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VIRGIN AMERICA’S FIRST #NERDBIRD FLIGHT TOUCHES DOWN IN SAN JOSE
Airline Celebrates Bringing New Jobs, Lower Fares to the Heart of Silicon Valley with New SJC-LAX Route
Only U.S. Airline to Offer WiFi, Power Outlets and Touch-screen Entertainment on Every Flight

San Francisco – May 1, 2013 – Virgin America, the only airline headquartered in the Bay Area, today celebrates the launch of its new service to Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) – the latest destination city in the carrier’s network. The addition of SJC expands the airline’s presence in the greater Bay Area and brings new competition on an important California business route connecting two global centers of innovation in the Golden State. Known for its award-winning blend of upscale service and competitive fares, Virgin America will serve SJC with four daily nonstop flights from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The new service will also offer San Jose travelers connections via Los Angeles to Virgin America’s expansive network, including major east coast business destinations such as Newark and Philadelphia. The airline’s business-friendly flights, with amenities including WiFi on every flight and power outlets near every seat, will offer a fresh new option for travelers. Today, commercial guests on the very first LAX-SJC inaugural flight traveled onboard Virgin America’s new Airbus A320, appropriately named “#nerdbird,” and were greeted by Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson in a red carpet welcome at SJC’s new Terminal A. To celebrate the new route, the airline today launches a Flight of the #nerdbird fare sale, with flights from $39* (taxes and fees included and restrictions applying). For more, visit http://www.virginamerica.com/vx/booking/fare-sale

“Virgin America offers an innovative flight experience unlike any other in the United States. Our tech-forward features reflect our roots here in the Bay Area – and have helped us build a loyal frequent flyer following in this community, especially among local entrepreneurs,” said David Cush, Virgin America’s President and CEO. “Our flyers have asked for this route for some time and we’re appreciative of Mayor Reed, the airport and local leaders like Carl Guardino for helping us expand our footprint into the heart of one of the world’s most vibrant economies. We hope our new service will help business travelers stay connected and productive from Silicon Valley to Silicon Beach.”

Upon arrival at SJC’s brand new Terminal A, travelers were given a red carpet welcome with a touch of Silicon Valley-inspired irreverence: flight guests were given nerd glasses and pocket protectors onboard. The inaugural #nerdbird flight received a traditional water cannon salute as Flight 534 touched down in San Jose. Once deplaned, the inaugural flight guests were greeted by Mayor Reed, U.S. Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, business and civic leaders and Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson, for a champagne brunch gate-side to toast the new route.

“I am excited to celebrate the arrival of Virgin America’s #nerdbird at San Jose International Airport,” said Mayor Reed. “This new service from San Jose to Los Angeles will become a popular mode of travel for Silicon Valley start-up and corporate entrepreneurs. I thank Sir Richard Branson and CEO David Cush for their confidence and look forward to supporting Virgin America’s success at SJC.”

To introduce the new service, Virgin America invited guests to bring a colleague or a friend along for a stylish ride with a “Double Your Deals” two tickets for the price of one promotion for guests traveling on the same itinerary between LA and San Jose (offer available for travel occurring between May 1, 2013 and May 31, 2013 and applies to non-refundable Main Cabin fares only, excludes refundable Main Cabin, Main Cabin Select, Instant Upgrade to MCS and First Class).**

“San Jose has world class businesses and facilities. Virgin America’s new service recognizes the opportunities for growth in serving the South Bay,” said Rep. Lofgren (D-San Jose). “Expanded flight service like this means more travelers will choose Mineta San Jose International as their gateway to Silicon Valley, and in the process, boost our local businesses and community.”

Known for outstanding service, beautifully designed cabins and unrivalled in-flight entertainment, Virgin America has swept the travel awards since its 2007 launch, including being named “Best Domestic Airline” in both Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards and Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards for the past five years. In December 2012, Virgin America opened its first airport lounge, which offers guests a sleek and modern retreat with a selection of amenities and a space that reflect the look and feel of the airline’s mood-lit aircraft and overall design aesthetic.

“Increasing air service options at SJC helps businesses in the Silicon Valley thrive, so we couldn’t be more pleased that Virgin America has launched this new service,” said Carl Guardino, President and CEO for the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. “These new flights will provide an attractive new option for business travelers and others traveling between Silicon Valley and the innovation corridors of Los Angeles. Virgin America really focuses on the business traveler and we appreciate their innovative amenities that offer guests an office in the sky and keep guests comfortable, connected and productive at 35,000 feet.”

Also today, Virgin America kicks off a #nerdbird Goes South online promotion sweepstakes inviting Elevate® frequent flyer program members to enter their membership number by May 16 for a chance to win a prize that includes Elevate Gold Status and 15 single-use WiFi passes good for any Virgin America flight through the end of 2013, courtesy of Gogo®. All entries will get a code good for 25% off flights between San Jose and Los Angeles (restrictions applying).*** For contest rules please visit: https://www.virginamerica.com/html/pdf/130501_nerdbird_contest.pdf

“Virgin America’s four flights at SJC create new jobs and generate direct economic impacts, and, most importantly, they provide improved travel options for Silicon Valley residents and businesses,” said SJC Director of Aviation Bill Sherry. “Besides being a top destination from SJC, LAX also offers convenient connections. I’m confident that with Virgin America’s unique product branding, superior customer service, and well-timed flights that the airline will be successful at SJC. We warmly welcome Virgin America and look forward to their continued growth in San Jose.”

Virgin America’s current media campaign brings the carrier’s tech and design-driven in-flight experience to life through the eyes of a few of its most frequent travelers – including leaders in Silicon Valley. The campaign highlights Virgin America ‘Originals,’ frequent flyers known for shaking up the status quo in their own fields – including indie film director Kevin Smith, Pandora founder Tim Westergren, Animal and Son of a Gun chef Vinny Dotolo and independent artist/Facebook Creative Strategist Ji Lee. Virgin America invited these same frequent flyers to curate aspects of the airline’s already unique in-cabin experience – including playlists, film picks and new menu items offered via the touch-screen Red in-flight entertainment platform. For more, visit: http://experiencevirginamerica.com.

The airline’s new fleet offers custom-designed mood-lit cabins and amenities like fleetwide WiFi, power outlets and personal entertainment at every seat. The Red platform offers guests their own seatback touch-screen TV, with 25 films, live TV, a custom-curated You Tube channel, Google Maps, video games, seat-to-seat chat, music videos, a 4000 song library and an on-demand menu – so flyers can order a cocktail or snack from their seatback any time during a flight. In addition to a Main Cabin that offers custom-designed leather seating with a deeper, more comfortable pitch, the airline’s First Class offers plush white leather seating with 55 inches of pitch, 165 degrees of recline and lumbar massagers. The carrier’s Main Cabin Select option offers 38-inches of pitch, free food and cocktails, an all-access pass to media content, dedicated overhead bins and priority check-in/boarding. Last summer, Virgin America launched a suite of enhancements to its Elevate frequent flyer program – including Elevate Gold and Elevate Silver status levels that offer perks such as: priority check-in, security clearance and boarding; points earning bonuses; free checked bag allowances; enhanced digital/social rewards; private discounts; an expanded advance purchase upgrade window for the airline’s exclusive eight-seat First Class; complimentary space-available upgrades to the carrier’s premium Main Cabin Select service; and complimentary access to the best seat assignments within Main Cabin.

Virgin America is the only airline headquartered in California. In just over five years flying, the airline has created 2,600 new jobs and now flies to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Newark, Washington D.C. (IAD), Las Vegas, San Diego, Seattle, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Cabos, Cancun, Chicago, Puerto Vallarta, Palm Springs (seasonal), Philadelphia, Portland, Washington D.C.’s Reagan National (DCA) and as of today, San Jose (SJC). On May 21, Virgin America will inaugurate another airport destination – Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS).

The new SJC-LAX route will also carry the codes of Virgin America codeshare partners Hawaiian Airlines and Singapore Airlines, offering seamless connectivity for guests traveling to and from San Jose via LAX. The addition of Virgin America San Jose-Los Angeles service creates convenient new online connections for San Jose guests traveling to and from Virgin America’s Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, New York (JFK and EWR), Orlando, Philadelphia, and Washington DC (IAD) destinations.

Photos of Virgin America’s unique aircraft: http://www.virginamerica.com/about/airline-photos/virgin-america-pictures.html

Broadcast quality video b-roll can also be downloaded here

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Media Contacts:
Jennifer Thomas 650-274-7329 or jennifer.thomas@virginamerica.com
Patricia Condon 650-906-8147 or patricia.condon@virginamerica.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, Virgin America offers guests attractive fares and a host of innovative features aimed at reinventing air travel. In just over five years flying, Virgin America was named “Best Domestic Airline” in the Condé Nast Traveler 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 ‘Readers’ Choice’ Awards and “Best Domestic Airline” in Travel + Leisure’s 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 ‘World’s Best’ Awards. The airline’s base of operations is San Francisco International Airport (SFO)’s sleek and sustainable new Terminal 2. The airline’s new aircraft offer interactive in-flight entertainment systems and power outlets near every seat. Virgin America offers Gogo WiFi on every flight and hosts the largest in-flight entertainment library in the North American skies via the touch-screen Red platform. For more: www.virginamerica.com

* All Main Cabin fares are one-way. $39 Main Cabin fares for LAX-SJC are only valid for travel on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays between September 3, 2013 and October 30, 2013. $39 Main Cabin fares for LAX-SJC must be purchased by 11:59pm CT May 1, 2013. All other Main Cabin fares must be purchased by 11:59pm CT on May 6, 2013. For ANC-SFO Main Cabin fares, travel must occur between June 6, 2013 and September 9, 2013. Main Cabin fares for AUS-SFO require a 14-day advance purchase and travel must occur between May 21, 2013 and June 12, 2013 or September 3, 2013 and October 30, 2013. Main Cabin fares for LAS-LAX, LAX-SFO, LAS-SFO, SAN-SFO, LAX-SEA, SEA-SFO, LAX-PDX and PDX-SFO require a 10-day advance purchase and travel must occur between May 9, 2013 and June 12, 2013 or September 3, 2013 and October 30, 2013. Main Cabin fares for LAX-SJC, BOS-SJC, JFK-SJC, EWR-SJC, IAD-SJC, PHL-SJC, ORD-SJC, FLL-SJC, MCO-SJC, and DFW-SJC require a 7-day advance purchase and travel must occur between May 6, 2013 and June 12, 2013 or September 3, 2013 and October 30, 2013. All other Main Cabin fares require a 14-day advance purchase and travel must occur between May 13, 2013 and June 12, 2013 or September 3, 2013 and October 30, 2013. Lowest sale fares are available only on certain itineraries. Lowest sale fares are valid only for travel on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. 2013 blackout dates are: 5/10, 5/17, 5/23, 5/24, and 5/27. Seats are limited, subject to availability, and may not be available on all flights. Flights may not operate daily. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable. Changes or cancellations can be made for a $100 fee per guest through all channels, plus any increase in fare, if applicable. Any remaining balance will be placed in a guest’s travel bank, good for travel on Virgin America for one year from date of issue. Changes or cancellations of a booking made with Elevate Points will be subject to a $100 redeposit fee per guest. Guests who no-show without a change or cancellation 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 $20 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 up to ten pieces of checked baggage, up to 50 pounds each, per ticketed guest traveling within the U.S. The fee for each piece of checked baggage up to 50 pounds is $25. Additional fees apply to baggage exceeding these weight limitations, and other baggage restrictions may apply.

** This offer ends at 11:59pm PT on May 1, 2013. This offer is valid only for LAX-SJC travel, in either direction; offer is not valid for any other routes, connections or multi-city itineraries. Promo code may be used for bookings made on virginamerica.com and is only valid on itineraries of 2 guests exactly. The promo code is valid for Main Cabin tickets only. Travel must occur between May 1, 2013 and May 31, 2013. Blackout dates are May 24, 27, 2013. Promo code may be used only towards newly booked travel and may not be applied to prior bookings. Promo code discount will be deducted off of base fare. Base 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 $3.80 per domestic segment. A segment is a takeoff and landing. Promo code may not be redeemed for cash. Offer is not transferable and cannot be combined with any other offers. Seats are limited, subject to availability, and may not be available on all flights. If travel is changed or cancelled, promo code discount will become invalid. Changes or cancellations can be made for a $100 fee per guest through all channels, plus any increase in fare, if applicable. Tickets purchased through Virgin America’s reservation call center will cost an additional $20 per itinerary guest; this amount is non refundable if travel is changed or cancelled. 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 50 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.

*** This offer ends at 11:59pm PT on May 21, 2013. This offer is valid only for LAX-SJC travel, in either direction; offer is not valid for any other routes, connections, or multi-city itineraries. Promo discount is not valid for travel on Fridays or Sundays. Tickets require advance purchase of 14 days before departure. One time use promo code is valid for non-refundable Main Cabin or Instant Upgrade to Main Cabin Select tickets only. Travel must occur between May 15, 2013 and October 31, 2013. Blackout dates are May 24, May 27, Jul 3, Jul 4, Jul 7, Aug 31, and Sep 2, 2013. Promo code may be used only towards newly booked travel and may not be applied to prior bookings. Promo code discount will be deducted off of base fare. Base 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 $3.90 per domestic segment. A segment is a takeoff and landing. Promo code may not be redeemed for cash. Promo code may only be used for bookings made on virginamerica.com and is only valid on itineraries of 2 or less. Offer is not transferable and cannot be combined with any other offers. Seats are limited, subject to availability, and may not be available on all flights. If travel is changed or cancelled, promo code discount will become invalid. Changes or cancellations can be made for a $100 fee per guest through all channels, plus any increase in fare, if applicable. Tickets purchased through Virgin America’s reservation call center will cost an additional $20 per itinerary guest; this amount is non refundable if travel is changed or cancelled. 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. For non-refundable Main Cabin, Virgin America will accept one (1) piece of checked baggage up to 50 pounds for $25 for each ticketed. For Instant Upgrade to Main Cabin Select, Virgin America will accept one (1) piece of checked baggage up to 50 pounds free of charge 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.

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