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Virgin America was a let down

March 3, 2010 @ 8:40pm

Normally I fly from the little Westchester airport by my house, but they don't have direct flights to the west coast so I've been using JFK. I had heard great things about Virgin America from friends who were on their inaugural wifi test flight. My good friend Jason uses them and raves about them. So I was excited to try them out today.

My trip had a promising beginning. One of the pilots came out and introduced himself to nearly everyone at the gate and thanked us all for choosing Virgin America. Wow. One teenage girl was so overwhelmed by this that she started crying. Her two friends teased her when he left.

The purple lighting on the planes was cute. It was like being in a nightclub.

I paid the $15 for wifi and plugged my laptop into the outlet under my seat, but there was no power. Being the only passenger in my premium exit row I tried the other underseat outlet. It was also dead.

I asked the crew if there was some kind of trick I was missing. They said that the power rolls through the rows. That it's not always on in every row. That I should just wait. When I got to 21% battery remaining I let them know it wasn't going to happen.

They told me to try unplugging and plugging in again. No luck. They said there was a reset switch they'd try. Also no luck.

Laptop batteries don't last from NY to L.A. I'm no longer excited about my Virgin America flight home, but I will make sure I've got a fully charged battery.

Or maybe I'll just read a book.

UPDATE: My flight home was better. I had power for the entire flight and I got to unwind after a really good business trip with some music videos I would never have seen otherwise.

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