It has been my experience on most airlines that when it comes to tea, the typical service involves hottish water and a Lipton tea bag, or one of its near cousins. So, imagine my surprise when on my maiden flight on Virgin America Airlines, when I asked for hot tea, I had the option of Teance Breakfast blend at no charge, or a green or white tea option for a small charge. Hallelujah! An airline who takes its tea a bit seriously. Although, being founded by Sir Richard Branson, an Englishman who surely values a proper cup of tea, this should come as no surprise.
I had heard of Teance, but had not yet experienced them, so I greatly enjoyed this unexpected introduction to their artisanal teas. The Breakfast Blend was full bodied and clean, and it was so far away from the standard airline tea that I have to confess I had 3 cups. In addition to their fantastic tea, they also had some great snacks and meals for purchase. I opted for the Tapas plate that included a variety of cheeses, veggies, crackers and hummus. If you haven’t flown Virgin America before, I have to say I am inclined to bump them up above both Southwest and Jet Blue based on my round trip to Ft. Lauderdale.
They had the on time arrivals and departures that I love about Southwest, and they have the in-seat entertainment including satellite tv, games, and movies that I love about Jet Blue, but with the addition of a music feature that allows you to create your own playlist from an astonishing library of artists. But the best, and frankly the most efficient, feature was the ability to place your food or beverage order through your tv screen. So, after the beverage cart went through one time shortly after take off, the aisle was never blocked again as a result of ‘service.’ Instead, you could place any other orders through your screen, swipe your credit card there and then (if needed), and within 2 minutes, your order would be served to you at your seat with minimal disruption to you or the passengers around you. Brilliant!
My season of manic travel comes to a close in two weeks, and I am very happy to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Growing up, I always dreamed of a career that would take me on the road so I could see the country and the world. I’ve had that opportunity in spades within the past 4 months, and I can now say with much heartfelt enthusiasm that there is indeed no place like home!