Airplane. Airlines. Virgin America. If you clicked on this for any other reason than hearing about how cool Virgin America is , you are out of luck. For the rest of you here is my Virgin America experience.
Back in March I took a long weekend trip to Las Vegas for a good friend’s Bachelor party. Now I know what you are thinking. It wasn’t really like that… well not exactly like it, but I will leave that for another post. After a long Vegas weekend of NCAA march madness games, late night poker, a few too many cold beverages and the like, it was time to go home. For any Vegas veteran out there, you know a Sunday morning 9 am flight out of Las Vegas is a catastrophe, to say the least. Most people at the airport or on your flight have not slept, reek of booze and are not in the best of moods. “This is going to be interesting.”
Having booked my return flight weeks earlier by just picking the cheapest one, I was now blessed with the realization I was going to be flying Virgin America. For those unaware, The Virgin brand was founded 40 some years ago by British Entrepreneur Richard Branson. I have always looked up to him and felt he really understood how to grow a business and build a brand. As a budding entrepreneur, this was exciting to me. I had never flown Virgin before, and even though no brand is perfect, after reading various blog posts, articles and a few books praising Branson and the Virgin Brand, now was my opportunity to experience it first had. Boy was I not disappointed.
I was greeted by this (at left) upon stepping aboard the plane, ahh… When was the last time you actually looked forward to boarding a plane? I don’t look forward to fighting others in the crowded center isle as I place my bags above my seat and try to get settled in. This was pure bliss 8:30 am on a Sunday in Vegas. When you are building a brand, it’s the little things that matter. But it gets better.
Look closer at all those seats, you can see little personal screens on the back of each seat. To my amazement, once I sat down I realized not only can we watch whatever we want, Virgin offers satellite TV and wireless internet – FOR FREE. As coincidence would have it, the University of Washington men’s basketball team had just tipped off against the University of North Carolina and was currently being shown on CBS. Yes! I plugged in my headphones, dialed into the game and watched 2 hours of great college hoops while as we flew to our stop off in San Fransisco. It’s the little things. I have to say it was the best flight I have ever had. I remember feeling like I wasn’t even on a plane.
To top it off, the flight crew is young, hip, professional and above all else very happy and positive. You get the feeling their entire purpose is to make you – the customer – at ease and extremely comfortable. Little things, as it should be. After a brief layover in SF, we boarded another Virgin aircraft and flew on to Seattle, where I live. Again with the ease of technology I was able to plug in and enjoy another college basketball game, without the irritation of crying babies, arguing couples or a blabbing college freshman girl. Pure bliss.
Why I like Virgin America so much
- Virgin actually cares about their customers
- Virgin is ahead of the curve (notice their twitter account)
- Virgin has embraced their founder’s personality
- The Virgin brand is hip, cool and innovative
- They provide a service that just so happens to be a business (not the other way around)
- I just like the name
You heard it here, from now on I will ride a Virgin whenever I can. You should too.
Disclosure: Virgin America has no idea I am writing this. I wrote this purely because of a great customer experience.