SAN FRANCISCO, July 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Virgin America, the California-based airline known for reinventing the domestic airline experience, has just been named the "Top Domestic Airline" in the prestigious annual Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards readers' survey for the eighth consecutive year. To celebrate and thank its loyal flyers, Virgin America today launches a network-wide "We're Going Wild" eight-hour fare sale, with Main Cabin fares as low as $38* (taxes and fees included and restrictions applying) and fares to the airline's new Hawaii destinations as low as $278* (taxes and fees included and restrictions applying) from San Francisco to Maui and Honolulu. The airline also announced a new partnership with satellite WiFi innovator, ViaSat, to bring streaming video and a faster satellite-based WiFi platform to Virgin America's 10 new Airbus A320 aircraft beginning later this year.
"Earning the 'Top Domestic Airline' distinction in the Travel + Leisure for the eighth consecutive year is a tremendous honor – and reflects our continued commitment to delivering a 'guest-centric' travel experience on every flight through better design, technology and topnotch service," said David Cush, Virgin America President and CEO. "This award expresses the opinions of the most experienced travelers – one of the largest surveys of its kind – and proves that we continue to offer the most consistent, upscale flight and travel experience in the U.S. market. Although the award is confirmation that we continue to hit the mark with real travelers – even at just eight years old – we're not standing still. We're continuing to make strategic investments in our product to stay ahead of the pack and to answer the needs of travelers."
To celebrate, Virgin America is today launching a "We're Going Wild" fare sale – with seats in Main Cabin from $38* (taxes and fees included and restrictions applying). Tickets must be purchased by 4:59pm PT today for travel between September 9, 2015 and February 10, 2016. Tickets are on sale now at www.virginamerica.com and at 1.877.FLY.VIRGIN**.
For 20 years, Travel + Leisure has enlisted their loyal travel consumers to share their knowledge of the World's Best travel options. Over 17,000 Travel +Leisure readers participated in the annual survey, capturing the opinion of consumers on their travel experiences. Virgin America landed in the number one spot for "Top Domestic Airline," continuing an award-winning streak for the airline, which has received this honor every year of its existence. This year, Virgin America received an official top score of 83.673 in the domestic airline category, which evaluates all airlines for cabin comfort, in-flight service, customer service and value. Travel + Leisure is one of the travel industry's most respected publications with a readership largely comprised of sophisticated world travelers. The magazine's 2015 World's Best Awards are announced and online at www.TravelandLeisure.com and in the August issue – and includes rankings of best hotels, cities and airlines, to name a few.
Travel + Leisure Editor Nathan Lump said, "Virgin America dominates its competitive set in the U.S. once again, delivering cabin comfort and service both in-flight and on the ground that Travel + Leisure readers say is second to none. An airline that can get T+L readers excited about flying is something we are just thrilled to see."
Today, Virgin America also announced its plans to further invest in its connectivity offerings. Virgin America became the first airline to offer fleetwide in-flight WiFi in 2009, and to upgrade to a faster ground-based WiFi system in 2014. Despite the fact that Virgin America still remains the only U.S. airline to offer guaranteed WiFi on every flight, the airline has announced a new connectivity partnership with ViaSat to bring significantly faster WiFi to the airline's 10 new Airbus A320 aircraft being delivered later this year – including those that will serve the airline's new Hawaiian destinations in 2016. The partnership leverages ViaSat's satellite-based Exede® In The Air in-flight WiFi service to enable Virgin America's guests to experience internet speeds similar to what they expect at home – offering 8 – 10 times faster WiFi connectivity than any other WiFi system, with the freedom to watch, stream and shop on any connected device when in-flight. Virgin America will be the first commercial airline to offer an in-flight connectivity service that can operate in both Ku- and Ka-band satellite networks and enables a high performance, high speed service level to every connected guest on the plane. Last month, Virgin America also announced the beta launch of the next generation of its Red® seatback in-flight entertainment system, which offers higher resolution, capacitive touch monitors as well as a new Android-based software platform that allows the airline to make faster improvements to the system in the short-term – and in the long-term, makes possible a host of options to further connect, personalize and expand Red in entirely new ways. In June, Virgin America also became the first airline to launch a surround listening experience at 35,000 feet via the Red platform.
Virgin America also recently announced enhancements to its summer menu – including a partnership with Dean & DeLuca – to bring the airline's First Class flyers a curated selection of snacks in the sky. Virgin America's on-demand menu and "open tab" features remains unique in the U.S. airline industry, and coupled with its focus on a fresh, diverse range of menu options has helped the airline capture numerous menu awards, including most recently the "Best Domestic Airline for Food" award in Travel + Leisure 2014 World's Best Awards.
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 Red in-flight entertainment platform offers guests their own seatback touch-screen TV, with more than 25 films, live TV, interactive Google Maps, videogames, a 3,000 song library and an on-demand menu, which allows flyers to order a cocktail or snack from their seatback any time during a flight.
Since its 2007 launch, Virgin America has created more than 2,800 new jobs and expanded its network to include Austin, Boston, Cancun, Chicago, Dallas Love Field, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Los Cabos, Newark, New York (JFK), LaGuardia Airport (LGA), Orlando, Palm Springs (seasonal), Portland, Puerto Vallarta, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington D.C. (IAD and DCA), Honolulu (as of November 2, 2015) and Kahului, Maui (as of December 3, 2015).
Photos of Virgin America's unique aircraft and broadcast quality b-roll can be found at: https://www.virginamerica.com/cms/about-our-airline/photos.html.
A Red Beta video tour can be found at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsNx4WG42E0 and high resolution photos at: www.virginamerica.com/cms/about-our-airline/photos/red-beta.html
Photos of Virgin America's new summer menu can be found: www.virginamerica.com/cms/about-our-airline/photos/new-summer-2015-menu
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's Readers' Choice Awards for the past seven consecutive years and "Top Domestic Airline" in Travel Leisure's World Best Awards for now the eighth consecutive year. For more: www.virginamerica.com.
* Tickets must be purchased by 4:59pm PT on Tuesday, July 7, 2015. Main Cabin fares are one-way and require a 21- day advance purchase. Travel must occur between September 9, 2015 and February 10, 2016. Additional service dates include: FLL-SFO begins on September 25, 2015, SFO-HNL begins on November 3, 2015, FLL-JFK begins on November 3, 2015, and SFO-OGG begins on December 3, 2015. Lowest sale fares are available only on certain itineraries. Lowest sale fares are only valid for travel on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. For SFO-HNL/OGG, lowest sale fares are only valid on Tuesday and Wednesday. Blackout dates include: 10/9/15, 10/12/15, 11/6/15, 11/9/15, 11/20/15– 11/30/15, 12/18/15 – 12/31/15, 1/1/16 – 1/4/16, 1/15/16, and 1/18/16. 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) and AUS-DAL, 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.
**Any guest calling within the United States has access to a complimentary telecommunication relay service by dialing 711. More information is available here.
SOURCE Virgin America