Virgin America Launches Service From The West Coast To Boston
Award-Winning Airline Joins Bostonians in Celebrating Their Revolutionary Spirit, Recognizes Local Charitable Causes
San Francisco — Feb. 11, 2009 — Virgin America, the California-based airline that is reinventing domestic travel, today launches its low-fare service from the West Coast to Boston Logan International Airport (BOS). Effective today, Virgin America will fly three daily roundtrips between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and BOS, and two daily roundtrips between San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and BOS – with in-flight WiFi service available on every Boston flight. Virgin America's BOS-LAX and BOS-SFO fares start at $109 in its Main Cabin.*
"In today's economic climate, our award-winning, low-fare service offers Boston travelers the best value in the market," said Virgin America President and CEO David Cush. "With multiple classes of service, WiFi on every flight and touch-screen seatback entertainment 2-3 generations ahead of anything in the U.S. skies, our flights offer unrivalled value."
Launched in August 2007, Virgin America has won a list of travel industry awards including "Best Domestic Airline" in Condé Nast Traveler's 2008 Readers' Choice Awards and Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards. Virgin America offers innovative amenities that appeal to today's business and leisure travelers, including WiFi access, power outlets and the touch-screen Red™ entertainment platform at every seat. Already launched on nine aircraft, by the second quarter of 2009, Virgin America will be the first U.S. carrier to offer in-flight internet fleet-wide. BOS-LAX and BOS-SFO are the first routes where WiFi will be a standard option on every flight.
"In addition to creating jobs, this service links two global leaders in the innovation-based economy with daily flights from Massachusetts to California," said Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Gregory Bialecki. "Given the challenging national economy, this is an important endorsement of the economic power of our state. The service will give business and leisure travelers more low-fare options and stimulate tourism as well as business traffic."
To mark the airline's arrival in Boston, Cush and Virgin Group Founder and President Sir Richard Branson, will join Boston leaders to welcome the airline's first flight from San Francisco. The New England Patriot cheerleaders and other famous Bostonians will line the red carpet at the BOS arrival gate for a champagne welcome of the first Boston-bound guests, including some of Virgin America's new Boston team members.
"We're pleased to welcome Virgin America's new domestic low-fare service to Boston and look forward to partnering with them in the years to come," said Thomas J. Kinton Jr., CEO and Executive Director of the Massachusetts Port Authority, which owns and operates Logan.
As part of its launch, the airline asked Bostonians to nominate their top examples of non-profits that are re-thinking the status quo and changing their communities for the better, via a grassroots competition: www.revolutiontakesflight.com. The site received over 500,000 visitors in three weeks, and the winning non-profit will be honored at the airline's evening launch event at the historic Liberty Hotel (former site of the Charles Street Jail). At the event, Branson will award $25,000 to the top Boston-based non-profit, as selected by popular vote on the site. Branson will also award a $25,000 check from Virgin Unite (the non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group), to Virgin America's selected non-profits in Boston.
"We couldn't be more pleased to welcome Virgin America's inventive new air service to Boston," said Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino. "Recognizing Bostonians who are reinventing their own communities, is a perfect way to launch their business in a City that is known for progressive thinking and for giving back."
Tonight, Branson will join local business and community leaders, non-profits and other special guests for a star-studded launch event, which will include music by DJ King Britt and a special welcome from Boston native and Access Hollywood host, Maria Menounos. The non-profit causes that will be honored this evening are:
Virgin America's and Virgin Unite's selected non-profits:
* Green for All is committed to building a green economy that will help lift people out of poverty. The group focuses on connecting underserved communities to the emerging green economy through job creation and training, including projects in New Bedford. http://www.greenforall.org/
* KIPP Academy Lynn is a free public middle school modeled on the nationally recognized, tested and proven Knowledge is Power Program, a network of not-for-profit charter schools that prepares underserved kids for college. Virgin America has been a KIPP partner since 2007. http://www.kipplynn.org/about.php
* StandUp For Kids, Boston is a national all volunteer non-profit that has been active for 19 years, and works in the Boston area to get kids off the streets and to make a difference in the lives of at-risk and homeless youth. http://www.standupforkids.org/local/massachusetts/Boston
The top voted "revolutionary" non-profit on www.revolutiontakesflight.com:
* The Friendship Circle of Sharon teams up teens with special needs children. Now in its 15th year, the non-profit is powered by hundreds of teens who volunteer their time to engage special needs children in a wide range of activities and to provide their parents with respite and support. http://www.sharonfriends.org/
The runner-up in the popular vote was Boston Medical Center's pediatric at-risk unit, the SPARK Center, which offers comprehensive, state-of-the-art medical care for Boston's most at-risk children. www.bmc.org/spark
In addition to Boston, Virgin America flies to San Francisco, LA, New York, D.C., Seattle, Las Vegas and San Diego. The airline is one of the fastest growing of all time, with a new 28-aircraft Airbus A320-family fleet and 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, as of today – BOS to LAX/BOS to SFO, and on April 30 – SFO to SNA. Connecting flights are available from BOS to SAN, LAS, and SEA.
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Virgin America: Abby Lunardini, (650) 533-7576/ firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
Launched in August 2007, Virgin America is a California-based airline that offers guests attractive fares and innovative features aimed at reinventing air travel. The airline's Red™ system features a touch-screen food menu, 25 on-demand films, seat-to-seat chat, thousands of MP3s, videogames, and live TV. In addition to a Main Cabin that offers custom-designed leather seats with a deeper, more comfortable pitch, Virgin America's First Class features international-grade amenities, including seats with 55 inches of pitch and lumbar massagers. The carrier's Main Cabin Select service offers 38-inches of seat pitch, complimentary food and cocktails, an all-access pass to Red™ and priority check-in and boarding. To learn more: www.virginamerica.com
About Virgin Unite:
Virgin Unite is the not-for profit foundation of the Virgin Group. They work with great grassroots partners around the world to develop new approaches to tough social and environmental issues. By mobilizing Virgin's entrepreneurial energy and global resources they are helping to revolutionize the way that the business and social sectors work together to drive long-term social and environmental change where it's needed most. Virgin Unite is fully funded and supported by the Virgin Group, ensuring that 100% of all funds go directly to the frontline to make real change happen. To learn more: www.virginunite.com
** Terms and Conditions: All Main Cabin fares are one way. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable. Tickets must be purchased by 02/17/09. Travel must commence on or after 02/11/09 and be completed by 04/01/09. Boston service begins 02/11/09. Blackout dates do not apply. Changes or cancellations can be made for a $75 fee, plus any increase in fare if applicable. Tickets purchased from Virgin America through our reservation call centers will cost an additional $15 per guest per itinerary. Seats are limited, subject to availability, and may not be available on all flights. Fares, routes, fees and schedules are subject to change without notice. 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 $3.60 per domestic segment. A segment is a takeoff and landing. Fares will not be honored retroactively or in exchange for any wholly or partially used ticket. Fares are not applicable to check-through connecting flights for city pairs where direct flights are offered. Virgin America will accept one piece of checked baggage up to 70 pounds free of charge for each ticketed guest. The fee per guest for a second checked bag up to 50 pounds is $25.00, and for each additional checked bag of up to 50 pounds is $50.00. Additional fees apply to baggage exceeding these weight limitations, and other baggage restrictions may apply. Flight may not operate daily during off-peak periods.