Virgin America: Reinventing the Wheel

By Robert Mark on July 8th, 2008

Clever and creative are not terms people use much when they speak about the airline industry, except for a few of the “Gen Xer airlines” as I call the Low Cost Carriers because they really seem to get it.

I was listening to an engaging interview with David Cush, Virgin America’s CEO, on Bloomberg Monday when he mentioned one tiny little fact that I found superbly fascinating in an entirely intriguing 9 minutes. It reminded me again why airlines like Virgin, Southwest and JetBlue are so successful. They’re all trying to reinvent the wheel … but in a good way. These airlines simply refuse to see the air travel business as it was and seem to work tirelessly to imagine the airline world the way it might be.davidcush_jetwhine

Cush was talking about how his airline has customized the cabin service experience for all the passengers aboard their Airbus A-320s through the use of a simple piece of touch-screen technology made easier because all of Virgin’s aircraft, like JetBlue’s, are equipped with TV screens in front of each passenger.

Rather than running those knee-crushing service carts back and forth down the aisle, Virgin allows passengers to purchase a snack or a drink on demand during the flight. When they’re ready, they select an item on the TV screen at their seat and in a matter of minutes, the precise drink or meal is brought to their seat. No more being at the wrong end of the cabin when service begins.

Best of all, Virgin cuts down on the chaos of, “How do I get to the bathroom when there’s a 50-lb. cart between me and lav?” Sorry … You have to be old to think like that I guess.

Nice job Virgin.

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4 Responses to “Virgin America: Reinventing the Wheel”

  1. America » San Diego Waterfront #3 Says:

    […] Virgin America: Reinventing the WheelSorry You have to be old to think like that I guess. Nice job Virgin. Technorati tags: Virgin America, Southwest, JetBlue Airlines, Airline Travel, airline, David Cush, Bloomberg, Jetwhine.com. […]

  2. America » More days Says:

    […] Virgin America: Reinventing the WheelSorry You have to be old to think like that I guess. Nice job Virgin. Technorati tags: Virgin America, Southwest, JetBlue Airlines, Airline Travel, airline, David Cush, Bloomberg, Jetwhine.com. […]

  3. Business Aviation vs. the Airlines - Jetwhine: Aviation Buzz and Bold Opinion Says:

    […] Aviation buzz and bold opinion « Previous Post […]

  4. Bill P Says:

    Th other thing Virgin will do is to cherry pick their routes to only the ones that are easily profitable. If you want to go from Jackson, Miss to Tokyo – you won’t be able to do it on Virgin.
    If you want a national air transportation system, then don’t wish all airlines were operated like Virgin. If they were, then only folks in a some cities would be able to get to a few other select cities by air.
    For all the bad-mouthing Virgin (and others)do about hub and spoke, it enables countless combinations of almost anyone to get anywhere in a fairly efficient manner. The major airlines are doing hub and spoke because it’s fun, but because it works.

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