SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Virgin America unleashes one of its biggest deals of the year with a #TinyDogsTinyFares Cyber Monday offer of up to 30 percent off flights* nationwide – with the airline donating $10 from every booking** made on www.virginamerica.com to its animal shelter partners: The San Francisco Animal Care and Control (SF ACC), The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) and Animal Haven. Today, the airline is also undertaking its seventh "Operation Chihuahua" airlift – flying Chihuahuas in style from San Francisco to New York so they can be adopted into loving homes – just in time for the holidays. The overpopulation of Chihuahuas in California continues to force West Coast animal shelters to look to shelters across the country – where demand for smaller dogs exceeds supply. As the airline headquartered in San Francisco, Virgin America first teamed up with the SF ACC to fly needy pups to new homes on the East Coast in 2010 and "Operation Chihuahua" was born. To date, the airline has flown more than 100 Chihuahuas to their new Big Apple homes.
Travelers can help even more tiny dogs get their "wings" by fetching a tiny fare – with up to 30 percent* off flights nationwide. Virgin America will donate $10 per booking** made today to support future "Operation Chihuahua" airlifts and other animal welfare programs through its SF ACC, ASPCA® and Animal Haven partners. Tickets are on sale at www.virginamerica.com and must be purchased by 6:00 a.m. PT on Nov. 29, 2016, using the promo code: TINYFARES. Travelers can pass along the savings to family and friends – and help even more pups, by visiting www.TinyDogsTinyFares.com to retrieve shareable cards starring some of the rescue Chihuahuas. If flying on Virgin America today, travelers can also find a Chihuahua SnapChat filter to 'mark' the occasion.
"We're thrilled to again help out our friends and neighbors at the SF ACC, who work so hard to take care of animals in need," said Abby Lunardini, Vice President of Brand Marketing and Communications at Virgin America. "This is always a fun day for our Teammates – who volunteer to fly over a 24-hour period as traveling companions in order to get these pups to their forever homes on the East Coast. Many of our Teammates – including myself, as well as our flyers are passionate animal lovers, and it is heartwarming to see so many come together to support the important and under-funded work the SF ACC is doing. We're proud to be a small part of that."
This morning, the airline hosted a red carpet send-off at the departure gate at San Francisco International Airport for dozens of tiny Chihuahuas as they kicked off their journey with the VIP treatment – including doggie treats and plenty of "carry on" toys. Onboard, the Chihuahuas will fly in style – enjoying the airline's signature moodlit cabins. Upon arrival at Newark Liberty International Airport, the pups will be met by staff from the ASPCA® and Animal Haven – where they will be adopted into forever homes in time for the holidays. Virgin America teammate volunteers escorting the Chihuahuas on the flight will track their journey with real-time, in-flight updates using the hashtag #TinyDogsTinyFares on the airline's Instagram and Twitter accounts, via the airline's fleetwide WiFi.
"It is great to partner once again with Virgin America to help these animals find loving and caring homes on the East Coast – and to help drive much needed donations for our animal welfare programs," said Virginia Donohue, Director of the City of San Francisco Animal Care & Control. "With California having a major overpopulation of Chihuahuas, this partnership has continued to help us in our mission to find families for these animals in need. While these lucky dogs are on their way to be adopted on the East Coast – Bay Area residents interested in adopting a pet can also make tails wag by visiting their local shelter today."
"The ASPCA is dedicated to ending animal homelessness nationwide, so we are thrilled to be moving this group of animals from San Francisco to New York, which will improve their chances for adoption into safe and loving homes," said Gail Buchwald, Senior Vice President of the ASPCA Adoption Center. "While these Chihuahuas settle in and receive medical and behavioral evaluations, we encourage interested adopters to visit our website to learn about all the wonderful and available animals at our Adoption Center."
Since its launch in 2007, Virgin America has won a list of industry best-in-class awards for its topnotch service and tech-forward amenities like fleetwide WiFi and power outlets near every seat. The airline's Red® in-flight entertainment platform offers guests on every flight their own seatback touch-screen TV, with more than 25 films, live TV, seat-to-seat text messaging, interactive 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.
SFO officials expect approximately 6.5 million passengers to travel through SFO this holiday travel season – a 5.7% increase in traffic compared to the same period last year. Virgin America, the only carrier based at SFO, will have carried a record 140,000 guests to their holiday destinations between Wednesday, November 23 and Monday, November 28, 2016 alone. This holiday season, SFO is also bringing back its popular "Wag Brigade" program in partnership with the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) where dogs certified through the SPCA's Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) Program help make stressful holiday travel more enjoyable for travelers by roaming the terminals wearing vests that read, "Pet Me!"
Virgin America flies to Austin, Boston, Cancun, Chicago, Dallas Love Field, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Los Cabos, Newark, New York (JFK and LGA), Orlando, Palm Springs, Portland, Puerto Vallarta, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington D.C. (IAD and DCA), Honolulu and Kahului, Maui.
Photos and video from today's 'Operation Chihuahua' airlift will be available here.
Photos of Virgin America's unique aircraft and broadcast quality b-roll are available here.
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 Readers' Choice Awards and "Best Domestic Airline" in Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards for the past nine consecutive years. For more: www.virginamerica.com.
ABOUT THE SAN FRANCISCO DEPARTMENT OF ANIMAL CONTROL
The Department of Animal Care & Control is a taxpayer-funded open-admission animal shelter. Animal Care & Control provides housing, care and medical treatment to wild, exotic and domestic stray, lost, abandoned sick, injured and/or surrendered animals. Animal Care & Control aims to adopt, rehome or reunite domestic animals with their guardians and to rehabilitate and release wildlife to their native habitat. Animal Care & Control responds to animal related emergencies, including animal abuse and neglect, as well as matters of public safety. Animal Care & Control is located at 1200 15th St. (at Harrison.) www.sfanimalcare.org
ABOUT THE ASPCA®
Founded in 1866 and celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation's leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA's mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
ABOUT ANIIMAL HAVEN SHELTER
Animal Haven is a nonprofit organization that finds homes for abandoned cats and dogs throughout the Tri-State area, and provides behavior intervention when needed to improve chances of adoption. Founded in 1967, we operate an animal shelter in Manhattan. We also provide programs that enhance the bond between animals and people.
*#TinyDogsTinyFares Promotion Terms and Conditions: This offer ends on Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at 6 am PT. This offer is valid for nonstop or connecting travel; offer is not valid for any multi-city itineraries. Travel must occur between December 10, 2016 and March 4, 2017. Tickets require an advance purchase of 10 days. One time use promo code is valid for non-refundable Main Cabin tickets only. Promo code is valid for a 30% discount off the base fare for travel on Tuesday and Wednesday and a 15% discount on Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Discount is not valid for travel on Sundays. 2016 Blackout dates include: 12/21– 12/31. 2017 Blackout dates include: 1/1 – 1/4, 1/13, 1/16, and 2/16- 2/21. Promo code is not valid in Main Cabin Select, First Class or refundable Main Cabin. Promo code applies to 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 $5.60 per one way trip, where each one-way trip may include a connection or stopover between two domestic flights not exceeding 4 hours, and a Federal Segment Tax of $4.00 per domestic segment. A segment is a takeoff and landing. A stopover is a break in travel of more than 4 hours between 2 flights. For service to/from Mexico, base fares do not include the U.S. Immigration User Fee of $7, the U.S. APHIS fee of $3.96, the U.S. Customs processing fee of $5.50, a U.S. International Arrival/Departure Tax of $17.50 each way and additional taxes/fees of up to $70, including: Mexico International Departure Tax and Mexico Tourism Tax. Promo code may only be used for bookings made on virginamerica.com and is only valid on itineraries of up to 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. For travel solely between points in the Continental Western Region (LAS/LAX/PDX/PSP/PVR/SAN/SEA/SFO/SJD only), DEN-SFO and DAL-LAS, 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. Promotion code is not eligible for Elevate points redemption bookings. 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 in Main Cabin is $25. Additional fees apply to baggage exceeding these weight limitations, and other baggage restrictions may apply.
**Donation Terms: Virgin America will donate $10 for each ticket sold during the "Cyber Monday Deal," up to a maximum donation of $50,000 cash plus $25,000 value in-kind tickets for future airlifts to our Operation Chihuahua partners: San Francisco Animal Care and Control, ASPCA® and Animal Haven.
SOURCE Virgin America