Virgin America Donates Free Plane to Virgin Mobile FreeFest

Airline Whisks Do-Gooders Cross Country to Sold Out Festival

Warren, NJ and San Francisco – July 16, 2009 –Virgin America, the domestic airline that is reinventing air travel, is teaming up with Virgin Mobile USA to take the Virgin Mobile FreeFest movement from coast to coast – literally. Fresh off the heels of Virgin Mobile USA’s announcement that 35,000 Virgin Mobile FreeFest tickets were scooped up by fans, Virgin America announced today that it will donate use of an entire plane, dubbed the FreeFest Express, to bring more West Coast do-gooders from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. to attend the festival – for free. The companies are teaming up to give people another chance to earn their way to FreeFest by donating time to homeless youth organizations.

“Virgin America is all about giving travelers more for less – even in today’s climate," said Porter Gale, Vice President of Marketing at Virgin America. “We couldn’t be more pleased to partner with Virgin Mobile USA to give West Coast do-gooders the chance to fly for free – and in high style. We think FreeFest Express guests will have a musical and memorable trip en route to the festival event of the summer.”

In keeping with the spirit of the festival and the Virgin brand, fans who donate their time to do volunteer work for Stand Up For Kids, a homeless youth outreach organization in Los Angeles and San Diego, will be eligible to win a free round trip flight on Virgin America’s FreeFest Express from Los Angeles (LAX) to Washington D.C. (Dulles) on August 29-31, plus a two-night hotel stay and VIP tickets to the hottest concert of the summer. To find out how to volunteer and sign up for a chance to win a seat on the flight or to learn more visit: virginmobilefreefestival.com.

Virgin Mobile FreeFest will feature Weezer, Blink-182, Public Enemy, Franz Ferdinand and a dozen more acts on Sunday, August 30th at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Md.

“Free rings – and rings loudly,” said Ron Faris, Senior Director of Brand Marketing and Innovation, Virgin Mobile USA. “We’re so happy to see our partners step up and offer fans from the West Coast an opportunity to take part in this momentous occasion.”

Several other companies, led by Virgin Mobile FreeFest premier sponsor Kyocera, have also been inspired by the FreeFest Movement and are treating fans to some surprising and unusual “Freebies”:

  • Kyocera is giving away assorted prizes, including free Kyocera cell phones. A few lucky fans will also walk away with free lifetime cell phone service from Virgin Mobile USA. The prizes will be awarded in the festival’s Kyocera Lucky Layoff Lounge, an area open to everyone but offering special privileges to those who provide proof of unemployment.
  • Megabus will donate use of a fleet of free WiFi buses, departing from points in Boston, New York and Philadelphia. Again, eligible fans can volunteer their time to homelessness youth shelters for a chance to earn tickets.
  • Converse will be giving away scores of free Chucks sneakers and sunglasses at the festival. Converse will also host the Punk Your Chucks Design Contest, in which fans who submit designs for Chucks will be eligible to win free a year’s worth (12 pairs) of free Chucks.
  • Sony Computer Entertainment America will be giving away free content downloads from the PlayStation®Network to anyone who brings their PlayStation®Portable system to FreeFest. Scores of PlayStation®Portable system entertainment bundles will also be given away to those riding the FreeFest Express plane from LA and the Megabus Express as well as fans in the Kyocera Lucky Layoff Lounge.
  • Gibson Guitars will be giving away free “Flying V” electric guitars to lucky winners in the Kyocera Lucky Layoff Lounge.
  • Toyota, official vehicle sponsor of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, will offer free Prius “test drives” for fans who choose to shuttle themselves between stages at the event.

“Kyocera has been the Festival’s premiere sponsor in each of its four years because Virgin Mobile consistently delivers incredible bands and performances without losing sight of things like the environment and social responsibility,” said Tom Maguire, head of global marketing at Kyocera Communications Inc. “We share Virgin Mobile’s goal of using FreeFest to make a long-term difference in the community and lending a hand to those in need during these challenging times.”

"What we consistently find is that there just aren’t enough services available for homeless youth in the Los Angeles area," said Judy Ranan, Executive Director for Stand Up For Kids, Los Angeles. "We are all volunteers and we are simply trying to bridge that gap. The assistance from Virgin Mobile FreeFest couldn’t come at a better time." Stand Up For Kids, Los Angeles provides outreach in the Venice Beach and Hollywood areas. On average, Stand Up For Kids volunteers provide about 100 kids per week in the LA area with food and hygiene packs referralsfor youth shelters as well as mental health and drug rehabilitation services.

Virgin Mobile USA, the wireless company and creator of one of the largest and most critically acclaimed music festivals in the U.S., gave away 35,000 FreeFest tickets – in just minutes – so loyal fans could enjoy Virgin Mobile FreeFest. Last week, the company announced another way to get into the show: people who volunteer through “The Re*Generation Free I.P.” program have a chance to score a VIP ticket. Virgin Mobile USA is also encouraging people, regardless of wireless carrier, to text “FREEFEST” to 20222, to make a $5 donation[1] which will go to select youth homeless centers through The RE*Generation program, Virgin Mobile USA’s initiative to help homeless youth. More than two million young people will experience homelessness in the U.S. this year, much of it due to domestic violence, abuse or neglect.

Virgin America is the first airline to offer in-flight internet service on every flight and hosts the largest in-flight entertainment library in the domestic skies via its touch-screen Red™ seatback system. 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 and Orange County. The airline offers daily flights from: SFO to LAX, SFO to JFK, SFO to SAN, SFO to IAD, SFO to LAS, LAX to JFK, LAX to IAD, SFO to SEA, SEA to LAX, JFK to LAS, BOS to LAX, BOS to SFO and SFO to SNA. Virgin America has flown more than 4.5 million guests since its inaugural flights in August 2007 and now counts over 925,000 Elevate loyalty program members.

[1] About Txt2Donate: Standard messaging rates apply to all messages sent and received in connection with Txt2Donate. All charges will be applied to individual’s wireless carrier account. Donations are collected by Virgin Unite by the Mobile Giving Foundation for the benefit of The RE*Generation and are subject to the terms found at www.hmgf.org/t. Virgin Unite will deduct $0.50 of the donation to cover administrative costs and the rest will benefit The RE*Generation.

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Media Contact: Patricia Condon (650) 762-7187 / patricia.condon@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 is one of the fastest growing start-up U.S. airlines of all time and currently employs over 1400 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 now offers in-flight internet service on every flight and hosts the largest in-flight entertainment library in the domestic skies via its touch-screen Red™ seatback system. In addition to a 25-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 over a year flying, Virgin America was named “Best Domestic Airline” in the Condé Nast Traveler 2008 Readers’ Choice Awards and “Best Domestic Airline” in Travel + Leisure 2008 World’s Best Awards. For more: www.virginamerica.com