In the competition for business-flier loyalty, Virgin America’s focus on a fun, comfortable passenger experience has paid off. It was voted the No. 1 domestic airline in the Best in Business Travel survey conducted by Travel + Leisure and Fortune.
Its winning recipe starts with the pioneering seatback entertainment system, which lets fliers access music, movies, and television channels (including HBO and Showtime), plus order food and cocktails on demand.
Next up: integration with Nest to provide custom temperature controls for each seat. And about those seats: they’re roomy and made of leather, and come with a power outlet and USB jack, making it easier to work. Indeed, survey respondents praised Virgin—as well as JetBlue and Alaska Airlines—for design and amenities.
Virgin’s partnership with the Here on Biz app, meanwhile, lets passengers meet like-minded people on their flight by connecting LinkedIn handles. Virgin also gets points for selling last- minute space-available upgrades to business.
But the best-in-class premium economy is what gives Virgin America its edge, with six more inches of legroom than economy (a full 38-inch seat pitch), free checked bags, and unlimited complimentary drinks and snacks.
It’s this level of service that’s putting pressure on bigger legacy carriers, especially as Virgin America expands this fall with new routes to Dallas Love Field, New York LaGuardia, and Washington Reagan National. —Greg Oates