SAN FRANCISCO, June 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Virgin America today launches its new service to Portland, Oregon – the 18th city in the carrier's expanding network. While many domestic airlines are cutting amenities and reducing capacity, Virgin America is growing and bringing its award-winning blend of upscale service and competitive fares to Portland International Airport (PDX) – with two daily nonstop flights from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and two daily nonstop flights from San Francisco International Airport (SFO). Virgin America's growth into the PDX market will support local jobs, stimulate travel and tourism and spur the increased competition that drives lower fares and better service. Known for its inventive design and amenities such as cabin moodlighting, personal touch-screen entertainment at every seat and WiFi on every flight, the airline has teamed up with IFC around its hit show "Portlandia" to help launch the new service. "Portlandia" Mayor and award-winning actor Kyle MacLachlan joins Portland Mayor Sam Adams onboard the airline's inaugural SFO-PDX flight today.
"While there are strong business and leisure travel ties between California and Portland, the West Coast to PDX market generally has had higher fares than similar flights to Seattle. The reason, quite simply, was lack of competition on the California-PDX routes," said Virgin America President and CEO David Cush. "With service unlike anything else in the skies, we saw an opportunity to bring new nonstop competition from California's largest airports to PDX. We are confident that Portlanders will embrace an airline known for its unique service – and for marching to a different drummer."
Guests onboard Virgin America's first SFO-PDX flight today will be welcomed at a Portland-themed celebration in an aircraft hangar – just steps off the PDX runway. Guests at the hangar event include winners of a unique "Portlandia" promotion. In a nod to one of the show's cult favorite sketches -- "Put a Bird On It" -- where characters apply pictures of birds to everyday items turning them into instant "art," the airline and IFC teamed up to create an "Arts & Aircrafts" Facebook competition that invited guests to upload their favorite photos and "put a bird on it" to score a discount off Virgin America's new PDX flights. For more, visit: http://apps.facebook.com/artsandaircrafts/tab The top voted photo winners scored an invite to the Portland event today, where celebrated DJs AndrewAndrew will take the spirit of the "Portlandia" sketch "Everybody's a DJ" to new heights, with interactive iPad DJ sessions for guests. IFC and Virgin America continue their partnership later this summer, offering guests the chance to win a walk-on role in season three of the hit original series.
In honor of its newest route, Virgin America today launches a "We Put a Bird on Portland" fare sale on select routes. PDX-LAX fares start from $135* and PDX-SFO fares start from $94* (restrictions apply). For more fares and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.virginamerica.com/ or call 1-877-FLY-VIRGIN.**
"Virgin America's new nonstop flights from PDX into San Francisco and Los Angeles offer another gateway for visitors to enjoy the beauty, culture and bounty of our city," said Portland Mayor Sam Adams. "Travelers can come and see for themselves whether Portlandia is a parody, a documentary or something in-between. We welcome Virgin America and its new nonstop service with open arms!"
With one of the youngest fleets in the U.S., Virgin America offers sleek, tech-forward aircraft cabins with a host of inventive amenities – including custom-designed seating, in-flight WiFi, a cabin 'moodlighting' system which transitions across 12 shades based on outside light, power outlets near every seat and the most advanced in-flight entertainment system in the skies via the Red™ platform. Guests on today's first flight enjoyed an episode of "Portlandia" and episodes of the hit show are now available on-demand on Virgin America fleetwide.
"Virgin America, with its award-winning guest service and hip in-flight amenities, is a great new addition to our roster at PDX," said Port of Portland Chief Operating Officer Vince Granato. "We think Portland travelers will embrace this new choice at the airport and we look forward to a long partnership with this innovator in the airline industry."
Every Virgin America guest enjoys one of the largest in-flight entertainment libraries in the skies via their own nine-inch seatback touch-screen. Content includes:
- More than 25 on-demand movies, including indie, foreign-language and latest release blockbusters.
- 18 channels of live TV and 6 channels of cached TV, including: CNN, ESPN, CBS, Current, Bravo, MSNBC and more.
- 3,000 song music library and the ability for guests to create a custom play-list in-flight.
- A videogame library and interactive Google Maps, so guests can track their journey at eight levels of zoom.
- Onboard seat-to-seat chat messaging.
- World's first on-demand food and drink ordering system with a menu named best in the U.S. by Travel + Leisure.
In addition to a Main Cabin that offers leather seating with a deeper, more comfortable pitch, the airline's First Class offers plush white leather seating with 55 inches of pitch, 165 degrees of recline and lumbar massagers. The carrier's Main Cabin Select offers 38-inches of pitch, free food and cocktails, an all-access pass to media, dedicated overhead bins and priority check-in/boarding.
As one of the few growing U.S. airlines, Virgin America has expanded to 18 destinations, a fleet of 52 new aircraft (as of this month) and over 2,600 teammates since its launch nearly five years ago. Virgin America flies to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C. (IAD), Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Cabos, Cancun, Chicago, Puerto Vallarta, Palm Springs, Philadelphia, Portland (as of today) and Washington D.C.'s Reagan National (DCA) (as of August 14, 2012). Connecting flights will also be available from PDX to Virgin America's JFK, FLL, IAD, BOS, ORD, DFW, LAS, SAN, CUN and PHL markets.
For broadcast-quality b-roll video and photos of Virgin America's aircraft and unique cabins as well as photos from today's first flight and celebrations, please visit: http://www.virginamerica.com/vx/portland-launch
About Virgin America: Headquartered in California, Virgin America offers guests attractive fares and a host of innovative features aimed at reinventing air travel. Virgin America was named "Best Domestic Airline" in the Conde Nast Traveler 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 'Readers' Choice' Awards and "Best Domestic Airline" in Travel + Leisure's 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 'World's Best' Awards. The airline's base of operations is SFO's sleek and sustainable Terminal 2. The airline's new aircraft offer interactive in-flight entertainment systems and power outlets near every seat. Virgin America was the first airline to offer Gogo™ InFlight Internet on every flight and hosts the largest in-flight entertainment library in the U.S. skies, via the touch-screen Red™ platform. For more, visit: www.virginamerica.com
About IFC: IFC creates and champions authentic, original content that is "Always On. Slightly Off." Since 1994, IFC has cultivated television programming that challenges the conventions of storytelling. Today, IFC continues to embrace content with an indie perspective. Original series-headlined by brand-defining scripted and sketch comedy-air alongside an extraordinary collection of films and cult TV shows. Long and short-form original content inspired by music, web, gaming, animation, news, and culture is available on multiple platforms. IFC provides viewers access to must-see festivals and events around the country, like the Film Independent's Spirit Awards and SXSW. IFC.com features exclusive video, podcasts, blogs, news and reviews cultivated and written by industry experts. The network's On Demand offering, IFC Free, gives fans the opportunity to watch select content from IFC whenever they want. IFC is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.
*Fare Sale Terms and Conditions: All Main Cabin fares are one-way and require a 10-day advance purchase. Travel must occur between June 14, 2012 and July 4, 2012. Tickets must be purchased by 11:59pm CDT June 6, 2012. Lowest sale fares are not valid for travel on Fridays and Sundays. Seats are limited, subject to availability, and may not be available on all flights. Flights may not operate daily. Changes or cancellations can be made for a $75 fee per guest if changes are made on Virgin America's website (www.virginamerica.com) or a $100 fee per guest through all other channels, including the call center and at the airport, plus any increase in fare, if applicable. Changes or cancellations of a booking made with Elevate Points will be subject to a $75 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.
SOURCE Virgin America