Virgin America starts LAX-San Jose Silicon Valley flights

By John Walton, February 5 2013

Virgin America is aiming squarely for the technology sector with new wifi-enabled flights between Los Angeles' LAX and San Jose, the home airport for Silicon Valley.

It's the first time that Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyers will be able to earn points and status credits on the route, which uses the tech sector's local airport in the southeast of the Bay Area.

Virgin America will offer four daily flights in each direction aboard its swish Airbus A320 planes starting 1 May this year, with tickets on sale from 5 February.

You're unlikely to make the earliest flight off a Virgin Australia connection from Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne, but you can relax and reconnect with the world in the swanky new Virgin America Loft lounge at LAX before heading on up to San Jose.

"San Jose International Airport is important for Silicon Valley business travelers and it deserves more flight options," said Virgin America CEO David Cush. "As an airline known for amenities that keep travelers connected and productive in the skies, we hope our flights can offer some healthy competition."

Virgin America's A320s have a proper business class (as usual, called "First Class" in the States) and decent economy with 32 inches of seat pitch and roomy 18-inch wide seats. They're certainly a more comfortable option on the 1h15 flight than any other airline.

Existing choices on the route include cramped CRJ regional jets on Qantas partner American Airlines or United, the cattle-car boarding and knee-crunching legroom on Southwest, or a squashed and noisy Dash-8 Q400 turboprop on Alaska Airlines.

Add the wifi, decent lounge and reduced transfer time to get where you're going in the east bay area and you've got a compelling reason to pick these flights.

San Jose is some 56 km southeast from San Francisco's main airport SFO.

When booking, make sure that you're heading for the right airport, though — this is San Jose, California (SJC) and not San Jose, Costa Rica (SJO).

Keep up to date with all the news business travellers and frequent flyers need to know: follow @AusBT on Twitter.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

03 Dec 2012

Total posts 4

I was on the AA CRJ service last week and it is far from pleasant.  A 30 minute delay after pusback while waiting for 'paperwork' did not help the experience either!

Just a correction, SJU is San Juan, Puerto Rico :)

03 Jan 2011

Total posts 673

...oh wow. Wrong "don't get it wrong" warning on my part, apologies. Thanks, fixed.

06 Feb 2013

Total posts 2

Just a correction to the notes on the bottom. SJU is the code for San Juan Puerto Rico and SJO is the code for San Jose Costa Rica.


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