SAN FRANCISCO, July 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Virgin America, the California-based airline known for its upscale service and low fares, took top honors for Best Low-Cost Airline in the U.S.A. for the fifth consecutive year as well as Best Staff Service among North American airlines for the fourth year in a row in the 2014 World Airline Awards (formerly Skytrax awards). The survey for the awards operated between August 2013 and May 2014 and included more than 100 customer nationalities from over 160 countries.
"To be named the top low-cost airline in the U.S. by such experienced global travelers is truly an honor," said Virgin America Senior Vice President of People and In-Flight, Frances Fiorillo. "I believe that we have some of the most dedicated and committed teammates in the industry and to be recognized for providing the best airline staff service in North America is a testament to their hard-work and belief in re-inventing the airline travel experience."
The awards were presented today at the historic Wind Tunnel at the former Royal Aircraft Establishment as part of the Farnborough International Airshow near London in the United Kingdom. The 2014 awards are based on 41 key performance indicators of airline product and service – from check-in to boarding, seats, cabin cleanliness, food, beverages, IFE and staff service – and included more than 18 million responses.
"We congratulate Virgin America for this double success. With the awards voted for by airline customers worldwide, they represent the voice of passengers, and being a global survey are regarded as a benchmark of airline excellence," said Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax. "The awards recognise the front-line service quality being delivered by Virgin America staff across all customer-facing areas, both in the airport and onboard environment, and it is their success that we are honoring today with these awards."
Virgin America offers guests sleek, tech-forward aircraft cabins with custom-designed seating, fleetwide in-flight WiFi, signature moodlighting, power outlets near every seat and the Red™ in-flight entertainment system. The Red™ platform offers guests on every Virgin America flight their own seatback screen, with 25 films, live TV, interactive Google Maps, videogames, a 6,000 song library and an on-demand menu, which allows flyers to order a cocktail or snack from their seatback 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 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. In 2012, Virgin America opened its first airport lounge, The Loft at LAX, and rolled out enhancements to its Elevate frequent flyer program — including status levels.
Virgin America has created 2,800 jobs and has expanded its footprint across the country with flights to in-demand destinations including 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 (ends October 2014), Los Cabos, Cancun, Chicago, Puerto Vallarta, Palm Springs (seasonal), Philadelphia (suspends October 2014), Portland and Austin. The airline will also be launching service to Dallas Love Field and New York's LaGuardia Airport in October 2014.
Photos of Virgin America's unique aircraft can be seen here.
Broadcast quality video b-roll of Virgin America's unique cabins and destination footage can also be downloaded here.
EDITORS NOTE: Virgin America is a U.S.-controlled, owned and operated airline. It 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's Silicon Valley and 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 built a loyal following of flyers and earned a host of awards since launching in 2007 — including being named both the "Best U.S. Airline" in Conde Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Awards for the past six consecutive years and "Best Domestic Airline" in Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards for now the past seven consecutive years. For the last two years, Virgin America has topped the Airline Quality Rating, a research project conducted by faculty at Wichita State University and Purdue University that analyzes airline operational performance as reported by the Department of Transportation. The airline's base of operations is San Francisco International Airport (SFO)'s sleek and sustainable Terminal 2. The airline recently unveiled its revamped and redesigned web site, the only U.S. airline web site to offer responsive design, which creates a faster, smoother and more intuitive booking experience for travelers that is consistent across all devices. For more: www.virginamerica.com
SOURCE Virgin America