It is not often that a new airline shows up, but it happened yesterday as Virgin America took to the skies. The brain child of Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic fame, Virgin America looks to be a hybrid of JetBlue and Virgin Atlantic. They are based in San Francisco and initial routes are to JFK and LAX. They are planning to add Vegas and Washington-Dulles into the mix very soon.
The seats look pretty nice, and if they can get to the service level they are talking about it’ll be a very comfortable way to fly. The part that confuses me is that they are trying to make their money flying on transcon routes (SFO/LAX/LAS – JFK/IAD). Those are very long flights, which means you have to extract all your money from fewer passengers, since the plane is in use more on longer flights. Yet they are also competitive on the pricing for the flights. It didn’t work for Independence Air (and they did have shorter flights), so maybe I’m way off base, but here’s hoping that they provide another enjoyable option for flying. I probably won’t get to fly them until December, so I’ll just have to live vicariously through others until then.
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