SAN FRANCISCO, April 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Virgin America, the award-winning U.S. airline known for its low fares, mood-lit cabins and upscale service, today celebrates the launch of its new daily nonstop flight service from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) with a red carpet welcome for guests onboard its inaugural flight. The three daily roundtrip flights will add to the airline's existing service from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to LAS and from New York's Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to LAS. With its custom-designed leather seats, food and cocktails on demand and touch-screen entertainment at every seat, Virgin America brings its stylish design and award-winning service to those seeking the perfect way to kick off a weekend getaway at some of the best resorts, restaurants, and shopping destinations in the world. Today, the airline celebrates with a red carpet welcome for its first LAX-LAS flight guests at the McCarran Airport arrival gate and a launch party at The Chandelier at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. In addition, to mark its latest Vegas expansion, the airline today launches a first-of-its-kind seat-to-seat delivery service on flights nationwide. The feature allows guests to use the airline's Red™ in-flight entertainment platform to order a drink, meal or snack for fellow guests onboard, using the Red system's on-demand food ordering system. Travelers can now send an in-flight cocktail to that friendly stranger in seat 4A – and then follow up with a text message using the seat-to-seat chat function also on Red.
"With service named best in the U.S., Virgin America's upscale flight experience is a perfect match for those headed to one of the world's most iconic travel destinations. Although there is competition in this market, we saw an opportunity to provide travelers not only attractive fares but a better, more stylish flight option," said David Cush, Virgin America's President and CEO. "With our custom-designed cabins, award-winning service and our new Loft at LAX, our guests' Vegas experience now can begin at the airport. Whether traveling for escape or to one of the many trade events or conferences hosted here each year, we hope that choosing Virgin America will become one of their better Vegas decisions!"
Virgin America's new seat-to-seat delivery feature on the Red system is live on flights nationwide and Sir Richard Branson helped introduce the innovative new feature with a special video. Travelers can now use the airline's touch-screen seatback personal entertainment platform to send a cocktail, snack or meal to a fellow traveler onboard their flight using a digital seat map. Virgin America already features a seat-to-seat chat platform via its Red in-flight entertainment system, so that travelers can send text messages to other guests on their aircraft. As part of the launch of the unique feature, Virgin America is kicking off an online promotion inviting users to share how they are using or would use the new "Seat-to-Seat" feature – including their best in-flight pick-up lines. Social media submissions are being collected from April 22nd through May 22nd. The top five entries will be voted on by Virgin America fans with the top two entries scoring grand prize packages including mood-lit Virgin America flights to Las Vegas from anywhere in the Virgin America U.S. domestic network, a two-night stay in a Terrace Studio at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, dinner for two at a restaurant of choice from the Restaurant Collection at The Cosmopolitan, and VIP entry to Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub at The Cosmopolitan. For contest rules and terms and conditions, visit http://www.virginamerica.com/html/pdf/130422_get_lucky_woobox_tc.pdf
At McCarran today, the airline's inaugural LAX-LAS guests will receive a Vegas welcome with a Virgin twist at a red carpet reception at the LAS arrival gate. First flight guests, including celebrities, Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson and Virgin America CEO David Cush, will be met by local Las Vegas officials and LAS leadership. After walking the LAS red carpet upon arrival, flight guests will be treated to tray-passed hors d'oeuvres and signature cocktails like the "Virgintini" and "The Cosmopolitan," designed by Property Mixologist Christopher Hopkins from The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
"The Virgin brand and Las Vegas are both known for delivering a world-class experience to travelers – and for having a bit of fun along the way," said Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins, Chairman of the Board for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. "With record visitation numbers in 2012, every new airline seat provides the opportunity for continued growth. This new route is estimated to generate a non-gaming economic impact of more than $91 million annually for Las Vegas."
This evening, Virgin America will toast the launch of its newest route with a red carpet bash at one of the most talked about hotspots: The Chandelier at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Branson will help host a champagne-soaked launch event to fete travelers arriving from the airline's star-studded inaugural flight from Los Angeles. The exclusive event features celebrity appearances and signature cocktails in the dramatic three-story architectural wonder created with 2 million crystals, The Chandelier. Located at the heart of The Strip, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas offers guests a decidedly different perspective. The resort features oversized residential-style living spaces with expansive, one-of-a-kind private terraces, a 100,000 square foot casino, Sahra Spa & Hammam and Violet Hour Hair Nails Beauty, three unique pool experiences, 150,000 square feet of state-of-the-art convention and meeting space, an eclectic line-up of new-to-market retailers and signature restaurants.
With outstanding service, beautifully designed cabins and unrivalled in-flight entertainment, Virgin America has swept the travel awards since its 2007 launch. The airline's Red entertainment platform offers guests their own seatback touch-screen TV, with 25 films, live TV, Google Maps, video games, seat-to-seat chat, music videos, a 4,000-song library and an on-demand menu that allows flyers to order a cocktail or snack from their seatback any time during a flight. 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 38-inches of pitch, free food and cocktails, an all-access pass to media content, dedicated overhead bins and priority check-in/boarding.
"Virgin America has been a wonderful partner since its first flight arrived at McCarran International Airport, and we welcome their new nonstop service with open arms," said Steve Sisolak, Chairman of the Clark County Board of Commissioners. "Regardless if people are traveling to Las Vegas for leisure or business, we are always pleased to offer travelers more options, and we're thankful that Virgin America is providing this additional capacity for Southern California residents and other travelers headed to our region."
The new LAX-LAS route will also carry the codes of Virgin America codeshare partners Virgin Australia and Singapore Airlines, offering seamless connectivity for international guests traveling to and from Las Vegas via LAX. In addition, the addition of Virgin America LAX-LAS service creates convenient new online connections for guests traveling to and from Virgin America's Boston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Newark, Fort Lauderdale, Washington Dulles, New York JFK, Chicago, and Seattle destinations via LAX, building on existing connections over SFO.
In 2012, the airline launched its first domestic lounge, the Virgin America Loft at Los Angeles International Airport's (LAX) Terminal 3. In keeping with the airline's mission to reinvent the U.S. travel experience, the Virgin America Loft offers the amenities today's travelers demand within a space that reflects the look and feel of the airline's next generation mood-lit aircraft and overall design aesthetic. The Virgin America Loft extends the airline's signature cabin experience into the airport space with amenities like a cocktail bar and dining experience with a Virgin twist — including a "Lofty Libations" artisanal cocktail selection. As the only airline to offer both power outlets near every seat and in-flight WiFi on every aircraft, the Virgin America Loft is equipped with ample power sources and complimentary WiFi. High-resolution photos and a video tour of the Virgin America Loft are available at www.virginamerica.com/vx/lax-loft-photos.
About Virgin America: Headquartered in California, Virgin America offers guests attractive fares and a host of innovative features aimed at reinventing air travel. In just over five years flying, Virgin America was named "Best Domestic Airline" in the Conde Nast Traveler 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 'Readers' Choice' Awards and "Best Domestic Airline" in Travel + Leisure's 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 'World's Best' Awards. In April 2013, Virgin America was also ranked No. 1 performing airline among 14 major U.S. carriers rated for 2012 in the Airline Quality Rating, a joint research project conducted annually by faculty at Wichita State University and Purdue University that looks at airlines' on-time performance and baggage handling, involuntary denied boardings and the customer complaint rates. 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. Since 2007, the airline has expanded to 20 airport destinations and has created 2,600 new jobs. Virgin America flies to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Newark, Washington D.C. (IAD), Las Vegas, San Diego, Seattle, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Cabos, Cancun, Chicago, Puerto Vallarta, Palm Springs, Philadelphia, Portland and Washington D.C.'s Reagan National (DCA). Later this spring, the carrier will launch service from Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) on May 1, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) on May 21 and Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) on June 6. For more: www.virginamerica.com.
About The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is the city's newest luxury resort offering a decidedly different perspective. Located at the heart of The Strip, the resort's uniquely vertical multi-tower design offers spectacular views of the vibrant city. The new 2,995-room resort features oversized residential-style living spaces with expansive, one-of-a-kind private terraces. The Cosmopolitan's luxurious resort amenities include a 100,000 square foot casino; Sahra Spa & Hammam and Violet Hour Hair Nails Beauty; three unique pool experiences; Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub, a multi-level integrated indoor/outdoor nightclub and 150,000 square feet of state-of-the-art convention and meeting space. An eclectic line-up of new-to-market retailers include: AllSaints Spitalfields, Beckley, CRSVR Sneaker Boutique, DNA2050, EATDRINK, Jason of Beverly Hills, Kidrobot, Molly Brown's Swimwear, Retrospecs & Co, Skins 62 Cosmetics, Stitched and Utique. Signature restaurants include: Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill by restaurateurs Bruce and Eric Bromberg; Comme Ca by Los Angeles Chef David Myers; Estiatorio Milos, by international restaurateur Costas Spiliadis; Holsteins from Block 16 Hospitality; Jaleo and China Poblano restaurants by acclaimed Chef Jose Andres; Scarpetta and D.O.C.G. by award-winning Chef Scott Conant; and popular steakhouse STK from The ONE Group; bustling culinary food hall The Wicked Spoon; and The Henry, an all-day dining concept.
*All Main Cabin fares are one-way. $39 Main Cabin fares for LAS-LAX are only valid for travel on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays between September 3, 2013 and October 30, 2013. $39 Main Cabin fares for LAS-LAX must be purchased by 11:59pm CTApril 22, 2013. All other Main Cabin fares must be purchased by 11:59pm CT on April 29, 2013. For ANC-SFO Main Cabin fares, travel must occur between June 6, 2013 and September 9, 2013. For AUS-SFO Main Cabin fares, travel must occur between May 21, 2013 and June 22, 2013 or September 4, 2013 and September 30, 2013. Main Cabin fares for LAS-LAX, LAX-SFO, LAX-SJC, LAS-SFO, SAN-SFO, LAX-SEA, SEA-SFO, LAX-PDX and PDX-SFO require a 10-day advance purchase and travel must occur between May 2, 2013 and June 12, 2013. Main Cabin fares for DFW-LAX and DFW-SFO require a 14-day advance purchase and travel must occur between May 6, 2013 and June 12, 2013. All other Main Cabin fares require a 21-day advance purchase and travel must occur between May 13, 2013 and June 12, 2013. Lowest sale fares are available only on certain itineraries. Lowest sale fares are valid only for travel on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. 2013 blackout dates are: 5/10, 5/17, 5/23, 5/24, and 5/27. 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.