating my flight! I looked in excitement as I saw my first Virgin America plane taxi to Terminal 1. N846VA had just arrived from SFO. Shortly thereafter, I decided to go to the gate. At 07:20, I walked to the Check In area to get my boarding pass. I was originally just gonna get it from the self service kiosks but decided I would rather interact with the Check In desk personnel. I told the man working there that I was travelling to New York and he seemed surprised that I was there that early. Perhaps he assumed I was going to SFO? I heard the sound of my ticket being printed out, he handed it to me and wished me a well journey.

Image20160426_072055 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Being the avgeek that I am, I decided that I wanted not one, not two, but three boarding passes for the flight, and went to the self service kiosk.

Image20160426_072527 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

The kiosk was easy to use, and had a similar UI as the website. When it printed out my boarding pass, I was surprised that it was just a small square piece of paper compared to the long rectangular boarding pass I got from the desk. I was super glad that I didn't go to the kiosk first, otherwise I would've been disappointed and not tried to go to the desk.

Image20160426_072852 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

I proceeded to a lineless security, but first checked my flight status. I was glad to see it wasn't delayed, and then went through security. Security was super quick. I entered the checkpoint and exited within about three minutes. Good thing I didn't buy the priority security screening!

Image20160426_073521 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

I looked down the concourse and took in the beautiful architecture of this terminal...

Image20160426_073640 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

I walked to the end to C7 and saw two Virgin beauties sitting beside each other. I gazed in amazement that in just about one hour, I would be aboard Virgin America.

Image20160426_073830 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

I found a comfy seat next gate C3, where a United A320 was boarding for ORD.

Image20160426_073642 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

My two boarding passes. Now you can see why I would've been really disappointed! I also liked that even the boarding passes looked really unique! Virgin America really does seem to scream fun at every corner! I connected to the wifi and communicated with the girlfriend and my parents. My parents told me that they would be meeting me at JFK (a good two and a half hour drive from where I live) and be hanging with me during my 8 hour layover. I was super excited to see them for the first time in weeks! I perused airliners.net and iMessaged with Christian information about my flight. I confused one of our friends that I took the wrong flight and ended up in Newark (with all the United 737s), and sure enough it was almost time to board!

ImageVX flightboard by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

My Flight Information for this morning's flight. If you'd like to use a template I have for this, let me know! I'd be more than happy to help.

Imagevx500 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

My routing for this morning's flight, courtesy of FR24.

Image20160426_073657 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Glitter Girl ready to take me on her next adventure...

Image20160426_081914 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Virgin America gate service center...

Image20160426_075520 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Gate C7: where at the end of this jetway, my first Virgin America flight awaits!

Image20160426_083218 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Soon after I took this photo, "Mount Hoodie" was preparing to depart for SFO. This is the same plane that RONd and was towed from Terminal 2 earlier. A FedEx MD-10 roared off into the skies behind it, shaking the windows in the terminal as it climbed out for MEM. The Silver Saab next door was going to BIM.

Image20160426_083241 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Virgin America jetway logo...

Image20160426_083253 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

I imagine those Silver pilots envied those in the A320 next to them!

Image20160426_083323 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Mt. Hoodie pushing back from the sunny flatland of Southern Florida and the East Coast, to go to the scenic forests and mountains of the West Coast. The West Coast is still a place to visit on my bucket list, as I've never been further west than Dallas. Shortly after I took this photo, it was time to board! PreBoarding began promptly at 08:30, followed by general Boarding at 08:35, starting with Group A. I am, admittedly, one of those gate lice who linger around the boarding line until my group is called. Thankfully I'm always in Group 2 with American, and I was lucky to be in Group A on my first flight with Virgin!

You can find the boarding video in my video trip report starting at 1:18! I walked down the jetway holding my red and white stylized Virgin America boarding pass in hand, and shivers of excitement, and the warmth of home comforted me as I turned the corner in the jetway and a purple and pink light emanated from the aircraft. I patted the outside of Glitter Girl and took my first step aboard a Virgin America airplane. The last time I was this excited to step on a plane was when I stepped onto my first 787 Dreamliner in January! A blonde flight attendant sporting a bright red uniform passed by me into the crew galley to retrieve an item for a passenger. I walked down the beautifully gorgeous moodlit cabin past the luxurious First Class seats, and past my original seat- 5A, to my actual seat, 6F. I took in the beautiful cabin, and settled into my seat and opened my perfectly-aligned window to view a now busy FLL ramp and a glittering ruby red engine. The seat was super comfortable and the pitch was adequate for a 3 hour hop up to JFK (I'm 6'4). It didn't take much effort to get comfortable in my seat. The position of the window in relation to the seat was fantastic and I did not need to crane my neck forward. Note to all a.netters- pick even rows when travelling in A320 family aircraft!

Image20160426_084344 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

I'm not very good at the selfie game!

Image20160426_084423 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

My window view. I noticed in flight that the engine isn't just painted red, it's actually a glittery red and you can see the red sparkles under certain lighting conditions. The name of the airplane, Glitter Girl, certainly matches with the special paint on the engines!

ImageIMG_4092 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

"Red", the name of the Inflight Entertainment System.

Image20160426_084538 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

I absolutely loved the moodlighting! I've flown with airplanes before with moodlighting, mostly the American 737-800s with Boeing Sky Interior, and their 787 Dreamliners, but they weren't nearly as enchanting as the lighting on Virgin. The moodlighting I'd experienced before merely complemented the cabin, whereas the moodlighting on Virgin America really made the cabin look amazing. The darkened cabin with purple and hot pink lighting created for an instantly relaxing environment. There was only one person in my row, and they were in the aisle, leaving the middle seat between me and him unoccupied.

Image20160426_084811 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Always nice sitting by the engine and seeing the reflection of the fuselage...
Image20160426_085443 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Did I already say I love the moodlighting?
Image20160426_090401 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Naturally, the first thing I did on the IFE, was go checkout the flight map!

Image20160426_090408 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

A highly detailed Virgin America A320 represented our current location on the map. Soon, it was time for pushback! We pushed back at 09:03, and Virgin America's hip and entertaining safety video, "#VXSafety Dance", played on the screens in front of us.
You can find that video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtyfiPIHsIg

There's been a lot of controversy, particularly here on a.net, about this video. Many negative comments said that it was "unprofessional and that the safety demonstration is not the right time to have a musical." I disagree completely. If anything, it's one of the best ways to ensure the right information reaches the passenger. As opposed to a monotone flight attendant describing what to do in the event of an emergency, the video really captures the viewers attention, and the catchy lyrics help to make sure the different information is somewhat retained. The safety videos on American get boring after the first minute, and few passengers pay attention to the demonstrations on JetBlue and Spirit. Mostly everyone I could see in the cabin were actually watching the video. It was fitting that Virgin Group, known mostly for their entertainment business, was also able to make one of the more boring parts about flying, actually fun. Fun, is the way to make people actually pay attention to something important, and Virgin America made that work to their advantage.

Soon after, one of the flight attendants introduced herself as Kelly (she was the blonde FA I saw when I boarded), and the First Class flight attendant, Jaimie, and the third flight attendant, Marty. I don't normally remember or record flight attendants' names, but on this flight I did, and for a very good reason you'll soon find out.

Image20160426_090519 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Pushed back, and ready to taxi! The business end of 28R is just left of the stylized American flag wingtip fence. We started a short taxi to Runway 10L and held short for an arriving Bahamasair 737-500.

You can see the FLL takeoff at 4:30 in the video trip report. Unfortunately, I didn't realize until after this trip that my girlfriend's camera was filled with dust spots that only came out in videos. If you know how to get rid of the dust spots or would like to do it for me for a small reward, please do not hesitate to message me.

We roared off into the skies of sunny south Florida and through the scattered clouds and climbed up to our cruising altitude of FL400. I was surprised that we would be cruising at such a high altitude on a routine domestic flight, but I enjoyed it nonetheless! I started playing around with Red and recorded a demonstration of the system- that can also be found in the video TR and contemplated some onboard purchases. I liked the headphones but thought the "Nap Pack" for $20 would be a better buy.


Image20160426_095903 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

I loved the view out the window, as I do on every flight I take. It was interesting seeing a red engine as opposed to the blue, gray, and yellow engines I'm used to seeing next to me. You can really see the glittery effect of the paint in this picture!

Image20160426_100135 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Zooming in on our little red Virgin plane over a vast blue ocean from above. Soon after this picture was taken, I entered my drink order from the IFE (coolest thing ever by the way) and enjoyed the view outside. Kelly brought me my orange juice, and I inquired about the Nap Pack that was available for sale on the IFE. I asked if it had the Virgin America logo as it did on the picture and she brought me one to see if I liked it. It was this big soft blanket and pillow set that came with it's own little bag that had the Virgin America logo on it. I was sold, and thanked Kelly and told her I would pay for it using the IFE. I sipped on my orange juice, and placed my newly acquired Virgin America nap pack set on the open seat next to me.

I then got up and decided to go see if the bathrooms were cool. The one I went to was not anything special, other than being slightly wider than JetBlue or American. As I exited, I took in the beautiful cabin in it's entirety from the back galley.

Image20160426_101328 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

The moodlighting was now a little faded, and the cabin was a tad bit brighter, so it was nice to see the flight isn't always a dark airplane with moodlighting. Before I headed back to my seat, I saw Kelly sitting down looking through a magazine. I contemplated on striking up a conversation with her (as she looked kind of lonely) or just going back to my seat. I decided the former, and told her the only reason I wanted the nap pack was because it had the logo and I was really into aviation, and that the only reason I was on this flight was purely to fly Virgin America. She was completely awestruck, and said it was the coolest thing. She said that she could get me more stuff if I wanted, and got me their "Autopilot" beauty kit , and the blue Virgin America headphones I had contemplated earlier! I was completely awestruck by her generosity! She even offered me free snacks (snacks on Virgin America are buy on board with the exception of First Class+Main Cabin Select), but I declined, already thrilled with what she had just given me. I thanked her profusely, and walked back to my seat with an ear to ear grin!

Image20160426_101916 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

The two goodies Kelly generously gave me.

Image20160426_102917 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

The views from FL400 are better than any in the world...

Image20160426_102922 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

And it's always really awesome seeing the reflection of the fuselage inflight! Shortly after I took this photo, Kelly walked up to me smiling from First Class and handed me the First Class pillow and blanket set! It's this ginormous and super comfortable purple blanket and a nice and soft purple pillow. My mouth completely dropped. "Am I dreaming?" I thought to myself. I was in complete disbelief! I couldn't thank her enough for her incredible generosity and hospitality!

Image20160426_103457 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

I looked at the flight map and felt sad when I realized there was already only an hour of flying time left until JFK.

Image20160426_103516 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Noooooo we're getting closer!

Image20160426_103640 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

I love the American flag stylized wingtip fences! As I took this photo, Jaimie, the First Class flight attendant, came up to my and said "Hey, I heard you're a big fan of Virgin. Here's a gift from First Class", and tossed me the First Class amenity kit! I was floored. Jaimie was nice enough to leave her station to come up and give me a gift from First Class! Never have I experienced such great crew members! Marty, the second flight attendant assigned to Main Cabin, later came by and asked me personally if I was enjoying my flight and if there was anything he could get me. I could not get over- and still to this day can not get over- how amazing these flight attendants were, and how well they treated me! Not only were they doing their jobs- assuring the safety and security of passengers onboard, as well as doing their standard services- they were doing it with a special touch, and they really made an even more special effort towards me to help me enjoy my Virgin America flight. I assumed Kelly must have told her colleagues about me, and my reason to be on that flight, because after my small interaction with her, Jaimie and Marty paid special attention to me. To them, it was clear that I wasn't just some man taking a plane to New York City, I was taking the Virgin America Experience to New York City. They truly understood me as an aviation enthusiast, and did everything they possibly could to remember this experience.

Image20160426_104513 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Please, let's go back to Fort Lauderdale!

Image20160426_104610 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Obilgatory legroom shot...

Image20160426_104621 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Even the seatback pocket has that extra bit of Virgin uniqueness. It has a small cell phone holder and another holder for another item!

Image20160426_105233 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Playing with the Seat to Seat chat and describing my emotions...

Image20160426_112213 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Beginning our slow crawl to ground level...

ImageIMG_4107 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

The slight tug of inertia hit me, and a slight rumble emanted from the wings. I knew the speedbrakes were deployed and we were slowing down and descending for JFK.

ImageIMG_4108 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

The American flag painted onto the wingtip of a European airliner. How ironic!

Image20160426_114439 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Passing over Belmont (?) on approach for 22L at JFK. Kelly and Marty made their ways through the cabin one last time in preparation for landing, quickly making eye contact with me and smiling with me, before returning to their stations for landing.

You can find the landing at 16:00 in the video TR.

We touched down at a rain soaked JFK at 11:44 and began taxiing to Terminal 4. This would be my first time being in Terminal 4 (and T5 later), as previously I'd only been in the Terminal 3 Worldport (RIP) and Terminal 8 at JFK.

Image20160426_114849 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

We crossed Runway 22R simultaneously with this Asiana A380 that just arrived from ICN.

Image20160426_115317 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Etihad A380 with the cool looking Formula 1 stickers on the engines...

Image20160426_115454 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Close up of those massive engines. One of the pilots came on the intercom and said we would have to power down on the ramp, and then be towed to the gate. I thought it was weird but cool as it was a new experience.

Image20160426_115531 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Asiana A380 parking at it's gate...

Image20160426_115624 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

N628VA, "Entourage", pushing back from it's gate for points unknown...

Image20160426_115640 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

So many different airlines in one photo!

Image20160426_115842 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Being towed to Gate A2B...

Image20160426_120421 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Aaand we're parked. Kelly came on the intercom and thanked us once again for flying Virgin America and that she hopes to see us again soon on a future Virgin America flight...

Image20160426_115930 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

As the seatbelt signed turned off, everyone got up from their seats and rushed to disembark. I lingered until everyone else was off to take some interior shots of the airplane...

Image20160426_115937 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Image20160426_115943 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Image20160426_120653 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Looking across my row...

Image20160426_121024 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Cabin shot...

Image20160426_121029 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Looking towards First Class...

After taking a few pictures, I went back up the cabin to where all three flight attendants were congregating, and thanked them profusely for everything they'd done for me. I got down their names and shook their hands. I told them that this was actually my birthday present and that they had really made it special for me. They were the first ones to wish me a happy birthday and Marty went back to get me a "birthday treat" and brought my cookies and M&M's! To say these flight attendants were amazing, is quite an understatement. It wasn't that they gave me free stuff that made me so happy- it's that they did it to make me remember my first trip with them, and because they recognized that I was on that flight solely for the journey with them and not the destination. It was because of the cabin crew that Virgin America now shares my top spot as my all time favorite airline, with American. And it's because of them, that I will always remember this flight. I thanked them one final time and bid them farewell, before making my way to disembark.

Image20160426_121321 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Image20160426_121335 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

First Class cabin with Kelly and Marty faintly visible...

I took one last breath, and stepped off my first Virgin America plane, and patted Glitter Girl farewell.

Image20160426_121416 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

The purple and pink moodlighting calling my name to return again soon, as I walked down the jetway...

Image20160426_121509 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Goodbye, beautiful Virgin America :(

Image20160426_121544 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

I stepped off the jetway and onto the iconic Virgin America red carpet.

Image20160426_121630 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Looking back on Glitter Girl. This beautiful plane transported me 1063 miles in just under three hours. Aviation is still such an incredible wonder.

Image20160426_121646 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Glitter Girl resting while Entourage prepares to embark on a new adventure...

Image20160426_121809 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Such a beautiful flying machine!

Image20160426_121850 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

And soon after, another Virgin America A320 arrived! I then realized that I was no longer a Virgin America virgin, now that I'd finally flown on them!

Image20160426_122010 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Overview of the goodies I'd been given on the flight. The nap pack is the red pouch in the back.

Image20160426_124043 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Boarding for Glitter Girl's flight back home to LAX had been called, and soon it was time for her to go off once again through the clouds. I told my parents that I would be taking my time exiting Terminal 4, which worked out well because they were just getting off the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. I then decided that I would walk all of Terminal 4- including down the Delta T4X Concourse.
A318 A319 A320 A321 A332 A333 B717 B727 B734 B737 B738 B739 B752 B762 B763 B772 B788 CRJ2 DHC6 DHC8 E145 E190 MD82 MD83
 
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jeffh747
Topic Author
Posts: 646
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:32 pm

Re: A Virgin Experience: First Virgin America Flight+JetBlue A321

Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:40 pm

Image20160426_124309 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

What I love most about JFK- being able to see all the different airlines and aircraft types I wouldn't normally see in FLL or MIA.

Image20160426_124312 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

It was my first time being this close to the Asiana A380. I absolutely love their livery on the A380. I just wish the titles were a tad bigger. Also, despite being a Boeing guy, I love the A380. It's just such an incredibly massive machine!

Image20160426_124832 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

There are six widebody aircraft in this picture. Can you name them all?

Image20160426_124920 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

The other Virgin that's popular at JFK! I also have a soft spot for the A340-600. It looks like an elegant swan when it's inflight.

Image20160426_125015 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Looking down the "A" Concourse in T4...

Image20160426_125240 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Walking down to the main artery of the terminal, I looked off to my right and saw the historic TWA Flight Center adjacent to Terminal 5. I'll see you in a bit!

Image20160426_125322 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Looking down the main artery of T4, from the A side of the building...

Image20160426_125345 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Terminal 4 is super modern and is very open and airy, with lots of natural light coming in...

Image20160426_125347 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Image20160426_125639 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

SkyTeam Delta 737-800 with a Swiss International A330-300 behind it...

Image20160426_125738 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Walking down to the Delta side of the terminal...

Image20160426_130011 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Looking West towards where the magnificent Terminal 3 Worldport once stood. It's a shame she's gone, but the building had it's issues, and all good things come to an end.

Image20160426_130059 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Looking down the massive T4B Concourse. T4B is about half the length of Concourse D at MIA, but there's no SkyTrain to take you from one end to the other, leaving you a lengthy 10 minute walk at the least from one end to the other! I sure would not like making a tight connection here!

Image20160426_130339 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Swiss A330 with the JFK Tower...

Image20160426_130551 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Cool art poster near one of the gates...

Image20160426_131030 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Delta 767-300 loading up for Zurich I think...

Image20160426_131202 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Finally at the end of the Concourse!

Image20160426_131228 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

The very end of T4B...

Image20160426_131512 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Then I got the text from my mom telling me they were here. So, I guess it was time to "Keep Climbing" as Delta says. But in this case I have to climb the escalators back up to the main part of the terminal!

Image20160426_131554 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Delta A330 arriving...

Image20160426_132502 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Finally back in the main terminal...I said goodbye to being airside and went to the arrivals hall. Weirdly enough, the arrivals hall was in a different building and required going through a walkway to access it.

Image20160426_132814 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Baggage Claim carousels...

Image20160426_132822 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Oh, looks like my flight arrived!

Image20160426_132834 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Flight Information screens...

Image20160426_132916 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

The beautiful Arrivals Hall at T4...

Image20160426_133013 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Outside view. Finding my parents' car was really easy. There's a pickup area opposite from the terminal and is organized with alphabetical signs. When I crossed the streat I was by the letter S and my parents told me they were by I think C or D. Soon I was reunited with my parents at 13:31, who wished be an early happy birthday! We decided to go to lunch at a TGI Friday's near Baldwin, New York, which is only like a 20 minute ride from JFK. I told them about my excellent experience with Virgin America and my mom was so thrilled that they gave me all those goodies. My mom is the only one in my family who understands my enthusiasm for aviation and is always picking me up anything aviation related when she sees it.

Image20160426_133702 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

This is the billboard Christian had sent me a few weeks prior. I liked seeing the billboard myself after having just flown on Virgin America!

Image20160426_1356412 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Ironically, I had just ordered Virgin America stickers off of eBay just a week prior for $5. They shipped from Romania and had gotten to my house earlier that day. Talk about fast shipping!

Image20160426_135926 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

My awesome new stickers. Now, my American Airlines 747 sticker is no longer alone!

After a very delicious lunch at TGI Friday's, we went off to see my dad's neighborhood he grew up in when he was younger at around 14:50.

Image20160426_162434 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

His old house...

Image20160426_163243 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

And his old high school...

By the time we had finished his trip down memory lane, it was close to 17:00 and it was time to start heading to JFK to beat the traffic. It'd remained overcast for most of the day but I didn't let a little rain dampen my spirits. I was excited to once again be airborne. I was scheduled for a departure of 19:51 so I wanted to be at JFK by 18:15. The drive from my dad's old neighborhood to JFK was around 25 minutes . We discovered a nice little rest area sort of place at JFK, with a gas station, and a small building filled with shops, fast food restaurants, a dry cleaner, and even a barbershop! Instead of going straight to Terminal 5, we went to the rest area and got some *very* good coffee and sat down at a little table. I enjoyed my last few minutes with my parents for another two and a half weeks and sipped on a warm French Vanilla coffee.

At around 17:55, we decided to make the short eight minute hop to Terminal 5.
Last edited by jeffh747 on Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
A318 A319 A320 A321 A332 A333 B717 B727 B734 B737 B738 B739 B752 B762 B763 B772 B788 CRJ2 DHC6 DHC8 E145 E190 MD82 MD83
 
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jeffh747
Topic Author
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Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:32 pm

Re: A Virgin Experience: First Virgin America Flight+JetBlue A321

Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:42 pm

Imagetitle image by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

And so begins the final third of this trip report!

You can find the video TR for this flight here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSroWYM9CrY

Image20160426_180358 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Arriving at JetBlue's proud home of Terminal 5...

I said a tearful goodbye to my parents. Not before taking eight hundred terrible selfies with the TWA Flight Center and holding up traffic however.

Image20160426_180447 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

I reiterate, I am not very good at the selfie game!

Image20160426_180518 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

At least one monument of the Golden Age of aviation still stands at JFK. You can even see Terminal 4 in the background...

Image20160426_181102 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

I decided to just use the self service kiosks to get my printed boarding pass. The only time I've ever willingly used a mobile boarding pass was last December when I almost missed my flight home for Christmas because I was planespotting and lost track of time...

Image20160426_181151 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

The welcoming atmosphere of Terminal 5 creates for a very comfortable atmosphere right from when you step through the doors. There's a good amount of natural light. However with it being in the later afternoon and the sky condition being overcast, there wasn't a whole lot of natural light illuminating the terminal.

Image20160426_181250 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Even so, the lights installed in the terminal are not overhead and rather affixed to walls creating a more relaxing environment. Just like the TWA Flight Center next door, Terminal 5's rooftop is slanted and curved to create a more spacious feeling. I assume that it also helps when it rains to lessen water damage. I know the TWA Flight Center had a unique system when it came to rain but I can't quite recall what it was.

Security at Terminal 5 took a little longer than I anticipated. It took close to about 20-25 minutes from entering the line to exiting the checkpoint. Everybody seemed to be only going to one lane to put their bags through the screener when there was another lane open. I asked a TSA Officer and he told me I could use it so I leap frogged about five people. Once I was through security, the terminal just sort of opened up and it was really breathtaking at first.

Image20160426_182846 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Even the flight information screens looked pretty cool, with their own little JetBlue touch...

Image20160426_182933 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Image20160426_182943 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Cool engine exhibit they had in the terminal, just past the main food court area. I like how JetBlue sort of advertises with parts of the airplanes. At the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida, when I go to Florida Panthers hockey games, JetBlue has a gigantic replica of their "Blueberry" tail as advertising.

Image20160426_183044 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Image20160426_183052 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

After snapping a few pictures and taking in "The Hub" of the terminal, I walked down the central pier to where my flight would be departing out of.

Image20160426_183146 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Fortunately, I did not have to walk far as Gate 8 was one of the first gates when you walk down the central pier!

Image20160426_183215 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

There's my beautiful ride! My first JetBlue A321 is named "Azulito". Also cool that it had the JetBlue "hearts" NY advertisement on the jetway. I flew on that logojet back in December.

Image20160426_183238 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Looking down the central pier from Gate 8...

Image20160426_183259 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Better photo of N958JB. How many airlines do you count in this picture? I count 9.

Image20160426_183336 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Looking down towards the left pier, from the opposite side of Gate 8...

Image20160426_183533 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

A beautiful Aer Lingus A330-200 resting three gates down at Gate 11, prior to her evening flight to DUB. If I am correct, Aer Lingus is the only other regular airline here at T5 with JetBlue and Hawaiian.

Image20160426_183617 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Virgin Atlantic A340-600 taxiing out for LHR as VS4...

Image20160426_183823 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

And the mighty British Airways 747-400 taxiing out for LHR as BA112...

Image20160426_183835 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

By the way, I DEFINITELY did not run through a bunch of people and their bags to take this picture.

Image20160426_183922 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

One day soon...

Image20160426_183944 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Gotta love the sharklets on Virgin America!

Image20160426_183956 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

My last flown airline with my next airline!

Image20160426_184057 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Sharklet heaven...

Image20160426_184401 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Walking toward "The Hub" as JetBlue likes to call the central part of the terminal...

Image20160426_184440 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

A cool restaurant called "Deep Blue". I wonder where they got that name from!

Image20160426_184551 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Walking down the left pier where there are more JetBlue A321s...

Image20160426_184741 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

I accidentally discovered the "Terminal 5 Rooftop", which was one of the attractions I wanted to see while at T5...

Image20160426_184800 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Outside the T5 rooftop...

Image20160426_184803 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

The T5 rooftop is a very pleasant open air feature of T5, that gives passengers the opportunity to step outside and get some fresh air. I was really warm and sweating from walking around so much that the cooler air was really comforting! I walked around outside for about ten minutes before going back inside to explore some more! Unfortunately you can't get any really good pictures from up here, but you can see some of the planes parked at T4 and T7. The T5 rooftop is a really good place to let your critters roam around for a bit before your next flight and to stretch their legs. I think this was a great idea by JetBlue to have such a feature!

Image20160426_184818 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

"Department of Barks and Recreation"...

Image20160426_185237 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Selfie with the tower and TWA Flight Center...

Image20160426_185650 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Back inside the terminal, at the very end of the left pier I could see T7 and it's inhabitants...

Image20160426_185701 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

A pair of Ukrainian beauties resting...

Image20160426_185736 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

One of the British Airways A318s operating BA2 to LCY...

Image20160426_185944 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

I soon found the JetBlue nap pods which were introduced just a week prior! I rolled into one and shut the shade to see what it was like. It was VERY comfortable, though I don't think I would feel comfortable napping with my carryon bag out in the open! I then walked down to the smaller right pier to see what was going on over there. It wasn't anything special other than it being really nice and clean and having a few extra gates.

Image20160426_190542 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Virgin Atlantic A330, with an Egyptair 777-300ER taxiing behind it...

Image20160426_190648 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

At around 19:05, I decided to head back to my gate to prepare for boarding. I found a good view of my ride from the right pier...

Imageb6 flightboard by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Here's the Flight Information for this evening's journey back to South Florida!

Imageb61201 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

And here is our flight route courtesy of FR24! Curiously, we would be over land for most of tonight's flight, including passing right over Philadelphia, and my home in Southern New Jersey! Also, it seems like flight 1201 would be Azulito's first and only flight of the day!

Image20160426_191822 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Flight data board at the gate. Boarding began at 19:12 with PreBoarding and passengers who purchased Even More Space seats, followed by general boarding at 19:16. I prefer JetBlue's boarding procedure out of all airlines I have flown with. JetBlue boards by row numbers, starting in the back. In this case, they started boarding passengers in rows 32-25 first. Most other airlines, including Virgin America, and American, board with random group numbers and letters. Someone sitting in row 24 in Group 1, can be impeded by someone else in Group 1, sitting in row 4, putting their bag up into the overhead bin, causing everyone else to stop and wait for the person to take their seat. Boarding with rows makes everything much faster because now, everyone in the back is already seated and passenger in row 24, no longer has to worry about row 4 blocking them.

Since I had seat 26A, I was one of the first to board and cheerfully made my way down the jetway to see a beautiful dark blue light emanating from the cabin. You can find the boarding video at 4:05 in the video TR.

Image20160426_192202 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

My view from 26A. Thankfully, this window was also perfectly aligned with the seat. This would be only my second flight on a sharklet equipped aircraft!

Image20160426_192208 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

View across row 26...

Image20160426_193158 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

I really love the moodlighting! it wasn't on the same level as Virgin America but it was bright enough to be really noticeable! I also really liked the much larger TVs on the A321s, and as I sat down, I could really feel the JetBlue effect, with all the legroom I had!

Image20160426_194208 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Speaking of legroom, as pushback started, I saw I had the entire row to myself! We pushed back quite early at 19:43.

Image20160426_195205 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Taxiing behind the massive shamrock...

Image20160426_195843 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

And meeting up with another A321 with sharklets. This time, that A321 wore the flag on it's tail as opposed to the vibrant blue patterns seen at Terminal 5...

You can find the takeoff video at 8:00 in the video TR. We took off rom JFK's Runway 31L at 20:09 and banked sharply over Jamaica Bay.

Image20160426_201742_LLS by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Sitting above the clouds and climbing over New Jersey...

Image20160426_202239_LLS by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Soon, the cloud cover ended and I could see familiar places. I saw Trenton, I could see the Delaware River, and then I saw...

Image20160426_202401_LLS by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Philadelphia!

Image20160426_202511_LLS by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

I could see the Walt Whitman Bridge, the Ben Franklin, and even the Battleship New Jersey. The coolest thing I saw however was...

Image20160426_202644_LLS by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

This ol' familiar place! It was amazing seeing Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) from that perspective, and seeing the runways and the terminals from above. I thought about all the times I flew through there and felt a little sad that I didn't actually go back home on this short trip.

Image20160426_211129_LLS by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

I continued to take in the sights from above as we passed over unfamiliar cities illuminated by their amber lights. This is why you should always take the window seat!

Image20160426_211851_LLS by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

The flight attendants came by asking what I would like, and they gave me an entire can of ginger ale, and my requested Terra Blue potato chips. I only got the chips because they were blue, and I was flying on JetBlue!

Image20160426_213229_LLS by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

The cabin was now drenched in a beautiful dark blue atmosphere. Christian was not lying when he said the A321 is so much better than the A320s and E190s. Everything about the plane was incredibly upgraded. The TVs were ENORMOUS compared to the small little boxes on the A320s and E190s. The seats were more comfortable, and the plane overall had a better feeling to it.

Image20160426_220333 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

I got up to go use the bathroom (nothing special once again), and took in the beautiful cabin from the back galley. I spent most of the flight channel surfing and using JetBlue's complementary wifi to imessage my parents, girlfriend, and Christian while stretching my legs across the two extra seats I had to myself. You can find the IFE demo at 11:25 in the video TR.

Image20160426_223103_LLS by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Soon we were already begin to descend. At 22:30, the deep blue lights transitioned to a lighter purplish light to wake those who had fallen asleep.

Image20160426_223123_LLS by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Flight map. Unfortunately the ATC channel on my flight was not working. Also, I'm not a fan of the moving map JetBlue uses on their IFE system. It's riddled with advertisements and you can't really customise it or change the views. It just zooms in by itself and then goes to ads. On American Airlines and Virgin America, you have the ability to control the map and more customisation options, and aren't full of advertisements!

Image20160426_223732_LLS by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Rejoining the coastline, just North of FLL...

Image20160426_223750_LLS by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

I spy with my little eye... FLL!

Image20160426_223703 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Turning final for Runway 10L...

Image20160426_223905 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Flying parallel with 595...

You can find the landing video at 17:30 in the video TR...

Image20160426_223907_LLS by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Image20160426_223913 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

And the awesome moodlights make one final appearance!

Image20160426_223917 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Videotaping the landing with one hand, taking a selfie with the other!

Image20160426_224031 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Just seconds from landing...

We touched down on the same runway I had just departed from almost 14 hours ago (10L) at 22:42, and arrived at our gate, E8 at 22:47.

Image20160426_224941 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

I got up from my seat, and thought it'd looked cool that every seat now had the JetBlue logo displayed on the screens in front of them. I thanked the crew for a good flight, patted Azulito as I stepped onto the jetway and made my way into Terminal 3.

Image20160426_225806 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

I walked past these two beauties sitting next door...

Image20160426_225826_LLS by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Looking down Concourse E...

Image20160426_225846 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Thank you for a good flight, N958JB!

Image20160426_225908 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Arrivals board...

Image20160426_230225 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

JetBlue checkin desks at FLL...

Image20160426_230246 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Walking towards the signs for parking garage...

I walked across the street to the parking garage complex and hopped on a small tram to the Hibiscus Garage. I saw a familiar sign that I'd seen just a few short hours before:

Image20160426_232135 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Image20160426_232150 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

The last time I'd seen that sign, I was still a Virgin America virgin, and had no idea what it was like to fly them. Now I can happily say that I had finally flown on Virgin America!

Image20160426_232448_LLS by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

One last photo from the top of the Hibiscus Garage...

Image20160426_232559_LLS by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

One last selfie. Those aren't tears in my eyes. That's just my eyes screaming for being awake for 16 hours, after getting only four hours of sleep!

Image20160426_233114 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

My ticket from the parking garage. My first time parking onsite at an airport, complete! $15 well spent! I headed back North to my university, proud of my trip and everything that I'd gotten to see and experience.

Image20160426_071049jjjj by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

I booked this trip, not knowing what to expect from Virgin America. My anticipation throughout those three weeks finally culiminated on me finally flying on this hip and unique airline. Everything went perfectly to plan. Neither of my flights were delayed, I got to experience the best of both airlines, and I got to see my parents for a few hours.

The IFE system on Virgin America, Red, was by far one of the most responsive systems I've ever used. I would say it's eons better than JetBlue's system, and somewhat better than American's. That is saying quite a lot because I have flown on American's 787 Dreamliner twice! I prefer the seats on Virgin America's A320 than I do on JetBlue's A321, but the legroom on JetBlue was phenomenal. I prefer the boarding process on JetBlue because it is more organized and is faster, though I did quite enjoy having Group A on my first Virgin America flight! Both airlines had spectacular moodlighting, but I think I would prefer the much more vibrant lighting on Virgin America, as the combination of purple and hot pink lights are very pleasing to look at! Cleanliness wise, I would say my JetBlue A321 was cleaner than my Virgin America A320, but I think that's just because my flight was the first flight of the day for it, while my Virgin America plane had just arrived from SFO.

Overall, I would say that my Virgin America flight was a bit better than my JetBlue flight from a technical standpoint. However there was one reason that made my Virgin America flight not only the best flight on this trip, but the best flight I have ever taken.

My flight with Virgin America is not the best flight I have ever taken because the seats were comfy, or it was a smooth flight, or the TV was fun to play with. It is the best flight I have ever taken because of the crew, and the crew only. Kelly, Jaimie, and Marty made the effort to go the extra mile to make my flight with them a little more special. That is not something seen very often at all. Out of all the flights I have ever taken, this trio seemed like the only ones who genuinely cared about the passengers they were working with, and the only ones who seemed they really liked their jobs. It was so refreshing and incredible to experience a flight with a crew like them. As I previously stated, once they realized that I wasn't just some man taking a plane to New York City, I was taking the Virgin America Experience to New York City, and that I was on that plane for the sole reason of flying their company, they really did everything they could to make this flight unforgettable to me, and they really succeded in doing so. This really is a flight that I don't think I'll ever forget, purely because of the amazing flight attendants in Kelly, Jamie, and Marty.

Thank you for reading my trip report!
Jeff

Other trip reports I have include:
A TEXAS SIZED TRIP REPORT:777, 787 DREAMLINER, 767:
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=980477&p=13174147&hilit=jeffh747#p13174147
A WEEKEND IN DALLAAS WITH AMERICAN:
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=980219&p=13173945&hilit=jeffh747#p13173945
A CARIBBEAN DAYDREAM VI: THE FINALE
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=979545&p=13164233&hilit=jeffh747#p13164233
A CARIBBEAN DAYDREAM V: OASIS OF THE SEAS CRUISE
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=979391
A CARIBBEAN DAYDREAM IV: BACK TO FLORIDA
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=979233
A CARIBBEAN DAYDREAM III: BIENVENUE À SBH
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=978741#p13148841
A CARIBBEAN DAYDREAM II: WELCOME TO SXM
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=978667
A CARIBBEAN DAYDREAM I: POSITIONING TO FLORIDA
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=978643

While preparing this trip report, I looked for the logos of the airlines I had flown on to include in the report, and I noticed something quite ironic:
Imageironyvxb6 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
A318 A319 A320 A321 A332 A333 B717 B727 B734 B737 B738 B739 B752 B762 B763 B772 B788 CRJ2 DHC6 DHC8 E145 E190 MD82 MD83
 
jetwet1
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Re: A Virgin Experience: First Virgin America Flight+JetBlue A321

Mon Jul 11, 2016 8:44 am

I'm happy to see you had two good flights, VX really is something special, it will be a shame to see them disappear if AS just swallows them up and slowly kills off the brand. The only negative for me with VX is the limited route network, other than that, I love their first class seats (you can get some pretty good deals on upgrades at times) and the fact that they are on every flight.

B6 has a special place for me thanks to some amazing customer service last year, with them rolling out Mint on more routes (i'm an old fart who likes his comfort) they will be getting more of my money, though I do agree about the map on B6, the ads get annoying after a short time.
 
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jeffh747
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Re: A Virgin Experience: First Virgin America Flight+JetBlue A321

Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:18 pm

Hi jetwet1,
Thank you for reading my trip report and for replying. I really hope AS decides to keep VX as a separate brand, because otherwise they would lose a lot of customers from the VX side, and there will be one less "fun" choice when it comes to flying. The first class seats looked very comfortable and I think I'm going to have to try it at some point.

I really love JetBlue because of their really low fares and they are just another real fun airline overall, compared to the major US3. It would've been nice to see VX and B6 come together. It would've been a combination of the two best hybrid airlines that have excellent customer service and are known for their onboard experiences.
A318 A319 A320 A321 A332 A333 B717 B727 B734 B737 B738 B739 B752 B762 B763 B772 B788 CRJ2 DHC6 DHC8 E145 E190 MD82 MD83
 
rhuns
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Re: A Virgin Experience: First Virgin America Flight+JetBlue A321

Tue Jul 12, 2016 1:53 am

Hi Jeff - what a great way to celebrate your birthday...getting to experience an airline you've wanted to try, fly on another favorite airline, and a quick visit with your parents. Glad it went so smoothly for you. It's a shame start-up costs are so prohibitive and difficult for smaller, boutique-type airlines to enter the market. I remember when Legend Airlines began service out of Dallas Love Field -- 56 business class seats on a DC9-30, great catering, private terminal. AA returned with similar service to limited destinations, but once Legend went out of business, things changed. It was great while it lasted. Congratulations on a great trip!
 
Abeam79
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Re: A Virgin Experience: First Virgin America Flight+JetBlue A321

Wed Jul 13, 2016 10:12 am

Hey Jeff, great report. I myself like to travel on various airlines as an enthusiast. Virgin is a good product, but I prefer JetBlue because they have better perks. A mobile app, and better airport experience. I think when you strip all the pizzaz on virgin, it's a bit of a penny pincher operation. You have to pay for everything like snacks, entertainment, all bags, etc. JetBlue, I love the bigger legroom, free tv and wifi and you can choose to pay only $15 more for a free checked bag instead of $25 for virgin. I can't wait JetBlue upgrades all its A320's interior like how the A321's are now. They will be bar none top notch product up and down.
Also, as one who knows many that work for JetBlue, I'll tell you that A321 wasn't clean because it was a first flight. Especially with a evening departure, JetBlue utilizes their airbuses more than any other airline. They just have a great cleaning crew they hire that vacuum and thoughrouly clean the aircraft after every flight, they take cleanliness very seriously, I think more than any other airline I fly. That A321 I bet either did already 2 round trips to either Fll or Mco or a carribean turn. That's another reason why I love flying JetBlue, every plane is spotless after boarding.
Thanks and cheers!
 
lychemsa
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Re: A Virgin Experience: First Virgin America Flight+JetBlue A321

Wed Jul 13, 2016 5:44 pm

Unfortunately Virgin will be owned by Alaska so it won't be the same.

Nothing beats the JetBlue legroom though. That's why I love JetBlue over the main stream airlines.
 
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jeffh747
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Re: A Virgin Experience: First Virgin America Flight+JetBlue A321

Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:31 pm

rhuns wrote:
Hi Jeff - what a great way to celebrate your birthday...getting to experience an airline you've wanted to try, fly on another favorite airline, and a quick visit with your parents. Glad it went so smoothly for you. It's a shame start-up costs are so prohibitive and difficult for smaller, boutique-type airlines to enter the market. I remember when Legend Airlines began service out of Dallas Love Field -- 56 business class seats on a DC9-30, great catering, private terminal. AA returned with similar service to limited destinations, but once Legend went out of business, things changed. It was great while it lasted. Congratulations on a great trip!

Hi,
Thanks for reading my trip report and the kind words. As you stated it is a shame that the start up costs are so high. I really do enjoy seeing these different boutique airlines and how they manage their operations. I've heard of Legend Airlines and it's a shame that they just couldn't make it work, though the role they served was quite challenging.

Cheers,
Jeff
A318 A319 A320 A321 A332 A333 B717 B727 B734 B737 B738 B739 B752 B762 B763 B772 B788 CRJ2 DHC6 DHC8 E145 E190 MD82 MD83
 
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jeffh747
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Re: A Virgin Experience: First Virgin America Flight+JetBlue A321

Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:44 pm

Abeam79 wrote:
Hey Jeff, great report. I myself like to travel on various airlines as an enthusiast. Virgin is a good product, but I prefer JetBlue because they have better perks. A mobile app, and better airport experience. I think when you strip all the pizzaz on virgin, it's a bit of a penny pincher operation. You have to pay for everything like snacks, entertainment, all bags, etc. JetBlue, I love the bigger legroom, free tv and wifi and you can choose to pay only $15 more for a free checked bag instead of $25 for virgin. I can't wait JetBlue upgrades all its A320's interior like how the A321's are now. They will be bar none top notch product up and down.
Also, as one who knows many that work for JetBlue, I'll tell you that A321 wasn't clean because it was a first flight. Especially with a evening departure, JetBlue utilizes their airbuses more than any other airline. They just have a great cleaning crew they hire that vacuum and thoughrouly clean the aircraft after every flight, they take cleanliness very seriously, I think more than any other airline I fly. That A321 I bet either did already 2 round trips to either Fll or Mco or a carribean turn. That's another reason why I love flying JetBlue, every plane is spotless after boarding.
Thanks and cheers!

Hi Abeam79,
Thank you for reading my trip report and for your reply. I agree with everything you said about JetBlue. For me, being on the East Coast, they work out a lot better for me compared to Virgin. I used to normally fly American or Spirit, but then JetBlue entered the FLL-PHL market, and now I find myself more often on B6 as a lower cost alternative to American. Plus they're normally also way cheaper than Spirit, because when you add up the extras, it's almost the same, if not more expensive than JetBlue.
Regarding the cleanliness, I checked FR24 earlier that day, and saw that it had flown in from SJU the previous night and been resting at a remote stand for most of the day. You're spot on about their cleaning crew though because not once have I had to sit in a dirty JetBlue plane. Can't say the same about American or Spirit though.

JetBlue serves a niche role, in that it has a quality product, but offers it at a discount price. I think that's what Virgin America has been aiming for, although with their own bit of style and flair. I would consider Virgin America as being the JetBlue of the West Coast (despite B6 having their LGB focus city). It's a shame that they likely won't expand much now with their merger with Alaska.

Thank you,
Jeff
A318 A319 A320 A321 A332 A333 B717 B727 B734 B737 B738 B739 B752 B762 B763 B772 B788 CRJ2 DHC6 DHC8 E145 E190 MD82 MD83
 
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jeffh747
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Re: A Virgin Experience: First Virgin America Flight+JetBlue A321

Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:47 pm

lychemsa wrote:
Unfortunately Virgin will be owned by Alaska so it won't be the same.

Nothing beats the JetBlue legroom though. That's why I love JetBlue over the main stream airlines.

JetBlue's legroom is the best, and is one of the deciding factors when I choose them while booking travel! It's unfortunate that Virgin will be acquired by Alaska, but as the old adage goes, all good things come to an end.
A318 A319 A320 A321 A332 A333 B717 B727 B734 B737 B738 B739 B752 B762 B763 B772 B788 CRJ2 DHC6 DHC8 E145 E190 MD82 MD83
 
aeromoe
Posts: 131
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Re: A Virgin Experience: First Virgin America Flight+JetBlue A321

Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:14 am

Nice trip report jeff - You inspired me to take my first Virgin America flight this past weekend...just a short hop from LAX to LAS. N631VA Chic Mobile. Filled two blocks: First time on Virgin America and a new city pair LAS-LAX. I hope to fly Virgin again sometime soon on a longer route.

Keep up the great reports.

Moe
AA AC AS BA BD BF BN BY B6 CO CZ DG DL EA EI EN FL FT F9 HA HP ICX JI J7 KE KS LH MC NW OC OO OZ(1) OZ(2) PA PI PT QQ RM RO RV(1) RV(2) RW SK SM SQ S4 TI TS TW UA UK US VS VX WA WN WS W7 XV YV YX(2) ZZ 9K
 
11725Flyer
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Re: A Virgin Experience: First Virgin America Flight+JetBlue A321

Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:43 pm

FLL and MIA were my home airports in the 80s. Haven't been back much since then, so it was great to see this trip report with all the pictures. Thanks for taking the time to put together an extensive trip report!
 
richierich
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Re: A Virgin Experience: First Virgin America Flight+JetBlue A321

Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:41 pm

Great TR, thanks for sharing! In my experience, very little separates VX from B6 (mood lighting is a relatively minor point for most people) and that is because both are great airlines. It is a shame that VX will be absorbed into another airline shortly, hopefully AS can take the best elements of Virgin America and incorporate them into their otherwise vanilla product.

I do agree with you on most points, however, especially concerning the JetBlue map screen. Not many customers are choosing their airline based on the moving map channel, but clearly B6 lags behind here and I tend to think of it as a missed opportunity. This part of the JetBlue experience is desperately crying out for an upgrade!

jeffh747 wrote:
Regarding the cleanliness, I checked FR24 earlier that day, and saw that it had flown in from SJU the previous night and been resting at a remote stand for most of the day. You're spot on about their cleaning crew though because not once have I had to sit in a dirty JetBlue plane. Can't say the same about American or Spirit though.


JetBlue seems to invest a lot of time and effort in maintaining their brand, moving map excepted. I can't recall boarding a dirty B6 aircraft either, although some of their older aircraft are showing their age on and around the seats. I won't go as far to say 'shabby' but definitely aged, which considering their older planes have been run ragged for 17+ years isn't really hard to believe. (As a side note, I recently flew on American and United for short, domestic flights...the American aircraft was about 5 years old and, if I can be honest, was pretty darn spotless. The carpet looked brand new, and the seats and overhead bins were clean and well-kept. The same cannot be said about my UA experience...the aircraft was older, about 15 years old, but it was dirty. The floor was in dire need of a vacuum especially in the aisle near the boarding door, and in general the carpet was old, and there was trash in the seatback pocket in front of me from a prior flight. The seats were acceptable but the lack of attention to cleaning the floor and pockets was not the image I think the airline was going for.)
None shall pass!!!!
 
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jeffh747
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Re: A Virgin Experience: First Virgin America Flight+JetBlue A321

Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:38 pm

11725Flyer wrote:
FLL and MIA were my home airports in the 80s. Haven't been back much since then, so it was great to see this trip report with all the pictures. Thanks for taking the time to put together an extensive trip report!

I'm glad you enjoyed it! I'm sure they've changed quite a lot since then!

Thank you for reading!
Jeff
A318 A319 A320 A321 A332 A333 B717 B727 B734 B737 B738 B739 B752 B762 B763 B772 B788 CRJ2 DHC6 DHC8 E145 E190 MD82 MD83
 
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jeffh747
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Re: A Virgin Experience: First Virgin America Flight+JetBlue A321

Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:41 pm

aeromoe wrote:
Nice trip report jeff - You inspired me to take my first Virgin America flight this past weekend...just a short hop from LAX to LAS. N631VA Chic Mobile. Filled two blocks: First time on Virgin America and a new city pair LAS-LAX. I hope to fly Virgin again sometime soon on a longer route.

Keep up the great reports.

Moe

I'm sorry for just now seeing your comment! I'm glad I was able to inspire you to take your first VX flight! I certainly hope you enjoyed it! I actually flew on 631's sister ship, 630 two weeks ago!

Cheers,
Jeff
A318 A319 A320 A321 A332 A333 B717 B727 B734 B737 B738 B739 B752 B762 B763 B772 B788 CRJ2 DHC6 DHC8 E145 E190 MD82 MD83
 
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jeffh747
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Re: A Virgin Experience: First Virgin America Flight+JetBlue A321

Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:52 pm

richierich wrote:
Great TR, thanks for sharing! In my experience, very little separates VX from B6 (mood lighting is a relatively minor point for most people) and that is because both are great airlines. It is a shame that VX will be absorbed into another airline shortly, hopefully AS can take the best elements of Virgin America and incorporate them into their otherwise vanilla product.

I do agree with you on most points, however, especially concerning the JetBlue map screen. Not many customers are choosing their airline based on the moving map channel, but clearly B6 lags behind here and I tend to think of it as a missed opportunity. This part of the JetBlue experience is desperately crying out for an upgrade!

jeffh747 wrote:
Regarding the cleanliness, I checked FR24 earlier that day, and saw that it had flown in from SJU the previous night and been resting at a remote stand for most of the day. You're spot on about their cleaning crew though because not once have I had to sit in a dirty JetBlue plane. Can't say the same about American or Spirit though.


JetBlue seems to invest a lot of time and effort in maintaining their brand, moving map excepted. I can't recall boarding a dirty B6 aircraft either, although some of their older aircraft are showing their age on and around the seats. I won't go as far to say 'shabby' but definitely aged, which considering their older planes have been run ragged for 17+ years isn't really hard to believe. (As a side note, I recently flew on American and United for short, domestic flights...the American aircraft was about 5 years old and, if I can be honest, was pretty darn spotless. The carpet looked brand new, and the seats and overhead bins were clean and well-kept. The same cannot be said about my UA experience...the aircraft was older, about 15 years old, but it was dirty. The floor was in dire need of a vacuum especially in the aisle near the boarding door, and in general the carpet was old, and there was trash in the seatback pocket in front of me from a prior flight. The seats were acceptable but the lack of attention to cleaning the floor and pockets was not the image I think the airline was going for.)


Hey there!
Thank you for reading my trip report. What I like most about jetBlue and Virgin and Southwest is how much time and effort they put in to maintain their hip and fun brands. As I identify with the younger 18-25 demographic, I'm more attracted to these companies because they put so much effort into making the journey somewhat more enjoyable. You look at Southwest's recent commercials with the music and I think "Wow, they look fun", and am more inclined to spend a couple extra bucks to fly them over Alaska or American or Spirit or United.

I realize I went slightly off track, but yes, jetBlue does a great job maintaining their brand. That A321 was spotless. Unfortunately I had the displeasure of stepping onto a disgusting A320 a few months ago flying from SAN to FLL. Older aircraft, stained seats and interior, trash on the floor.

Lastly, I'm so glad you agree with me concerning the moving map. I was beginning to think I was spoiled haha. Yes, their moving map desperately needs an upgrade, especially when their competitors, American, Delta, and Virgin America all have excellent features. Delta even makes it available on their app in addition to their seatback TVs on WiFi equipped aircraft. United's product was primitive on my first flights with them a few months ago (when I flew to SAN), so exactly like jetBlue's. I always see children and adults playing with the maps on American and Virgin America, so it certainly doesn't keep just us avgeeks entertained!


Thank you for reading,
Jeff
A318 A319 A320 A321 A332 A333 B717 B727 B734 B737 B738 B739 B752 B762 B763 B772 B788 CRJ2 DHC6 DHC8 E145 E190 MD82 MD83
 
richierich
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Re: A Virgin Experience: First Virgin America Flight+JetBlue A321

Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:33 pm

[quote="jeffh747]Lastly, I'm so glad you agree with me concerning the moving map. I was beginning to think I was spoiled haha. Yes, their moving map desperately needs an upgrade, especially when their competitors, American, Delta, and Virgin America all have excellent features. Delta even makes it available on their app in addition to their seatback TVs on WiFi equipped aircraft. United's product was primitive on my first flights with them a few months ago (when I flew to SAN), so exactly like jetBlue's. I always see children and adults playing with the maps on American and Virgin America, so it certainly doesn't keep just us avgeeks entertained!


Thank you for reading,
Jeff[/quote]

When I am on B6, I like to use their free WiFi and use my Flightradar24 app. This is actually far better than any moving map because not only do I see where we are, I can see other aircraft in the area that may or may not be visible.

Thank you again for a wonderfully complete trip report on both airlines. It is nice to see such passion for the airline industry! I have always said that I love the trip reports that make you feel like you are sitting in the seat and taking the flight, and that's how it felt reading your reviews of VX and B6!
None shall pass!!!!
 
aeromoe
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Re: A Virgin Experience: First Virgin America Flight+JetBlue A321

Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:27 am

jeffh747 wrote:
aeromoe wrote:
Nice trip report jeff - You inspired me to take my first Virgin America flight this past weekend...just a short hop from LAX to LAS. N631VA Chic Mobile. Filled two blocks: First time on Virgin America and a new city pair LAS-LAX. I hope to fly Virgin again sometime soon on a longer route.

Keep up the great reports.

Moe

I'm sorry for just now seeing your comment! I'm glad I was able to inspire you to take your first VX flight! I certainly hope you enjoyed it! I actually flew on 631's sister ship, 630 two weeks ago!

Cheers,
Jeff


No worries Jeff. I also have made two additional short trips on VX; an A319 from SAN to SFO and an A320 from LAX to SFO.

Moe
AA AC AS BA BD BF BN BY B6 CO CZ DG DL EA EI EN FL FT F9 HA HP ICX JI J7 KE KS LH MC NW OC OO OZ(1) OZ(2) PA PI PT QQ RM RO RV(1) RV(2) RW SK SM SQ S4 TI TS TW UA UK US VS VX WA WN WS W7 XV YV YX(2) ZZ 9K
 
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jeffh747
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Re: A Virgin Experience: First Virgin America Flight+JetBlue A321

Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:05 pm

richierich wrote:
[quote="jeffh747]Lastly, I'm so glad you agree with me concerning the moving map. I was beginning to think I was spoiled haha. Yes, their moving map desperately needs an upgrade, especially when their competitors, American, Delta, and Virgin America all have excellent features. Delta even makes it available on their app in addition to their seatback TVs on WiFi equipped aircraft. United's product was primitive on my first flights with them a few months ago (when I flew to SAN), so exactly like jetBlue's. I always see children and adults playing with the maps on American and Virgin America, so it certainly doesn't keep just us avgeeks entertained!


Thank you for reading,
Jeff[/quote]

When I am on B6, I like to use their free WiFi and use my Flightradar24 app. This is actually far better than any moving map because not only do I see where we are, I can see other aircraft in the area that may or may not be visible.

Thank you again for a wonderfully complete trip report on both airlines. It is nice to see such passion for the airline industry! I have always said that I love the trip reports that make you feel like you are sitting in the seat and taking the flight, and that's how it felt reading your reviews of VX and B6![/quote]


I as well like to use their free Wifi for FR24. It is incredibly useful on the early morning flights up and down the East coast where the traffic is buzzing. I've been able to identify a couple United 737-900s and American 777s flying by us because of it!

Thank you for enjoying my trip report. That is my ultimate goal with all the TRs I write- to give the reader a vicarious feeling while reading my reports.

Cheers,
Jeff
A318 A319 A320 A321 A332 A333 B717 B727 B734 B737 B738 B739 B752 B762 B763 B772 B788 CRJ2 DHC6 DHC8 E145 E190 MD82 MD83
 
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jeffh747
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Re: A Virgin Experience: First Virgin America Flight+JetBlue A321

Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:07 pm

aeromoe wrote:
jeffh747 wrote:
aeromoe wrote:
Nice trip report jeff - You inspired me to take my first Virgin America flight this past weekend...just a short hop from LAX to LAS. N631VA Chic Mobile. Filled two blocks: First time on Virgin America and a new city pair LAS-LAX. I hope to fly Virgin again sometime soon on a longer route.

Keep up the great reports.

Moe

I'm sorry for just now seeing your comment! I'm glad I was able to inspire you to take your first VX flight! I certainly hope you enjoyed it! I actually flew on 631's sister ship, 630 two weeks ago!

Cheers,
Jeff


No worries Jeff. I also have made two additional short trips on VX; an A319 from SAN to SFO and an A320 from LAX to SFO.

Moe

That's so awesome to hear! I have yet to catch their A319 but I definitely want to especially with the news that there will be no more Virgin after 2019.
I'm so glad to hear I inspired you to take a trip, and I'm so glad that you had a good experience and decided to do a couple more flights as a result.

Thank you for reading,
Jeff
A318 A319 A320 A321 A332 A333 B717 B727 B734 B737 B738 B739 B752 B762 B763 B772 B788 CRJ2 DHC6 DHC8 E145 E190 MD82 MD83
 
Lemieux
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Re: A Virgin Experience: First Virgin America Flight+JetBlue A321

Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:28 pm

Great report! JetBlue has always had a fantastic product whenever I fly them, still dying to try out Virgin
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