I generally choose Virgin for any long or late night flights. Historically they have been a reliably pleasant experience, but a recent flight has called into question whether or not I can continue to count on Virgin.
On a recent red eye flight from San Francisco to Orlando, I was very upset by the mismanagement by the flight attendant staff of a very drunk passenger. I was seated in an exit row (middle seat) with another guy (aisle seat), when this visibly drunk man gets up from his seat across the aisle, barges across the guy next to me and myself, and plops down in the window seat of our row. This is all happening after the cabin door has been closed. The guy reeks of alcohol, and he begins to spout off offensive racist and homophobic speech. He yells about how he needed to change seats because he doesn't trust "orientals" (he was previously seated next to an East Asian couple). He probes me and the guy next to me about our sex lives, several times telling us to make out in front of him. He grabs my inner thighs, he grabs my arms several more times, and he asks me to "squeeze his muscles." He tries at one point to commandeer my in-seat entertainment system, pushing buttons on my screen. When I try to get some sleep, he starts poking me to wake me up. Keep in mind this whole situation unfolded over the course of 4 hours. Any one incident was a few seconds long, I would loudly reprimand the guy, and he would curl back into his seat and pass, only to repeat the craziness again after 45 min or so,
What was most troubling about this wasn't just the drunk guy. I get that stuff like this happens. What was really infuriating was how the staff handled it, or rather didn't handle it. They clearly knew he was out of his mind drunk, and said as much to him at one point. They did nothing when he got up from his seat to barge over to my row. When one flight attendant was asking for a verbal consent to the rules of sitting in an exit row, she laughed at this drunk guy when the closest thing to a "yes" he could speak was a gargled "yahhhhhhhsssssss." At one point, the man was too drunk to run his credit card through the machine, I asked the flight attendant why she was getting him another drink and she turns to me and asks me to help him run his card to buy ANOTHER drink.
Difficult situations arise. I get that. But the Virgin staff on that plane definitely could have handled it much more professionally, and that's upsetting.