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jeffh747
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Losing my First Class VIRGINity

Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:00 am

Imagetitle photo by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Hello everyone!
Welcome to my trip report, "Losing my First Class VIRGINity", in which I, you guessed it, fly for the first time in First Class! This has been my far one of the most fun trip reports to write and produce, and I certainly hope you enjoy it!

Before we start, I would like to mention that this is a VERY long trip report, filled with lots of detail. For your convenience, I have made two video trip reports for the two flights covered in this written TR, if watching a video is more your thing.

First Class on VX500:
http://youtu.be/Tx8PhCVZ0_w

Main Cabin on VX501:
http://youtu.be/sGIbzUQzcyQ

Introduction

About one year ago, I took my first flight with Virgin America (viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1337533#unread). I flew them purely because of their merger with Alaska, and the expected (now confirmed) retirement of the Virgin America brand, meant that they would've been one less airline to try. Sure enough, I went into that flight not knowing what to expect, and came out of it completely wowed by the experience. Everything from the moodlights, to the responsive IFE, to the incredible crew stayed in my mind. I realized shortly after, that I had to fly them at least once more. Naturally, in mid-June, I started looking at dates for the upcoming academic year, and filtering out which days would be best to log another VX flight. I settled upon Saturday, March 4th, 2017 as the date for my next Virgin America flight, since that is the first official day of my spring break. I live in South Jersey, right across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. JFK is about a 2hr 50 minute ride from my house. PHL is like 20. I could've flown an American A319 for $80 out of Palm Beach International (also closer to my residence in Florida), or better yet, a Spirit A321 for $40. Main Cabin on Virgin was $124 (First Class was $204). It took quite a bit of convincing but my parents gave me the go ahead, and I selected my go-to seat for 737 & A320 aircraft; 24F. However, it being 9 months out, I bought their Plans Change pass for $25, in case anything came up with my hockey team or spring break gets pushed back a week.

Flight booked! Time to wait the nine months until my next Virgin flight...or so I thought. Because I'm an avgeek in college, I have literally nothing better to do than look up airfares for other times during which I might be travelling, as opposed to doing homework (satire). I ended up convincing my parents to letting me and my sister fly Virgin America up for Thanksgiving break (my mom would actually end up joining us on that flight) and Winter Break. However, just weeks before my flight home for Thanksgiving, my former roommate, Christian booked his flight for Thanksgiving, and much to my jealousy, opted paying the extra $80 to fly in First Class on my favorite airline! So I did what any sane person would do. I used that Plans Change pass for my flight in March to upgrade me and my sister to First Class so he would not have the last laugh.

Yes, the whole reason I flew First Class was just so my friend wouldn't be the only one to have bragging rights. I was considering it for a very long time, since August 2016, but him booking it to come back to school from Thanksgiving was the straw that made me pay the extra money. I decided to look at Virgin America's SeatView site to see which seats would be best on my flight. As we were flying South to North, the sun would be shining very brightly on the right side of the plane, so now it was time to pick between 1A&C or 2A&C. I, among many other a.netters, always thought that 1A on a plane always has some kind of special significance. I have sat in 1F on jetBlue and Spirit before, but not A. Also looking at seatview, 1A had a better aligned window than 2A:

Imagescreenshot1 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

All in all, an $80 upgrade was a real steel (foreshadow joke). Christian and I actually ended up booking the same flight home for Winter Break on Virgin America, and it was awesome to fly with one of my best friends on my favorite airline.

Time passed, and it was mid-January. We realized that while we had our flights home booked for Spring Break, we were still lacking a return. After another round of convincing, my parents allowed us to fly Virgin back to FLL after Spring Break. I would spend a night at Christian's house, and he would take us to JFK for our 07:45am journey back to FLL. For the return flight, I chose 17F- a seat on the right side of the airplane just behind the wing. As we would be traveling South at such an early time, the sun would be rising on the left side of the plane, so sitting on the right side was obviously a better choice as there wouldn't be as much light coming in and disturbing the other passengers.

Finally all our plans were set! I would be flying First Class for my first time and it would be on my favorite airline! Let's flashforward to the morning of March 4th!

Part I

We woke up at 04:45 on March 4th, 2017. Our game plan was to Uber to the Tri-Rail station and catch the 06:22 Southbound train that would get us to FLL by 07:10. After a quick shower, I put on some nice clothes. I dress nice even for flights in Economy (jeans and a polo, never shorts or sandals), but since I was flying First, I stepped up my game a little, as evidenced by my Snapchat.
ImageSnapchat-1832511912 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

For those of us who aren't familiar with the tri-rail, it's a train system that spans the 65 or so miles between West Palm Beach and Miami, with various intermediate stops, including stations that have complimentary shuttle service to all three major South Florida airports. For whatever reason, I thought we had to request an Uber at 05:30 to get us to the station by 06:00. It was close to being one of the worst decisions I ever made. The Uber arrived promptly at 05:35, and we were at the station at 05:40. There were quite a few interesting characters staring down my sister and I with all our bags. I was super nervous and regretting being so cautious with time and checking my phone every few minutes or so waiting for the train. I honestly thought we were about to be mugged.

The train horn sounded and the lights of the train rolled around a corner. Relief at last! We took a seat on the third level of the train and kept our bags close to us, as the train lurched further southward.

Image20170304_070003 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
View of FLL from the train....after a short train ride, we arrived at FLL station and boarded the shuttle to FLL. Once we arrived at Terminal 1, I went outside on the departures level to get some fresh air before my trip and see what kind of action there was at 07:00. It's become somewhat of a tradition for me to do this before taking flight VX500 and it's always refreshing getting fresh air while seeing airplanes.

Image20170304_071941(0) by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
My ride coming in from SFO (ironically)...

ImageSnapchat-37422548 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Airline signage for those who use Terminal 1...

After catching the aircraft that would be flying me the next 1065 or so miles up to New York arrive, I proceeded to check in. I had already previously checked in online, but I wanted to get the boarding pass from the airport. I also was checking in a bag that had pretty much nothing in it, just so I could get the Priority bag tag. I walked up to the Virgin America area and was actually bursting with excitement to be using the First Class line (even though there was pretty much nobody else in either of the other lanes).
Image20170304_072324 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Flying First Class!

Image2017-04-01_10-44-02 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
After getting our boarding passes, we went down to security. For once, security at checkpoint C in Terminal 1 was actually very busy and packed. Good thing we got priority screening!

After security, we proceeded to a rather packed gate area. We would be using C7, the gate as my first Virgin America flight. Smooth and ambient electronic music played by the Virgin America customer service desk between their two gates, creating a relaxing vibe. Our neighbors at C6 were passengers travelling to Allentown, Pennsylvania on an Allegiant A319. Allentown is still closer to us than JFK at 1hr 45 minutes and is actually rather beautiful, with it's sister cities in Bethlehem and Easton. As we arrived at our gate, N364VA was pushing back for LAX as VX322.
Image20170304_074544 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 020 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
The aircraft that would be taking me to JFK today in style is N630VA, better known as "superfly"! Since last April I've flown on 365 (airbnb force one), 634 (mach daddy), and of course, my favorite, 846 (glitter girl).

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 010 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Later, "lady boss"!

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 027 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
PSA Heritage livery blasting out of FLL for CLT...

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 030 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 034 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
As soon as lady boss lifted into the air, tubular belle (N527VA) rolled into her gate. 527 had previously arrived overnight from MIA where Virgin America contracts their maintenance out to AAR. After she arrived, I walked around the gate area. It's always nice seeing their A319s. I've only flown their A320s, but that will change very soon ;)

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 018 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 019 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Notice anything off?

Around this time, it clicked that this would be the last time I would fly on Flight VX500. I was not scheduled to fly FLL-JFK any time soon, and the route ends for the season on April 25. It comes back in November as flight VX1500 (as part of the renumbering by Alaska). I felt really upset, but happy that my last flight on VX500 would be in First.

As we are now nearing departure time, here is the flight board for today's journey to the Big Apple:
Imageflightboardfirstclass by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

It was now 08:15, 15 minutes before boarding. I asked the gate agent if I could get on a little bit early, despite already being in First Class, to take some pictures of the cabin. They seemed slightly agitated by my request, but asked me to wait about five or so minutes until they called me over. Sure enough, they boarded me before they even announced Pre-Boarding for those in families and wheelchairs (which after that comes First Class)!

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 035 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

A resounding "ding" from my scanned boarding pass meant that I was cleared to board! I bolted down the jetway and left my sister behind who didn't even realize I got on early! As I torned the corner, that beautiful indigo haze appeared emanating from the aircraft. The flight attendant seemed very surprised that I was already on (perhaps the gate agents didn't give her the heads up that some weird kid is coming on early?) and could barely get out a simple "Hi" when I greeted her. Now I'm going to come clean; I was not a very good First Class passenger. I got up multiple times during the flight to take pictures of the seat and cabin, and was moving my seat back and forth in the reclining positions (good thing the person in 2A was knocked out!)

The cabin:
Image20170304_083210 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 037 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 038 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
I wanted to kick myself in the pants when I realized these pictures were blurry! I only had about a minute or so to myself in the plane before the other pax started boarding.

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 039 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Seat 1A for Mr. Jeffrey Hernandez!

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 040 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
When I looked at the goodies waiting for me at my seat, I found the same purple pillow and blanket set that Flight Attendant Jaimie gave me on my first flight with Virgin America last April, as a gift, and more ironically, the San Francisco amenity kit. My sister got the Las Vegas one, and the other passengers also Las Vegas and Los Angeles, but no other San Francisco. On the smaller tray between our seats were two bottles of water.
The whole irony thing with San Francisco is that I'm making my way to the Golden Gate in late May for the first time ever, for the inaugural Virgin America A321neo service! I'm going to be spending a day and a half out there, before flying on the inaugural service, which, if all goes to plan, will also be the inaugural A321neo service globally since Virgin America is the launch customer! Now after I fly that A321neo, I would just have to find my way onto an A319 to complete the "collection"!

I sat down in the gorgeous leather seat after placing my carryon bag in the overhead bin.

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 041 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 043 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
I loved that I was the only one to get the San Francisco kit, but I was also equally happy to have a second First Class pillow and blanket set, in case anything happens to the other one. It's also worth noting that while all Main Cabin and Main Cabin Select seats come with TVs in front of you, First Class guests must wait until the aircraft is above 10,000ft to pull their TVs out of the armrests in the center. Inside the seat pockets ahead of us were complimentary pink headphones. This only meant that I now needed the silver ones to complete that collection, as I'd previously received the indigo ones as a gift on that first flight!

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 045 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
First Class selfie!

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 046 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
My fourth time flying Virgin America, my sister's third time, but both of our's first time flying in First Class!

Image20170304_083307 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Seat pitch was a little disappointing. I expected for my legs to not come close to touching the bulkhead, but that was not the case as I could almost rest half my foot on it. I guess for anyone under 6'3 that wouldn't even be a concern!
As I continued snapping pictures away, I realized it was already about 08:40...when would we be getting our pre-departure beverages that I read about in the airliners.net forums?! Sure enough, shortly after, our flight attendant asked us what we would like. I asked for champagne, while my sister opted for just the water she already had. The flight attendant gave me a curious look and asked how old I was to which I confidently replied 21. I was surprised (and thankful) she didn't ID me. Why on Earth would anyone be drinking champagne at 08:45 in the morning?! Oh yeah, I was flying First Class, so there was no better way to celebrate!

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 048 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
I was rather surprised that the Prosecco was served in a plastic cup, as opposed to a glass, but that wasn't a major issue. The Prosecco was extremely delightful and was actually some of the best champagne I've ever tasted!

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 052 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
I love that the bulkhead is a purple translucent glass. It really makes the cabin feel more spacious. I also loved getting those envious looks from passenger sitting in Main Cabin- those same looks I myself give on literally every other flight!!

It was weird that it was 08:55, thirty minutes after boarding and I still hadn't opened my window shade! Then again, I seldom ever have the shade open on Virgin America to maximize the effect of the moodlighting! I peeked outside to see the action and found our lowcost neighbors next door still boarding for Allentown:
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 053 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

We pushed back about three minutes early at 09:07. It was interesting seeing the L1 door close from this perspective and the jetway pull away. One of the flight crew came out of the cockpit to personally welcome us First Class guests, as well as to address the entire aircraft on the weather in JFK and even cracked a couple jokes. You can find him in my video trip report. He was a really cool guy and I liked that he addressed us inside the cabin and not from the closed doors of the flight deck. It was a nice touch.

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 056 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 058 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 059 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Allegiant beat us out of the gate first, but they were already super late so I gave them my blessing to win the race. You can see the progress of the airside connector between Concourse B & C. Eventually, passengers on all airlines will be able to use the restaurants and shops in all, soon to be three concourses, when A is finished this summer! FLL has been rapidly growing and it's been great to see the progress little by little firsthand over the past year and a half!

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 061 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Beginning the slow taxi to the runway...

It was weird seeing the live safety demonstration while hearing the iconic #VXsafetydance video from the back! Damn those lucky Main Cabin passengers! As we were taxiing to what I thought was 10L as has been the usual for my past flights, and is the usual for most flights out of T1, we made a turn and I realized we would be using the South Runway, 10R!
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 065 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

At this point I stopped taking pictures and started recording. You may find the takeoff at 12:15 in the video TR. We accelerated down 10R and I felt great push back in my seat. It's always interesting seeing the engines spool up from inside the plane! I felt the slight incline of the runway, and shortly after, the nose lifted into the sky. I was officially flying...in First Class!

Image20170304_092302 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 071 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 074 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 075 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 076 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

We got to 10,000ft shortly thereafter which meant I could use the "Red Interactive Environment" system. I was looking forward to seeing all the "unlocked" stuff that we would generally have to pay for in Main Cabin!
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 078 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 079 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

As I was fiddling around with Red, our flight attendant came by to offer warm towelettes. I was honestly not expecting that and found it to be a very nice touch. I accepted the towelette and wrapped it around my neck.
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 081 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Shortly after, she came back to collect the towelettes and take meal orders. Unfortunately, I was not able to snag a menu because she was almost standing over me when I was looking through. I did however take pictures of it! Virgin America is known for having the healthiest and most delicious food in the sky. I was definitely looking forward to it, even if it meant expanding my diet (I don't like trying different foods).
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 082 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 083 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 084 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 085 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

The breakfast choices on this flight somewhat surprisingly sounded good! Christian told me that on his flight (he did VX501 in First) they only offered him sandwiches for breakfast. In the picture it's hard to read because of the focusing, but it was either a mushroom spinach omelet, or a cherry almond porridge. I know I'm not a big mushroom or spinach person but I had never heard of porridge other than from the children's story about the bears! I didn't know what it was like but when the FA told me it was like a warm cereal (which I still had never tried), I gave it a shot! I was very very tempted to choose Prosecco as my beverage once again, but I didn't want to be too tipsy and miss out on any aspect of the flight! Instead I went with orange juice, which is my go-to drink for every morning flight!

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 086 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Better legroom shot...

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 089 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Here is how my seat looked fully reclined. You may also notice that there is a different amenity kit on the floor near my seat. The flight attendant gave me an extra Los Angeles kit when I told her that I was a huge Virgin fan!

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 091 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Cabin shot...
I soon returned to my seat to relax, but not for long...!

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 093 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
I was super impressed by the presentation of my meal. My sister was not as open to trying new foods as I was and she only had a croissant. According to her, her croissant was cold and hard. I assume that's because hers wasn't baked. My croissant was warm and extremely delicious! The porridge was...interesting. It was a new taste and I wasn't a big fan of the mushy texture. Once I added some brown sugar though, it definitely tasted rather delightful. It was served with raisins and almonds, as well as a fruit salad. Overall, I would rate my breakfast a solid 9/10.

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 095 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
I also LOVED the attention to detail. This rose of butter was such a beautiful touch!

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 094 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
...aaaaaaannnnddd this may have "accidentally" fallen inside my bag after I finished the orange juice if you know what I mean ;D

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 097 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
We continued cruising inside our little A320 over a vast world below us...

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 098 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Watching "The Accountant" (2016)...

Shortly after that picture was taken, our flight attendant came back when my camera wasn't ready with a large tray of snacks! I tried to squirm to get my camera, while I took a chocolate. The flight attendant moved on to serve other passengers. I asked if I could take a picture of the tray, but she must've misunderstood me to think I wanted her to take a picture of me and my sister. She put the large tray of snacks away and when I explained to her what had happened she apologized, and despite my begging not to, she re-assembled a smaller but similar tray for me to take a picture of. I felt really bad about it and tried my very best to stay out of her way and avoid bothering her for the remainder of the flight.
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 103 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
The tray photo...

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 105 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Less than an hour left ;(

Approaching Newport News (?)
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 106 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 109 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 110 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 114 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Hey that place looks familiar!

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 116 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 119 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 117 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Bulkhead selfie...

We soon began our descent into the New York City area. Our flight attendant thanked us for flying Virgin America, and we turned final for Runway 31R shortly thereafter...
You can find the landing at 28:58 in the video trip report!
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 121 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Image20170304_114941 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

We parked at Gate A5 in Terminal 4. It was very interesting to see the jetway pull in to us and connect with our aircraft! Once the seatbelt sign was turned off, I grabbed my bag from the overhead bin and took some last minute pics:

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 128 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
This is a giraffe my girlfriend and I share. I was supposed to bring her the previous day to her house, but when I got home, I realized I completely forgot to give her back. And just like before, I did what every sane 20 year old man would do, I found a way to bring the thing with me on the trip so she wouldn't be at my apartment by herself!

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 135 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Surprisingly, we left our side relatively clean compared to the rest of our First Class pax! I was surprised that our row mates across didn't take their headphones or blankets and just left them on the floor. I left my sister resting in her seat a little longer while I went to chat with the pilots and see the flight deck. The First Officer was super nice, and let me do the coolest thing I've ever done! I got to shut the APU off in the plane and switch over to ground power! I chatted with him for a few minutes about planes, and when I mentioned the A321neo inaugural, he pulled up the first pics of the plane! I was super excited to see it finally taking shape, and hope that everything goes to plan and it's delivered on time!

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 130 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 132 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 133 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 134 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

I bid the pilots farewell after a few minutes, grabbed my bags and called my sister to come off the airplane. We walked up the large gate and I took a few pictures of the aircraft from the gate;
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 137 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Our neighbors here were a Virgin of a different kind ;)

Image20170304_120330 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Selfie!

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 142 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
The much older Virgin...

We exited down to baggage claim to retrieve the bag that was unnecessarily checked in, only for it's tag. My mom and older brother had just entered the arrivals area. We took a step out. The 20 degree cold weather hit us. We said a few bad words. We went back inside. We ran back outside and located our car and attempted to defrost from the two minutes of cold we'd just experienced.

Humor aside, it was actually a drastic change in temperature from the 82F degree weather we'd just left behind in Fort Lauderdale. I draped my new First Class blanket around me as we began the journey home. It's rather ironic that the drive from JFK to home, is just as long as our flight from FLL to JFK! We stopped in Elizabeth for a Cuban dinner (which was excellent by the way) and got home around 17:30. Months of anticipation ended at the sight of Home. And it was all worth every second.
Flightradar24 data of VX500:
Imagefr24c by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Imagefr24d by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Imagefr24b by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Imagefr24a by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Spring Break

I spent most of my time in Jersey just relaxing at home and spending time with my family. It was a lot of fun for sure and it was great to be back home for a week.

Part II
For your convenience, I've also added the link for the video trip report covering VX501 here:
http://youtu.be/sGIbzUQzcyQ

As our flight was scheduled for 07:45 on a Monday morning, we figured it would be best to make the journey up to JFK the day before, and have my sister and I stay overnight at Christian's. The alternative would've been leaving at 03:30 and rushing up there. Yeah that would not have been very fun!
I checked in a couple minutes after online check in opened and got Group A. It was certainly weird seeing I was checked into for my VX flight to FLL instead of JFK!

ImageFile_000 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

We left home at 13:30 and began the journey up to New York. We took the turnpike up to the G.W. Bridge which meant we passed right by Newark Liberty International!

Image20170312_155558 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
I almost caused a car accident because I yelled "OMG IT'S LONE STAR ONE!" I wasn't necessarily surprised to see it, I was just very excited and not really expecting to see anything different from the usual United 737s and 777s. It was also nice seeing the new Alaska livery again!

Image20170312_155730 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
A baby Q over the turnpike about to land on Runway 29.

About an hour later we arrived at Christian's place, and we all decided to go eat, of course, Cuban food. We arrived at a restaurant that I cannot remember the name of but I had probably the largest bistec empanizado I'd ever had in my life. It was a huge meal but it was extremely delicious!
Image20170312_192828 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Bistec empanizado

Afterwards, my sister and I split ways with my parents. It was getting close to 20:00 and it was about a three hour drive back. We went home with Christian and his family where we talked about planes for three hours straight and watch each other's trip reports and catching up before calling it a night. Here are some pics of Christian's model aircraft.

Image20170312_222938 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Image20170312_222950 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
I gave him that Avianca-TACA safety card after my trip to Honduras a couple months ago! (http://youtu.be/0pfxuP5C9s0) I also have that same Avianca A320 model.

Image20170312_222954 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
And he copied me by getting his own Gemini200 Virgin America A320

After a while, it was time to go to bed! I had yet another date with a Virgin in the morning!

We got up at 04:45, and did our final checks before leaving the guest room. I got a notification from the Virgin America app that we would be experiencing a 50 minute delay. Christian and his family were super accommodating to us, and it was nice catching up with my buddy. We were out the door at 05:30 and made a pit stop at Dunkin' for some coffee before beginning the final leg of our journey to JFK. A short twenty minute ride later had us pulling up to Terminal 4!
Image20170313_060032 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Image20170313_060356 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Image20170313_060422 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
I love the architecture of Terminal 4.

Image20170313_060517 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
This is my stop! I thanked Christian for the favor once again and bid farewell.

Inside Terminal 4:
Image20170313_060811 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Image20170313_060813 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Image20170313_060904 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
As always, I checked in online but wanted to get my boarding pass from the airport. I'm not gonna lie, about 40% of the reason why I'm taking this flight that had so many complications to even get to, is because I wanted a red bordered boarding pass!

ImageSnapchat-5344349 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
While waiting in line, I was playing around on Snapchat when I saw that Virgin America had their own filter, using their moodlights to their advantage. And the appeal to millenials such as myself continues to improve!
I was not checking any bags so the agent gave my sister and I our stylish boarding passes in no time! It's a shame they no longer have them in Fort Lauderdale. I got them for my first flight last April, but I was extremely disappointed when in November they did not have any. I decided to get another boarding pass from the self service kiosk when I saw this:
Image20170313_061923 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Image20170313_061928 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
It's as if they knew I was coming! It was an unexpected surprise and really "Elevate"-d my mood!

Image20170313_062023 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
After my sister saw my little square red boarding pass that comes from the self service kiosks, she wanted a "cute" little one as well! After spending fifteen minutes in line and another five getting our boarding passes that we easily could've accessed on our phones, we made a rather long line. Unfortunately it wasn't for something as fun as getting a cool boarding pass. I was almost appalled that security took 35 minutes at 06:15 in the morning! You go to FLL or PBI or even MIA (in some parts) at 06:15 and security is almost dead at that time still! I guess that's just the price I pay for flying through one of the largest international airports in the world. After security, I got a gorgeous view of the T4A ramp:
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 14523 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
From front to back: N624VA "red white & blue" was going to San Francisco, N362VA "spotifly" was supposed to operate my flight according to FR24 but got switched to go to LAX, and last but not least, N842VA "real steel" which would be taking me to FLL.

Image20170313_065201 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Selfie with a couple gorgeous Virgins ;)

Walking down to the A concourse...
Image20170313_065644 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Image20170313_065712 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Walking down to the A concourse...

Image20170313_065742 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
It was weird looking for my Virgin America flight and seeing Fort Lauderdale as the destination and VX501 as my flight number! We walked over to Gate A2 to see a rather crowded boarding area with that ambient music playing in the background. I asked the gate agent what the delay was for, and she only told me it was a late arrival. I was confused as the aircraft had arrived from LAX at 06:00, and I would assume that the crew are JFK based, so I don't know what the late arrival could've been.
Imagevxsb98782 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Our ride down from the Big Apple to the Sunshine State would be N842VA, nicknamed "real steel", presumably because of their promotion in the movie Real Steel about the fighting robots.
I wandered around and took a few pictures of the early morning action. There was a Virgin Atlantic A340-600 resting up before her transatlantic journey to LHR at 09:10, a Caribbean Airlines 737-800 departing for Port of Spain (?) at 07:25, an Air India 777-300ER arriving from DEL (maybe BOM?) and a couple other aircraft buzzing around Terminal 4:
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 155 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 180 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Imagevxsb20173346 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 196 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Our "private" boarding area

Imagevxsb46372 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
See you soon, "red, white and blue!"

At around 07:45, our original departure time, boarding commenced. I will put our flight board for this morning's hop right here:
Imageflightboardvx50131317 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

Around 07:50, "the Awesome Group A" was welcomed to board!

Image20170313_074901 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Image20170313_074917 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 218 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Is there anyone who doesn't love these gates where you can see your airplane up close?!

Image20170313_075031 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
...it sucked not being the first one on the plane again.

Image20170313_075038 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
But it rocked that at the end of the jetway yet again, the purple haze was waiting for me!

Image20170313_075047 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Helloooo gorgeous!

Image20170313_075537 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Confirmed fact: moodlighting makes every flight better!

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 219 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Another flight, another American flag on my wingtips!
We were hurriedly welcomed aboard, and it was obvious they were trying to make up for the delay. We were told it was gonna be a full flight. I assume more than a few people switched onto today's flight ahead of the blizzard that was expected in New York starting tonight and into the next couple days! I picked a good day when I selected this flight! VX501 was cancelled for the following two days! We pushed back at 08:30, only about 45 minutes late and began the taxi over to Runway 31L.

Image20170313_082314 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
As we taxied out, they had already towed the next Virgin into our gate. Their safety video played and I was happy to be able to see it again, even though it meant being back in the rear of the airplane once again.

Image20170313_083036 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Taxiing past T4B...

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 2391 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
One of the most patriotic photos I have ever taken! An American flag on the wingtip, with an American Airlines A32B in the middle, and the New York City skyline with One World Trade Center rising prominently in the background! You can also see the Empire State Building just above one of the hangars on the right. The only way this could be more patriotic is if we replaced the European Airbus I'm on and that American A32B with a couple Boeings!

You can find the takeoff at 09:00 in the video trip report...
We were I think number three or so in line for takeoff behind the Delta SkyTeam 757-200 and a jetBlue A320. We accelerated down Runway 31L and rotated before making that iconic turn over Jamaica Bay. I could only wish that our A320 turned as elegantly as the Concorde did (even though it would've been a bit steeper!) As we continued our turn Southward, we were treated to a beautiful view of New York City for a few brief moments.
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 245 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Gooooodddbyeee Jersey!

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 249 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Heeellllooooo moodlighting!

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 286 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
As I've stated in my previous Virgin America trip report, in my honest opinion, I feel like Virgin America's Red system is much better than the AVOD on jetBlue's E190s and A320s, and American's A319s, A32Bs, A330s and 787s (I have yet to see how it is on their 738s, 772s and 77Ws). It is much faster and responsive to the touch, and while I think Redwood's doesn't have as many LiveTV channels or programs on demand as American's, it's speed more than makes up for it's rather limited content. Perhaps I've just been lucky, but it hasn't crashed on me once in the five flights I've done with them, as opposed to the 7 I've had with American that had AVOD where the systems broke down about 4 times. I have heard great things about Delta's AVOD systems and I look forward to trying out their new A321 soon to see how they all stack up.

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 252 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
And another rather unique feature of Red, that I haven't seen on the AVOD systems of American, jetBlue, and United (and Avianca, but they're international), is the ability to order beverages, snacks, and items for purchase right from the TV! In this case, I wanted to complete my collection of headphones from Virgin America and get the silver ones to complement my indigo and pink ones. Ironically, I realized it didn't give me a color choice when I ordered it and I was thankful that the FA brought me the silver ones right off the bat! I was worried about having to ask him if they had the silver ones! By the way, their responses to ordering items off the TV is almost instantaneous! I was still entering my email for the receipt when he brought my item over!

Shortly after ordering my headphones, I placed my beverage order in which I requested orange juice, which for some reason almost always tastes way better at 34,000ft! When you order beverages on the TV, generally the flight attendants will wait until they're doing the traditional beverage service for those who didn't order on the TV, and there's another flight attendant with a tablet that has a list of everyone's orders from the TV delivering them personally. After I finished my OJ, I noticed something rather peculiar; the moodlights were reflecting off the ice inside the cup and actually looked rather beautiful!
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 290 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

A couple hours later, I felt that slight tug of inertia that indicated our descent into the South Florida area. We followed the coast from Melbourne, on down to Pompano where we turned inland for our downwind into FLL.

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 299 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 306 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 309 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

You can find the landing at 24:00 of the video TR. We smoothly touched down on Runway 10L at 11:23 and continued on down back to Terminal 1 where we parked at gate C9.
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 333 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 334 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr

As we deboarded, that chill electronic music played ambiently throughout the cabin making for a relaxing atmosphere even as we arrived.

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 338 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
As we exited the jetway, I looked to see the next destination our aircraft would travel to, which of course was San Francisco.
I wanted to take some more pictures of the cabin, but I did not want to delay the aircraft's turn any further, so we got off normally and walked out into the warm South Florida sun. As we arrived late, we would not be able to make the noontime train (of course). Instead of waiting until 12:15 for the shuttle to the tri rail station for the 13:00 train on arrivals, we spent a bit of time on the departures level getting fresh air and watching some planes.
ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 339 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
United 737-900ER going to Newark...

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 353 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Amerian 737-800 flying out to O'Hare

ImageVirgin America spring break 2017 384 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
And this jetBlue A320 taking off for San Juan I think. I flew on this very same aircraft, 552JB, nicknamed BlueJay from FLL-PHL in November 2015 for Thanksgiving break!

Here's where I encounter the first bit of what would be an extremely frustrating process. There was a 13:00 Northbound train with the shuttle supposed to depart Terminal 1 at 12:15. My sister and I got to the designated tri rail shuttle stop at 12:05 where there was a crowd of people waiting. Long story short, the shuttle came at 12:45! Forty minutes late!! We ended up missing the 13:00 train that that shuttle was supposed to be for (there was a 13:05 shuttle for the 14:00 train), and now had to wait another hour! Thankfully it was day time now and not as many interesting characters around, but it was frustrating nonetheless. I got home around 14:45, two hours later than I expected, and then had to drive a couple hours to retrieve our dog from my girlfriend who was taking care of him.
ImageSnapchat-609880578 by Jeff Hernandez, on Flickr
Damn you tri-rail

Conclusion
This was my first time not flying Economy/Main Cabin, and I am thankful that I got to do it on my favorite airline. I am always about the journey, and never the destination. There's no point in traveling unless you have some kind of fun on the way there! I had been looking forward to this for a very long time, and I can confidently say it was worth every second. The seat was extremely comfortable. I loved the private feel of the First Class cabin. I loved all the unique touches such as the rose made of butter. The meal was presented perfectly. The crews were friendly as always. Everything about the First Class experience had that special feel to it, and I will always remember VX500 as my first Virgin America flight, as well as my first First Class flight.
Of course, my return flight was just as fun as all the other Main Cabin flights I've had with Virgin America. The moodlighting is more visible in the back of the plane and it is always awesome, that initial "wow" when you get on a Virgin America plane underneath that indigo and purple and pink lighting. It's definitely a special part of the experience for sure. I also was surprised by how fast I received my headphones after ordering on Red. And it was nice to once again start a Virgin America flight with a red boarding pass.

With the recent news of Alaska Airlines retiring the Virgin America brand, I am especially heartbroken now that I've had the full Virgin America Experience. This is certainly one of the most unique airlines I have ever flown and they will surely be missed. I do look forward to, however, trying Alaska Airlines out one day. I know they're a great airline themselves and hopefully they will gain some of that special Virgin uniqueness. Until I have to be out west however, it will mostly go back to flying jetBlue and American Airlines again once the final Virgin flight touches down. Virgin America will continue to be my favorite airline, just like American once was until I found them. I am optimistic that some day another carrier will take the Virgin America approach of making flying fun again to a whole new level, while building upon their mistakes. And when that day comes, they will become my favorite airline as well. As it is right now in the US airline industry, several airlines have been trying to do exactly that. jetBlue, Hawaiian, and Southwest are all centered around customer satisfaction. But they all lack that special something that Virgin America has. Perhaps it's the moodlighting? Those special red boarding passes? Or the consistently friendly crews? The fresh and healthy food? Their innovative culture that produced "SeatView"? The entertainment system? The private First Class? Their humorous advertising? Their unique safety video? That ambient electronic music? Their cool uniforms? I don't know. Perhaps it is a mixture of all of the above.
Whatever the answer is, I will continue to enjoy it as much as I can for the next two years. And I cannot wait for my next special experience with them.

And as always, thank you for flying with me!
Jeffrey Hernandez


Please check out my other trip reports!
California Dreamin' for a Day:
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1353245
Girlfriend's First Time Flying:
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1347533
A Virgin Experience: First Virgin America Flight+JetBlue A321:
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1337533#unread
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

Follow my Instagram!
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Check out my Virgin America fleet site on Google!
http://sites.google.com/site/virginamericafleet/
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AirAfreak
Posts: 775
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:20 am

Re: Losing my First Class VIRGINity

Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:39 am

Thanks for sharing your flight experience with VX! I've never flown them, but I've only heard nothing but glowing compliments about them and your enthusiasm really validates this! I'm not sure if I will ever give myself a chance to experience them, however, I'm glad you enjoyed your time in First Class! I remember how excited I was when I had my very first flight in First Class and it still excites me to this day when I'm sitting up front! Happy to read such a pleasant trip report! Thanks!
Economy Class. You vision of loveliness; Prince Charles called and he wants you to fill in for him next week.
 
globalflyer
Posts: 772
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 4:15 am

Re: Losing my First Class VIRGINity

Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:29 pm

Fantastic TR, Jeff. Don't you just hate it when something like a glass mistakenly makes its way in your bag? :) Fantastic photos. I agree I hate to see the VX brand go away. Thanks for sharing. Cheers, Will
Landing on every Continent almost on an annual basis!
 
cobalt
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:34 am

Re: Losing my First Class VIRGINity

Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:48 pm

A great report, just like all of your others! Thanks for sharing this beautifully written journey with us. I only managed to fly VX once, from SFO to JFK on a redeye. I didn't find them over-the-top special, but they performed well all around. The now-announced pending disappearance of the VX brand, along with your trip reports, have made think that perhaps I should go out of my way and find a way to fly them once more before they disappear. I'm a college student like yourself, and have lurked on this website as a photographer for over 10 years, and while I've been considering writing trip reports for years, your wonderfully documented trip reports may have convinced me to go ahead and do just that. Thanks for taking us along for the ride!
 
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jeffh747
Topic Author
Posts: 675
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:32 pm

Re: Losing my First Class VIRGINity

Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:47 pm

AirAfreak wrote:
Thanks for sharing your flight experience with VX! I've never flown them, but I've only heard nothing but glowing compliments about them and your enthusiasm really validates this! I'm not sure if I will ever give myself a chance to experience them, however, I'm glad you enjoyed your time in First Class! I remember how excited I was when I had my very first flight in First Class and it still excites me to this day when I'm sitting up front! Happy to read such a pleasant trip report! Thanks!

Hi AirAfreak!
Thank you for reading my trip report! Sitting up front always has a special feeling to it and I'm sure excitement always comes with every takeoff! If life permits, I would definitely recommend logging at least one VX flight, even just for the ride. Ypu've still got a solid two years!

Thank you,
Jeff

globalflyer wrote:
Fantastic TR, Jeff. Don't you just hate it when something like a glass mistakenly makes its way in your bag? :) Fantastic photos. I agree I hate to see the VX brand go away. Thanks for sharing. Cheers, Will

Hello Will,
Yes, can be quite annoying when that stuff happens. I don't know what to do with them so I just put them in my room with all the other airline stuff that "accidentally" came with me off the plane :lol:

Thank you for reading my trip report!
Jeff

cobalt wrote:
A great report, just like all of your others! Thanks for sharing this beautifully written journey with us. I only managed to fly VX once, from SFO to JFK on a redeye. I didn't find them over-the-top special, but they performed well all around. The now-announced pending disappearance of the VX brand, along with your trip reports, have made think that perhaps I should go out of my way and find a way to fly them once more before they disappear. I'm a college student like yourself, and have lurked on this website as a photographer for over 10 years, and while I've been considering writing trip reports for years, your wonderfully documented trip reports may have convinced me to go ahead and do just that. Thanks for taking us along for the ride!

Hi cobalt,
Thank you for following along with me on these trip reports! It makes me very happy to see the same people enjoying each of my trip reports. Redeyes can be a pain, and often can have certain elements missing than what would be normal on a daytime flight. My first experience with jetBlue was on a redeye and I thought the same thing of them- not overly exciting but a good service. Now they're one of my favorite carriers. If you have opportunity to fly on VX once more presents itself, just go! You won't regret it, as with all trips.

I look very much forward to reading your trip reports, and thanks for joining me on the ride!
Jeff
A318 A319 A320 A320neo A321 A321neo A332 A333 B717 B727 B734 B73G B738 B739 B752 B762 B763 B772 B788 CRJ2 DHC6 DHC8-300 E145 E190 MD82 MD83
 
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res77W
Posts: 186
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Re: Losing my First Class VIRGINity

Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:31 pm

I always enjoy reading your trip reports. Flying first really is a treat, I remember my first first class experience with NW back in 2007. Hot meal, fancy ice cream, the whole nine yards. I'll have to go out of my way to catch a VX flight, they don't serve flyover country (MCI). Be careful, once you get used to first, you won't go back to coach LOL!

-Rowen
 
omaraljay
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2015 5:11 am

Re: Losing my First Class VIRGINity

Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:14 pm

Really enjoyed the trip report! I used to fly VX all the time on SEA-LAX and back. I'm pretty sad that Alaska decided to get rid of them but since I've been on a VX A319 (N527VA) and an A320 (N837VA) I'm definitely interested in their A321, might try them one last time.
 
amax1977
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Re: Losing my First Class VIRGINity

Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:57 pm

Very nice TR, Jeff! Thanks for sharing!
 
11725Flyer
Posts: 861
Joined: Mon May 30, 2016 4:51 pm

Re: Losing my First Class VIRGINity

Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:10 pm

An excellent trip report. Love the cockpit pictures and you obviously put a lot of time into this post. Thanks for sharing!
 
User avatar
jeffh747
Topic Author
Posts: 675
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:32 pm

Re: Losing my First Class VIRGINity

Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:42 pm

res77W wrote:
I always enjoy reading your trip reports. Flying first really is a treat, I remember my first first class experience with NW back in 2007. Hot meal, fancy ice cream, the whole nine yards. I'll have to go out of my way to catch a VX flight, they don't serve flyover country (MCI). Be careful, once you get used to first, you won't go back to coach LOL!

-Rowen

Thank you for reading my trip reports! Sounds like your first experience was a real treat! And trust me, I was back to having that envious look when I walked past the F cabin on my return flight!

omaraljay wrote:
Really enjoyed the trip report! I used to fly VX all the time on SEA-LAX and back. I'm pretty sad that Alaska decided to get rid of them but since I've been on a VX A319 (N527VA) and an A320 (N837VA) I'm definitely interested in their A321, might try them one last time.

You should definitely check out the A321neo if you ever get the chance! I myself am trying to find my way onto a VX A319 before Alaska sadly retires the brand :(

amax1977 wrote:
Very nice TR, Jeff! Thanks for sharing!

Thank you for reading!

11725Flyer wrote:
An excellent trip report. Love the cockpit pictures and you obviously put a lot of time into this post. Thanks for sharing!

Thank you for reading this trip report! I'm glad you enjoyed the cockpit pictures- that's always a treat, seeing the cockpit after a flight! And I did put quite a bit of time so I'm glad that you can see that!

Thank you all for reading and commenting on this trip report!
Jeffrey
A318 A319 A320 A320neo A321 A321neo A332 A333 B717 B727 B734 B73G B738 B739 B752 B762 B763 B772 B788 CRJ2 DHC6 DHC8-300 E145 E190 MD82 MD83
 
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usxguy
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Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 1:28 pm

Re: Losing my First Class VIRGINity

Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:28 am

I believe you might enjoy Alaska. Despite a near monopoly in Alaska itself, it has quite the cult-like following in the PacNW.

Don't shortchange your future travels yet. If I had to chose between Alaska and JetBlue, it most certainly would be Alaska.
xx
 
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jeffh747
Topic Author
Posts: 675
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:32 pm

Re: Losing my First Class VIRGINity

Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:14 pm

usxguy wrote:
I believe you might enjoy Alaska. Despite a near monopoly in Alaska itself, it has quite the cult-like following in the PacNW.

Don't shortchange your future travels yet. If I had to chose between Alaska and JetBlue, it most certainly would be Alaska.

So far, I've heard nothing but great things about Alaska. I haven't necessarily shortchanged them yet, it's just that being primarily East Coast based, I never really have a chance to fly Alaska since 99% of their East Coast flights end up on the West Coast. Of course, if I plan on going out West any time soon, I'll look into them, but since jetBlue is like the AS/VX of the East Coast, they're the best option I have at the moment.
A318 A319 A320 A320neo A321 A321neo A332 A333 B717 B727 B734 B73G B738 B739 B752 B762 B763 B772 B788 CRJ2 DHC6 DHC8-300 E145 E190 MD82 MD83
 
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ClassicLover
Posts: 4135
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 12:27 pm

Re: Losing my First Class VIRGINity

Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:26 am

Great report, I really enjoyed it! Looks like you had a ball. I've not tried Virgin America but I have flown Alaska First Class one time and it was a memorable experience. They are an excellent airline as far as I'm concerned.

Loved how you had plenty of pics - it was like going along with you. Nice work and thanks for putting the time in to share this with us!
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
F9Animal
Posts: 3854
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 7:13 am

Re: Losing my First Class VIRGINity

Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:09 pm

Awesome trip report! Really fun, and enjoyable! Congrats on first class!!
I Am A Different Animal!!
 
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LamboAston
Posts: 499
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2015 6:46 am

Re: Losing my First Class VIRGINity

Thu Apr 27, 2017 1:08 am

Great trip report.
I have flown on over 20 airlines from around the wold, and the only one I have been on that you can order food and drinks from the IFE is Air New Zealand. I may have annoyed the FAs slightly by ordering so much. They were very prompt, even in 300+ seat 777s.
AS350, B733/4/7/8, B744/8, B762/3, B77E/L/W, B789, A319, A320, A321, A332, A346, A380, AT73/5/6, Q300, Q400, CR2/7, E190, S340, B1900C/D, E110 (E for epic)
NZ, EK, QF, SQ, UA, US, CO, FZ, FR, U2, BA, VA, VS, MH, EI, EY, LH, EN, NM, TG, GZ
 
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jeffh747
Topic Author
Posts: 675
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:32 pm

Re: Losing my First Class VIRGINity

Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:40 pm

ClassicLover wrote:
Great report, I really enjoyed it! Looks like you had a ball. I've not tried Virgin America but I have flown Alaska First Class one time and it was a memorable experience. They are an excellent airline as far as I'm concerned.

Loved how you had plenty of pics - it was like going along with you. Nice work and thanks for putting the time in to share this with us!

Hi ClassicLove, I'm glad you enjoyed my TR and you felt like you were coming along with me. I tried my best to give that vicarious feeling! I look forward to trying Alaska F one day soon!
Cheers!

F9Animal wrote:
Awesome trip report! Really fun, and enjoyable! Congrats on first class!!

Hi F9Animal, thank you for reading my trip report, and I'm glad you enjoyed it!

LamboAston wrote:
Great trip report.
I have flown on over 20 airlines from around the wold, and the only one I have been on that you can order food and drinks from the IFE is Air New Zealand. I may have annoyed the FAs slightly by ordering so much. They were very prompt, even in 300+ seat 777s.

Hi LamboAston, thank you for reading my TR! The feature to order food and drink from the IFE is super convenient and I wish more airlines would have it. Incredible how fast the FAs are able to deliver the items!
A318 A319 A320 A320neo A321 A321neo A332 A333 B717 B727 B734 B73G B738 B739 B752 B762 B763 B772 B788 CRJ2 DHC6 DHC8-300 E145 E190 MD82 MD83
 
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jeffh747
Topic Author
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Re: Losing my First Class VIRGINity

Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:59 pm

Well, three weeks after posting this trip report, this TR becomes more poignant than ever, as Virgin America has suspended their FLL-JFK city pairing permanently. This is truly disappointing as that is the only time I could ever fly them since I'm never out West. It seems like I will have to find a couple more excuses now to go to the West Coast a couple more times over the next couple of years ;)

Thank you to everyone who has enjoyed this trip report and who has left a reply. I always enjoy reading them and responding!
Jeff
A318 A319 A320 A320neo A321 A321neo A332 A333 B717 B727 B734 B73G B738 B739 B752 B762 B763 B772 B788 CRJ2 DHC6 DHC8-300 E145 E190 MD82 MD83
 
LAHockey
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:25 pm

Re: Losing my First Class VIRGINity

Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:24 pm

Amazing trip report!

Also did you like there iconic safety video?

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