Sunday, November 8, 2015

Richard Branson is a good sport.
He hasn"t slept in two nights.
He"s done
nearly 50 media interviews, taken more than 100 selfies and conducted two
press conferences.
He"s still smiling when I sit next to him on Virgin
America"s inaugural flight to Hawaii."Hello! So good to see you," he says with
an enthusiasm that is welcome, but not necessary." Virgin America launched
new daily nonstop flights from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to
Honolulu International Airport (HNL) this week.
(Photo: Virgin America)Most
interviews with Sir Richard Branson open with a description of his charisma,
his charm and his wit.
Now I know why.
I eat it up, it"s hard not to.
All of
those things are true, but I do start to believe that, more than anything
else, Richard Branson is a good sport.
He"s delighted about being on this
plane, launching a new airline route, and even talking with journalists who
are inevitably asking him the same questions over and over.
I turn on my video
camera and he speaks directly into the lens."You can"t see the woman behind
the camera, but she is very beautiful," he winks.
I ask him to repeat that,
but slower so that I can send the clip to my husband.
Like a good sport, he
does.Sir Richard Branson greets everyone like a pal, someone he"s known for
years.
Later that night, we will attend a party hosted by Airbnb to celebrate
the launch of Virgin"s Hawaii service and a new partnership between the
brands.
At the event, a gentleman who won a trip to the island approaches
Branson with a mason jar of amber colored liquid.
He was an amateur beekeeper,
he explained.
He wanted to give Branson some of his homemade honey.
The
airline owner took it without hesitation and thanked him graciously.
Branson
then sprinted across the well-manicured lawn to make sure he put it in his
personal luggage.
Upon touchdown of the first flight in Hawai‘i, Virgin
America"s"passengers were feted with a red carpet reception on the HNL
tarmac.
(Photo: Virgin)
He is a walking photo op.
I notice it that
night.
Virgin signage and beautiful women follow him with ease.For a brief
period we sat next to one another on the Virgin America inaugural flight to
Honolulu.
During that time he genuinely acted more excited to be sitting next
to me than I was to sit next to him.Maybe this kind of demeanor is just what
happens when the script of your life reads like an Indiana Jones movie, but
better.Related:"Mood Lighting and Menu Service in Economy?! Virgin Atlantic"s
Classy New UpgradeThis was Branson"s first-ever commercial flight to
Hawaii.
18 years ago he landed on the islands in the Pacific by accident while
trying to circumnavigate the globe in a hot air balloon."We were forced to
crash land miles from Hawaii and we jumped into the ocean and were lucky
enough to be rescued by the Hawaiian coast guard.
I kissed the ground and gave
the coast guard the biggest hug ever," Branson recounted.
He"s a man who knows how to make an entrance.
Branson arrived to the Airbnb
party by float boat.
(Photo: Virgin)He knows how to throw a party.
Most
airline CEOs will give a half-hearted speech and maybe pop a bottle of
champagne during the launch of a new route.
Branson threw a bash at the San
Francisco airport."The mood was festive.
Hula girls served mai-tais with
copious amounts of rum at the departure gate at SFO at 8 in the
morning.
Later, a ukulele player pranced the aisles of the plane, over the
Pacific, playing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Branson was in on it all.
He
led a champagne toast mid-flight, chatted with the flight attendants and
danced the hula in the aisles."The best thing about owning your own airline is
you can invite people to come along to Hawaii and we can all go partying in
the evenings," he said.Related: Lame Ways People Request an Upgrade on Virgin
AtlanticRichard Branson can sit anywhere he wants on a plane, but he prefers a
window seat."I can watch the beautiful women cruise by and still have a bit of
a nap," he explained matter-of-factly."He checks his bags since security keeps
taking things away from him.""I"ve given up on carry-on.
I"ve learned the hard
way too often."While most airline CEOs actually opt to fly private planes, or
sequester themselves in First Class, Branson flies Virgin America and Virgin
Atlantic as often as he can, always bringing with him a note pad and a pencil
to take notes on what he can be doing to make those airlines better.Related:
Virgin"s First Hotel Got Rid of Everything We Hate About HotelsHe truly does
have a knack for making things better and he knows it, but still he flashes a
humble smile when I mention that fact.
We then talk about his latest endeavor
to disrupt a travel industry mainstay—cruising."We love creating
things.
We want to create the kind of cruise ship that the kind of people who
would never dream of going on a cruise ship would want to go on.
In two and a
half years we will have our first cruise.
We just go into industries that seem
a bit naff and we go in and try to make them better."And what about his
commercial space endeavor Virgin Galactic? For more than a decade, Branson has
been working to create a program that would allow tourists to travel into
space.
Last year they experienced a setback with the loss of their shuttle,
SpaceShipTwo."Our big challenge is space travel," Branson said
earnestly.
"We"re putting everything we"ve got to get back on track.
In
February we"ll be unveiling the new spaceship.
It"s going to be beautiful.
The
engineers have crafted it with a lot of care.
Our brave test pilots will be
testing it throughout next year and hopefully it will be a whole new era in
space travel."With that I volunteered to be a brave test pilot.
He just
laughed my suggestion off and invited me to that night"s festivities."Let
World traveling club Travel inspire you every day.
Hang out with us
on"Facebook,"Twitter, Instagram, and"Pinterest."Learn more about our"travel
policy. Richard Branson is a good sport.
He's still smiling when I sit next
to him on Virgin America's inaugural flight to Hawaii.
"Hello! So good to
see you," he says with an enthusiasm that is welcome, but not necessary. 
Virgin America launched new daily nonstop flights from San Francisco
International Airport (SFO) to Honolulu International Airport (HNL) this
week.
All of those things are true, but I do start to believe that, more than
anything else, Richard Branson is a good sport..Maybe this kind of demeanor is
just what happens when the script of your life reads like an Indiana Jones
movie, but better.Related:"Mood Lighting and Menu Service in Economy?! Virgin
Atlantic"s Classy New UpgradeThis was Branson"s first-ever commercial flight
to Hawaii.
18 years ago he landed on the islands in the Pacific by accident
while trying to circumnavigate the globe in a hot air balloon."We were forced
to crash land miles from Hawaii and we jumped into the ocean and were lucky
enough to be rescued by the Hawaiian coast guard.
I kissed the ground and gave
the coast guard the biggest hug ever," Branson recounted.
He"s a man who knows how to make an entrance.
Branson arrived to the Airbnb
party by float boat.
(Photo: Virgin)He knows how to throw a party.
Most
airline CEOs will give a half-hearted speech and maybe pop a bottle of
champagne during the launch of a new route.
Branson threw a bash at the San
Francisco airport."The mood was festive.
Hula girls served mai-tais with
copious amounts of rum at the departure gate at SFO at 8 in the
morning.
Later, a ukulele player pranced the aisles of the plane, over the
Pacific, playing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Branson was in on it all.
He
led a champagne toast mid-flight, chatted with the flight attendants and
danced the hula in the aisles."The best thing about owning your own airline is
you can invite people to come along to Hawaii and we can all go partying in
the evenings," he said.Related: Lame Ways People Request an Upgrade on Virgin
AtlanticRichard Branson can sit anywhere he wants on a plane, but he prefers a
window seat."I can watch the beautiful women cruise by and still have a bit of
a nap," he explained matter-of-factly."He checks his bags since security keeps
taking things away from him.""I"ve given up on carry-on.
I"ve learned the hard
way too often."While most airline CEOs actually opt to fly private planes, or
sequester themselves in First Class, Branson flies Virgin America and Virgin
Atlantic as often as he can, always bringing with him a note pad and a pencil
to take notes on what he can be doing to make those airlines better.Related:
Virgin"s First Hotel Got Rid of Everything We Hate About HotelsHe truly does
have a knack for making things better and he knows it, but still he flashes a
humble smile when I mention that fact.
We then talk about his latest endeavor
to disrupt a travel industry mainstay—cruising."We love creating
things.
We want to create the kind of cruise ship that the kind of people who
would never dream of going on a cruise ship would want to go on.
In two and a
half years we will have our first cruise.
We just go into industries that seem
a bit naff and we go in and try to make them better."And what about his
commercial space endeavor Virgin Galactic? For more than a decade, Branson has
been working to create a program that would allow tourists to travel into
space.
Last year they experienced a setback with the loss of their shuttle,
SpaceShipTwo."Our big challenge is space travel," Branson said
earnestly.
"We"re putting everything we"ve got to get back on track.
In
February we"ll be unveiling the new spaceship.
It"s going to be beautiful.
The
engineers have crafted it with a lot of care.
Our brave test pilots will be
testing it throughout next year and hopefully it will be a whole new era in
space travel."With that I volunteered to be a brave test pilot.
He just
laughed my suggestion off and invited me to that night"s festivities."Let
World traveling club Travel inspire you every day.
Hang out with us
on"Facebook,"Twitter, Instagram, and"Pinterest."Learn more about our"travel
policy.Richard Branson is a good sport.
He's still smiling when I sit next
to him on Virgin America's inaugural flight to Hawaii.
"Hello! So good to
see you," he says with an enthusiasm that is welcome, but not necessary. 
Virgin America launched new daily nonstop flights from San Francisco
International Airport (SFO) to Honolulu International Airport (HNL) this
week.
All of those things are true, but I do start to believe that, more than
anything else, Richard Branson is a good sport.

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