SAN FRANCISCO, July 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Virgin America, the California-based airline that is reinventing travel, today was named "Top Domestic Airline" in the prestigious Travel + Leisure 2013 World's Best Awards readers' survey – for the sixth consecutive year. The annual Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards highlight the results of a survey that captures the opinions of Travel + Leisure readers on their favorite travel experiences. In this 18th annual readers' survey, airlines were rated by Travel + Leisure readers in four categories, including: cabin comfort, in-flight service, customer service and value. Select survey results, including Virgin America's win, were profiled on NBC's TODAY Show this morning and are now featured on www.TravelandLeisure.com/worldsbest.
"Receiving independent feedback from thousands of the most discerning travelers out there is not only an honor but a continued validation of the work of our teammates in creating a service experience that stands head and shoulders above the competition," said Virgin America President and CEO David Cush. "Awards like this show that we're continuing to live up to the mission set out for the airline from day one: to reinvent the domestic flying experience and create an airline people really love. We're grateful to our loyal flyers who have always believed that they can and should expect more from an airline – and we intend to keep delivering on that promise."
To thank its travel aficionado fans, Virgin America today launches an eight-hour "We're On Cloud Nine" fare sale for travel between September 10, 2013 and December 18, 2013. Main Cabin fares start as low as $46** (taxes and fees included and restrictions applying). Tickets must be purchased today (July 2nd) between 9:00am PT and 4:59pm PT. Tickets can be purchased only on Virgin America's website (www.virginamerica.com) or at 1.877.FLY.VIRGIN (1.877.359.8474).*** In addition, to celebrate the beautiful cabins and flyers who have helped put the airline on top for the past six years, Virgin America is kicking off Summer "selfie" season with a social campaign that invites travelers to post their best in-flight selfie photos (under the airline's very flattering moodlighting) to Twitter, Instagram, or Vine using the hashtag #VXSelfie – with a free 15-minute Gogo™ in-flight WiFi session for mobile devices offered on all Virgin America flights from July 4-July 7, 2013. Each day, one lucky #VXSelfie submitter will score 10,000 Elevate® Points. For more, visit www.virginamerica.com/vx/booking/vx-selfie or search the #VXSelfie hashtag on Twitter, Vine or Instagram.
The Travel + Leisure 2013 World's Best Awards results, including the Top Hotels Overall and Top 10 Cities Overall, are featured on www.travelandleisure.com/worldsbest now and in the upcoming issue of Travel + Leisure, available on newsstands July 19. Virgin America received a score of 85.46 – and will officially receive their honors along with the industry's other winners at the awards ceremony on Thursday, July 18, 2013. Last month, the magazine announced that Virgin America had taken the top honors for best domestic airline in the service category –with a score of 85.81, significantly out-performing its nearest domestic competitor which ranked at 79.31. This ranking was based on data collected in the Travel + Leisure 2012 World's Best Award's reader's survey.
With topnotch guest service, beautiful design and a variety of innovative amenities, Virgin America has earned a host of industry awards since launching service in 2007. With one of the youngest fleets in the U.S., Virgin America offers guests sleek, tech-forward aircraft cabins with custom-designed seating, fleetwide in-flight WiFi, signature "moodlighting," power outlets near every seat and the most advanced in-flight entertainment system in the skies. The Red™ in-flight entertainment platform offers every traveler a seatback touch-screen with on-demand films, live and premium TV, interactive Google Maps, music videos, videogames, seat-to-seat chat, a 4,000 MP3 library and an on-demand menu – so guests can order a cocktail or meal from their seatback at any time during the flight. In April 2013, the airline added the ability for guests to send a menu item via the touch-screen menu to fellow travelers in another seat. Virgin America offers one of the largest selections of fresh menu items, with a focus on lighter, more health-focused options in keeping with the airline's California roots. The menu was named best in the U.S. in 2009 by Travel + Leisure.
In 2012, Virgin America opened its first airport lounge – The Loft at LAX – and launched a suite of enhancements to its Elevate® frequent flyer program, including Elevate Gold and Elevate Silver status levels that offer perks that include: 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.
Since its 2007 launch, Virgin America has expanded its network to include 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 most recently, Anchorage (seasonal).
Photos of Virgin America's unique aircraft: www.virginamerica.com/about/airline-photos/virgin-america-pictures.html
Broadcast quality video b-roll of Virgin America's unique cabins and destination footage can also be downloaded at: www.virginamerica.com/html/39049.zip.
About Virgin America : Headquartered in California, Virgin America offers guests attractive fares and a host of innovative features aimed at reinventing air travel. Since its 2007 launch, Virgin America has been named "Best Domestic Airline" in Travel + Leisure's 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 'World's Best' Awards. In May 2012, Virgin America was named the best airline in 2012 in the Airline Quality Rating, a joint research project conducted annually by faculty at Wichita State University and Purdue University. For a full awards list: http://www.virginamerica.com/html/virgin_america_travel_awards.pdf. The airline's base of operations is San Francisco International Airport (SFO)'s sleek and sustainable 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. In addition to a Main Cabin that offers custom-designed 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 option offers 38inches of pitch, free food and cocktails, an all-access pass to media content, dedicated overhead bins and priority check-in/boarding. For more info: www.virginamerica.com
About Travel + Leisure: world's most influential travel brand, Travel + Leisure, offers insider access to destinations around the globe with a signature mix of smart advice, immersive photography, expert reporting, and award-winning coverage of hotels, food, design, style, culture, and trends. Travel + Leisure® features news, finds, and opinions that empower its readers and users to travel better. With a global reach of more than 5 million readers, the Travel + Leisure print portfolio includes the U.S. flagship and five international editions in Mexico, Turkey, China, India/South Asia, and Southeast Asia. The U.S. edition of T+L, an American Express Publishing title that launched in 1971, is also designed for iPad®, NOOK Color™, and Kindle Fire™. Travel + Leisure has an authoritative website, TravelandLeisure.com, and an extensive social media following on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Foursquare, and Foodspotting. The T+L brand also encompasses newsletters, clubs, a book series, retail stores, and media collaborations.
About Gogo: Gogo is a global leader of in-flight connectivity and a pioneer in wireless in-flight digital entertainment solutions. Using Gogo's exclusive products and services, passengers with Wi-Fi enabled devices can get online on more than 1,900 Gogo equipped commercial aircraft. In-flight connectivity partners include American Airlines, Air Canada, AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America. In-flight entertainment partners include American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Scoot and US Airways. Back on the ground, Gogo's 600+ employees in Itasca, IL, Broomfield, CO and London are working to continually redefine flying as a productive, socially connected, and all-around more satisfying experience.
*About the Survey: For complete Travel + Leisure 2013 World's Best Awards readers' survey methodology, visit: www.TravelandLeisure.com/worldsbest.
**Fare Sale Terms and Conditions: All Main Cabin fares are one-way. Travel for Main Cabin fares must occur between September 10, 2013 and December 18, 2013. All Main Cabin fares must be purchased by 4:59pm PT on July 2, 2013. Lowest sale fares are available only on certain itineraries. 2013 blackout dates are: 10/14, 11/8, 11/11, 11/21-11/30, and 12/1-12/3. 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.
***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
****VXselfie Terms and Conditions: For more information and restrictions on the #VXSelfie promotion, visit: http://www.virginamerica.com/html/pdf/130701_vxselfie_tc.pdf
SOURCE Virgin America