Virgin America Announces Frequent Flyer Partnership with V Australia and Virgin Blue
Award-Winning Virgin-Branded Carriers Team Up to Allow Guests to Earn Points in the U.S. and Down Under
San Francisco — April 1, 2010 — Virgin America, the award-winning California-based airline, has announced today that it has partnered with V Australia and Virgin Blue to allow each airline's loyalty program members to earn points when taking flights on the three Virgin-branded airlines. The partnership means that guests flying on Virgin America, V Australia, and Virgin Blue will all be able to earn credit for their flights that will be redeemable under any of the carrier's frequent flyer programs. As of today, guests will be able to earn points on any of the carriers they choose.*
"Travelers around the world seek out Virgin airlines for their unrivalled value, brilliant service and innovative amenities, and we're pleased to partner with Virgin Blue and V Australia to allow our loyal guests to earn Virgin frequent flyer credits wherever they are flying— in the U.S., Asia Pacific or Australia, " said Virgin America President and Chief Executive Officer David Cush.
The reciprocal agreements enable V Australia or Virgin Blue's Velocity members to earn Velocity points; and Virgin America's Elevate members to earn Elevate points — wherever they are flying with V Australia, Virgin Blue or Virgin America. Elevate redemption levels will start at 40,000 points for flights on V Australia and 6,000 points for flights on Virgin Blue later this year.**
"The new agreement is another example of our Virgin airlines working closer together for the benefit of our Guests," said Virgin Blue Airlines Co-founder and Chief Executive Brett Godfrey. "Our aim is to encourage more travelers from throughout the U.S. and from our part of the world to plan their trans-Pacific travel with our growing airline family."
In addition, today Virgin America and Virgin Blue have announced a crew exchange program which will launch in October 2010. The exchange allows in-flight teammates from either Virgin America or Virgin Blue to participate in a one-year work exchange program that will allow them to immerse themselves in the intensive training courses and the opportunity to fly as cabin crew for each airline. The goal of the program is to give each airline's teammates the chance to experience work and life at another Virgin-branded carrier.
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, including being named "Best Domestic Airline" in the Condé Nast Traveler 2009 Readers' Choice Awards and "Best Domestic Airline" in the Travel + Leisure 2009 World's Best Awards. Virgin Blue has received numerous awards in recent years, including Best National Airline three years running at the Australian National Travel Industry Awards. V Australia offers a three class trans-Pacific travel option and Virgin America offers Main Cabin, Main Cabin Select and First Class seating on its domestic U.S. service.
In June 2009, the airlines signed an Australia-U.S. interline agreement offering seamless travel on the networks of each carrier across their United States (U.S.) and trans-Pacific routes. The interline arrangement allows guests to enjoy a continuous "Virgin' experience for travel between the U.S. and Australia, as Virgin America and V Australia share Los Angeles World Airport's (LAX) newly redesigned Terminal 3. Since June 2009, V Australia guests have been eligible to earn Elevate points for the Virgin America leg of their journey. As of today, guests can now earn either Virgin America Elevate points or Velocity Points for their travel on Virgin America, V Australia or Virgin Blue flights. For complete details on earning Elevate points for V Australia and Virgin Blue flights, visit Virgin America's. Web site. For complete details on earning Velocity points for Virgin America flights, visit Velocity's. Web site.
Virgin America's Elevate frequent flyer loyalty program offers guests the ability to redeem points for any unsold seat — on any Virgin America flight, at any time. Elevate offers Web-based redemption with no black-out dates and has grown to over 1.27 million members in just two years. Virgin America is one of the only airlines to have launched its loyalty program prior to its own launch, so that guests could begin accruing points from the first day of flights. Earlier this month, Virgin America rolled out changes to Elevate in order to give flyers more flexibility to earn and redeem points for travel on the airline. Elevate members are now able to retain their Elevate points indefinitely, as long as they either earn or redeem points at least once every 18 months. In addition, Elevate members can now earn even more points for free flights by shopping at the Red store, which features 150 popular brand retailers. Elevate offers one of the industry's most generous and easy-to-redeem flight reward programs as few as four roundtrips or 2,500*** points can earn members a reward flight. In addition, Elevate members receive exclusive offers that only the world-class Virgin brand could provide, such tickets to the star-studded in-flight premiere of HBO's Entourage, and the chance to compete to earn a seat on a Virgin Galactic sub-orbital space flight.
Velocity Rewards is the multi-award winning loyalty program of the Virgin Blue Group of Airlines and is free to join online. Velocity rewards their Members faster, with less Points required for Reward seats compared to other Australian loyalty programs. It features any seat redemption, on any flight across the entire Group network (no blackouts, no restrictions). Velocity also has more than 8 Airline Partners that provide a global network for their Members including Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, Delta Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Virgin America and Malaysian Airlines. Plus, Members can earn Points with a wide range of on the ground Program Partners and then use those Points for rewards they really want from a beach cricket set to a brand new car. Visit www.velocityrewards.com.au
Virgin America flies to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego, Boston, Orange County (ending May 26), Fort Lauderdale and as of August 19, 2010 - Orlando. 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 (ending May 26), LAX to FLL and SFO to FLL and starting August 19, 2010 — SFO to MCO and LAX to MCO.
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Media Contact: Abby Lunardini (650) 533-7576 / email@example.com
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 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. For more please visit: www.virginamerica.com
About V Australia and Virgin Blue: V Australia www.vaustralia.com.au is a three class boutique style airline offering the acclaimed service for which the Virgin Blue Group is renowned and a unique Australian style. On board the airline's brand new 361-seat 777-300ER aircraft, configuration includes Business Class cabin with 33 fully lie-flat beds, Premium Economy with 40 International Club seats and 288 International Economy seats. All cabins offer the Red, state-of-the-art personal seat back entertainment, seat to seat 'chat' or competition connectivity. The airline also has two in-flight bars, mood lighting including twilight and sunset, bathrooms with piped music including a "ladies only" bathroom and other touches of Australiana from salt and pepper shakers to hidden wallpaper murals. V Australia is a part of the Virgin Blue Group of Airlines. The Australian-based airline group also includes Virgin Blue, second largest carrier in Australia www.virginblue.com.au and short haul international airlines Pacific Blue www.flypacificblue.com Polynesian Blue. Together they operate a fleet comprising of 85 modern Boeing 737-NG's, Boeing 777 and Embraer E-Jet aircraft flying to 30 Australian and 18 international destinations in the South Pacific, Southeast Asia and America.
* Guests can choose to earn one type of currency - Elevate points or Velocity points for your Virgin America flights. Please note that points earned on a partner carrier (i.e. Elevate points earned on V Australia and Virgin Blue flights) will be posted to the guest's account within 4-6 weeks of travel.
** Points required to redeem an Elevate travel reward on V Australia or Virgin Blue are subject to change. Taxes, fees and surcharges are payable in addition to Elevate points redeemed and vary according to travel destination. Reward bookings on V Australia and Virgin Blue are subject to availability, which may be limited.
*** Points required to redeem an Elevate travel reward on Virgin America will be publicly available on a seat and flight-specific basis and are subject to change. Virgin America reward bookings are subject to a security fee of $2.50 per segment, payable by credit card or Virgin America credit file. The Passenger Facility Charge and Segment Fees are waived for domestic reward bookings.