Ice Cream on Virgin Airlines


Fennel brown sugar at Humphrey Slocumbe, my all time favorite SF-based ice cream maker.

I hate claiming that I love a corporation, and I rarely choose to "Like" them on sites like Facebook, but I love Virgin Airlines, the younger, hipper airline. Virgin's done an excellent job of creating a fun flying experience, and I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that I've never had a delayed flight when flying Virgin.


Yeah those things are great, but the real reasons I love Virgin is they seem connected to one of my favorite destinations: San Francisco. A few years back they began serving Philz Coffee on their flights. Philz, a local San Francisco coffee company, is one of my favorite stops when I go home for a visit. I know Phil, I chat with him anytime I spot him in his original location at 24th Street and Folsom. He's actually the one who told me the news. Hearing the excitement in his voice was wonderful. This collaboration showed that Virgin knew their region and their demographic. This week Virginannounced a new collaboration, with Humphrey Slocumbe, to serve their ice cream on all flights leaving SFO. Could it get any better?


Humphrey Slocumbe made three Virgin-only flavors that fans could vote on before the winner was selected. The three flavors in the running were:

Butter By Moodlight: Inspired by Virgin America's signature moodlighting, this flavor is a creamy combination of brown butter and blueberry glaze.


Red Hot Banana: Combines buttery banana cream with sweet cinnamon spice from mashed Red Hot candies.


Coconut Blond Ambition: A nod to Virgin Group's inimitable founder Sir Richard Branson, Humphry Slocombe's signature vanilla marshmallow fluff mingles with lemon citrus sorbet and a creamy coconut finish.


Without sampling I know that I would want to try Red Hot Banana, but would probably vote yes on the Coconut Blond Ambition. Oh if only I were closer. The winner? Butter By Moodlight, sigh. I'm sure it's good. Perhaps the other two will crop up at the shops.


My excitement over ice cream waned when I found out that the dessert would only be served in first class on long-haul business flights. In the thirty years I've been flying I've sat outside of coach twice (TWICE!). And with my underpaid writing career, I doubt I will ever see first again except for when I roll past it with my twelve-year old orange Jansport wheelie bag. 


Come on Virgin! The people who will least appreciate the ice cream are in first class. There is a tiny light to this complaint, travelers in any cabin can score a free scoop of Humphry Slocombe's ice cream at either of the outlet's two San Francisco locations (The Ferry Building & Mission) by presenting their Virgin America boarding pass from March 4-June 30th, 2014.


I'll close with two thoughts, if anyone is flying Virgin, please save one of your boarding passes for me. And, Virgin, please reconsider your first class only angle. If you offered ice cream for purchase in coach I bet you could make a sweet little profit.