First Class Virgins


I happened to be one of the fortunate few who survived the Labor Day weekend unscathed from flight delays and lost luggage, unlike a lot of my friends, so I thought I’d spend the time reporting back some of the culinary experiences I had at 36,000ft. When flying coast to coast, my preferred choice of airline is Virgin America.  Not only do they provide an excellent flying experience, but they’re also able to give me a taste of home, thanks Sir Richard. And, since Travel + Leisure recently named VA home of the best airline food, I had to check this out in more detail.

We all know that airline food is over priced and totally sub-par, so I wasn’t prepared to spend a lot of cash on poor quality airline food. Yes, my expectations were high going into this as you can tell. With that in mind I upgraded myself so I wouldn’t feel cheated when ordering the food — it also enabled me to skip the security lines and get drunk in the air on the free champagne- what else was I to do on a 6hr flight from IAD to LAX?

The good, the bad, and the soggy, after the jump.

Muffaletta Sandwich


I had absolutely no idea what a “Muffaletta” was at the time, but I’ve later learned it is a type of Sicilian bread. Either way it looked pretty on their fancy ordering screen so I went for it. Unfortunately, not a very good start for VA here. If they are trying to offer a sandwich focused on the bread they did a poor job. The bottom half of the bread was so soggy, I couldn’t even pick the thing up. I was also disappointed with the over-abundance of black olives; if there is going to be such a prominent ingredient in the dish at least tell me about it. Sorry VA, you disappointed me on this one.

Thai Vegetable Salad


Next was the Thai Vegetable Salad. I figured I needed something a little fresher after the Muffaletta fiasco. I have to say that I was impressed. First off, the dressing was on the side, which allowed me to dress at will – I would have liked a little more but that is a small gripe. The lettuce was crisp, the peppers were firm and there was just the right amount of cashews. This was delicious and certainly a salad I’d recommend to anyone flying far enough where they might need a light snack along the way.

Turkey Florentine Hand Roll

For my third and final meal (hey, it was a long flight!) I ordered the sandwich pictured above. Turkey, fetapeppers and spinach wrapped in a tortilla wrap. The tortilla was a little firm for my liking, perhaps a little fresher would have been nice but this was forgotten about half way into eating. The feta really had a bounce to it, which brought out the true tastiness of the other ingredients. This was the only dish I ate all of.

The three entree items I tried were the only ones available on my flight. If there were more I would have sacrificed my waistline in bringing these to you, but sadly no. I have to point out that T+L’s press release seems a little overhyped, as I do not recall Belgian endives in my turkey roll or mint on my salad. But overall it was a pleasing experience, and I am just waiting for other airlines to follow suit with the quality and service that VA offers.

Oh, one final non-food note. If any flight attendant from VA is reading this –  if someone asks for their TV to be be reset don’t give a dirty look and stomp off. We’re not paying for a 6-hr flight without entertainment.

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  • tubbytele September 14, 2009  

    Sounds far better than my experiences in coach on virgin am! I’m jealous

  • BS September 14, 2009  

    was that toblerone bar a freebie? pretty sweet!

  • Maids September 14, 2009  

    Interesting. We recently flew Virgin America from IAD to San Fran and had a bad flight out but a relatively good flight back. What I was shocked about was the prices of the food and the movies (to watch a movie on a cross-country flight you had to pay a minimum of 8 dollars each!). I brought my own food on the plane and I was glad I did as the dinners in economy class were pretty pricey. I also felt really sorry for this one kid who was sitting across the aisle from me my flight to San Fran. He asked the flight attendant if they had any aspirin available because he had a migraine and she told him, “We don’t have any for free, honey. You can go look for it on your screen, I think you can order a packet of two from us for a dollar.” The only free thing was sattelite tv. BUT there was a lot of leg room and I did like the safety video.

  • Britannia September 14, 2009  

    The tolblerone was free, which in my book scores pretty high- airlines take note, the smallest of tokens go pretty far.

    The food items are expensive but the quality is a tad higher than those of other airlines, I write this after flying American yesterday and the food didn’t even sound appetizing enough to order.

    @Maids- the cartoon is amazing, the new one with Sir Richard is hilarious.

  • Michael Cook September 14, 2009  

    A muffaletta is a particular sandwich from New Orleans which features an olive salad among layers of cheese and meat

  • Ben September 19, 2009  

    If you don’t know what muffaletta is or can’t be bothered to find out before you write a post (hint: not a Sicilian bread) you ought not to be writing for a food blog.

  • Britannia September 19, 2009  

    @ Ben, if you bothered to read what I wrote you would see that I did look into what “muffuletta” is before I wrote the post, and in the simplistic form (albeit on wiki) it is described as a “type of Sicilian bread”, it wasn’t necessary for me to go into full detail.

    I think it is easy for someone to not know what it is, just as I would never expect every foodie to know what “spotted dick” is, unless you are British- for the record, spotted dick is a steamed suet pudding containing dried fruit (according to wiki and numerous other sources).

    My posts for the most part are satirical, not knowledge based. Either way, I’m glad you read ES and I look forward to any comments you may have in the future.

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