Flight VX 920 lifted off exactly on schedule at 11:55 Wednesday morning at LAX. The Goo Goo Dolls (remember them?) and a huge contingent from VH1 were onboard recording an inflight episode of Top 20 Countdown with host Jim Shearer. About two hours into the flight, The Goo Goo Dolls performed an acoustic version of the song Not Broken from their album Something for the Rest of Us. It was kind of funny to see the flight attendant stretching the intercom’s mouthpiece out like a microphone so that the song could be heard over the plane’s announcement system. (The Countdown episode will air January 29.)… (Enter to win a free trip after the jump.)
The Goo Goo Dolls at LAX
When the plane touched down in Cancún, the airport’s fire department greeted us with a water canon salute: two firetrucks on either side of the runway spewing water up and over the plane as we rolled up to the terminal.
Here’s a cell phone shot of the water canon salute.
Anyway, this is all great news because for much of the past year, there haven’t been any nonstop flights from Los Angeles to Cancún. For much of the past decade, there had been only two nonstop options: Mexicana (code-shared with American) or Alaska Airlines. Alaska stopped flying to Cancún in June. And Mexicana, of course, went bankrupt and stopped flying altogether in August. Both were dumpy products. Neither airline offered even a single inflight movie or entertainment system. (Sorry, but a couple of Muzak channels don’t count as entertainment.)
Compare that with Virgin America, which is quite simply the nicest domestic airline in America. Now when I fly from LA to Cancún, I have a choice of 30 films. Unfortunately, we have to pay to watch. But still, 30 films. It’s a five-hour flight. I’ll spring a few bucks for a movie. Plus, there are all the other famous Virgin amenities like a music video library, a 3,000 MP3 music catalog and videogames. (Prices are currently ringing in around $385 roundtrip, compared with November/December, when long-ass connecting flights on inferior airlines were costing upwards of $575.)
WIN A FREE TRIP TO CANCÚN!
To celebrate the new route, Virgin America has teamed with VH1 and Live Aqua (probably the hippest all-inclusive resort in Cancun) to give away three sweet little vacations. Three winners each will be treated to roundtrip flights for two on Virgin America along with a three-day stay (all meals/drinks included) at Live Aqua. Enter the sweepstakes at VH1 now through February 9.
Live Aqua Resort, Cancun
See also: the Riviera Maya’s Best Spas.