VIRGIN AMERICA WINS PASSENGER SERVICE AWARD FROM AIR TRANSPORT WORLD
Leading Airline Industry Magazine Awards Three-Year Old Airline Top Honors for Guest Service

San Francisco — January 19, 2010  Virgin America, the California-based airline that is reinventing domestic travel, took top industry honors for “Passenger Service” in Air Transport World’s Industry Achievement Awards for the airline’s superior service in the skies. Air Transport World (ATW) is a monthly magazine covering the global airline industry and began its awards program in 1974.

“Virgin America has redefined the airline customer service experience for the better, raised the bar for current and future market entry and disproved the notion that there is nothing new or original to offer airline passengers,” said Perry Flint, Editorial Director of Air Transport World.  “The editors were impressed by passenger-pleasing features like cabin mood-lighting and touch-screen menus with on-demand food service.”

ATW editors noted that Virgin America was the first airline to equip its fleet with Aircell’s Gogo in-flight WiFi (as of May 2009, the carrier offered WiFi on every flight) and has installed one of the industry’s most-advanced in-flight entertainment systems. Other factors taken into consideration by the editors included Virgin America’s commitment to a strong operating performance.  The airline achieved an 85.5% cumulative A-14 on-time ranking for January-August 2010, a 99.6% flight completion factor and a baggage handling rate of just 0.89 mishandled bags per 1,000 customers. Although Virgin America does not yet meet the size threshold to be classified a “major” carrier by Department of Transportation (DOT), the airline tracks its on-time performance, baggage handling and other operational statistics in advance of DOT’s requirement to report. 

“We are honored to receive this award from one of the most respected industry publications,” said Virgin America President and CEO David Cush.  “Virgin America aims to create a memorable experience and put our guests first.  We are only able to deliver on that promise with the best teammates in the business, so this award is really recognition for their work to reinvent the flying experience – one guest at a time.”

Since its launch in 2007, Virgin America has stood out for its unique service and in-flight experience which offers mood-lit cabins, power outlets near every seat and the Red™ platform.  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, on demand food menu and a first-of-its-kind digital Shop section — so guests can take care of last minute shopping from their seatback any time during a flight.

The awards will be presented on February 8 in Washington, D.C., at ATW’s gala dinner and celebration at the Renaissance Hotel.

Since its August 2007 launch, Virgin America has captured a list of 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 as well as best-in-class in the 2008, 2009 and 2010 Zagat Global Airline survey.

Virgin America flies to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Toronto, Orlando, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Cabos and beginning January 19, 2011 – Cancun.

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

EDITORS NOTE: Virgin America is a U.S. controlled and operated airline and 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 1800 people.  The airline’s base of operations is San Francisco International Airport’s (SFO) International Terminal.  In spring 2011 the airline will grow to become an anchor tenant in SFO’s new Terminal 2, which is anticipated to reach LEED-Gold certification.  The airline’s aircraft offer beautifully designed mood-lit cabins, WiFi, personal in-flight entertainment platforms and power outlets near every seat.  In addition to a Main Cabin with custom-designed leather seats with a deeper, more comfortable pitch, the airline’s First Class offers white leather seats with 55 inches of pitch, 165 degrees of recline and lumbar massagers.  The carrier’s Main Cabin Select offers 38-inches of pitch, free food and cocktails, an all-access pass to Red, dedicated overhead bins and priority check-in. For photos + video:http://www.virginamerica.com/about/airline-photos/virgin-america-pictures.html

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