SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Virgin America, the airline that has been reinventing flying since its August 2007 launch, today marks its sixth anniversary with festivities that celebrate the airline's continued job growth, network expansion and consistent award-winning service. In honor of the young carrier's milestone, San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee proclaims today (August 8, 2013), "Virgin America Day" in the City of San Francisco. As a thank you to its loyal flyers on this sixth year together –Virgin America this week has launched a "Celebrate our Swingin' Sixth" network-wide fare sale for travel between August 24, 2013-December 11, 2013. Main Cabin fares start as low as $49**. Tickets must be purchased by 11:59pm CDT tonight, August 8, 2013. Tickets are on sale today via www.virginamerica.com and 1.877.FLY.VIRGIN (1.877.359.8474). **
"Six years ago we started this airline from scratch and set out to build an experience that would make flying good again for travelers," said Virgin America President and CEO David Cush. "Since then, our loyal guests have embraced a better way of flying and we've swept all the major travel awards every single year – that's a testament to the hard work of all of our dedicated teammates."
"Since its launch in 2007, Virgin America has created more than 2,600 jobs in the Bay Area, remained committed to embracing innovation and quality customer service and has continued to grow roots in the community through its charitable partnerships," said San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee. "Our City is proud that Virgin America calls San Francisco home, and it's with great pleasure that I once again proclaim today 'Virgin America Day' in San Francisco in celebration of six remarkable years."
Virgin America has much to celebrate; in its first six years of operations, it has expanded to 23 new destinations, created more than 2,600 new jobs, welcomed nearly 25 million flyers and swept the major travel industry best-in-class awards, including "Best Domestic Airline" in Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012and 2013 and "Best Domestic Airline" in Condé Nast Traveler's 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 Readers' Choice Awards.
"Since its launch of operations six years ago, Virgin America has taken an innovative and entrepreneurial approach to air travel and put down strong roots in the Bay Area," said Congresswoman Jackie Speier. "I wish the airline and its thousands of employees a happy anniversary and many more years in the skies and on the ground."
This weekend, the Official Airline of the San Francisco Giants continues the birthday celebration with sports fans at a special "Virgin America Day at AT&T Park," as the San Francisco Giants host the Baltimore Orioles on August 10th. The game will open with the first ceremonial pitch thrown by a lucky Virgin America flyer who won the coveted honor via a social media contest earlier this month. The winner and their guest will also get to relax and watch the game from the Virgin America Loft at McCovey Cove, join Lou Seal for a "Seal-ebrity" ride and receive a bonus of 10,000 Elevate points – good toward blackout-free reward flights on Virgin America. Virgin America will also be asking fans to "Shake Their Lou Thing" on Instagram Video during the game using the hashtag, #DoTheLou to enter to win a "dance-along" with San Francisco Giants mascot, Lou Seal, on DiamondVision and receive two roundtrip tickets anywhere the airline flies. As a birthday present to its hometown, Virgin America will offer all attendees at AT&T Park this Saturday a two-for-one flight voucher***on the airline that just last month captured Travel + Leisure's World's Best Domestic Airline title for the sixth year in a row.
"We're proud to have the best airline in the U.S. as the Official Airline of the San Francisco Giants – and it's been a wonderful partnership over these last few years. Virgin America, its teammates and travelers have been devoted fans in cheering us on – all the way to the World Championship," said Giants President and CEO, Larry Baer. "From one hometown champ to another, congratulations Virgin America."
Today, the airline also fetes the growth of its Elevate® frequent flyer program – which has grown to nearly 3 million members strong – and launches its largest ever Elevate promotion with more than 25 of its loyalty program partners where members can join in the fun playing "Go Big" digital birthday bingo at 35,000 feet on Virgin America's fleetwide WiFi to enter for a chance to win one of the 70+ prizes , ranging from an epic prize of 500,000 Elevate points to a complimentary hotel stay at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel or One & Only Palmilla to 30 days of free car rental from Avis.**** Whether in the air or on the ground, anyone can play. Elevate members can also take advantage of bonus points offered by participating program partners including: Singapore Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Virgin Australia Airlines, Avis, Morgans Hotel Group, Carey Limousine, Embarque, Energy Plus, FTD, Hertz, Hilton, Joie de Vivre Hotels, Marriott, MOGL, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, One & Only Palmilla, Pointshound, Sixt, Virgin Wines, Gilt, Crunch, Portico, Rocketmiles, Budget and Silvercar. For more information and rules and restrictions see: http://gobigbingo.virginamerica.com.
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.
In the past year, Virgin America has marked more than a few notable milestones:
- In July, Virgin America reported its first-ever second-quarter net profit with operating income of $27.9 million and net income of $8.8 million on total revenue of $376 million for the three months ending June 30;
- In July, Virgin America won Top Domestic Airline in Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards for the sixth year in a row;
- In its first year of eligibility as a major carrier, Virgin America in April topped the Airline Quality Rating, an annual joint study of airline industry performance conducted by Wichita State University and Purdue University;
- Virgin America brought its Sharklet-equipped "Jersey Girl," its 53rd Airbus A320-family aircraft, into service;
- In April, Virgin America inaugurated service between Newark , N.J. and Los Angeles and San Francisco;
- Also in April, the carrier also expanded service to Las Vegas with three daily flights to Los Angeles;
- In May, Virgin America was voted "Best Airline" in a survey by Consumer Reports;
- Virgin America began service between Los Angeles and San Jose on May 1;
- Also in May, the carrier launched new flights from San Francisco to Austin, Texas;
- Virgin America began seasonal service between San Francisco and Anchorage, Alaska in June;
- In the second quarter, the carrier added three new interline partners: China Eastern Airlines, Etihad Airways and Scandinavian Airlines (SAS). By the end of the second quarter 2013, Virgin America had 26 interline partners, up from 16 in the same in period in 2012;
- The airline's baggage handling rate was 0.89 mishandled baggage reports per 1,000 guests in April and 1.15 mishandled baggage reports per 1,000 guests in May, placing it first among all U.S. carriers reporting to the DOT for baggage reliability;
- In June, the carrier began releasing monthly operating results, consistent with the practice of publicly traded airlines;
- The airline filed for – and was granted – Department of Transportation permission to serve Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) with a daily nonstop flight from its home base at San Francisco International Airport (SFO)starting August 14, 2012;
Since its launch in 2007, Virgin America has expanded its footprint across the U.S. and now 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).
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. The airline's base of operations is San Francisco International Airport (SFO)'s sleek new Terminal 2. The airline's new aircraft offer interactive in-flight entertainment systems and power outlets near every seat. Virgin America offers Gogo™ WiFi on every flight and hosts the largest in-flight entertainment library in the North American skies via the touch-screen Red™ platform. For more, visit: www.virginamerica.com
*Fare Sale Terms and Conditions: All Main Cabin fares are one-way. Travel must occur between August 24, 2013 and December 11, 2013 and tickets must be purchased by 11:59pm CT on August 8, 2013. Blackout dates are November 21, 2013 through December 3, 2013. PSP-SFO service begins on October 12, 2013. Lowest sale fares are only available on certain itineraries. Lowest sale fares are only available for travel on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. 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. Changes or cancellations can be made for a $100 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. Service to ANC is seasonal and runs through September 9, 2013.
**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
***Terms and Conditions – SF Giants/Virgin America Day – Buy One, Get One Offer: This offer ends at 11:59pm PT on September 6, 2013. This offer is valid only for nonstop or connecting travel; offer is not valid for any multi-city itineraries. One time use promo code is valid for non-refundable Main Cabin tickets only. Travel must occur between September 16, 2013 and November 14, 2013 or between January 21, 2014 and February 28, 2014. Discount is not valid for travel on Fridays and Sundays. Additional blackout dates are November 15, 2013 through January 20, 2014 and February 13, 2014 through February 17, 2014. Promo code may be used only towards newly booked travel and may not be applied to prior bookings. Promo code discount will be deducted off of base fare. Base fares do not include Passenger Facility Charges of up to $9 each way, September 11th Security Fees of up to $5 each way and a Federal Segment Tax of $3.90 per domestic segment. A segment is a takeoff and landing. For service to/from Alaska, base fares do not include U.S. gateway fee of $8.60 each way. For service to/from Mexico, base fares do not include the U.S. Immigration User Fee of $7, the U.S. APHIS fee of $5, the U.S. Customs processing fee of $5.50, a U.S. International Arrival/Departure Tax of $17.20 each way and additional taxes/fees of up to $70, including: Mexico International Departure Tax and Mexico Tourism Tax. Promo code may not be redeemed for cash. Promo code may only be used for bookings made on virginamerica.com and is only valid on itineraries of exactly 2 guests. Offer is not transferable and cannot be combined with any other offers. Seats are limited, subject to availability, and may not be available on all flights. If travel is changed or cancelled, promo code discount will become invalid. Changes or cancellations can be made for a $100 fee per guest through all channels, plus any increase in fare, if applicable. Tickets purchased through Virgin America's reservation call center will cost an additional $20 per itinerary guest; this amount is non refundable if travel is changed or cancelled. 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. For non-refundable Main Cabin, Virgin America will accept one (1) piece of checked baggage up to 50 pounds for $25 for each ticketed. The fee per guest for each additional checked bag up to 50 pounds from the second (2) to the tenth (10) is $25. Additional fees apply to baggage exceeding these weight limitations, and other baggage restrictions may apply.
**** NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.) 18 years and older. Ends 9/6/13. To enter and for Official Rules, including odds, alternate method of entry, and prize descriptions, visit http://gobigbingo.virginamerica.com. Void where prohibited.
SOURCE Virgin America