Flight Delayed at Virgin

A foreign-ownership controversy keeps a Branson-modeled airline grounded

Like most other airlines, Virgin America is eager to extol the virtues of its jets. A snack-packed minibar at the rear of the cabin. Personal TVs that let you order dinner and share MP3 playlists with other passengers. Mood lighting, tinted windows, music in the bathroom. And, of course, Virgin-branded edginess. "Instead of 'boarding process,' how about 'getting on the plane'?" asks CEO Fred Reid. "How revolutionary is that?"

The difference is that Virgin America isn't trying to sell you a ticket--there are none to sell--but to get you to write Congress and demand that the carrier be allowed to fly.

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