VIRGIN AMERICA RANKS NO. 1 IN TRAVEL + LEISURE’S WORLD’S BEST AWARDS
New Airline Takes Top Honors from Readers as Best Domestic Airline for Third Consecutive Year
Virgin America Launches “Three-peat” Fare Sale to Thank Flyers and Celebrate Win

San Francisco – July 8, 2010 – Virgin America, the California-based airline that is reinventing travel, today took the top honors for the third year running as “Best Domestic Airline” in the prestigious Travel + Leisure Annual World’s Best Awards readers’ survey.   Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards highlight the results of an impartial survey that allows Travel + Leisure readers to share their opinions of their favorite travel experiences.*  In the annual reader survey, airlines were rated independently by Travel + Leisure readers in four categories, including:  cabin comfort, in-flight service, customer service and value. 

To thank its guests and celebrate its third consecutive win, the airline is launching a “Three-peat” seven hour fare sale for travel between August 25, 2010 and October 6, 2010. Main Cabin “Three-peat” fares start as low as $33** on short-hauls like Los Angeles (LAX)-San Francisco (SFO), San Diego (SAN)-SFO and SFO-Las Vegas (LAS).  Long haul fares start at $113** from New York (JFK)-LAX, SFO-JFK, Boston (BOS)-SFO and Washington Dulles (IAD)-LAX.   Tickets are on sale today on the airline’s Web site (www.virginamerica.com) and at 1.877.FLY.VIRGIN (1.877.359.8474).*** Tickets must be purchased today (July 8) between 10:01am PT and 4:59pm PT. 

“We’re honored to receive the highest marks from Travel + Leisure’s readers for the third year in a row,” said Virgin America President and Chief Executive Officer David Cush. “There are many surveys that attempt to rank airline quality that are paid or that exclude smaller carriers, but this award confirms that we’re continuing to lead the U.S. industry and hit the mark with savvy consumers.  As we enter our fourth year of operations, the win is a testament to our unique product and the dedication of our entrepreneurial team.”  

With industry-leading guest service, beautiful design and a host of high-tech amenities, Virgin America has captured a list of industry best-in-class awards since launching service in 2007. The airline offers unrivalled value with low fares and innovative features like touch-screen seatback entertainment, power outlets, mood-lighting and custom-designed leather seating with a deeper, more comfortable pitch.  In May 2009, Virgin America became the first airline to offer guests in-flight internet on every flight.  

Virgin America is the only airline in the U.S. with a touch-screen seatback menu that allows guests to order what they want, when they want it during a flight.  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.  Virgin America’s in-flight and airport staff training includes a special focus on delivering concierge-like guest care. 

The complete Travel + Leisure 2010 results, including the Top 100 Hotels Overall and Top 10 Cities Overall, are featured on www.travelandleisure.com/worldsbest now and in Travel + Leisure’s August issue, available on newsstands July 23.  The Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards winners for 2010 will be honored in New York City on July 21 at an awards ceremony luncheon at the Trump SoHo New York, followed by a party that evening at the new Andaz 5th Avenue in New York City.

Three-peat fares** include:

Boston

San Francisco

$113**

Boston

Los Angeles

$113**

 

 

 

New York

Las Vegas

$113**

New York

Los Angeles

$113**

New York

San Francisco

$113**

 

 

 

Dulles

Los Angeles

$113**

Dulles

San Francisco

$113**

 

 

 

Fort Lauderdale

San Francisco

$113**

Fort Lauderdale

Los Angeles

$113**

 

 

 

San Francisco

Los Angeles

$33**

San Francisco

Las Vegas

$33**

San Francisco

San Diego

$33**

 

 

 

Seattle

San Francisco

$33**

Seattle

Los Angeles

$66**

Virgin America offers over 100 flights a day and flies to:  San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Toronto and starting in the fall of 2010 – Orlando.  Virgin America has flown more than eight million guests since its inaugural flights in August 2007.

# # #

Media Contacts:  Virgin America, Abby Lunardini (650) 533-7576 / abby.lunardini@virginamerica.com
Travel + Leisure, Liz Marsh (212) 382-5684/ elizabeth.c.marsh@aexp.com; Jill S. Davison (212) 382-5679/ jill.s.davison@aexp.com

EDITORS NOTE:  Virgin America is a U.S.-controlled and operated airline and 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 is one of the fastest growing start-up U.S. airlines of all time and currently employs over 1600 people.  Virgin America offers guests attractive fares and a host of innovative features aimed at reinventing air travel.  The airline’s base of operations is San Francisco International Airport’s ultra-modern International Terminal.  The airline's new aircraft offer interactive in-flight entertainment systems and power outlets near every seat for electronic gear.  Virgin America offers in-flight internet service on every flight and hosts the largest in-flight entertainment library in the North American skies via its touch-screen Red™ seatback platform.  In addition to a 20-film library including Oscar winners, foreign language films and Hollywood blockbusters, Red features live TV, videogames, seat-to-seat chat, 3,000 MP3s, music videos, interactive Google maps and more.  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 now 2010 World's Best Awards.  For more: www.virginamerica.com

About Travel + Leisure:  With an eye for the authentic, the innovative, and the irresistible, Travel + Leisure (www.travelandleisure.com) fuses expert reporting on culture, food, style, and design with stunning photography, transporting readers to the places—and the travel experiences—that matter now. T+L, the monthly title from American Express Publishing and the long-standing authority in its field, has the largest audience of any travel magazine and is an indispensable guide for global nomads. Travel + Leisure has a network of international editions, including Travel + Leisure Mexico, Travel + Leisure Turkey, Travel + Leisure China, Travel + Leisure South Asia, and Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia.

*About the Survey: 2010 World’s Best Awards Survey Methodology
A questionnaire developed by the editors of Travel + Leisure, in association with ROI Research Inc., was made available to Travel + Leisure readers at TLWorldsBest.com from December 15, 2009, to March 31, 2010. Readers were invited to participate through Travel + Leisure magazine (January, February, and March issues), and online at TravelandLeisure.com. To protect the integrity of the data, after March 31, 2010, respondents were screened by Travel + Leisure and responses from any identified travel-industry professionals who completed the survey were eliminated from the final tally. The survey website, TLWorldsBest.com, was maintained, monitored, and kept secure by ROI Research Inc., which collected and tabulated the responses and kept them confidential. The scores are indexed averages of responses concerning applicable characteristics. Respondents were asked to rate hotels, islands, destination spas, golf resorts, and rental-car agencies on five characteristics; cities, cruise lines, and tour operators and safari outfitters on six characteristics; and airlines and hotel spas on four characteristics (see below). In the hotel, cruise line, tour operator, airline, and golf resort categories, respondents could also rate additional optional characteristics; these ratings were not included in the final score. For each characteristic, respondents were asked to rate a candidate on a scale of 1 to 5, where “5” means excellent and “1” means poor. Required component ratings were then averaged, creating an overall score. A minimum number of responses was necessary for a candidate to be eligible for inclusion in the World’s Best Awards listings. Some companies were rated in both the cruise line and tour operator and safari outfitter categories, and some properties were rated in both the destination spa and hotel spa categories. In both cases, companies and properties have different scores for each category. These were the categories and characteristics:
• For hotels: rooms/facilities, location, service, restaurants/food, value.
• Hotel types were determined using the number of rooms and suites. Inns have fewer than 40 rooms; resorts have 40 rooms or more. Small city hotels have fewer than 100 rooms; large city hotels have 100 rooms or more. In some regions, inns and resorts and large and small city hotels were grouped together.
• For destination spas: accommodations/ambience, treatments, service, food, value.
• For hotel spas: ambience, treatments, service, value.
• For cities: sights, culture/arts, restaurants/food, people, shopping, value.
• For islands: natural attractions, activities/sights, restaurants/food, people, value.
• For cruise lines: cabins, food, service, itineraries/destinations, activities, value.
• For tour operators and safari outfitters: staff/guides, itineraries/destinations, activities, accommodations, food, value.
• For airlines: cabin comfort, in-flight service, customer service, value.
• For rental-car agencies: vehicle selection, vehicle availability, rental location, service, value.
• For golf resorts: location, course grounds, amenities, service, value.

** Terms and Conditions: All Main Cabin fares are one-way. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable. Fare sale starts 10:01am PDT July 8, 2010. Tickets must be purchased by 4:59pm PDT July 8, 2010. Travel must occur between August 25, 2010 and October 6, 2010. Blackout dates are September 3 and September 6, 2010. Seats are limited, subject to availability, and may not be available on all flights. Flights may not operate daily during off-peak periods. Changes or cancellations can be made for a $75 fee if changes are made on Virgin America’s website (www.virginamerica.com) or a $100 fee through all other channels, including the call center and at the airport, plus any increase in fare, if applicable. Changes or cancellations of a booking made with Elevate Points will be subject to a $75 redeposit fee. Guests who no-show without a change or cancel 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 $15 per guest per itinerary. Any added cost associated with purchasing tickets from Virgin America through our reservation call center will be non-refundable. Fares do not include Passenger Facility Charges of up to $9 each way, September 11th Security Fees of up to $5 each way and a Federal Segment Tax of $3.70 per domestic segment. A segment is a takeoff and landing. 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 one (1) piece of checked baggage up to 70 pounds for $25 for each ticketed guest. The fee per guest for each additional checked bag up to 50 pounds from the second (2) to the tenth (10) 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

 

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