Number One But Losing Millions

So Condé Nast ranks Virgin America as number one yet they are losing millions.

since 2007, Virgin America has posted a net loss of $671 million and an operating loss of $447 million.

How does the airline with highest customer satisfaction and the best reviews do so poorly? The aforelinked article from Time shines some light on that.

I think that, in general, most people flying domestically in the States are purchasing their tickets based largely on price. Perks, comforts, and luxuries aren’t what most domestic travelers are looking for. If they have the money for that they’ll likely have the money for business class or first class anyway. I know that when I fly domestic I don’t even look at the major carriers… I just go to and hope they serve my destination. Virgin is trying to offer value to their flights in a market (domestic America) that values price first.

However, international flights are a whole different story. Myself, and others, are willing to pay a few hundred dollars more (often just 10% of the overall cost) for a better airline that is more accommodating. I’ll never fly international on American again, based on experience. I tolerate Delta. I much prefer a European carrier, or if possibly a Middle Eastern one.