As I mentioned earlier this week, my family traveled on Virgin America from SFO to JFK and back last weekend for a family wedding. My daughter had the chance to tell Sir Richard Branson himself aboard this flight: “I love Virgin!” And sure enough, I’m happy to report that we do indeed love Virgin after this experience.
The last time we flew Virgin America was more than three years ago, when we were still in the screaming infant and changing-diapers-every-12-minutes stage. We were too busy with new parenthood to notice just how great Virgin America is for families with children. The only thing we were happy to spot at the time was a changing table in every bathroom (little did we know at the time just how uncommon that simple midair convenience is!).
On this trip, we were really able to take advantage of all the amenities, along with our daughter. Virgin America has video screens at each seat, with a huge array of entertainment choices. They offer satellite TV, but there aren’t really any satellite TV channel options for the preschool set (Disney Channel is available, but Disney has so many tween shows that my daughter isn’t ready for yet). The good news is that Virgin also has tons of movies and TV shows on demand. Again, the on-demand movie choices were a little more appropriate for the elementary and middle school crowd, but there were several TV shows that were right up my daughter’s alley. There was Kung Fu Panda, The Penguins of Madagascar, and best of all… Dora the Explorer. For the low, low price of $3, my daughter got to watch 4 back to back episodes of Dora, and then watch them again and again until the 5 hour flight ended. Score! My husband and I both commented just how easy this flight was. I was able to watch a movie myself and even take a quick snooze without being bothered.
We also took advantage of ordering food from the same video system, using the touchscreen ordering system. The choices were pretty decent even with a picky preschooler. The half can of Pringles was a hit, as was the “Kids Pack” meal. I was happy to see that the Kids Pack items were pretty healthy, at least as far as pre-packaged snacks go (organic, no high fructose corn syrup, whole grain, etc.). The Kids Pack came with a little toy and cute earbuds with a dolphin on them. There was also a PB&J sandwich on the menu that came with fruit snacks – I actually snagged that as my meal.
I’m happy to report that we arrived at our destinations well-fed, entertained, and ready to fly Virgin America the next chance we have!