Everybody’s offering a little extra legroom for a few extra dollars, or just about everybody, but Virgin America, which prides itself on not being just like everybody else, is doing it differently. The airline is offering its coach (‘Main Cabin’) passengers a few extra inches at the exit row and at the bulkhead, in return for a few extra bucks. But it’s including a couple of other things: free food, cocktails and beverages and access to everything that’s on its Red in-flight entertainment system including premium TV. Red, the IFE, is also the ordering system on Virgin: you cruise the seatback screen and then decide on your food and drink. The Main Cabin Select seats are 38 inches in pitch, compared to 32 inches in its (non-select) Main Cabin, and the price is $50 to $100, depending in the length of the trip.
Passengers (‘Guests’) in Main Cabin Select also get priority check-in, screening and boarding as well as dedicated overhead bin space. Virgin comes up on its first year anniversary on August 8, and it’s interesting to see how it differentiates itself from other carriers, even in its ancillaries.