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We were on Virgin America's inaugural flight last Wednesday from JFK to SFO, and posted a full report last week. However, many of our readers wanted to know how Virgin America would perform once revenue flights were up and running.
Fair enough. With that in mind we arrived at the SFO international terminal last Friday night to board a 9:10 PM Virgin America flight to JFK, scheduled to arrive at 5:45 AM the next day. What did we find? Lots. As a caveat we would add that Virgin America is a brand new airline, and it just so happens to have the best cabin slash in-flight features we have seen on an airline. With that in mind, you should know we are rooting for them. We too want air travel in the U.S. to be a pleasant experience.
Ok, enough, here is our Virgin America flight review.
We rarely see airlines getting consistent four-star reviews these days. Maybe that's why Oasis Hong Kong Airlines caught our eye: Dozens of customers are talking up the carrier for providing seamless service and amenities that--these days--have gone by the wayside.
Just listen to this:
We have come to the conclusion that this airline is good - not because it is low cost, but because it is good. The service on board was at least equal to that which I have received on occasions in business class on BA, attentive staff who addressed you by name and customer focused. The seats were comfortable ... and both flights took off on time...We had what could have amounted to a three course meal, and with plentiful liquid refreshment we wanted for nothing ... An excellent service for an affordable price.
Another reason we took note?
Flew out to Honk Kong, flight left on time with no hitches. Hot meal served shortly after takeoff. Watched a couple of films, both about six months old. Breakfast served about two hours before touchdown. Flight crew attentive and helpful. Water was freely available and most soft drinks etc were priced at £1 each. Flew back to Gatwick this morning (28th), flight left on time again.
On time departures and free food? From a budget carrier? What's not to love?
This week we decided to take a look at why this budget Barcelona-based airline, which flies to 40 European destinations, has become one of the Spaniards’ favorite carriers.
Here’s a hint: It’s got something to do with cost and service.
Passengers say this no-frills carrier with no in-flight entertainment offers nothing special when it comes to leg room, seat comfort, or the standard for-purchase airline food.
What it does offer is on time flights and no surprises when it comes to final charges.
One of Clickair’s passengers—a regular commuter between London and Velencia--had this to say about his experience with the two-year-old carrier:
Its good to have another choice on this route beside Easy and Ryan...Prices competitive with Ryan and Easy although high summer prices were not, but I like the fact the price advertised are what you pay (unlike the Ryan booking system)…I will continue to play the field with the other two airlines but due to flight times only if they offer a much cheaper price. Service staff smart and friendly.
One quick tip? Those in the know head straight for the mid-window rows, which have the greatest amount of that much-coveted legroom.
· clickair Site [Official Site]
[Photo Credit: mlgescool]
We love a good deal, and admittedly, have been a bit jealous of our friends in the U.K who've been saving pounds for years by traveling on the budget-carrier Ryanair.
But then we found FlyGlobespan. The cheeky airline offers cheap tickets from this side of the Atlantic to some of Europe's premier destinations.
So just what does $200 bucks get you? When it comes to air travel, usually not much. But at FlyGlobespan, a couple of Benjamins will take you from Boston to Glasgow or New York to Liverpool. You can even get from Calgary to London or from Toronto to Birmingham--Often times with change to spare.
But the international service can be spotty. Depending on where you travel, you'll have to use one of FlyGlobespan's sister sites to book a return ticket home.
One recent traveler found that FlyGlobespan flights can come with other headaches:
Travelled on 18th July from Hamilton, Canada. supposedly direct to Manchester, we went to JFK New York What a nightmare! Had to collect our luggage & recheck it in after going through that passport control, fingerprints & photos - they are not the most welcoming of people, what a fiasco it was to recheck our luggage. We got back on the plane to discover some of us had different seats and to be told sit down quickly or you'll be looking for a hotel for the night
Is saving some dosh worth these antics? You decide.
[Photo Credit: North West Air News ]
But this time, instead of running from the bulls, ticket holders are running for their seats.
Part scavenger hunt, part free-for-all, passengers say this no-frills airline is all headache. Ticket counters aren't clearly marked, and once past the security checkpoint, passengers are lucky to avoid getting gored. Clickair's boarding system is a mad dash, since the budget airline doesn't assign seats.
And while it's cushions may be comfy and fares may be cheap, passengers will want to pack their own DVDs and magazines since this no-frills carrier also offers no in-flight entertainment.
[Photo Credit: Marketing News]
While this ad would probably never fly in the United States, it is currently making the rounds across the pond. The ad offers quite a different view of the airline that was featured in an excellent video tour Susan d'Arcy put together back in February.
Is this really what flying Silverjet is like? Hardly. However, passenger reviews have been steadily getting better this summer, here is what a recent Luton to Newark passenger thought:
SilverJet sets itself apart from its competitors by offering one unique feature. A Private “terminal” at both Newark and Luton. Coupled with a compromise between an old fashioned arm chair business class seat offered by MaxJet and the fully flat bed of EOS, in the form its lie flat 6’3” lie flat-at-an angle seat, this is a good product filling a clear niche between the two more established start ups in this area, with the added fun of being able to take a helicopter transfer from Battersea for an additional charge.
A quick check of FlightStats, shows Silverjet to be on time over 60% this month, with no flight cancellations this week. Obviously, the airline only runs about ten flights a day out of the U.S., so these stats are a bit skewed, but if there is girl on girl action in the lavs do you really care?
Jaunted member VA Gator flew the Skybus as well, his unedited flight review is here. We have made reviewing Skybus flights an open thread here at Jaunted. To add your Skybus review just become a Jaunted member and leave your rants and raves in the comments below.