Sunday, March 16, 2014

Virgin American Leaving SJC

Some bad news today. Virgin America is leaving SJC.  I was really excited when they announced that they were coming to our airport, but was always worried they would be destined for failure from the start. Instead of adding a new route that would be a huge value add to Silicon Valley residents, they chose instead to go with four daily flights to LAX. Guess what, San Jose already had two dozen flights to LA each day.

If they went with a new route instead of a highly competitive one, they would have been much better off. ANA is doing really will with over 80% occupancy on their route to Japan. Hopefully future new carriers will be more like ANA and less like Virgin.


  1. While I have to say that is unfortunate, I flew with Virgin down to LA in February, they are a good airline, but as far as SJC-LAX I admit I will shop lowest fare, I am willing to take a crappy flight (except for Delta) to LA since it is only 1 hour, there is just too much competition I think to try to sell that. If they flew SJC-IAD they would probably get my business in a heartbeat, there is no direct flight from SJC to DC area, and I am willing to pay premium for Virgin, (the 5 hr flight is a major difference vs a 1hr flight). As it is I currently make the trek out to OAK to take a direct flight to IAD on JetBlue. I think JetBlue could also make buck on that flight. But yeah, short haul flights with a lot of competition are hard I imagine.

  2. That's really too bad as Virgin is a really good airline. I'm wondering why Virgin never added a direct flight to Las Vegas. Currently, Southwest is the only airline that offers a direct flight from SJC to Vegas. On my recent trip to Vegas, I went all the way to SFO since I was able to get a flight for $79 each way with just a few weeks notice. The only way I could get a good rate in Southwest is to book way in advance. That's just an example of how the airport and airlines really need to work together to see what routes make since. And I find a lot of times that even thought SJC is more convenient, it's also a lot more expensive. Unfortunately, on a lot of my recent trips I've had to trek up to SFO since the cost was significantly less, with better schedules and sometimes less stops.

    1. I was thinking the same thing. I've taken SFO to LAS on Virgin many times now; it's often cheaper than Southwest so I'm willing to take Caltrain to Millbrae to BART for the savings.

      And that's another thing; public transit to SJC is so indirect for the distance; my preception is that the Diridon to SFO transit about as convenient as Diridon to SJC, even though it's not.

  3. Josh,
    Virgin probably felt that an East Coast flight out of SJC WOULD be very successful and hurt their flight (s) out of SFO. With SJ-LA, they can at least go on record as saying they "tried" SJC. My quesion: why did they even bother?