Virgin America Offers New Menu and Spreads Holiday Spirit(s)
Award-Winning Airline Adds New Menu and Drink Favorites – Based on Flyer Feedback and Tweets Surprises Guests on Select Holiday Flights with Free Spirits, Food and Giveaways
San Francisco – December 22, 2009 –Virgin America, the airline reinventing domestic flying, today announced the introduction of a new seasonal menu and an expanded range of premium drinks – including the addition of locally-made micro-brew beers and Patrón Tequila. Many of the new offerings reflect suggestions received from guests and frequent flyers – including Tweets and Facebook posts received from 35,000 feet via in-flight WiFi. In addition to giving holiday travelers the gift of free in-flight internet through January 15, 2010, starting today through December 26, 2009, Virgin America will be surprising guests on random “Holiday Cheers” flights with free spirits, food and for a few lucky travelers – free flights and more.
“Since launch, we’ve had the pleasure of welcoming over 6.2 million travelers – many of whom have become loyal Virgin America frequent flyers. Their input has helped us continually improve our menus and service,” said Frances Fiorillo, Senior Vice President of People & In-Flight Services at Virgin America. “During this busy time of year, we wanted to thank our guests by bringing onboard some of their latest suggestions and by spreading a little holiday spirit – in a way we knew they would appreciate.”
On select “Holiday Cheers” flights from Dec. 22-26, 2009, Virgin America flyers will be treated to free cocktails, beer and spirits from our award-winning new menu. On each special flight, one lucky Elevate member and the first guest to send a Tweet or Facebook post to the airline from 35,000 feet will also score a free roundtrip ticket anywhere Virgin America flies and a gift-wrapped holiday surprise loaded with an assortment of swag like wine-tasting tickets for two to Plumpjack wineries in Napa Valley, Yes to Carrots amenity kits, Snowflake Blue Microphones, VeeV Açai Spirit and a complimentary one-night stay* at Morgans Hotel Group’s luxury hotel, Clift, in San Francisco. For more on the surprise “Holiday Cheers” special flights, visit: http://twitter.com/virginAmerica or www.facebook.com/VirginAmerica.
The airline asks its flyers to provide feedback through a variety of channels, including Red’s onboard suggestion box, surveys of its 1.1 million-strong Elevate frequent flyer base and its social media sites. In November, Virgin America teamed up with Google to give holiday flyers the gift of free in-flight WiFi through January 15, 2010.
“WiFi has enabled even more real-time feedback with our guests – and they’re not just communicating with us. Recently, a flyer at 35,000 feet asked for suggestions from others via Twitter about what to order. Tip tweets flooded in – and everything from our chicken rolls to our shaken mojitos were recommended,” added Fiorillo.
Virgin America’s new winter menu includes a variety of selections for guests in the Main Cabin, an expanded spirits selection and a seasonal First Class menu – with many new items resulting from guest input. Earlier this year, 21st Amendment Brewery’s co-founder, Shaun O'Sullivan, was onboard a Virgin America flight tweeting about the unique in-flight experience and offered his ale as a potential menu item. As a result of his post and guest requests for a larger onboard beer selection with more micro-brew options, the carrier’s new menu includes both 21st Amendment Brewery’s Brew Free! or Die IPA and Gordon Biersch’s Märzen.
Both Virgin America’s First Class and Main Cabin menus are crafted using an assortment of nutritious and locally-sourced ingredients, including fresh fruits and vegetables, premium meats and artisan breads and are designed to give travelers more satisfying options to choose from for their in-flight meals and snacks.
Selections featured on the new First Class menu will vary by route, but include:
- Poached Autumn Fruit and Mascarpone: A selection of autumn harvested pears, figs, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries lightly poached with cinnamon and vanilla and topped with creamy mascarpone cheese and fresh mint.
- Spinach Feta Omelet with Crispy Pancetta: Fresh egg omelet filled with sautéed baby spinach and feta cheese, served with a slice of crispy Italian cured pancetta with creamy fresh mozzarella and griddled brioche with chives.
- Roasted Lamb Loin with Green Olives and Lemon: Seared loin of lamb served with steamed basmati rice with green olives, preserved lemons and baby vegetables. Garnished with grilled green onion.
- Pumpkin, Potato and Herb Cakes with Old Fashioned Tomato Chutney: Garden fresh vegetable patties filled with pumpkin, potato, English peas, sweet corn, sun-dried tomatoes, sautéed in extra virgin olive oil until golden brown.
- Naan Tandoori Chicken: Free range chicken marinated in Middle Eastern Tandoori spice, yogurt, lime juice and ginger, then Roasted until tender, served with whole wheat flat bread, tangy mango chutney, pickled red onions, fresh cilantro and a dollop of yogurt.
- Apricot Ricotta Cake: A rustic country dessert cake made with ricotta cheese, dried apricots, almonds and crème anglaise.
In addition to the new First Class menu, guests traveling in the Main Cabin will also have the opportunity to choose from a variety of delicious options within Virgin America’s new seasonal Fresh Menu, including the following (prices range between $7 - $10 in Main Cabin, and options are complimentary in Main Cabin Select):
- Fruit, Vegetables & Cheese Platter: Selection of cheeses to include Muenster, aged cheddar, creamy brie, provolone and fresh Mozzarella, complimented with red seedless grapes, Kalamata Olives, cherry tomatoes, mini Gherkins, crackers and artichokes.
- Cubano Sandwich: A big, fresh-baked Cuban roll piled high with smoked pork loin, shaved cured ham, sliced dill pickles and swiss cheese and a Toblerone chocolate for dessert.
- Dagwood Sandwich: An old-fashioned favorite sandwich with shaved cured ham, shaved oven-roasted turkey, genoa salami and mortadella all layered with julienne bell peppers, sliced black olives, lettuce, tomato and aged cheddar, served on a fresh baked ciabatta roll with a Toblerone chocolate for dessert.
- Achiote Chicken Hand Roll: char-grilled and thinly sliced achiote marinated chicken breast, with garlic herb cream cheese spread, red and green bell peppers, green chiles, lettuce and fresh cilantro all rolled together with a red pepper flat bread and served with a pan-roasted corn pico de gallo and Toblerone chocolate for dessert.
Snacks available in the Main Cabin (prices range between $3 and $6 in the Main Cabin and are complimentary in Main Cabin Select) include Pop Chips, Emerald Roasted Almonds, Brent & Sams Chocolate Chip Cookies and sweetriot Unbar.
Premium alcohols: Virgin America offers a selection of award-winning wines, beer, top-shelf spirits and unique in-flight cocktails, including Patrón Tequila, Veev Açai Spirit and Karma California Brut.
Virgin America is the only airline in the U.S. with a touch-screen seatback menu that allows guests to order what they want, when they want it during a flight. Since its launch in 2007, Virgin America has captured a list of travel industry awards including, “Best Domestic Airline for Food” in Travel + Leisure 2009 World’s Best Awards. Virgin America flies to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego, Boston, Orange County and Fort Lauderdale. The airline currently 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, SFO to SNA and LAX to FLL and SFO to FLL.
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Media Contact: Patricia Condon (650) 906-8147 / 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: 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 1500 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 offers in-flight internet service on every flight and hosts the largest in-flight entertainment library in the U.S. skies via its touch-screen Red™ seatback system. The airline was named "Best Domestic Airline” in the Condé Nast Traveler 2008 and 2009 Readers’ Choice Awards and in Travel + Leisure’s 2008 and 2009 World’s Best Awards. For more please visit: www.virginamerica.com