SAN FRANCISCO, March 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Virgin America, the California-based airline that has been reinventing flying since its 2007 launch, unveils plans today for this season's partnership with the San Francisco Giants. At the Giants' annual Media Open House at AT&T Park, Giants President and CEO Larry Baer and Virgin America President and CEO David Cush, together unveiled the new mood-lit Virgin America Club Level in the ballpark. In addition, Virgin America today introduced the newest member of its fleet – an Airbus A320 aircraft named "Fly Bye Baby," named and painted in honor of the Giants. The aircraft sports a beard, as a nod to the facial hair-friendly hometown team. Although a sneak peek of the aircraft was revealed today, the plane will launch into service with flights nationwide as of April 2. Those who happen to catch a flight on the aircraft also have the chance to score: Virgin America is inviting its social media fans to send in their best photos of the new Giants-decaled plane using the hashtag #flythebeard. Now through the end of the 2012 baseball season, one lucky flyer per month will score a free roundtrip anywhere Virgin America flies and one grand prize winner will also get 2013 Virgin America Club Level passes. For official contest rules see: http://www.virginamerica.com/html/sf-giants-fly-the-beard-twitter-rules.pdf. Photos of the new Virgin America Club Level at AT&T Park and the new Giants aircraft are available at: http://www.virginamerica.com/about/airline-photos/virgin-america-pictures.html
"As the only airline headquartered in San Francisco, we're thrilled to renew and expand our partnership with our hometown team," said David Cush, President and CEO of Virgin America. "Our success as an airline is a credit to the outpouring of support we have received from the Bay Area community – our guests, teammates and partners like the Giants. Virgin America is all about reinventing the typical flight experience with beautiful design, the best entertainment and the newest technology, much like the Giants and AT&T Park have changed game day for millions of baseball fans. So we are incredibly proud to be part of the City, this ballpark and to have the opportunity to support this world-class team."
In addition to the new Virgin America Club Level, fans will also notice many new elements at AT&T Park this season, including an updated Virgin America Loft at McCovey Cove, in-stadium signage, a new "Virgin America Flight Deck" off the Club Level and a Club Level kiosk with special offers. The Virgin America Flight Deck is located off the concourse, behind Sections 229 & 230, elevated above 2nd and King Streets. It includes new seating, a bar, two fire pits and some of the best views available in the ballpark.
"The Giants and Virgin America share a common goal of delivering an innovative, creative and high quality customer experience. Our expanded partnership will allow us to bring the unique and entertaining Virgin America experience to our fans at AT&T Park and Giants baseball to guests onboard Virgin America flights," said Giants President and CEO Larry Baer.
Virgin America is also launching a Giants channel fleetwide on Red™, the airline's state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment platform. Currently, every Virgin America flyer can already enjoy a live satellite television channel line-up that features a range of live news and sports – including nationally televised Giants baseball games on FOX. The new Giants channel launching onboard flights in April, will also house behind-the-scenes fan content, including highlights from 2012 Spring Training and 2010 season footage. In addition, Giants fans can grab some ballpark inspired menu pairings while watching a Giants game at 35,000 feet, via the airline's unique on-demand menu. The Giants-inspired menu options will roll out fleetwide on Virgin America in April, including: the "Double-Play Snack" (Emerald Nuts and beer) and the "Triple Play Meal" (Virgin America's mile-high club sandwich with turkey breast, crisp lettuce and roma tomatoes piled high on sliced sourdough with feta cheese spread , alongside Emerald Nuts and a beer).
As the "Official Airline of the San Francisco Giants" since 2008, Virgin America also extended a special 20 percent flight discount offer to Giants season ticketholders which was included in their season packets. In 2011, Virgin America renewed and expanded a multi-year multi-million dollar partnership with the Giants from 2012-2015. The partnership includes unique stadium branding, experiential promotions during select games, in-flight entertainment integrations and more. Last year, the airline transported the World Series Trophy (in Virgin America's First Class cabin) across the nation for various events with team leadership.
Virgin America has swept the major travel industry best-in-class awards for the quality of its service, including "Best Domestic Airline" in Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 and "Best Domestic Airline" in Condé Nast Traveler's 2008, 2009 , 2010 and 2011 Readers' Choice Awards. Virgin America flies to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Dallas–Fort Worth, Los Cabos, Cancun, Chicago, Puerto Vallarta, Palm Springs, Philadelphia (starting April 4) and Portland (starting June 5).
About Virgin America: Headquartered in California, Virgin America is a new domestic airline that offers guests attractive fares and a host of innovative features aimed at reinventing air travel. As the only airline headquartered in the Bay Area, Virgin America's principle base of operations is San Francisco International Airport's (SFO) sleek and sustainable new Terminal Two (T2) – the first LEED® Gold-certified airport terminal in the U.S. As one of the few expanding U.S. airlines, Virgin America has grown from a few hundred teammates in 2007 to 2,500 today – with plans to add approximately 500 new jobs on an annual basis over the next three years. Known for beautifully-designed planes with WiFi, power outlets and touch-screen entertainment at every seat, Virgin America has swept the travel awards since its 2007 launch, including being named "Best U.S. Airline" in Conde Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Awards and Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards. The airline's new aircraft offer interactive in-flight entertainment systems and power outlets near every seat. For more: www.virginamerica.com
About the San Francisco Giants: The San Francisco Giants of the National League is one of the oldest franchises in Major League Baseball. Boasting a 130-year history, the team moved to San Francisco from New York in 1958 playing a total of 42 years in Seals Stadium and Candlestick Park before moving to AT&T Park in 2000. The franchise was named 2010's Sports Organization of the Year by Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal Daily. Since opening its gates, AT&T Park has become internationally-renowned as a premier venue in the world of both sports and entertainment. On the diamond, more than 37 million spectators have witnessed a number of magical moments and four playoff appearances, including in 2010 when the Giants became the World Series champions for the first time since moving West. In 2008, the Giants celebrated the team's 50th year in San Francisco and it was the center of the baseball universe when it hosted the 78th Major League Baseball All-Star Game on July 10, 2007. AT&T Park has also played host to some of music's biggest acts, including the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band and Green Day.
Off the field, the Giants have one of the premier community outreach programs in professional sports, becoming the first team to implement a 100 percent participation program, involving every player, coach and uniformed staff member in at least one community project throughout the season. Through its community outreach programs, the Giants and the Giants Community Fund work with corporate and non-profit partners to raise awareness, educate and generate interest in a variety of issues important to both their fans and community including education/literacy, violence prevention, health and youth recreation and fitness.
SOURCE Virgin America