Liz Swain 4:24 p.m., May 24
On a recent business trip to San Francisco I thought I would change it up a bit and fly Virgin America instead of my usual Southwest Flight. Pricing about the same but I get an assigned seat, which has an advantage in just knowing where you will be. Although I fly so much on Southwest I have A List status so I pretty much have my choice of seat anyway Yet another advantage on Virgin America is the in seat TV screen, "Red an Interactive Environment." Yes the TV has a name. More on this coming up.
After making my way down the plane, under the neon purple light, i find my seat in row 13. Why not sit in row 13 on leap year day of Feb 29? All settled in and so far liking my seat, a mom and dad and two babies (about 6 months and 18 months) sit down directly in front of me! OH NO. It's going to be one of THOSE flights. Its 6:30 am, I only got four hours sleep last night, and now this. Amazingly these kids and parents did not make one sound the entire flight. How can that be? What did they give those kids? Are they dead? No actually they are very cute little babies. BUT the row behind me made up for the surprising lack of sound in front of me. A row of three girls apparently traveling to San Francisco for a long weekend shared everything that was on their minds for all around them to hear during the entire one hour and fifteen minute flight. By the end of the flight I knew they were all nurses, two working night shift one just moved to day shift, flirted at the bar last night with a guy that was either a marine or cop, and another told her high school love that she had a crush on him. They do not want to go to Alcatraz, but did want to find some good nightclubs. Annie will meet them at the airport and will fit in well to the group of three (that all can fit into a King size bed all night without touching). And on and on and on and on.
Anyway, enough of the plane neighbors, on to "Red the Interactive Environment" where you can shop and order Oakley sunglasses for $130, or buy a backpack for $79.95, or a Audemars Piguet Diamond Watch for $43,097! Yep that's what I'll buy on this one hour fifteen minute Virgin American flight to San Francisco. Is shipping included? Nope. Or, I can order onboard items such as $2.00 headset or $10.00 Nap Pak or even better $6.00 glass of wine. I ordered the wine.
As with most flights I usually send out the vibe to my seat neighbor that I am reading or sleeping and don't want to chit chat about the weather or anything else. But on this flight, I was intrigued by the book title "Moonwalking with Einstein" and had to ask what it was about and if it was any good. That conversation led to one debating Blackberries, I-phones, and Droids. We both agreed I-phone is the best as a 5 year old AND 45 year old can all learn to use it in a few hours. He has a Blackberry now which he doesn't like and holding out for the I-phone 5 to be introduced to make the switch.
My next flight I've booked on Virgin America again and if Southwest is really going to renovate their planes to offer less space at each seat then Virgin America could become my first choice for the twice a month flight to San Francisco.