VIRGIN AMERICA RANKS NO. 1 IN APEX PASSENGER CHOICE AWARDS™

New Airline Takes Top Honors in Four Categories including ‘Best Overall Passenger Experience’

San Francisco – September 16, 2010 – Virgin America, the California-based airline that is reinventing travel, took top honors in four categories in the 2010 APEX Passenger Choice Awards.™ The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) is a nonprofit organization that represents over 400 of the world’s leading airlines. APEX’s Passenger Choice Awards were designed to recognize airlines for their service, products and innovations. This is the first year that APEX has conducted the awards by surveying flyers from all over the world. Virgin America received the most honors in this year’s awards – sweeping categories that included domestic and international airlines. The airline took home the following awards:

  • Best Overall Passenger Experience
  • The Best in Region: The Americas
  • The Best Ground Experience
  • The Best In-flight Connectivity and Communications

“We are honored by the recognition we’re receiving from travelers,” said Virgin America President and Chief Executive Officer David Cush. “The idea behind Virgin America is to reinvent the travel experience through guest service, design and new technology. These latest awards are a testament to the work of our team and demonstrate that we’re hitting the mark with consumers. They also inspire us to continue to do what we do best: innovate on behalf of our guests.”

The 2010 APEX Passenger Choice Awards ceremony was held September 13 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, California. APEX, formerly known as the World Airline Entertainment Association (WAEA), hosted the awards ceremony during the APEX Annual Conference and Exhibition, the venue for exhibitors to showcase new products and innovations that will improve the airline cabin environment in the future and further enhance the air travel experience. A dozen awards in a range of categories were given to individual domestic and international airlines. Travelers voted via an online survey launched in June of 2010.

Virgin America offers design-driven and inventive features that appeal to today’s travelers, including beautifully designed mood-lit cabins, power outlets near every seat, fleetwide WiFi and the Red™ in-flight entertainment platform. In just three years flying, Virgin America was named “Best Domestic Airline” in the Condé Nast Traveler 2008 and 2009 Readers’ Choice Awards and “Best Domestic Airline” in Travel + Leisure’s 2008, 2009 and 2010 World’s Best Awards. The Red platform is the most advanced in-flight entertainment system in the skies and offers both touch-screen and remote control interactivity – with over 700 hours of media content. In addition to a 30-film library, the system offers live TV, videogames, seat-to-seat chat, 3,000 MP3s, Google maps, a Shop platform and more. The airline’s unique on-demand food menu allows guests to order what they want, when they want it during a flight – right from the Red seatback screen. The airline’s menu earned it the “Best Domestic Airline for Food” title in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards.

The Red platform includes:

  • “Watch”: Live satellite TV, cached specialty channels, +30 on-demand films, premium TV like HBO and an on-demand music video library;
  • “Play”: A variety of videogames, including cult favorites like DOOM, navigated by a Qwerty keyboard handset at every seat;
  • “Talk”: A seat-to-seat chat feature inside the aircraft, so guests can chat with someone in a nearby seat. Guest can also block unwanted chat requests;
  • “Journey”: Interactive Google Maps, now with terrain-view, that zoom at eight levels and track the aircraft in-flight;
  • “Eat”: A first-of-its-kind on-demand menu system that allows guests to order what they want, when they want it during a flight;
  • “Shop”: An on-demand shopping section powered by SkyMall with hundreds of products;
  • “Listen”: A 3,000 MP3 library and platform to create playlists in-flight.
Virgin America Teammates at the APEX awards ceremony

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

EDITORS NOTES: 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: Headquartered in California and launched in August 2007, Virgin America employs over 1600 people. The airline’s base of operations is San Francisco International Airport. Virgin America offers in-flight internet service on every flight and hosts the largest in-flight entertainment library in the North American skies via the Red platform. In just three years flying, Virgin America was named “Best Domestic Airline” in the Condé Nast Traveler 2008 and 2009 Readers’ Choice Awards and “Best Domestic Airline” in Travel + Leisure’s 2008, 2009 and 2010 World’s Best Awards. For photos and more: www.virginamerica.com.

About WAEA/APEX: WAEA/APEX members provide excellence in passenger experience. From designing, building and installing multi-million dollar network TV and data systems on commercial aircraft to the delivery of the in-flight movies, TV and games; from the in-flight magazines you read to the moving map display showing the flight’s progress, WAEA/APEX is committed to providing the best possible airline experience for passengers around the world. APEX is professionally managed by Kellen Company, the premier global association management firm with offices and representation in the United States, Europe, China, the Middle East, India and Southeast Asia. To learn more about APEX, visit www.apex.aero.

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