EDITORS NOTE: This is the second component to my trip report and experience flying Virgin America from Chicago to San Francisco, via LAX. Part one features a Trip Report reviewing/critiquing Virgin America’s First Class Cabin service from Chicago to Los Angeles, and Main Cabin Select to SFO.
Virgin America allocates a certain number of annual Loft passes for their elites to use, and since I had done a status match from United, I received one via e-mail to spend during my layover at LAX.
Arriving from my Chicago flight at the Virgin America terminal in LAX, I was greeted by a pretty dumpty building. I checked the FIDs monitor to confirm the gate for my onward connection to SFO, but I noticed the flight was delayed due to fog and Air Traffic Control at San Francisco.
The annoying part of the delay was that nobody really knew *when* the flight would leave, as the original delay time of 1 hour kept getting extended gradually. Regardless, I had allotted 2 hours for my LAX layover in order to visit the lounge, but on the plus side, it appeared that I would get to enjoy it more than I had originally budgeted for!
The VX lounge is accessible on the second floor of the terminal building, and also is offered to passengers departing on Virgin Australia. Access was easy; all I had to do was show the attendant my Elevate Silver card and the e-mail notifying me I had a day pass to the lounge, and I was in!
LOFT and Planespotting at LAX
Few things in life are more thrilling than planespotting. It requires no security checks, no reservation, no turbulence, no seatmates, and best of all, it is available to anyone and everyone who appreciates the Power of Flight. I experience such sheer joy from watching an aircraft in action and seeing these tubes bring people and places together within mere hours.
It never gets old.
I write this TR with nostalgia as I recall that afternoon in April 2013 when I simply spent hours at the LOFT at LAX watching the planes come and go. I am forever indebted to Virgin America for this experience.
Aided by this was a superbly quiet lounge, albeit crowded at times – never too noisy, with pleasant staff and a plethora of food and snacks to keep me refreshed during the delays that afternoon.
To my good fortune, I arrived during the breakfast window, so I was able to sample some of the breakfast items available to customers, as well as some of the lunch items as well.
The bar was rarely packed, if ever, and continuously had a smiling attendant ready to pour drinks at any noticed. Here is a picture of the bar and the libations menu available to customers:
Here are some photos of the food dish items available to customers.
The rest of the photos, however, should really just speak for themselves when it comes to spotting. I’ll let you enjoy them and live vicariously through me.
Air China LTD flight 987 arriving 1 hour late from Beijing PEK wearing the “Smiling China” livery. Did you know that CA is the only operator on LAX–PEK?? I was stunned to realize this. CA flies twice a day between the two cities.
B-2035 was delivered to CA in 10/12. “Smiling China” as part of a joint creation by Air China and Boeing to mark the 40th anniversary of Boeing’s entry into China. On the plane, there are 40 smiling Chinese faces with the intention of portraying China as a “friendly and optimistic airline.”
One of 2 daily flights from CDG to LAX that day (aside from AF 77 which was to come in later that day from PPT). AF #76 arrives in late evening from CDG via 772, and continues onward to Papeete, Tahiti
Southwest in the lead! Meanwhile, TG about to receive a tender kiss from Star partner, Air Canada, an E-190
The mother of ALL the Virgins finally makes her presence via a classic Queen entrance: VS 7, lands from LHR 20 mins early. First of 2x daily flights to LAX that day, second is a A346 scheduled to land at 7:44 PM local time
And that, my friends, wrapped up a beautiful day of spotting as I headed towards my gate to catch my flight to SFO.