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15 Reasons to Love Virgin America

This headline popped into my inbox earlier today: Virgin America Rated Number One U.S. Airline in 2010 Zagat Survey. My first thought was: Well, duh! Is there really any other choice?

After all, any airline that can make fees seem glamorous must be doing something right. Then I began to think about exactly why Virgin America seems like a different airline despite the fact that you still have to pay for bags; you still have to pay for food; and you still have to pay for entertainment.

Despite this a la carte pricing model, which every airline has these days, they’ve managed to rise above the competition to differentiate themselves and win over customers. I came up with 15 Reasons to Love Virgin America, and here they are, in no particular order:

  1. Red is their signature color — and mine!
  2. They’re as eco-friendly as an airline can get.
  3. Sir Richard — need I say more?
  4. The touch screens that allow you to order food. Awesome!
  5. They’ve managed to create an aircraft with ambiance.
  6. Sir Richard’s hair — an entirely separate entity.

    Sir Richard Branson and his hair

    Sir Richard and his lucious locks.

  7. They launched an SFO-DFW route – just for me, I’m sure!
  8. The Thai Peanut Chicken Hand Roll is delicious!
  9. In-flight WiFi!
  10. The cartoon-like safety video at the beginning of the flight. Here it is:

  11. David Cush seems like a cool dude.
  12. Cush’s locks are also fabulous.
  13. In-flight mood lighting!
    Virgin America Plane
  14. Their headquarters are LEED certified.
  15. They obviously hire hair models as their executives.


QUESTION: Why do you l-u-v this number one rated airline? Leave a comment and tell us why!



My name: Jennifer Gaines, but my friends call me Gaines, Jenni-Dallas or just plain Jenn.

(Find me on Twitter @jenngaines)

Travel ambitions: It's my mission to visit each of the New 7 Wonders and to step foot on every continent before my next milestone birthday.

Greatest travel lesson learned: Find the local hangouts to experience the real, true culture of a place. During a trip to Europe, my friends and I spent several days with a French family in the small town of Vichy. We had a private party in their family-run creperie, feasting on cheese-stuffed crepes and sampling wine that we picked up in the Bordeaux region a few days earlier. Their English wasn’t much better than my French, which is limited to a few well-known phrases from Moulin Rouge and the question: Parlez-vous anglais? (I'm proud to say that I can spout this question off in several different languages, and luckily most Europeans do indeed speak English!) After a few bottles of wine, the language barrier was hardly noticeable (slurring actually sounds the same in French!), and we managed to swap stories about life in other places. What a slice of local flavor!

My most beloved place in the whole world is: My grandparents place in Texas. It’s a 10-acre oasis in between two sprawling cities: Dallas and Fort Worth. A creek runs through their enormous backyard, where Granddad built a deck over the water. The entire place is shrouded with all types of trees (mainly pecan), blocking the Texas sun in the summer. Dusk is the best time to sit on the deck, drink a glass of ice tea and watch baby raccoons from the spring litter surround their back porch as Gram feeds them bread (no lie!). There will be dozens of raccoons eating on any given night. In the fall, my family gathers in the courtyard in front of their house for an annual “weenie roast.” Granddad lights the bonfire, and we roast dogs and s'mores. Yes, y’all, we’re from Texas!

Favorite way to get around: Well, I’m not much of a driver. I get lost easily and my tires have never come across a curb they didn’t want to get to know a little better. But, I do enjoy cruising around and listening to music. That said, I much rather explore a place by foot (with my iPod in tow) for a more intimate encounter.

View that took my breath away: Coming from Texas (where the view is wide but there’s not much to see), scenes from my new home of San Francisco never fail to amaze me. The city is a pedestrian’s dream, but don’t forget to turn around and look behind you as you meander through its neighborhoods. You won’t realize it, but you’ll be at the tip-top of a hill and the ocean will suddenly seem to be at eye level. Take a drive through the Presidio and over the Golden Gate Bridge where even more stunning views await!


Nicole Smith

Haha, I love the post. Sir Richard’s hair is certainly an entity on its own!

I love Virigin America because the seats are slightly bigger than other airlines and for the inflight wi-fi. I will admit I love the design of the planes as well – the lighting, the separator between business and economy… it really is just a great funky airline!

Matt Twedell

Glad to hear they are finally making flights from DFW. I’ll have to try them sometime.

Daniel Nero

I love VA for their quick and easy check-in counters, short lines and very helpful staff!

Paul Zanettos

Great post, Jenn. Looking forward to flying VA direct to LA from Toronto in February.


I’ll let you know everything good about Virgin next week. Flying them to Seattle this weekend to see the Seahawks beat Carolina. Richard is great and love the neon purple interiors. Know more next week. TA

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