Flight-Report

Review of Virgin America flight Las Vegas San Francisco in Economy

Airline Virgin America
Flight VX 905
Class Economy
Seat 20F
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 02:10
Take-off 13 Mar 13, 11:00
Arrival at 13 Mar 13, 13:10
VX   #17 out of 129 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 26 reviews
TerryYong
By GOLD 3100
Published on 26th October 2013
Following day was the highlight, visit to Grand Canyons! Through the desert.

photo 543098_10151697337244017_1434921633_n


First stop, Hoover Dam. Time to take those dam pictures!

photo 24626_10151697337284017_647739676_n

photo 480714_10151697337299017_1074100263_n

photo 484771_10151697337434017_2024963868_n


Finally reached the magnificent Grand Canyons!!

photo 305932_10151697337704017_813935878_n

photo 62327_10151697338069017_1652873824_n

photo 7350_10151697338109017_909673233_n


Humans are like puny ants in front of the Canyons…

photo 10058_10151697338299017_958023107_n


Another look-out point.

photo 1639_10151697338839017_1792037898_n

photo 581486_10151697338854017_331227729_n


Last city to go, San Francisco! This would also be my 6th flight sector on this trip. Again, took the pre-booked shuttle for the short ride to McCarran Terminal 3, where Virgin America would be departing from. On this sector, I had the choice of flying Virgin America, Southwest or United, but chose Virgin America due to all the hype about this stylish airline, even though Southwest offered free bag check-in but this is payable on VX. We pre-paid for our bags for USD25 each during online check-in, which is the same rate as on United. Also, at the time of my flight, VX passengers are also eligible to earn Krisflyer miles.

Arriving at McCarran T3, with view of The Strip behind.

photo 8626700123_5b45a0a99a_c


Flying Virgin America today!

photo 8626700035_f9518b6280_c


Virgin America check-in area.

photo 8627809040_6c0fb43178_c


We had arrived slightly more than 2hrs before departure and the check-in and baggage drop counters were not staffed yet. However we used the check-in machines to print our boarding passes.

photo 8627808882_7d795e872e_c


Boring-looking self-service printed boarding pass. Should have gotten the boarding passes from the check-in counters as they looked cooler!

photo 8626699713_17779d50db_c


Waiting for the baggage drop counters to open. There was already a short queue. Counters opened on the dot and very soon, our bags were on their way.

photo 8626699617_52233c27fc_c


With the many departures, there was a rather long queue for security, which took probably 20min. Not the worst I have encountered, but considered the worst for this trip. After security is the sterile boarding area with shops. Noticed that in USA, the flight information display is sorted by destinations instead of departure times!

photo 8626699473_8a5f806f0c_c


Slots everywhere again! But apparently no one is playing… Guess everyone had enough of jackpots…

photo 8627807964_a81f7de61b_c


Shops in the terminal. We chilled out at Starbucks for a while.

photo 8626698653_61e9951671_c


Followed by some plane-spotting. Air Canada A320 had just arrived.

photo 8627807740_33c2533737_c


Killer Whale Frontier A320

photo 8627807660_8197e59733_c


Very cool signage at our departure gate!

photo 8627807552_c6a740954f_c


The more traditional flight information display. Our boarding would be delayed for 20min due to low ceilings in the Bay Area. Not surprising as it occurs rather frequently. However it was not reflected on the information display.

photo 8626698191_6b9e6f2c24_c


Slots machine right at the gate.

photo 8626698109_d4405789f0_c


Our A320 to SFO.

photo 8626697927_751eeebfd2_b


Close-up. It is named sol plane.

photo 8626698013_cf4e43900d_c



13 March 2013
Virgin America
VX 905
Las Vegas McCarran (LAS) - San Francisco (SFO)
A320
N844VA sol plane
Economy Class



Headsets, in 3 different colours, are available for purchase at the gate for USD2 each.

photo 8627807020_569dab7104_c


Boarding was called by classes and row numbers and was strictly enforced. Down the gangway to aircraft, with an interesting signage spotted.

photo 8627806906_e3f9a493e4_c


Welcomed aboard and passed through First Class with only 8 seats. The white leather-cladded seats looked good!

photo 8627806816_81b4140a5a_c


However it was off into Main Cabin for me…

photo 8626697511_64d4df6607_c


Seat pitch looked decent at 32.

photo 8626691771_c82c59003b_c


Cool purple cabin lights, with trance music playing in the background. Felt just like in a club! Interesting!!

photo 8626697291_9484242594_c


Out the window. What a patriotic wingtip fence!

photo 8627806592_708f8f82bf_c


Boarding in progress, with crew assisting pax. There were 2 crew in Main cabin and 1 crew serving First today.

photo 8627806394_c24f5d56f8_c


Legroom is more than decent for this short hop. Seat pocket has innovative small separated compartments to place your stuff.

photo 8627806106_40fb477b35_c


Safety card, wifi guide and airsick bag.

photo 8627806032_2dd0b98783_c


Even though the IFE monitors are touch-screen enabled, handsets are also available under the armrests.

photo 8626693831_e4b2c6322f_c


Which can be removed for use when required.

photo 8626696357_9f637fa4ff_c


United A319 taxiing away. United operates from the mid-concourse D which could be reached by a people-mover from Terminal 3.

photo 8627806280_22b57e2740_c


Frontier also departing.

photo 8627806190_83f806f704_c


Soon, boarding was completed and we started out pushback. Flight time was announced as 1h20m. The pilot came on and announced that even though we would be starting our taxi, ATC had only cleared us to depart to SFO at 1150am, and thus we would need to hold on the taxiway.


Pushback with safety video playing.




United B739 passing by.

photo 8627805956_c304f9196b_c


American B738 pushing back as well.

photo 8627805872_ea65093da4_c


Taxi with safety video ending.




A row of aircraft queuing for takeoff.

photo 8626696459_14bf975a44_c


We waiting on the taxiway for our departure slot while watching planes takeoff and land. A Delta CRJ departing.

photo 8626696255_498d45e7fa_c


Westjet B738 to somewhere in Canada.

photo 8626696153_c63f2f385f_c


Spirit-ing away.

photo 8627805358_365702f973_c


Air Canada before us. Finally we are next!

photo 8627805272_8d0de3f07a_c


Still more planes behind, with the mountains right ahead.

photo 8627805166_7966a9dfe7_c


Took off right on the dot at 1150hrs from Rwy25R.




Mountains and desert.

photo 8627805092_407e54d838_c


Nice and dry landscape.

photo 8627804962_7f42e74623_c


Service announcement was made.




Lets take a look at the Red IFE system. It consists of more than 20 'live' TV channels, MTVs, CDs, flight map and the very cool inflight food/beverage ordering system!

photo 8626695555_d4dc493768_c


On VX, only drinks are free. Snacks and meal boxes are payable (unless you are seated in Main Cabin Select) by swiping your credit card under the screen. On this short flight, a round of beverage service and snack sales was conducted for the entire cabin, so the inflight order system is kinda useless. What are the free drinks on offer?

photo 8626695411_aa71e1406b_c

photo 8626695335_48bd68f94f_c

photo 8626695261_4d9df822e7_c

photo 8626695175_1e5857a70b_c


And the buy-on-board snacks on offer.

photo 8627804348_825b84e1be_c


And meal boxes, which were apparently snapped up by Main Cabin Select passengers.

photo 8626695007_9b3fe1e759_c


Still very dry out there…

photo 8626694905_7190527896_b


Watching a documentary on Tiger Farming.

photo 8626694817_b87ff25b36_c


Friendly Virgin America crew starting the beverage service as well as handing out ordered snacks and meal boxes.

photo 8626694713_e42386e44f_c


Flight map uses Google Map! We are currently at 30,000ft.

photo 8626694455_a1d98c14d8_c


Great weather for flying.

photo 8627803656_b3cd89845f_c


The new Pope was announced 'Live' at 30,000 feet!

photo 8627803580_a9a5c20109_c


I had a cranberry juice as well as a bottle of water.

photo 8626694179_859aacd748_c


We further climbed to 36,000ft.

photo 8626694069_0126e04ae4_c


Video taken inflight.




Beautiful snow-capped mountains.

photo 8627803306_d955eed6c9_c


More mountains.

photo 8626693717_5498248f41_c


Really nice views throughout the flight.

photo 8627802946_4b7b27c92b_c


Cabin view again.

photo 8627802820_37aeafe6fa_c


Greenery shall appear after passing this mountain range.

photo 8626693315_2c04e10976_c


Starting our descent into San Francisco.

photo 8626693137_d67163429a_c


Built up area with lush greenery now. It is amazing how the landscape can change from dry deserts to snow-capped mountains to lush green forests and fields within 1hr!

photo 8626693519_115363c010_c


Making some turns before setting up on finals across the bay.

photo 8627802638_2611337544_c


Descending across the bay.




Landing on Rwy28R, 20min behind schedule. Not the fault of the airline though.




Taxi to Terminal 2, which houses Virgin America and American Airlines.

photo 8627802446_280925dcbe_b


Reached the gate. UA A320 taxied by.

photo 8626692919_b3efbaaeb1_c


ANA B773ER landing in the distance.

photo 8627802234_79669889c6_c


Another VX docking beside us.

photo 8627802130_e24f9edd83_c


My leather economy seat.

photo 8627802010_022677e4af_c


Disembarking.

photo 8626692477_8ce581254d_c


A look at Main Cabin again.

photo 8627801738_a43313c112_c


This plane would be going up to Philadelphia. Wait a minute… Singapore Airlines SQ1311 to Philadelphia? Nope, not a new SQ destination but new codeshares on VX. Almost all the VX flights departing at that period of time from SFO had SQ-code affixed as well! Guess it is to enable transfer from the arrival SQ16.

photo 8626692251_d1a15b641e_c


Some shots of Terminal 2, which consists of quite a number of gates surrounding some eateries.

photo 8626691529_7077eca777_c


Satisfied my pinkberry crave right after touchdown in the terminal!

photo 8627800976_e4a4efb3bd_c


Towards the exit.

photo 8626692153_8037e3bceb_c


Claiming our bags.

photo 8626691697_e0872ae8a4_c


From Terminal 2, we would need to take the shuttle train to the BART station at the international terminal.

photo 8627801416_40666680c5_c


SQ Albino departing as SQ15 to ICN and SIN!

photo 8627801268_e7eefa053d_c


The BART was really convenient to reach our hotel, Hotel Nikko, at Powell. After check-in, it was time to explore the city of Frisco! Firstly, of course the iconic San Francisco trolley!

photo 644251_10151700040909017_2066602290_n

photo 527593_10151700041669017_1725005901_n


And trams.

photo 164238_10151700041069017_186484577_n


Union Square

photo 10745_10151700041284017_1837080941_n


Chinatown

photo 733965_10151700041469017_1048877667_n


Sutter St

photo 625508_10151700041724017_23964250_n


Sunset

photo 734493_10151700040899017_338047002_n

See more

Verdict

Virgin America

8.1/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi9.0
Meal/catering7.5

Las Vegas - LAS

7.8/10
Efficiency7.0
Access7.5
Services7.5
Cleanliness9.0

San Francisco - SFO

8.2/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.5
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.5

Conclusion


Overall a short and interesting flight on Virgin America. Really a different flying experience from the normal carriers out there. With the reports that VX is currently bleeding real badly, I really hope that this unique carrier could eventually survive the very competitive US airspace. Hopefully with the alliance with SQ, things might look up a bit better for VX.

Information on the route Las Vegas (LAS) San Francisco (SFO)

2 Comments

  • Comment 91068 by
    marathon GOLD 9323 Comments

    Sorting the departures by destination rather than time of departure makes more sense to me. You always know the former better than the latter.
    I wish sometimes that like bags, I traveled with passengers my own size. Checking overweight neighbors would be easier than keeping in check when they try to invade the space beyond the armrest ;)
    Thanks for this detailed report !

  • Comment 91073 by
    lagentsecret SILVER 10299 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR

    To my eyes VX is not so different from other US airlines and Btw i've never found really attractive fare

Login to post a comment.