MAKE-A-WISH® GREATER BAY AREA PARTNERS WITH VIRGIN AMERICA TO HELP CHILDREN MAKE THEIR WISHES COME TRUE
San Francisco, Calif. – September 24, 2013 – This month Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area launched a partnership with San Francisco's hometown airline, Virgin America, to fly children to have their wishes fulfilled all across the country. The new "Official Airline of Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area" is donating free flights to the charitable organization over 2013-2014 and Virgin America teammates will treat families to a special, personalized VIP experience so their entire "wish trip" is fun from check-in to touchdown. Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area children flying Virgin America will receive curbside check-in, special gift bags, VIP escort service, early boarding, special attention from the airline's award-winning guest service and in-flight teammates as well as complimentary meal service onboard. Make-A-Wish expects to send up to five wish children and their family members a month on Virgin America flights.
"We're incredibly proud to partner with our local Make-A-Wish chapter in the Bay Area," said Frances Fiorillo, SVP of People and In-Flight at Virgin America. "Make-A-Wish does so much great work to fulfill the most heartfelt wishes of children facing serious health challenges. Our teammates are so excited to meet the children and their families and to ensure that the travel experiences are amazing ones."
This month, Virgin America welcomed its first Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area VIP guests: Eleven-year-old Rebecca, from Pittsburg, Calif. and 15-year-old Itzel from Sunnyvale. Rebecca was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease at age 6 and according to Rebecca's mother Racheal, music has played an important role in her life as it has comforted her by helping her to make friends and connect with people. Earlier this week, Rebecca traveled from San Francisco to Las Vegas to fulfill her wish of going to see many of her favorite bands at a musical festival. Itzel was diagnosed with lupus just a couple of years ago after experiencing bouts of feeling sick, tired and achy - and the condition requires intermittent hospital stays when the disease becomes active. Itzel's wish was to go to Universal Studios in Los Angeles and experience all of the rides and attractions that look so fun and exciting on television.
"Having Virgin America as a partner is a dream come true for us," said Patricia Wilson, Executive Director of Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area. "We love the fun experience they provide to their guests, and our wish families are going to be treated with the best care possible. We are delighted to be working together to make each wish as magical as possible."
About Make-A-Wish® Greater Bay Area: Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. In 2013 Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area embarks on 29 years of fulfilling magical wishes. During its first year of operation, in 1984, the chapter granted 27 wishes. Now one of the largest chapters nationwide, the Greater Bay Area grants over 300 wishes per year and has granted over 6,000 wishes to date. The chapter covers 17 Northern California counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Marin, Monterey, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, Siskiyou, Solano and Sonoma. The goal of Make-A-Wish is to grant a wish to every eligible child in its territory. Anyone can suggest a child for a wish. For more information or to refer a child for a wish, please call 415-982-9474 or visit www.SF.Wish.org
About Virgin America: Headquartered in California, Virgin America offers guests attractive fares and a host of innovative features aimed at reinventing air travel. In just over five and a half years flying, Virgin America was named "Best Domestic Airline" in the Condé Nast Traveler 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 'Readers' Choice' Awards and "Best Domestic Airline" in Travel + Leisure's 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 'World's Best' Awards. The airline's base of operations is San Francisco International Airport (SFO)'s sleek and sustainable new Terminal 2. The airline's new aircraft offer interactive in-flight entertainment systems and power outlets near every seat. Virgin America offers Gogo™ WiFi on every flight and hosts the largest in-flight entertainment library in the North American skies via the touch-screen Red™ platform. The airline flies to 23 destinations including San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Newark, Washington D.C. (IAD/DCA), Las Vegas, San Diego, Seattle, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Cabos, Cancun, Chicago, Puerto Vallarta, Palm Springs, Philadelphia, Portland, San Jose, Austin, Palm Springs (seasonal) and Anchorage (seasonal). For more: www.virginamerica.com
EDITORS NOTE: Virgin America is a U.S.-controlled and operated airline and is an entirely separate company from Virgin Atlantic. Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is a minority share investor in Virgin America.