Review of Virgin America flight San Francisco Boston in Economy

Airline Virgin America
Flight VX352
Class Economy
Seat --
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 05:50
Take-off 20 Jun 16, 09:15
Arrival at 20 Jun 16, 18:05
VX 26 reviews
MrMax
By 926
Published on 18th July 2016
Welcome to this Fight Report Series!

BACKGROUND

This summer I was travelling with my family to Iceland and Venice for a few weeks. Iceland is somewhere I always wanted to go to, and I am very exited to finally be seeing that country. My Mom really wanted to go to the architecture biennale in Venice and I found a really cheap flight VCE-JFK via IST on TK for $377 per person. After Venice I will be joining my family on my Dad's side for a week long beach holiday at Bethany Beach, Delaware. After that I will be returning to SFO (or OAK, actually) on WN from BWI. To clear out any confusing IATA codes HFN is Höfn, a town in southern Iceland, and FEI is a small Icelandic domestic carrier called Eagle Air (it doesn't have an ICAO code). RKV is Reykjavik's smaller domestic airport. Here is a map of my routing from gcmap.com (excluding my one domestic flight from RVK-HFN):


photo screen shot 2016-06-18 at 3.38.31 pm

Here is my domestic flight:

photo screen shot 2016-06-18 at 3.43.42 pm

Here is my routing:

SFO-BOS VX352 Y [HERE]
BOS-KEF FI632 Y Coming Soon

RVK-HFN FEI742 Y Coming Soon

KEF-DUS AB3929 Y Coming Soon
DUS-VCE AB8762 Y Coming Soon

VCE-IST TK1870 Y Coming Soon
IST-JFK TK003 Y Coming Soon

BWI-OAK WN565 Y



This one-way ticket from SFO-KEF on 6/20 cost me $467 each. I thought this was a good price if I only paid as much as I did for the return. This would mean that a SFO-KEF, VCE-JFK in the summer would be only $844


FLIGHT REPORT

We arrive at SFO airport before our flight at the new terminal two that is for only VX and AA (maybe Alaska will move after the merger, not sure). Before I start, I want to apologize for the upside-down photos.

SFO check in terminal 2:

photo photo 1


There were some problems with our reservation bc we booked flights on two different unaffiliated airlines on one reservation (through cheapoair). Virgin america tried to charge us for bags, even when our reservation included two bags for each person! Our check in agent seemed to be a rookie and didn't really know what she was doing. In the end, with some help from the supervisor, they found a workaround and checked our bags through to KEF. However they did this without us being checked in for the BOS-KEF flight, which I believe is probably what caused them to lose our bags (They were eventually returned to us after 72 hrs, but we got no compensation from either airline). So, of course, I'm not so happy about the check in at SFO


T2 has some cool cloth "art" hanging from the ceiling:

photo photo 4photo photo 3


Some pics of T2:




My BP:

photo screen shot 2016-07-17 at 2.43.44 pm


Our gate:

photo photo 1-3


Some spotting at our departure gate:





The catering people:

photo photo 1-10



May it be noted that the windows at T2 are terrible for plane-spotting


Our A320, christened "Fly Bye Baby", registration N628VA. To make matters better, its in SF Giants (baseball team) special livery!

photo photo 5-1




Here it is taxiing on Taxiway H at LAX in front of TBIT:

photo screen shot 2016-07-17 at 3.06.42 pm


Boarding through the blind gate:

photo photo 2-7


On the plane:

photo photo 4-8photo photo 3-7


Seat back contents:

photo photo 2-3


Legroom is good:

photo photo 1-4


Ads were playing on the IFE during boarding:

photo photo 5-6



Finally taxiing:

photo photo 5-5photo photo 5-3photo photo 4-4


Takeoff!

photo photo 1-6


IFE home screen (more on IFE later) :

photo photo 3-4



When the drinks cart rolls around, I ask for a tea with extra milk.

photo screen shot 2016-07-17 at 4.31.39 pm




Kudos to VX for a great cup of tea! The tea bag is very good quality and tastes very good. Also, they gave me real milk. Additionally, they knew what "extra milk" meant. Most FAs think that "extra milk" means two tiny packets of creamer rather than one, but the fantasticFAs at VX gave me almost a full cup of real milk!

The only reason I didn't give VX a 10 on catering was because they don't have any free snacks, like the other airlines in the USA do. Hopefully, the other airlines' next step will be to bring back full meals on domestic flights, that would be nice…. However, in the meanwhile VX should follow suit with its competitors and start to give pretzels.

The WC is clean:

photo photo 5

A note on the IFE:
VX prides itself on their IFE system. They are right. Their IFE system is very good. Heres the deal: The things that are free on the IFE are the moving map, promotional videos, and live TV. You have to pay for the movies and on demand TV. BoB is also on the IFE, and you can order on demand free drinks too during the flight (which is a great idea).


Most of the time the live TV works fine, but not today. The screen looked like this the whole time

photo photo 2-4


The moving map is very good:

photo photo 4-6photo photo 4-5photo photo 3-5


I ordered some cookies from the IFE BoB system. It had some trouble reading the credit card, but otherwise worked well.


My BoB selection:

photo photo 5-4


The cookies are very good, but nothing amazing


There is a second drinks service towards the end of the flight. I ask for another tea with extra milk, which is as good as the last one ( FYI I've used the same pic bc they looked identical too)

photo screen shot 2016-07-17 at 4.31.39 pm


Final Approach pic:

photo photo 3-6


Welcome to BOS:

photo photo 4-7


B6 A321:

photo photo 5-5


At our gate:

photo photo 2-5



Thanks for reading my flight report! Please drop me a line in the comments section where I will agree with (most of) your comments, answer your questions, and otherwise meet your needs. Also be sure to read my flight report for Icelandair FI 632 where I will also cover the AF lounge in BOS. Coming soon!
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Verdict

Virgin America

8.4/10
Cabin9.5
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment/wifi7.5
Meal/catering9.0

San Francisco - SFO

5.6/10
Efficiency8.5
Access7.5
Services0.5
Cleanliness6.0

Boston - BOS

0.9/10
Efficiency1.5
Access0.5
Services1.0
Cleanliness0.5

Conclusion

Great job to VX for a solid hard and soft product for US domestic flights. Catering was lacking in quantity (how much does a tiny package pretzels cost?), but excellent in quality! The crew were great but were dressed in the most hideous uniforms ever (short sleeved t-shirts) ! The IFE was great, but would be even better if it worked properly! Overall, VX does a good job compared to its competitors.

SFO got a bad rating because they lost my bags, and Boston is likely the worst airport I've ever been to. At BOS, it is impossible to change terminals. I was led through back rooms, and a training centre while trying to get to the international terminal for my connecting flight! BOS is also dirty, and dilapidated. Avoid BOS at all costs!

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