Virgin America First Class
New York (JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX)
On the Ground: I arrived at JFK International Airport with 90 minutes to spare before my transcontinental flight. I made my way to check-in, where there was no one in the first-class line. The people at the counter, however, were obviously in the wrong place and had their six bags spread across the premium check-in area. While they were delaying me, I appreciated the desk attendant’s patience with them. Eventually, they made their way to the correct line. The Virgin America staffer was friendly and talkative, and he had me on my way in minutes.
Pre-Flight: There is no Virgin America lounge at JFK, and I didn’t think to inquire further about lounge access. I learned after the fact that for a small fee I could have enjoyed the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse. Instead, I made my way through security and perused shops along the way. The gate area was crowded, but with dedicated boarding, I was on the plane quickly and settled in as other passengers boarded.
In-Flight: It is no surprise to anyone who knows me well that I hope to catch a glimpse of a celebrity on my trips to Los Angeles. I was not disappointed on my flight, as I was seated directly across the aisle from an Academy Award winner. I’ll be discreet and won’t reveal the person’s identity. And, no, I never worked up the nerve to initiate a conversation.
Once my excitement died down, I noticed the first-class cabin was full and the door was closing. For a JFK departure, we were off the ground quickly. Virgin America’s white leather seats have a 55-inch pitch and are quite comfortable. I was not looking to sleep but to relax, watch a movie and get some work done; so it did not faze me that the seats were not fully flat. The Red in-flight entertainment system was easy to use and loaded with options. I had just finished reading Water for Elephants and was pleased to find the movie offered on board. I also used the onboard WiFi, which was reasonably priced and easy to access. Two meal options were available — a chicken dish and mushroom ravioli. I was passenger seven of eight, and there was no chicken left when I ordered. As I’m not a fan of mushrooms; this was disappointing.
I had checked a bag because I had packed scissors and other supplies I didn’t feel like taking through security. While I disembarked and arrived at the luggage carousel in minutes, I waited a long time for my priority-tagged suitcase.
The Experience: Despite a few small setbacks, my first-class Virgin America flight was extremely enjoyable. Ditto for my return flight a few days later. I would certainly choose the carrier again on my next cross-country trip.
- Friendly and helpful agents
- Priority-tagged bags
- Priority boarding
- Helpful and courteous in-flight staff
- Pre-flight beverage service
- Top-shelf wines and liquors
One of Ibiza’s hottest restaurant destinations since its opening five years ago, Bottega il Buco, draws legions of fans with the addition of new head chef Max Rivera Papic, whose kitchen credits include skills honed under the tutelage of Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, London.
Sweet tea. Soul food. Y'all. Sound familiar? Though these words and phrases are commonly associated with the South, it's understood in any language. If you're seeking a city abroad that will enchant you, capture your attention from start to finish and welcome everyone as family, we cordially invite you to visit Savannah.
Ski season is around the corner. Now is the perfect time to plan your winter ski getaway. These Colorado resorts offer deals designed for skiers.
This holiday season, give your loved ones a gift from around the world to create memories that last a lifetime.
From 24-Hour Butler Service to a Sky Pool: Boutique Luxury Awaits at Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences in Los Cabos
Set on a seaside bluff overlooking Land’s End in Cabo San Lucas, Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences is a Baja paradise specializing in serene vistas and impeccable hospitality, offering a Pacific coast lifestyle with authentic Mexican touches. Guests can now earn a fourth night free at the stunning resort, plus a $100 resort credit, when booking through March 20, for travel through June 15.
Lodging and hospitality company Angama announced the November 2023 opening of Angama Amboseli, an intimate, 10-suite lodge set in Kenya’s private, 5,700-acre Kimana Sanctuary, against the iconic backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro, located just across the border in Tanzania.
Costa Rica prepares to welcome its first Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts property, slated to open in 2025. Waldorf Astoria Guanacaste will boast 190 guestrooms, as well as 25 Waldorf Astoria-branded residences, all offering sweeping views overlooking the ocean. A presidential suite will also grace the property.
THE MOST EXCLUSIVE TOURS OF EGYPT EVER OFFERED with the world’s most eminent archaeologists
West Coast travelers can now enjoy easier, more efficient access to the Cayman Islands thanks to a new airlift option via Cayman Airways Ltd. As of Nov. 6, Cayman Airways operates nonstop service from Los Angeles International Airport to Owen Roberts International Airport in Grand Cayman at an introductory fare of $399.