Flying Virgin Non-Stop
One of the best things about living in and/or visiting the beautiful Palm Springs Valley is the fact that it’s so easy to get to by air. Our Palm Springs International Airport—which is served by 10 airlines which include Allegiant Air, Alaska, US Airways, American, Delta, Sun Country, United, WestJet, Frontier, and Virgin America—is not only scaled to a very passenger-friendly size, it’s architectural pedigree is stellar thanks to the fact that its main terminal building was designed in 1965 by the famed midcentury modern architect Donald Wexler.
As if we all needed one more reason to love PSP (as it’s known by its airport code), Virgin America has just begun direct service to and from New York City—a historical first! For now, said service is only offered seasonally on Saturdays. Let’s hope that if it’s popular enough, Virgin will institute it daily! And really, why wouldn’t it be popular? Flight 55 departs John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City every Saturday at 10:55 a.m., landing in Palm Springs at 2:00 p.m. Then Flight 56 departs that same day at 2:55 p.m., and lands at JFK at 10:45 p.m. With fares starting at $145 each way, it’s no surprise that the maiden voyage from the desert to the Big Apple was a sell-out.
My good friend flight attendant Michael Sean was part of the crew on said inaugural flight, and he reports having had a wonderful time. There was excitement in the air—literally—and the trek back East was virtually turbulence free. While Virgin America’s service between New York City and the Greater Palm Springs Oasis—via San Francisco—was nothing to sneeze at, one would think that the non-stop factor will make for a sky-high winner. And now, Michael Sean’s commute—at least once a week—has gone from two hours (for the trip to LAX) to under five minutes from his home in Palm Springs! I love my life as a desert designer more than I can say, and yet, this new service offered by Virgin America almost makes me want to go back to my flight attendant roots and sign up for donning that very snappy charcoal colored uniform. Coffee, tea, or a chilled Manhattan straight up?