Trip report introduction: Saying goodbye to Virgin America

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01: Introduction: Saying goodbye to Virgin America
02: Virgin America A320 Main Cabin (economy class) SAN-SFO
03: Virgin America A320 Main Cabin (economy class) SFO-PDX
04: Best Western Ocean View Resort, Seaside, Oregon
05: Aloft Portland Airport
06: Virgin America A320 Main Cabin Select (premium economy) PDX-SFO
07: Virgin America A320 Main Cabin Select (premium economy) SFO-SAN

You know how the saying goes: if at first you don’t succeed, try again. Yes, this trip is another attempt at the weekend adventure to Portland Oregon that I aborted at the very last minute almost three months ago. The fact that an endangered-species airline was involved made it very high on my priority list of things to (re)accomplish this summer, so let’s get this done!

I’ve already written the introduction for this trip (which is embedded into this post), so there really isn’t much left to say. All of the same things I wrote about in that other introduction still hold true today: Virgin America has been bought by Alaska Airlines, and I want to have the chance to fly with them one last time before they are fully absorbed into the Alaska brand for good. This trip report is all about reviewing the Virgin America economy and premium economy experience, which will be a nice addition to the first class review I wrote two years ago.

The only thing that has changed since I wrote the original introduction last May is that Alaska has announced that the Virgin America brand will live on at least until mid 2017. That’s later than many (including myself) had originally thought, so it’s not like I was under a lot of pressure to fit this trip in before the brand disappeared for good. Airline mergers usually take a long time to be completed anyway, so I knew I had some time on my side. But earlier is always better – chances are pretty good that Alaska will be implementing some changes behind the scenes which might affect VX employee morale, so I wanted to fly with them as soon as possible in order to experience as much of the original Virgin America culture as I could.

Alright, then. Let’s do this! Here’s the full itinerary:

08/13/16 VX352 A320 Main Cabin (economy class) SAN-SFO
08/13/16 VX219 A320 Main Cabin (economy class) SFO-PDX
08/15/16 VX22 A320 Main Cabin Select (premium economy) PDX-SFO
08/15/16 VX751 A320 Main Cabin Select (premium economy) SFO-SAN

Want to know what’s really funny? I started not feeling well again a few days before this trip began, and since illness was the reason for canceling this trip last time, I couldn’t help but laugh in between the cursing I was doing in my head. Getting sick twice right before the same trip was pretty coincidental considering how healthy I normally am. I started to think that perhaps it was a sign that maybe Portland didn’t want me – and that I was better off staying home. But I was determined more than ever this time around. I didn’t care how sick I was feeling before stepping on that plane – I was going to Portland no matter what!

This Virgin America trip report, combined with the first class review I did two years ago, should give me (and you, the reader) a pretty comprehensive overview of this airline. The only “blank spot” in my Virgin America trip report series now is the trasncon first class experience from LAX/SFO to JFK. I’m not sure I’m ever going to go through with that though, considering that it’s currently the worst “premium” product flying coast to coast. It’s just not worth it, IMHO – especially when there are other airlines and products I’d like to try first.

Portland here I come! I really mean it this time…

    1. Josh Walton August 15, 2016
      • SANspotter August 16, 2016

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