Virgin America Ranked Number One Airline in Annual Zagat Airline Survey

Airline Wins Best Overall Midsize carrier for Both Premium (First) and Economy Class (Main Cabin) Service

San Francisco – November 24, 2009 – Virgin America, the California-based airline that is reinventing domestic travel, today thanked the more than 5,000 frequent fliers participating in the 2009 Zagat Global Airline Survey who ranked the carrier best domestic midsize airline in both the premium class and economy class categories. Virgin America was not only rated best overall airline in its category, but earned a survey-leading score of 24 points for First Class service and 21 points for Main Cabin service – beating all U.S. carriers across all size categories. With one of the youngest and most fuel efficient fleets in the U.S., the airline also earned top marks for its sustainable practices. In addition, the carrier received praise for the usability of its Web site.

Launched in August 2007, Virgin America has won a list of reader-based awards, including top honors last month as “Best Domestic Airline” in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2009 Readers’ Choice Awards (a sample of +25,000 readers) and in July, “Best Domestic Airline” in Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards. The airline offers innovative amenities like touch-screen entertainment, power outlets and fleetwide Gogo® In-flight Internet.

Zagat’s 2009 Airline Survey covered 16 domestic and 73 international airlines, as well as 30 domestic airports.  The survey, conducted on ZAGAT.com, incorporates the opinions of 5,895 frequent fliers and travel professionals who collectively took 97,600 flights in the past year. Each airline was rated on Zagat’s signature 30-point scale on its premium and economy class service.  The airlines were rated on four aspects of performance: (1) Comfort, (2) Service, (3) Food and (4) Website.  Other issues such as value, on-time performance, luggage and in-flight entertainment were also covered.

Virgin America received the top ranking within its size group for both its Main Cabin and First Class service. Full results for U.S. airlines are listed below, with point tallies where available. For a full list, visit: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/zagats-2009-airline-survey-shows-air-travel-decline-72530437.html

Midsize Domestic Premium Class:
24: Virgin America
21: Hawaiian Airlines
20: Alaska Airlines

Midsize Domestic Economy Class:
21: Virgin America
Midwest Airlines
16: Hawaiian Airlines

Large Domestic Premium Class:
21: Continental Airlines
17: American Airlines
Delta Air Lines
16: United Airways
15: AirTran Airways

Large Domestic Economy Class:
19: JetBlue Airways
15: Continental Airlines
Southwest Airlines
12: AirTran Airways
11: Delta Air Lines

Virgin America’s Red™ entertainment platform offers 25 films, live TV, interactive Google Maps, music videos, videogames, and an on-demand menu that allows guests to order what they want, when they want it. In May, the airline became the first to offer in-flight internet on every flight, and in October it  joined forces with Google, to make WiFi free for the holidays. Virgin America maintains an industry leading on-time ranking, with an impressive 87.2% percent A-14 on-time performance reported for the third quarter of 2009.

In addition to a Main Cabin that offers custom-designed leather seats with a deeper, more comfortable pitch, the airline’s First Class offers plush white leather seats with 55 inches of pitch and lumbar massagers. The carrier’s premium Main Cabin Select option, offers 38-inches of pitch, complimentary food and cocktails, an all-access pass to Red’s countless entertainment options, dedicated overhead bins and priority check-in/boarding.

Virgin America flies to San Francisco, LA, New York, Washington D.C., Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego, Boston, Orange County and Fort Lauderdale. The airline offers daily flights from: SFO to LAX, SFO to JFK, SFO to SAN, SFO to IAD, SFO to LAS, LAX to JFK, LAX to IAD, SFO to SEA, SEA to LAX, JFK to LAS, BOS to LAX, BOS to SFO, SFO to SNA, LAX to FLL and SFO to FLL.

#   #   #

Media Contact: Abby Lunardini (650) 533-7576 / abby.lunardini@virginamerica.com

EDITOR’S NOTE: Virgin America is a U.S.-controlled, owned and operated airline. It is an entirely separate company from Virgin Atlantic. Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is a minority share investor in Virgin America.

About Virgin America: Virgin America is one of the fastest growing start-up U.S. airlines of all time. The airline’s new aircraft offer interactive in-flight entertainment systems and power outlets at seat for electronic gear. Virgin America offers in-flight internet on every flight and hosts the largest in-flight entertainment library in the U.S. skies via its touch-screen Red™ system. The airline was named “Best Domestic Airline” in the Condé Nast Traveler 2008 and 2009 Readers’ Choice Awards and in Travel + Leisure’s 2008 and 2009 World’s Best Awards. For more: www.virginamerica.com.

<< Back To Press Release
Our Frequent Flyer Program
What's Elevate? Earn Points
Our Blog Our Airline Partners © Virgin America