SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Virgin America, the California-based airline known for reinventing flying, has today been named "Best U.S. Airline" in Condé Nast Traveler 29th Annual Readers' Choice Awards. This year saw the largest engagement from readers in the history of the magazine with more than 300,000 participants submitting millions of ratings and 75,000 comments. Virgin America has won the top spot in the poll for an unprecedented ninth year in a row – a distinction it has captured every year since the airline began flying. To celebrate its award-winning streak and thank its loyal flyers, Virgin America today launches a network-wide fare sale, with Main Cabin fares as low as $39* (taxes and fees included, restrictions apply). Virgin America's sister company, Virgin Hotels Chicago, makes its debut in this year's survey as the Best Hotel in the U.S. To celebrate their win, Virgin Hotels is also offering a special deal for travelers with a 48-hour sale for 25 percent off their stay.**
"We want to thank the readers of Condé Nast Traveler who voted to name Virgin America as the 'Best U.S. Airline' for an unrivaled ninth straight year," said David Cush, President and CEO of Virgin America. "This award is a tremendous honor and speaks to both our award-winning product and the unique service all of our Teammates work hard to deliver every day. With the support of our loyal flyers and a focus on innovative design and topnotch service – our team of more than 3,000 teammates have again raised the bar at 35,000 feet."
Launched in 2007 and headquartered in California, Virgin America has built a loyal flyer following for its unique experience – including signature custom-designed mood-lit cabins and amenities like fleetwide WiFi, power outlets and touch-screen personal entertainment – at every seat, on every flight. Virgin America became the first – and is still the only – U.S. airline to offer fleetwide WiFi as of 2009. In 2015, Virgin America launched a new connectivity partnership with ViaSat to bring even faster satellite WiFi to its 10 newest delivery aircraft – allowing travelers to stream premium services like Spotify and Netflix at 35,000 feet. In 2015, Virgin America also launched the next generation of its Red® entertainment platform – built on an Android-based software platform – that offers higher resolution, capacitive touch screens, even more content, retro favorite videogames like Atari's Pac-Man and a first-in-the-sky "surround sound" listening experience. In 2016, following the launch of the award-winning new virginamerica.com – the first responsive design airline website in the U.S. – Virgin America released its new mobile app with fast, easy booking and a first-of-its kind integration with Spotify – offering flyers curated city playlists tailored to their journey.
Launched in 2015, Virgin Hotels Chicago offers the same excitement, heartfelt service and smart innovation the Virgin brand is known for. Located in the heart of Chicago's Loop district, Virgin Hotels Chicago has racked up critical praise for its brilliant service and unique design that make traveling for business or leisure an easier experience, including a full vanity, make-up desk and mirror, an extra-large shower with a bench, and closets built for two. Virgin Hotels has also taken working from bed to another level with the brand's patented, ergonomically designed bed, making it the ideal space for setting up shop working, recharging or playing.
The Condé Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry and are commonly known as "the best of the best of travel." The Readers' Choice Awards are announced in the November issue of Condé Nast Traveler, on newsstands nationwide on October 25, 2016. The full list is published exclusively online, at www.CNTraveler.com/rca.
Virgin America is also known for its operational excellence. In April 2016, Virgin America was again named the number one carrier in the Airline Quality Rating report, an annual study of U.S. domestic airline performance conducted by professors at Wichita State University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Based on publicly-reported data all carriers must submit to the Department of Transportation, the AQR provides a comparative ranking based on key airline metrics, including on-time performance, customer complaints, denied boarding, and mishandled baggage.
Virgin America's on-demand menu remains unique in the U.S. airline industry – allowing travelers to order a meal or cocktail from their seatback screen at any time during a flight. This, coupled with the airline's focus on sustainable and fresh ingredients – including local fruits and vegetables, premium meats and artisan breads – has helped Virgin America capture numerous food awards, such as "Best Domestic Airline for Food" award in the Travel + Leisure 2014-2016 World's Best Awards. In addition to its curated on-demand meals in Main Cabin and its premium plated First Class service, the airline has forged unique "foodie" partnerships with the likes of Dean & Deluca, San Francisco's own Philz Coffee, Anchor Steam craft beer, and Humphry Slocombe ice cream.
In addition to a Main Cabin that offers custom-designed leather seating with a deeper, more comfortable pitch, Virgin America's First Class cabin offers plush white leather seating with 55 inches of pitch, 165 degrees of recline and lumbar massagers. The carrier's Main Cabin Select service 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 airline's Red in-flight entertainment platform includes more than 25 films on demand, live TV, interactive maps, video games, seat-to- seat chat, music videos, a 3000 song library and an on-demand menu – so flyers can order a cocktail or snack from their seatback any time during a flight – and even send a drink to another seat.
Since its 2007 launch, Virgin America has created more than 3000 new jobs and expanded its network to include Austin, Boston, Cancun, Chicago, Dallas Love Field, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Los Cabos, Newark, New York (JFK and LGA), Orlando, Palm Springs, Portland, Puerto Vallarta, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington D.C. (IAD and DCA), Honolulu and Kahului, Maui.
Photos of Virgin America's unique aircraft and broadcast quality b-roll can be found here.
Photos of Virgin Hotels Chicago can be found here.
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 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 Condé Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards and "Best Domestic Airline" in Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards for the past nine consecutive years. For more: www.virginamerica.com
About Virgin Hotels: Virgin Hotels is a lifestyle hospitality brand that combines heartfelt service, straightforward value and a seamless, personalized hotel experience with the track record of innovation and smart disruption that Sir Richard Branson's global Virgin Group has pioneered for over 40 years. Each property will intermix a passion for food and beverage with music and culture, fusing with the local landscape and providing a vibrant and inclusive environment for travelers and locals alike. Virgin Hotels Chicago is now open, with Nashville, Dallas, Palm Springs, New York and others to follow. For more information, please visit www.virginhotels.com.
About Condé Nast Traveler: As the most discerning, up-to-the-minute voice in all things travel, Condé Nast Traveler is the global citizen's bible and muse, offering both inspiration and vital intel. Condé Nast Traveler is the most trusted and celebrated name in travel with 6 National Magazine Award wins and 26 nominations in its 28-year history. Advertising Age named Pilar Guzmán Editor of the Year in 2014 and CNTraveler.com attained 4 Webby Awards since 2015. www.cntraveler.com
* Terms and Conditions: Main Cabin tickets must be purchased by 11:59 pm CT on Tuesday, October 18, 2016. Fares for SEA, PDX, AUS, ORD, DEN, DAL, JFK-FLL, LAS-SFO, LAX-SFO, LAS-LAX, PSP-SFO, SAN-SFO, and HI are one-way and require a 14-day advance purchase where travel must occur between November 1, 2016 and March 8, 2017. All other markets require a 21-day advance purchase where travel must occur between November 8, 2016 and March 8, 2017. Non-stop service for JFK-PSP begins on November 19, 2016. Lowest sale fares are only valid for travel on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday. For Hawaii, lowest sale fares are available Monday – Thursday. Lowest sale fares are available only on certain itineraries. 2016 Blackout dates include: 11/10, 11/14, 11/22–11/28, and 12/22 – 12/31. 2017 Blackout dates include: 1/1 – 1/3, 1/16 and 2/20. 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.
** Based on availability. Blackout dates apply. Book by 11:59pmCT on Thursday, October 20, 2016 and stay before February 28, 2017. Cannot be combined with any other offer.
***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
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SOURCE Virgin America