Friday, August 29, 2008

Virgin Goes Vegas

It's a lousy economic time, as seen once again today by Benjamin Spillman's piece in the R-J about how desperate Vegas hoteliers are to virtually give away rooms this holiday weekend. So here's some happier news: A new airline is kicking off new service to Vegas!

Richard Branson's Virgin America airline starts daily non-stops from LAS to JFK on Sept. 4 with a media event that includes a premiere showing of the first episode of the fifth season of the HBO hit "Entourage" on the inaugural flight from New York to Vegas. That's nice for the NY media, but kinda lame for those of us here! Boo!

Here's part of the press release about the planes and an image of the A320's cabin:

Virgin America's brand new planes feature moodlighting, custom-designed leather seats, and individual touch-screen entertainment systems with movies, videogames and now for the first time -- episodes of Entourage offered free of charge during the initial month of the partnership.

Sadly, the service doesn't seem to be all that reasonably priced. I just checked on fares for a trip we'd like to take to NY in December and the cheapest I could find was $438 roundtrip plus taxes. The same dates and routes, Continental, JetBlows, American, Delta and US Scare all had cheaper nonstops.

Has anyone out there taken Virgin America? Are there any special characteristics to this airline that we ought to know about, that make the higher prices worthwhile?


Anonymous said...

i love jetblows!!!

Anonymous said...

It's actually pretty great.

The inflight entertainment system in coach is like what you find in the nicer first class cabins.

Better service, a bit more room.

It's a luxury airline but closer to budget prices.

Sometimes very inexpensive.

V.S. said...

"how desperate Vegas hoteliers are to virtually give away rooms this holiday weekend. So here's some happier news:"

What do you mean? What could be happier news than that?

Mark said...

I've flown them from Vegas to SF many times over the past year and it is fantastic. More room, live TV, nice workers. For Vegas to SF, it's the cheapest option, too. I'm surprised the NY flight is pricey. If it's only a few bucks more than the others, TAKE IT!

Ray said...

I've flown them from SFO-LAS several times and I'd gladly pay the extra $20-30 or so they sometimes charge for the much better attitude of the VA staff (over, let's say, the raging a-holes at United). The seats are comfy, the tv/music selections are better than JetBlue. If you are basing your choice solely on $, you can get cheaper... but as they say "cheap is cheap". Sometimes the slightly higher bidder is the better choice.