This is my first flight-report, so I'll take some time to introduce myself. My name is Daniel, and I'm pretty much your average AvGeek, except for the fact that I'm only 14 :) I live in a tiny town in Connecticut, USA, and I do my spotting at JFK (about 1.25 hours from me-shoutout to my parents for doing the schlep to the airport once a month). I became interested in aviation after taking a flight back from Barcelona in winter 2013. We were on a 764 (this had no meaning to me at the time), and I saw the 'ER' on the safety card. Not knowing anything, I decided to have a look when I got home, and I guess that's what sparked it!
At the time of this transcon flight, I was't aware that I'd be writing a report of it a few months later, so please excuse the lack of interesting and high quality pictures (only had my iPhone). I just figured I'd try this out and get some feedback from fellow FR's, so I can make my next one great!
So, here goes nothing!
A couple of months back, we decided we wanted a trip to San Francisco over my holiday vacation, and I began my airfare search. I came across Virgin America, and discovered that the price for Main Cabin Select (VX's premium economy) were actually cheaper than the prices for Main Cabin (economy)!
What are the chances of that ;)
We jumped on the offer, the only drawback being a flight from Newark-yuck!
Anyways, we arrived at the airport bright and early at Newark's terminal A (metaphorically. There's not much to see at 6am haha).
MCS gives you the luxury of priority check-in, priority security, and priority boarding.
Security took forever (it's ramped up at EWR after 9/11) but we made it to the gate about 30 minutes before boarding started.
Terminal A at Newark is awful-everything is old, beat up, and there's nowhere to sit, not to mention the lack of interesting shops.
American MD-88 leaving for DFW
Our ride, N841VA
We got on very early, just after the First Class pax, and made our way to row 3.
These are bulkhead seats, so all of your bags have to go in the bins, although this isn't a problem considering you're the first on. We got situated and I took some pictures, one facing back and one of the TV.
It was raining that morning, and without my real camera, it was hard to get any good shots out the window while taxiing, but here's what I managed to capture.
After a rather bumpy takeoff, we were into and up over the clouds.
Unfortunately, I have no pictures of the food, but I'll try and describe what was on offer.
All food ordering on VX is done via the IFE system RED (more on it later). MC pax have to pay for just about everything, but everything is free in MCS (how did we get this cheaper??). There were a few breakfast options, and a bunch of drinks. I opted for a yogurt parfait and a sprite. Since I was geeking out about all the legroom (keep in mind I'd never flown in anything but economy-so 38 sure seemed like a lot) and mood lighting, I failed the check the ingredient label on it (it was unclear that there even was one, it was on the BOTTOM of the cup). Pretty soon my throat was swelled up, yay for walnut allergies!! I decided to be discreet about it and just went to sleep for the majority of the flight to try and ignore the pain in my throat. I woke up a few hours later over Nevada, the pain had disappeared, and I took some wing shots.
I had missed most of the cool opportunities on the way in, but since we took the same flight back, I'll describe what VX has to offer.
The gate is overall just a fun place to be at. The gate attendants are smiling, there's music playing, there's just a good vibe all around (the holidays may have accounted for some of this though) First thing you notice is the mood lighting and leather seats, accompanied by relaxing (sounds corny, but it really is!) music at boarding. The seats are extremely comfortable, not too hard and not too soft. The PTV's are 9, unfortunately not the glorious 10.9 tv's that are starting to appear, but it is still more than sufficient. The TV's are equipped with RED, as mentioned above. With RED, you can basically do anything. There's a great selection of movies, music, and games (I watched 3 movies on the way back!). You can chat with anyone else on the plane (create a screen name and you're good to go), track the plane on google maps-this didn't work :( , and order any food or shopping (does anyone do inflight shopping?) you want.
The meal service was really what all airlines should be doing. Not once did a cart come down the aisle. When you order food or drink, a flight attendant will bring it straight to you, virtually as soon as you order it. Be sure to order quick on day time flights though, they did tend to run out quite quickly. Unfortunately, the FA's weren't particularly friendly.
Next thing I knew, we were descending into SFO over the water (what a cool approach!), and we hit Runway 28L with a thud.
It was a quick taxi to SFO's terminal 2, and off the plane we got. Sorry, not sure why these pics are sideways!
SFO's terminal 2 is spotless and easy to get through. The rental car facilities are a bit hard to find, and they are a very long airtrain ride from the terminals.
I made it through! Hopefully you enjoyed my very first flight report, any and all feedback is GREATLY appreciated!
I'm taking a trip to China in April (4 cities in 10 days!), so some great flight reports are ahead-I promise I'll take real pictures next time.
Thanks for reading!
Newark - EWR
San Francisco - SFO
Newark Terminal A- Awful- avoid at all costs!
Seats-Comfy, more than enough space, no problem for a transcon flight
Crew- not very friendly, but they got the job done
Food- good, options a bit limited, check ingredients ;)
IFE- Awesome selection
Flight got in early after an on time departure
SFO Terminal 2- Spotless!
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