Virgin America site goes live, offers preview of new airline

Burlingame (CA) - For the first time, Internet users are able to get a good look at Virgin America, the new US airline from corporate giant Virgin, as the official site for the new company launched today. The luxury airline borrows many features from international versions like Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Blue Airlines.

The Virgin America planes are Airbus 320s and have a whole slew of in-flight features, most notably of which is the back-seat entertainment system, dubbed Virgin's "Red System". Every seat in the main cabin has a built-in 9" widescreen TV with a Qwerty keyboard on the chair arm and 110v power, USB, and RJ-45 jacks, along with headphone inputs. Services available include a selection of video games, a library of music tracks, e-mail and Internet service, and pay-per-view movies. There will also be complimentary programming from Dish Network for every passenger.

The model is similar to relatively new airline JetBlue, which was able to stand against long-running airlines and survive post-9/11 because of the barrage of amenities it offers for about the same as its no-frills competitors. Virgin America will be different from JetBlue in that its planes have a separate first class cabin. First class amenities include electronic seat adjustment with massage, adjustable leg and footrests, and an in-arm dining table that doubles as a book holder. An entire tour of the plane is available at

The airline is still waiting for government approval. The site asks users to sign an online petition to get Virgin America officially off the ground. It expects to receive approval some time this year.