VIRGIN AIRLINES GIVE FLYERS A MORE REWARDING VIRGIN TRAVEL EXPERIENCE AROUND THE WORLD

VIRGIN AIRLINES GIVE FLYERS A MORE REWARDING VIRGIN TRAVEL EXPERIENCE AROUND THE WORLD
Travelers on Award-Winning Virgin Airlines Will Earn Virgin Points or Miles on All Four Airlines and the Opportunity to Win the Trip of a Lifetime to Necker Island

Houston, TX – August 10, 2010 Today, Sir Richard Branson announced at the National Business Travel Association International Convention and Exposition that the award-winning Virgin airlines – Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin America and V Australia/Virgin Blue – known around the world for their stylish, innovative and value-based flying experience, are teaming up to offer each airline’s loyalty program members the opportunity to earn miles or points when taking flights on their sister-branded airlines.

As of today, guests flying on Virgin Atlantic, Virgin America and V Australia/Virgin Blue are all eligible to earn miles or points for their flights that can later be redeemed under any of the carrier’s frequent flyer programs.  The reciprocal agreements enable Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club members to earn Flying Club miles/status points; Virgin America’s Elevate members to earn Elevate points; and V Australia/Virgin Blue Velocity members to earn Velocity points – wherever they are flying on a Virgin-branded carrier around the world.* 

Also as of today, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club members and V Australia/Virgin Blue Velocity members can redeem their miles on either of the airlines.  V Australia/Virgin Blue Velocity members and Virgin America Elevate members will be eligible to spend their miles or points to fly on either airline as of the fourth quarter of 2010.  Virgin Atlantic Flying Club members and Virgin America Elevate members will be eligible to spend their miles or points on either airline as of the second quarter of 2011.

To celebrate this Virgin milestone, each Virgin airline is offering members who fly with at least two of the four Virgin branded airlines between now and January 31, 2011, the chance to win a week holiday in the British Virgin Islands on Sir Richard Branson’s private island Necker**.  For more information, visit: www.virginatlantic.com, www.virginamerica.com, or www.vaustralia.com.  For the Official Rules for the Sweepstakes, including complete details, please visit: www.virginatlantic.com, www.virginamerica.com, or www.vaustralia.com.**

“Virgin is known around the world for its legendary in-flight service, but now it is even more rewarding to fly with our global airlines.  In celebration of the closer ties between the airlines, as well as to reward our most loyal guests, three globetrotting Virgin loyalty program members will win a holiday on Necker,” said Sir Richard Branson, Founder and President of the Virgin Group.

“We always strive to offer Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club members easier ways to earn miles and better rewards.  I am sure that earning and redeeming on all Virgin airlines worldwide will be highly valued by our members.  This new frequent flyer program further allows us to reward travelers who prefer to fly with, and remain loyal to, the Virgin branded airlines and we hope this offers an added incentive to do so,” said Steve Ridgway, Chief Executive of Virgin Atlantic.

“Virgin-branded airlines are famous for reinventing the category and offering travelers a better flying experience with unrivalled value, brilliant service and innovative amenities.  Travelers around the world seek out Virgin airlines for this reason, and we’re pleased to partner with our award-winning sister airlines to allow our loyal guests to earn Virgin frequent flyer credits wherever they are flying – in the U.S., Europe, Asia Pacific or Australia,” said Virgin America President and Chief Executive Officer David Cush.   

“We hope that the new agreements will encourage more travelers from around the globe to enjoy a customer experience that is second to none.  Our goal is to deliver a better class of service and this latest partnership will help us deliver more rewards to the savvy travelers who rightly expect more from an airline,” said Virgin Blue Chief Executive Officer John Borghetti.

This new opportunity gives added value to the already existing program that was launched in June of 2009, allowing V Australia guests to earn Elevate points for the Virgin America leg of their journey and offering Virgin Atlantic and V Australia passengers the ability to earn on each other.  This followed Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Blue’s similar arrangement that began in 2008.

In addition, Virgin America and Virgin Atlantic announce today that they will offer seamless travel on the networks of each carrier, via an international one-way interline agreement for bookings and travel beginning in September 2010.  Guests will be able to book a single ticket and check their bags through to their final Virgin destination when traveling on both carriers if they book through Virgin Atlantic (via call center) or travel agent.  Virgin America launched a U.S.-Australia interline arrangement with V Australia/Virgin Blue in June 2009.  Virgin Atlantic and V Australia/Virgin Blue also have an interline agreement in place.

About the Clubs:
As a Virgin Atlantic Flying Club member, a passenger will earn Flying Club miles, which can then be spent on a host of wonderful rewards.   Passengers can also earn miles with our Flying Club partners, which include other airlines, hotels, restaurants and a range of companies worldwide.  Non Flying Club members can join the program as a Flying Club Red member with an online account, where they can check their mileage balance, view statements and be among the first to hear about exclusive Virgin Atlantic offers, competitions and news.

Elevate is Virgin America’s first-of–its–kind loyalty program in the U.S., which offers guests the ability to redeem points for any unsold seat – on any Virgin America flight, at any time.  Elevate offers one of the industry’s most generous and easy–to–redeem flight reward programs, as few as four roundtrips or 2,500 points can earn members a reward flight.  Elevate members are able to retain their points indefinitely, as long as they either earn or redeem points at least once every 18 months.  Elevate members receive exclusive offers that only the world–class Virgin brand could provide, such as tickets to the star–studded in–flight premiere of HBO’s Entourage and the chance to compete to earn a seat on a Virgin Galactic sub–orbital space flight.

Velocity Rewards is the award–winning loyalty program of the Virgin Blue Group of Airlines.  Velocity makes earning Velocity Points easy for members with their global network of partners including international airlines, world–wide accommodation and car hire, credit cards and a diverse range of online shopping options.  Members can then spend their Points on rewards like domestic and international flights, gifts and memorable experiences.  Velocity also recognizes their frequent flyers through their Status of red to silver and then gold.  Gold Velocity members and a travelling guest receive exclusive frequent flyer benefits including free domestic Lounge access and access to a range of international lounges with our partners such as Delta and Virgin Atlantic.

Media Contacts:
Virgin Atlantic: Laura Kilroy 203–750–2570 / Laura.kilroy@fly.virgin.com
Virgin America: Abby Lunardini 650–533–7576 / Abby.lunardini@virginamerica.com
V Australia/Virgin Blue: Melissa Thomson 61–7–3295–5616/ Melissa.thomson@virginblue.com.au

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 Atlantic:  Since it was founded in 1984, Virgin Atlantic Airways has become one of the world’s leading airlines. Now based at both London’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports, it operates long haul services to thirty destinations world–wide as far apart as Las Vegas and Shanghai.  Virgin Atlantic has enjoyed huge popularity, winning top business, consumer and trade awards from around the world. The airline has pioneered a range of innovations setting new standards of service, which its competitors have subsequently sought to follow. Despite Virgin Atlantic’s growth the service still remains customer driven with an emphasis on value for money, quality, fun and innovation.  Virgin Atlantic currently has a fleet of 38 aircraft.  For further information please contact: Virgin Atlantic Press Office on 203–750–2570 or log onto www.virginatlantic.com

About Virgin America: Headquartered in California and launched in 2007, Virgin America is one of the fastest growing new 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 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 was the first airline to offer 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 30–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 2010 World’s Best Awards. For more:  www.virginamerica.com

About V Australia and Virgin Blue: V Australia www.vaustralia.com.au is a three class boutique style airline offering the acclaimed service for which the Virgin Blue Group is renowned and a unique Australian style. On board the airline’s brand new 361–seat 777–300ER aircraft, configuration includes Business Class cabin with 33 fully lie–flat beds, Premium Economy with 40 International Club seats and 288 International Economy seats. All cabins offer the Red, state‐of–the–art personal seat back entertainment, seat to seat ‘chat’ or competition connectivity. The airline also has two in–flight bars, mood lighting including twilight and sunset, bathrooms with piped music including a "ladies only" bathroom and other touches of Australiana from salt and pepper shakers to hidden wallpaper murals.  V Australia is a part of the Virgin Blue Group of Airlines.  The Australian–based airline group also includes Virgin Blue, second largest carrier in Australia www.virginblue.com.au and short haul international airlines Pacific Blue www.flypacificblue.com Polynesian Blue. Together they operate a fleet comprising of 80 modern Boeing 737–NG’s, Boeing 777 and Embraer E–Jet aircraft flying to 28 Australian and 13 international destinations in the South Pacific and Southeast Asia.

*Please note that miles or points earned on a partner carrier (i.e. Elevate points earned on Virgin Atlantic flights) will be posted to the guest’s account within 4–6 weeks of travel.

**NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  Ends January 31, 2011.  To enter and for Official Rules, please visit www.virginatlantic.com, www.virginamerica.com, or www.vaustralia.com

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