Virgin America Wins Best Domestic Airline in Conde Nast Travelers Readers Choice Awards

Airline Voted Best in the Domestic Skies for the Second Year in a Row;
Award Presented by Virgin America Frequent Fliers Adrian Grenier and Rachel Hunter at Evening Gala

San Francisco – October 16, 2009 – Virgin America, the California-based airline that is reinventing domestic travel, took top honors as “Best Domestic Airline” among U.S. carriers in the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler’s 2009 Readers’ Choice Awards. Launched in August 2007, the new airline has captured the award for its second consecutive year. The results of this year’s Readers’ Choice Awards will be reported in the November issue of Condé Nast Traveler. The survey*, unique for both its size and unfiltered results, reflects the recommendations of over 25,000 of the most discerning travelers — Condé Nast Traveler readers.

“We’re honored to be named the best domestic airline by Condé Nast Traveler readers,” said Virgin America President and CEO David Cush. “As a new and growing company, this kind of direct feedback for the second consecutive year is a testament to our unique service and the extraordinary work of our teammates. Our goal from launch has been to reinvent the domestic category with low fares, stylish design, innovative amenities and outstanding guest service. We couldn’t be more pleased to hear that we’re continuing to hit the mark with savvy travelers who expect more from a domestic airline.”

Cush, alongside Virgin Group Founder and President Sir Richard Branson, were on hand when the “Best Domestic Airline” award was presented to Virgin America yesterday evening (Oct. 15) at the star-studded Condé Nast Readers’ Choice Awards at the IAC Building in Manhattan. In a twist of the traditional awards show script, Virgin America was presented with the “Best Domestic Airline” award by two of its most famous frequent fliers – actor, Adrian Grenier and supermodel Rachel Hunter.

Supermodel Rachel Hunter and actor Adrian Grenier present the award for Best Domestic Airline to Virgin America with Sir Richard Branson at Conde Nast Traveler's 2009 Readers' Choice Awards on October 15 in New York.  The event was co-hosted by actors Mary Louise Parker and Stanley Tucci.  Virgin America has taken top honors in this category for two years in a row.

With industry-leading guest service, beautiful design and a host of high-tech amenities, Virgin America has captured a list of travel industry best-in-class awards since its launch. Virgin America’s teammates are focused on delivering topnotch guest service, which is reflected in their rigorous training. In May of this year, Virgin America became the first airline to offer guests in-flight internet on every flight. The carrier also offers touch-screen seatback entertainment with on-demand films, live TV and videogames, power outlets near every seat, mood-lighting and custom-designed leather seating with a deeper, more comfortable pitch.

“The big news is that, undaunted by tough times, our readers are still out there, discovering the coolest experiences and reaffirming an enduring passion for travel,” said Condé Nast Traveler Editor in Chief Klara Glowczewska. “It’s clear that our readers are as devoted to the worldwide diversity of travel as ever.”

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. In addition to a Main Cabin that offers custom-designed leather seats with a deeper, more comfortable pitch, Virgin America’s First Class cabin features international-grade amenities, including plush white leather seats with 55 inches of pitch and lumbar massagers. The carrier’s premium cabin option, Main Cabin Select, offers amenities not found in a typical domestic First Class service. Main Cabin Select offers 38-inches of seat pitch, complimentary food and cocktails, an all-access pass to Red™’s countless entertainment options, dedicated overhead bin space and priority check-in and boarding.

In September, Virgin America also took the top honors for “Best Business/First Class” among domestic airlines in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2009 Business Travel Poll.

Virgin America flies to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego, Boston, Orange County and as of Nov. 18, 2009 – 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 as of Nov. 18, 2009 – LAX to FLL and SFO to FLL.


Media Contact: Abby Lunardini (650) 533-7576/

EDITORS NOTE: Virgin America is a U.S. controlled and operated airline. Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is a minority share investor in Virgin America.

About Virgin America: Headquartered in California, 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. In just over two years flying, 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:

About Condé Nast Traveler: Truth in Travel: Many travel publications accept free travel and accommodations. Condé Nast Traveler does not, and its correspondents, as far as possible, travel anonymously. They experience travel the way consumers do, both the good and the bad, and report on it fairly and honestly. Condé Nast Traveler, named to Adweek’s 2008 Hot List of top ten magazines in the United States, has an audience of 3.1 million and is published by Condé Nast Publications, Inc. Condé Nast Traveler’s Web site is

*About the survey: Every year since 1988, a select sample of Condé Nast Traveler readers have taken the Readers’ Choice Survey. In 2009, the questionnaire was available to all readers through a secure Web site. The final tabulations of 25,008 responses were done by Mediamark Research, Inc., of New York City. Poll categories (Cities, Hotels, etc.), and the criteria for each appear at the bottom of the first page in every category. Questionnaires contained lists of candidates (individual cities, hotels, etc.), and write-ins were allowed. Only candidates that received a required minimum number of responses were deemed eligible for an award. Each candidate was rated, by various criterion, on a five-point scale: excellent, very good, good, fair, poor. Criterion scores, which represent the percentage of respondents rating a candidate excellent or very good, were averaged to determine the final score — e.g., in the category of Islands, Maui’s 90.1 is the average of its scores for Activities, Atmosphere/Ambience, Beaches, Friendliness, Lodging, Restaurants, and Scenery.