Virgin America Connects Silicon Valley To Silicon Mountain

Airline Celebrates Connecting Booming Innovation Economies with SFO-DEN Flights From $59* and "Mile High" System-wide Fares as Low as $39**

Sir Richard Branson, Denver Mayor & LinkedIn Host Live-Streamed Chat from First Flight via Airline's High-Speed WiFi

Business Flyers Now Can Be More Productive with Fleetwide WiFi†& Complimentary Access to LinkedIn's Lynda.com Courses

Mar 15, 2016, 12:53 ET from Virgin America

SAN FRANCISCO, March 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Virgin America today celebrates the launch of its new three-times daily service from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Denver International Airport (DEN) with a unique, "entrepreneurial" send-off hosted by Virgin Group's 'Trailblazer in Chief', Sir Richard Branson. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Virgin America has grown a loyal following of flyers for its tech-forward flight experience – and the Denver area, which has been dubbed "Silicon Mountain" because of its own booming innovation economy, is today the number one most requested destination by the airline's corporate clients. Virgin America's fleet of Airbus A320 Family aircraft offer a host of innovative features– including power outlets and touch-screen entertainment available at every seat and three beautifully designed, "mood-lit" classes of service offered on every flight. The airline remains the first and still only U.S. carrier to offer WiFi on every flight† – and recently added the even higher-speed ViaSat satellite-based WiFi to its new delivery aircraft.  Virgin America is marking its new service to Denver with SFO-DEN fares starting from $59* (taxes and fees included, restrictions applying) now through 11:59pm CT on Wednesday, March 16, 2016, as well as a network-wide Colossal "Mile High" fare sale with fares from $39 (taxes and fees included, restrictions applying) ** through 11:59pm CT on Thursday, March 17, 2016. Virgin America's flights can be purchased at virginamerica.com or 1-877-FLY-VIRGIN***.

"Virgin America is ideally suited to serve the Denver area. This entrepreneurial airline puts an emphasis on providing premium service and high-tech amenities that are perfect for Denver's growing number of startup employees and business travelers," said Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock. "Denver is excited for this new air service to connect two cities that truly value innovation within their economies and I'm thrilled to welcome this airline to Colorado."

To kick off the new flights linking two of the nation's top innovation economies, Virgin America will today convene a live-streamed discussion on the future of entrepreneurship onboard the inaugural flight with Branson, Mayor Hancock, LinkedIn VP of Global Consumer Products Ryan Roslansky, startup founders and LinkedIn users worldwide via the airline's high-speed WiFi – moderated by LinkedIn Executive Editor Dan Roth. Virgin America and LinkedIn today also announce they will be joining forces to offer complimentary access to a selection of Lynda.com's business leadership and learning courses on the airline's ViaSat WiFi-equipped aircraft, keeping business flyers more productive while they are in the air. Upon touchdown at DEN – which recently saw its fifth consecutive record-breaking month and busiest year ever with 54 million travelers in 2015 – Branson will also show local travelers what they've been missing when they're not flying Virgin America – with a fun, virtual reality tour of the airline's cabins thanks to Google Cardboard viewers and Google Street View.

"We are thrilled that Virgin America has added this flight, which will ensure that Colorado's extraordinary innovators have easier access to their counterparts in San Francisco," said Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper

"As the only airline based in Silicon Valley – and given our own startup roots and track record of shaking up an entire industry – we know how important it is to do things differently and look forward to helping keep business travelers on these routes even more productive and connected in-flight," said Virgin America President and Chief Executive Officer, David Cush. "We are pleased to have the opportunity  to connect two of the nation's largest innovation economies and build strong ties with the city of Denver and state of Colorado – starting today with our new flights, the opening of our new Contact Center, and the launch of new community partnerships."

As part of Virgin America's effort to grow roots in the Denver community, the airline is today pledging $25,000 in flights to KIPP Colorado (Knowledge is Power Program) for KIPP Denver Collegiate High School students to visit colleges in summer 2016.  A long-time national partner of Virgin America, KIPP is a nationwide college-prep public charter school system dedicated to preparing students in educationally underserved communities for success in both college and life. Denver-based high school students from KIPPs' tech entrepreneur program will be joining the airline's live-streamed discussion in-flight today – along with entrepreneurs, from the 'Virgin Media Accelerator, powered by Techstars', an intense 13-week mentorship and guidance program launched by the UK's ultrafast broadband provider, Virgin Media, and global entrepreneur ecosystem, Techstars.  The 'future of entrepreneurship' discussion that will take place onboard the inaugural San Francisco-Denver flight today will be live streamed on LinkedIn at 8.30amPT today. To tune in and join the conversation, head to https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/future-entrepreneurship-richard-branson where you can submit questions to Branson and Mayor Hancock and also hear from startup founders, LinkedIn's Executive Editor Dan Roth and VP of Global Consumer Products, Ryan Roslansky. The inaugural celebrations can also be followed via #RockyMountainFly on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

As an extension to the partnership with LinkedIn, starting in April 2016, business flyers on Virgin America's ViaSat-equipped aircraft will have extended access to Lynda.com's full library of learning content.  Travelers  can choose from thousands of video tutorials taught by expert instructors across a variety of topics such as business leadership, development, and technology and web design. 

"We've all been there as professionals, striving to find new ways to make every minute count and to be as productive as you can be even when you're in transit," said Ryan Roslansky, VP of Global Consumer Products at LinkedIn. "It's why our partnership with Virgin America makes so much sense as we offer business flyers more ways to easily access and learn new skills that can help them be more successful in their careers  –  all from the comfort of their Virgin flight." 

"Travelers have long asked us to add Virgin America to our stable of airline choices at Denver International Airport, and we are pleased to finally welcome the airline as the 19th carrier currently serving the Mile High City," airport CEO Kim Day said.  "Denver, which shares many synergies with San Francisco as a hub for technology companies and entrepreneurs, will fill a gap in Virgin America's growing list of domestic destinations and further stimulate both business and leisure travel between Denver and the West Coast."

Upon arrival into Denver, Sir Richard Branson will show Denver travelers just what they've been missing when not flying Virgin America – by offering them a virtual reality tour of Virgin America's innovative cabins thanks to Google Cardboard viewers on the Denver Terminal A Concourse.  Virgin America is the first major U.S. airline to touch down on Google Map's Street View by offering a 360-degree, interactive tour of the airline's unique, consistent cabins.  The Virgin Group founder will be offering local flyers the ability to take a virtual tour of the airline's cabins on any route, showing them that there is no bait and switch: what they see is what they get when they book a flight on Virgin America.  In collaboration with Google, VX created a national brand campaign "Seat View," to encourage travelers to test drive their own flight before they take off.  For more or to view the tours, head to Google Maps and search for "Virgin America" and a departing airport or visit: http://www.virginamerica.com/seatview.

Virgin America's celebration of its new Denver service will extend into the evening tonight with its launch party at the Art, downtown Denver's newest luxury art hotel – with special guests like football icon and Denver wide receiver, Emmanuel Sanders

In order to accommodate the airline's continued growth and further invest in the Denver region, Virgin America's new Customer Contact Center, which will support approximately 100 new Denver-area jobs, is also opening today.  The center will be staffed by 24-7 Intouch with support from Virgin America's in-house team, and workers will assist with a variety of issues, including flight bookings, Elevate frequent flyer support, and a variety of other services. Virgin America is also hiring approximately 40 new teammates from the Denver area to support its new schedule. For more on Virgin America careers, visit: https://www.virginamerica.com/cms/airline-jobs

Launched in 2007, Virgin America has been named both the "Best Domestic Airline" in Travel + Leisure's Annual World's Best Awards and "Best U.S. Airline" in Conde Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Awards for the past eight consecutive years.  In addition to its exclusive First Class cabin with plush white leather seating and lumbar massagers on every flight, Virgin America offers a Main Cabin with custom leather seating with a deeper, more comfortable pitch, and Main Cabin Select service with 38-inches of pitch, free food and cocktails, an all-access pass to media, dedicated overhead bins and priority check-in/boarding. The airline's Red™ entertainment platform offers guests in every cabin their own seatback touch-screen, with dozens of latest release films, live TV, interactive maps, videogames, a 3,000 song library, surround sound technology and an on-demand menu, which allows flyers to order from their seatback any time during a flight.  With a full service First Class menu and a unique on-demand menu in the Main Cabin, Virgin America was named Travel + Leisure Magazine's "Best U.S. Airline for Food."  Virgin America has also been a stand-out in the industry for its operational performance.  For the past three years, Virgin America has been the number one ranked carrier in the Airline Quality Rating (AQR) report, an annual study of U.S. domestic airline performance conducted by professors at Wichita State University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – measuring on-time performance, customer complaints, denied boarding and mishandled bags.

Since its 2007 launch, Virgin America has created nearly 3,000 jobs. Denver represents the 24th destination served by the California-based airline.

Photos and broadcast quality b-roll of Virgin America's unique aircraft are available here and photos of Virgin America's Denver launch 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:  Known for its mood-lit cabins, three beautifully designed classes of service and innovative fleetwide amenities — like touch-screen personal entertainment, WiFi and power outlets at every seat, Virgin America has earned a host of awards since launching in 2007 — including being named both the "Best U.S. Airline" in Condé Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Awards and "Best Domestic Airline" in Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards for the past eight consecutive years. For more: www.virginamerica.com

About LinkedIn: LinkedIn connects the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful and transforms the ways companies hire, market, and sell. Our vision is to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce through the ongoing development of the world's first Economic Graph. LinkedIn has offices around the world.

About KIPP Colorado: KIPP Colorado is a network of five free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public charter schools dedicated to preparing students in underserved communities for success in both college and life. KIPP Colorado's mission is to equip our students with the academic skills and character strengths necessary to succeed in college and the competitive world beyond.

About Techstars: Techstars is a global ecosystem that empowers entrepreneurs to bring new technologies to market wherever they choose to live. With dozens of mentorship-driven accelerator programs and thousands of community programs worldwide, Techstars exists to support the world's most promising entrepreneurs throughout their lifelong journey, from inspiration to IPO. Techstars provides access to tens of thousands of community leaders, founders, mentors, investors, and corporate partners, allowing entrepreneurs to accelerate the pace of innovation and Do More Faster™. Techstars supports every stage of the entrepreneurial journey – from early stage grassroots community development to more formal opportunities that provide education, experience, acceleration, funding, and beyond.  

†WiFi available on Hawaii flights as of mid-2016

*Terms and Conditions: Tickets must be purchased by 11:59 CT on Wednesday, March 16, 2016. Fares are one-way and require a 21-day advance purchase. Travel must occur between April 9, 2016 and May 25, 2016.  Lowest sale fares are only valid in specified cabin for travel on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday.  Seats are limited, subject to availability, and may not be available on all flights. Flights may not operate daily.  Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable. For travel solely between points in the Continental Western Region (LAS/LAX/PDX/PSP/PVR/SAN/SEA/SFO/SJD only), DEN-SFO and DAL-LAS, changes or cancellations can be made for a $100 fee per guest through all channels, plus any increase in fare, if applicable. For all other itineraries, changes or cancellations can be made for a $150 fee per guest through all channels, plus any increase in fare, if applicable. Any remaining balance will be placed in a guest's travel bank, good for travel on Virgin America for one year from date of issue. Changes or cancellations of a booking made with Elevate Points will be subject to a $100 redeposit fee per guest. Guests who no-show without a change or cancellation prior to the scheduled departure time will forfeit the amount of this fare. In addition, any future flights booked in the same reservation will also be canceled and the fare will be forfeited. Tickets purchased from Virgin America through our reservation call center will cost an additional $20 per guest per itinerary. Any added cost associated with purchasing tickets from Virgin America through our reservation call center will be non-refundable. Fares will not be honored retroactively or in exchange for any wholly or partially used ticket. Fares, routes, fees and schedules are subject to change without notice. Virgin America will accept up to ten pieces of checked baggage, up to 50 pounds each, per ticketed guest traveling within the U.S. The fee for each piece of checked baggage up to 50 pounds is $25. Additional fees apply to baggage exceeding these weight limitations, and other baggage restrictions may apply. For Main Cabin Select, Virgin America will accept one (1) piece of checked baggage up to 50 pounds free of charge for each ticketed guest. Virgin America will accept up to ten pieces of checked baggage, up to 50 pounds each, per ticketed guest traveling within the U.S. The fee for each piece of checked baggage up to 50 pounds is $25. Additional fees apply to baggage exceeding these weight limitations, and other baggage restrictions may apply. For First Class, Virgin America will accept two (2) pieces of checked baggage up to 50 pounds free of charge for each ticketed guest. Virgin America will accept up to ten pieces of checked baggage, up to 50 pounds each, per ticketed guest traveling within the U.S. The fee for each piece of checked baggage up to 50 pounds is $25. Additional fees apply to baggage exceeding these weight limitations, and other baggage restrictions may apply.

**Terms and Conditions of Network-wide fare sale: Main Cabin tickets must be purchased by 11:59 CT on Thursday, March 17, 2016. Fares are one-way and require a 21-day advance purchase for BOS/EWR/JFK/IAD/FLL/DCA where travel must occur between April 5, 2016 and November 5, 2016.  Travel for SFO-OGG/HNL and Mexico requires a 7-day advance purchase where travel must occur between March 22, 2016 and November 5, 2016. Travel for LAX-HNL must occur between May 9, 2016 and November 5, 2016.  Travel for LAX-OGG must occur between September 7, 2016 and November 5, 2016. All other markets require a 14-day advance purchase and travel must occur between March 29, 2016 and November 5, 2016.  Nonstop travel for JFK-FLL must occur by April 26, 2016.  For Mexico, fares are one-way and based on travel originating from the U.S. only.  Return fares for travel from Mexico will be higher due to additional mandatory taxes and fees.  Lowest sale fares are available only on certain itineraries.  Lowest sale fares are only valid for travel on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday.  Lowest sale fares in HNL/OGG are only valid Monday-Thursday. Seats are limited, subject to availability, and may not be available on all flights. Flights may not operate daily. Blackout dates include: 3/25/16 – 3/28/16, 4/1/16 – 4/3/16, 5/27/16 – 5/30/16, 6/13/16 – 9/6/16, and 10/10/16.  Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable. For travel solely between points in the Continental Western Region (LAS/LAX/PDX/PSP/PVR/SAN/SEA/SFO/SJD only), DEN-SFO and DAL-LAS, changes or cancellations can be made for a $100 fee per guest through all channels, plus any increase in fare, if applicable. For all other itineraries, changes or cancellations can be made for a $150 fee per guest through all channels, plus any increase in fare, if applicable. Any remaining balance will be placed in a guest's travel bank, good for travel on Virgin America for one year from date of issue. Changes or cancellations of a booking made with Elevate Points will be subject to a $100 redeposit fee per guest. Guests who no-show without a change or cancellation prior to the scheduled departure time will forfeit the amount of this fare. In addition, any future flights booked in the same reservation will also be canceled and the fare will be forfeited. Tickets purchased from Virgin America through our reservation call center will cost an additional $20 per guest per itinerary. Any added cost associated with purchasing tickets from Virgin America through our reservation call center will be non-refundable. Fares will not be honored retroactively or in exchange for any wholly or partially used ticket. Fares, routes, fees and schedules are subject to change without notice. Virgin America will accept up to ten pieces of checked baggage, up to 50 pounds each, per ticketed guest traveling within the U.S. The fee for each piece of checked baggage up to 50 pounds is $25. Additional fees apply to baggage exceeding these weight limitations, and other baggage restrictions may apply.

** *Any guest calling within the United States has access to a complimentary telecommunication relay service by dialing 711. For more information, go to: http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/telecomm.asp

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160315/344431

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090123/VIRGINAMERICALOGO

 

SOURCE Virgin America



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