Flight Review: Virgin America First Class Los Angeles to Seattle

I’ve wanted to try Virgin America since they launched service, but was always so focused on spending my dollars where I had elite status. I decided to finally give them a try this past Fourth of July weekend on a quick trip to Seattle. And with the relatively low First Class fares they had on sale at the time, it ended up being in the front cabin.

I hadn’t been in Terminal 3 at LAX in quite a while and it was undergoing some construction. Virgin America’s check-in area, though, was a mini oasis with smooth R&B playing, soft lighting and an overall relaxed atmosphere.

Check-in was efficient and friendly and I was off on my way through security. There wasn’t a dedicated line for Priority/First Class passengers in use at the time, but I did see a sign off to the side – maybe they offer it during peak times.

Boarding soon came for the 9:20 a.m. flight and I was the first onboard, particularly keen on getting some pictures.

Every shade was pulled in the cabin, making for a very serene environment… until my flash went off.

The flash version of the view back to the main cabin came out horribly, so here’s effectively how it looked without.

I had seat 2A on the Airbus A319. All of Virgin America’s aircraft have an intimate eight-seat first class cabin with generous 55-inches of pitch between seats. The white leather seats are beginning to show a smidge of wear, but nothing worse than any other seat that’s been in service for a few years.

Seat recline is more generous than what you’d find on other airlines’ aircraft configured for domestic first class. I want to say it was just a little less than what United’s current p.s. 757s aircraft provide in business class. The bulkhead wall behind me could’ve been to blame.

Bottled water was already at every seat, but a cheerful flight attendant came by to offer a beverage of choice. I went with sweetened tea.

The blankets and pillows aren’t anything special, though given their relative scarcity these days domestically, I couldn’t complain.

Prior to pushback, the captain made an announcement from the front of the cabin welcoming everyone onboard and provided flight and weather information – a nice touch. First class gets a live safety demo, while coach sees it on their monitors. I loved the line, “For the 0.001% percent of you that have never operated a seat belt…

We were soon airborne and I begin tinkering with the Red entertainment system, which offered 21 movies, 10 foreign films, satellite TV, on-demand TV and other programming. I was happy to watch a bit of live Wimbledon action, as well as enjoy the moving map feature. Wi-Fi was also available and I was able to access it on my iPhone, but my MacBook gave me a blank page no matter which browser I launched after selecting the network.


I absolutely love it when flight attendants use the curtain around the forward galley. The light bleed can be a bit annoying at times and personally, I’d rather not have a view in. When I do, I sometimes find myself watching the flight attendants do what they’re doing in a totally non-creepy way, particularly if I’m in row one and it’s almost impossible not to look in. A combination of distraction and curiosity, I guess.

And now for the menu.

For my breakfast flight, I went with the Thai fruit ceviche and pepper jack omelet.

It was absolutely delicious and well-plated – such an awesome change from the typical United or American breakfast. And I love the airplane salt and pepper shaker. Other snacks were available later in the flight including chocolate chip cookies (packaged), chips, nuts, etc.

The views can be incredible on flights to Seattle and I had a great one of Crater Lake.

We landed and arrived at the gate a bit earlier than the scheduled 11:50 a.m. time.

It was a fantastic flight, the crew was stellar and Virgin America lived up to my very high expectations. I’ve said this before, but… Richard Branson-envisioned airlines just have it goin’ on.

Related posts:

Flight Review: Virgin Australia Business Class Sydney to Perth

Flight Review: Virgin Australia Business Class Perth to Sydney



  1. Thanks for the review. I am very interested to see the 21st Amendment Back in Black IPA on that menu. It is so rare to see selections from a small American craft brewery on board a domestic flight. Alaskan Airlines is the only one where I can remember a beer not from the major breweries. I have not flown Virgin America but I definitely like what they are doing.

    • @alex @levyflight @matt @aadvantagegeek: Thanks!
      @matt: Further to what Emil said, the SFO-SEA flights don’t get the full menu
      @jason: I don’t recall what T3 has – but if they did have the nude-o-scope, I went through it. I know, I know… I’m probably one of the few bloggers/FFs who just does it. I just can’t bring myself to have one of them actually touch me “there.”

  2. On the smaller airlines I like flying Horizon Air, they have or had, it’s been a little while, lovely local beers. The majors have the worst. Thank you for the review.

  3. You usually get a tapas plate in F on the flights 90 minutes or less. Still decent, though (a few weeks ago was a hummus platter with some cheese and mini-pitas).

  4. Great review! I’ve always wanted to try their first class product, it look like fun. Really like the airplane salt/pepper shaker too!

  5. Check out the loft at lax terminal 3!
    Great food and open bar! Very comfortable seats! Modern atmosphere. Friendly staff, Gorgeous view!
    You go once and you want to come back. I love it!

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