SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Emirates and Virgin America today announce a frequent flyer partnership that allows members of both airlines' frequent flyer programs to earn and redeem* points or miles for travel across the networks of two airlines respectively recognized as best-in-class for global and U.S. domestic service. For its part, Virgin America has swept the major travel awards every year since its launch in 2007, including being named "Best U.S. Airline" in Conde Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Awards and "Best Domestic Airline" in Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards for six consecutive years. Emirates, connector of people, places and cultures, with one of the youngest fleets in the sky, has earned scores of awards for in-flight cuisine, in-flight entertainment, and excellence of overall guest service, including the 2013 "Airline of the Year" award from Skytrax.
Starting today, members of Emirates Skywards frequent flyer program will be able to earn Skywards miles when traveling on all Virgin America flights and can redeem their Skywards miles for reward flights on all Virgin America routes. Members of Virgin America's Elevate frequent flyer program can now earn Elevate points when flying with Emirates to one of its 135 destinations in 76 countries, including Dubai and beyond, as well as redeem* their Elevate points for international reward flights on any route flown by Emirates including those out of New York (JFK), San Francisco (SFO), Los Angeles (LAX), Washington (IAD), Seattle (SEA), Houston (IAH), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Boston (BOS).** Additionally, Elevate members will have the opportunity to earn and redeem* points on Emirates' new non-stop service between New York and Milan. Emirates is currently the only carrier to offer a First Class cabin service between these two cities.
"Through our partnership with Emirates, we're able to offer enhanced international travel options; Emirates' network can take Elevate members to the Middle East and beyond," said Phil Seward, Virgin America's Director of Guest Loyalty. "Virgin America is an airline recognized for high-quality guest service and unique tech-forward in-flight amenities. In Emirates we have found a partner that also offers guests an attractive mix of award-winning service, innovative in-flight entertainment and other features."
"Emirates is committed to providing passengers with a superior product, service and connections," said Jim Baxter, Vice President for North America, Emirates Airline. "We are delighted to be able to offer our loyal Emirates Skywards members with more options for earning and redeeming their reward miles through our frequent flyer program partner Virgin America. We also look forward to welcoming Virgin America's Elevate program members on board our flights, and providing them with more rewarding access to our extensive route network."
To celebrate the launch of the frequent flyer partnership, one lucky Elevate member will "Win a Dream Trip to Dubai with Emirates."*** Members may enter at http://woobox.com/dhk73a for a chance to win two (2) round trip Economy class tickets on Emirates to Dubai for an exclusive VIP experience that includes a three-night stay at Dubai's iconic Atlantis, The Palm resort, a Dolphin Encounter at the resort's Dolphin Bay, and a unique all-inclusive dinner in the desert dunes. All Elevate members will also earn 250 Elevate points for entering the promotion.***
Emirates is the fifth airline to join Virgin America's Elevate frequent flyer program, which also includes Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, Singapore Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines. The partnership will offer expanded redemption* opportunities for both business and leisure travelers on the two carriers.
Known for beautifully designed cabins and unparalleled in-flight entertainment, Virgin America's new fleet of Airbus A320-family aircraft offers custom-designed mood-lit cabins and amenities like fleetwide WiFi, power outlets and personal entertainment -- with live TV including MSNBC, CNN, CNBC and more -- at every seat. The Red™ platform offers guests their own seatback touch-screen TVs, with 25 films, live TV, Google Maps, video games, seat-to-seat chat, music videos, a 4,000 song library and an on-demand menu - so flyers can order a cocktail or snack from their seatbacks any time during a flight. In addition to a Main Cabin that offers custom-designed leather seating with a deeper, more comfortable pitch, the airline's First Class offers plush white leather seating with 55 inches of pitch, 165 degrees of recline and lumbar massagers. The carrier's Main Cabin Select option offers 38-inches of pitch, free food and cocktails, an all-access pass to media content, dedicated overhead bins and priority check-in/boarding.
The Virgin America experience dovetails perfectly with Emirates' award-winning service and renowned in-flight experience. Recognized for its excellence in service and innovation, both on board and on the ground, Emirates holds an impressive array of prestigious awards, most recently including 2013 "Airline of the Year" award from Skytrax.
Last year, Virgin America launched a suite of enhancements to its Elevate frequent flyer program -- including Elevate Gold and Elevate Silver status levels that offer perks such as: priority check-in, security clearance and boarding; points earning bonuses; free checked bag allowances; enhanced digital/social rewards; private discounts; an expanded advance purchase upgrade window for the airline's exclusive eight-seat First Class; complimentary space-available upgrades to the carrier's premium Main Cabin Select service; and complimentary access to the best seat assignments within Main Cabin. In December 2012, Virgin America opened its first airport lounge -- the Virgin America Loft at LAX, which offers guests a sleek and modern retreat, with a selection of amenities and a space that reflects the look and feel of the airline's mood-lit aircraft and overall design aesthetic.
Emirates currently serves more than 135 destinations across six continents with a young and technologically advanced fleet of more than 205 widebody aircraft that are equipped with industry-leading comforts in the air. Its Airbus A380s serve many destinations worldwide, including Los Angeles from December 2, 2013. Among the many amenities available to Emirates passengers is the ice entertainment system, which offers up to 1,500 channels of entertainment in many languages, in-flight Wi-Fi service, private First Class suites, the Emirates onboard lounge, and private shower spas on the A380. For more information visit emirates.com.
Emirates Skywards, the award-winning frequent flyer program of Emirates, offers four tiers of membership – Blue, Silver, Gold and Platinum – with each membership tier providing exclusive privileges. Members earn Skywards Miles when they fly on Emirates or partner airlines, or when they use the program's designated hotels, car rentals, financial, leisure and lifestyle partners. Emirates Skywards Miles can be redeemed for an extensive range of rewards, including tickets on Emirates and other Skywards partner airlines, flight upgrades, hotel accommodation, excursions and exclusive shopping.
In just over six years of flying, Virgin America has expanded to 23 airport destinations and has created 2,600 new jobs. Virgin America currently flies to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Newark, Washington D.C. (IAD and DCA), Las Vegas, San Diego, Seattle, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Cabos, Cancun, Chicago, Puerto Vallarta, Palm Springs (seasonal), Philadelphia, Portland, San Jose, Austin and Anchorage (seasonal).
Photos of Virgin America's unique aircraft: www.virginamerica.com/about/airline-photos/virgin-america-pictures.html
Broadcast quality video b-roll can also be downloaded here.
EDITORS NOTE: Virgin America is a U.S.-controlled and operated airline and is an entirely separate company from Virgin Atlantic. Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group is a minority share investor in Virgin America.
About Virgin America: Headquartered in California, Virgin America offers guests attractive fares and a host of innovative features aimed at reinventing air travel. With topnotch guest service and beautiful design, Virgin America has earned a host of industry awards since launching service in 2007. The airline's base of operations is San Francisco International Airport (SFO)'s beautiful and sustainable Terminal 2. With one of the youngest fleets in the U.S., Virgin America offers Gogo™ WiFi, interactive in-flight entertainment systems with the largest media library in the North American skies via the touch-screen Red™ platform and power outlets near every seat. Flyers can find the airline's Best Fares Guaranteed at www.virginamerica.com/
About Emirates: Emirates, one of the world's fastest growing international airlines, currently serves 135 cities in 76 countries around the globe from its hub in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. It operates 63 passenger flights per week between Dubai and the U.S. Daily services are operated by Boeing 777-300ER or 777-200LR aircraft from Houston, San Francisco, Dallas/Fort Worth, Seattle, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and a triple daily service (including two daily A380 flights) from JFK in New York. The LAX A380 service begins December 2, 2013 and Emirates' Boston route will begin service on March 10, 2014. Emirates Skywards is the award-winning frequent flyer program of Emirates. For more information on the airline or to join Emirates Skywards, visit www.emirates.com.
* Elevate members will be able to earn points on Emirates beginning today (October 21, 2013) Reward bookings using points on Emirates available from October 24, 2013.
**Emirates flights from Boston start on March 10, 2014.
***Terms and Conditions: No purchase necessary. Open only U.S. residents 21 and older. Employees of Virgin America Inc., Emirates, Atlantis the Palm, as well as the spouse, parents, siblings, and children, and household members of each such employee, are not eligible. Sponsor: Virgin America Inc., 555 Airport Blvd., Burlingame, CA 94010. Begins: at 12:00:01 a.m. Pacific Time ["PT"] on October 21 2013, and ends at 11:59:59 p.m. PT on November 21 2013. No cash or other substitution may be made, except by Sponsor, who reserves the right to substitute prize (or component thereof) with another prize (or component thereof) of equal or greater value if the prize is not available for any reason as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion. The winner is responsible for any taxes and fees associated with receipt or use of the prize. For complete Official Rules, including entry instructions and prize details, visit [http://www.virginamerica.com/html/pdf/131015_emirates_woobox_sweepstakes_tc.pdf]
SOURCE Virgin America