Virgin America Rated Number One U.S. Airline in 2010 Zagat Survey

VIRGIN AMERICA RATED NUMBER ONE U.S. AIRLINE IN 2010 ZAGAT SURVEY
Survey of 8,000 Frequent Flyers Give Airline Highest Score Among All U.S. Carriers for both Premium and Economy Service 

San Francisco – November 29, 2010 – For the third consecutive year, Virgin America, the California-based airline that is reinventing domestic travel, took the top honors in the 2010 Zagat Global Airline Survey.  Virgin America received the highest overall scores of any U.S. airline in the survey of over 8000 frequent flyers.  The airline took top honors for the third consecutive year (since its 2007 launch) for best service in the “Midsize Domestic Premium Class” and “Midsize Domestic Economy Class” categories.  The survey, conducted on ZAGAT.com covered 16 domestic and 74 international airlines.  The results are based on over 8,000 frequent flyers who collectively took 139,300 flights in the past year.

Virgin America was not only rated best overall airline in its category, but earned a survey-leading score of 21.14 points for its Main Cabin service – beating all U.S. carriers across all size categories.  On the 30 point Zagat scale, Virgin America earned 21.14 points for its Main Cabin service, followed by JetBlue with 19.01 points and Hawaiian Airlines with 16.19 points, as its nearest competitors.  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 quality and usability of its Web site. 

“We are honored to again receive the top rating from more than 8000 of Zagat’s discerning critics for our unique in-flight experience and service,” said Virgin America President and CEO David Cush.  “In addition to an industry-leading product with touch-screen entertainment at every seat and beautifully designed cabins – this award is a testament to the hard work of our teammates.  Our team remains focused on reinventing the guest experience for the better – everyday.”

The airlines were rated on four aspects of their performance: (1) Comfort, (2) Service, (3) Food and (4) Website.  Other categories such as Value, Timeliness, Check-in and Luggage Policy and In-Flight Entertainment were also considered. 

With outstanding service, beautiful design and a host of high-tech amenities, Virgin America has captured a list of industry best-in-class awards since its 2007 launch. The airline offers mood-lit cabins, power outlets near every seat and the Red™ platform — the most advanced in-flight entertainment system in the skies.  The Red touch-screen platform offers 30 films, live and premium TV, Google Maps, music videos, videogames, seat-to-seat chat, a 3000 MP3 library, a first-of-its-kind digital Shop section and an on-demand menu — so guests can order a cocktail or meal from their seatback any time during a flight.  In May of 2009, Virgin America became the first airline to offer in-flight internet on every flight.

In Zagat’s 2009 survey of over 5,000 flyers Virgin America also received top honors for the same categories. Since launching in August 2007, Virgin America has captured a list of travel industry best-in-class awards, including "Best Domestic Airline” in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2008, 2009 and 2010 Readers’ Choice Awards and Travel + Leisure’s 2008, 2009 and 2010 World’s Best Awards

Earlier today, the airline launched a “Cool Flights, Subzero Fares” sale to celebrate Cyber Monday, featuring low fares from $39 SFO-LA; $109 JFK-LAS; and $109 SFO-MCO, restrictions, taxes and fees apply.*

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Media Contacts: 

Katie Baynes (650) 274-9242/katie.baynes@virginamerica.com

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

EDITORS NOTE: Virgin America is a U.S. controlled and operated airline. 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 offers guests attractive fares and a host of innovative features aimed at reinventing air travel, including in-flight internet service on every flight and the most advanced touch-screen entertainment platform in the skies. The airline’s base of operations is San Francisco International Airport. In just three years flying, Virgin America has created 1,700 new jobs and has swept the major reader-based travel awards, including “Best Domestic Airline” in the Condé Nast Traveler 2008, 2009 and 2010 Readers’ Choice Awards and “Best Domestic Airline” in Travel + Leisure’s 2008, 2009 and 2010 World’s Best Awards. For photos and more, visit: www.virginamerica.com

*Terms and Conditions (Main Cabin): All Main Cabin fares are one-way, based on travel originating from the US, and require a 7-day advance purchase. Tickets must be purchased by 11:59pm PST December 6, 2010.  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. For international travel, fares do not include the U.S. Immigration User Fee of $7, the U.S. APHIS fee of $5, and the U.S. International Arrival/Departure tax of $16.10 each way. For service to/from Toronto, fares do not include additional taxes/fees of up to $50, including: Airport Improvement Fee, Canadian Security Fee, Goods and Services Tax, and Harmonized Sales Tax. For service to/from Mexico, fares do not include additional taxes/fees of up to $60, including: Mexico International Departure Tax and Mexico Tourism Tax. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable. Travel must occur between December 6, 2010 and May 11, 2011, unless specified otherwise. SFO-SJD service begins December 16, 2010. LAX-CUN service begins January 19, 2011. SFO-CUN service begins January 20, 2011. Blackout dates are December 18, 2010; December 23, 2010; December 26, 2010; January 2-3, 2011; February 18, 21, 2011. Lowest fares are not available for travel on Fridays and Sundays. Seats are limited, subject to availability, and may not be available on all flights. Flights may not operate daily. Mexico service subject to government approval. 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 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 traveling within the U.S. and for free of charge for each ticketed guest traveling to/from Mexico or to/from Canada. 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.

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