I remember the first time I flew to London during the summer of 2004, I had booked a flight through Travelocity, not aware of the airline I'd get for such a cheap price. I eventually was emailed details for Virgin Atlantic and I just glossed over the details. Looks neat, I thought. Boy, was I in for surprise! To date, Virgin Atlantic is the best airline I've ever been on. I've thoroughly enjoyed my experiences. Immediately upon arrival to your seat, you'll find a blanket and a pillow pre-placed on the cushion. Everyone gets their own personal TV entertainment experience. Back in 2004, this was the first time I had seen a TV installed for each person, let alone multiple channels to choose from! Their in-flight educational safety lesson was not only via video, but in a fun and kitschy cartoon format. Once in the air, they provide you with both headphones and a welcome kit (pencil bag) that includes a pen, toothbrush, toothpaste, an eye mask, and a pair of SOCKS! The entertainment turns on and you get your choice of 12 movies, 9 pre-recorded TV channels, 10 radio stations, plus 12 or so games! Granted, this system was created in 2001. I remember in 2004 feeling very impressed by what I was playing with. Now, the whole system feels like playing with a Nokia cell phone--clunky and outdated. The games are excruciating, as if they were pulled right off of Windows 95. It's all about the movies and TV shows. And given that, I had forgotten that the system is not pick and play. It's on a 2 hour repeat. So if you were reading a book and suddenly want to watch a movie, you may be joining the movie 30 minutes in. That, or you'll just have to wait until the entertainment system is reset. Boo. [Update 8/30: on the flight home, I had a NEWER remote and on-demand technology! I'm almost certain that's what I had last time. I wasn't aware they had an older system. That newer system is the JAM!]
The crew wear a distinctive uniform, mostly noticeable with the female flight attendants, with their trademark red business suits with skirts. And they are huge on that customer service. It is all about the hello, goodbye, and thank yous. Even though my first trip, the flight attendant sassed me for not comprehending that she was saying 'rubbish' when trying to collect trash (Oh, that's not a bag of candy?), I still found them to be very warm. Almost Hooters restaurant nice--pretty and bright-eyed.
I'm fascinated by airlines, so I cannot wait to try a new one. I've heard great things about British Airways and Singapore Airlines--those are my next two dream flights. Anyone taking me?