VIRGIN AMERICA UNVEILS ITS NEWEST CLASS OF SERVICE: MAIN CANINE SELECT
Award-winning Airline Retrofits its First Class to Create an ‘All Pet’ Cabin designed Just for Dogs
San Francisco – April 1, 2013 – Virgin America, the airline that is reinventing domestic travel, today announces a new class of service on its domestic flights nationwide: Main Canine Select. The new cabin service (located in the airline’s current First Class cabin – rows 1-2 on most of Virgin America’s Airbus A320-Family fleet) will cater specifically to the airline’s four-legged clientele. Virgin America’s Official Pet Liaison, Boo – “The World’s Cutest Dog”– suggested an elevated class of service for dogs. The airline’s creative team took that idea and ran with it, developing a custom-designed cabin for travelers’ pets. The new Main Canine Select service, set to roll out today on select flights nationwide, offers furry travelers an interactive light installation that allows pups to chase fully rendered cats, an “open air” lavatory with mood-lit fire hydrants, custom-designed air vents situated at each seat to simulate that head-out-the-window feeling of a car ride and a curated selection of features via the airline’s Red in-flight entertainment platform, such as an endless loop of tennis matches and a thumbs-free on-demand tapas menu.
To coincide with the launch of Main Canine Select, Virgin America is also launching a new Elevate “Top Dog” status level designed exclusively for the airline’s four-legged frequent flyers that includes a complimentary checked “doggy bag,” Virgin America pet hoodies and curbside hydrants for added convenience.
“We recognize how important it is to cater to our canine companions onboard,” said Phil Seward, Director of Loyalty at Virgin America. “Dogs – and their very discerning owners – are a priority for us in terms of our frequent flyer base. We knew that we needed to raise the bar even higher in terms of their experience onboard and through our Elevate loyalty program. We were of course thrilled to have Boo as an adviser in this process.”
“When my favorite airline, Virgin America, asked me to tell them what I would love to see onboard – I jumped at the chance...literally,” said Boo, Virgin America’s Official Pet Liaison. “As a frequent flyer, I’ve always found it a bit offensive to have to be stowed under the seat. As an already pet-friendly airline, I thought Virgin America would be receptive to the idea of an all-pet cabin. And it is clear that this airline will do anything it can to make the travel experience better for those on four legs as well as for those on two.”
As the only airline based in Silicon Valley, members of the new Top Dog status level can also earn Elevate points via the airline’s enhanced social rewards. Virgin America was the first U.S. airline to award frequent flyer points for virtual “check-ins” via Topguest, a product of Switchfly, Inc. Elevate Top Dog members can now earn double reward points by virtually “checking in” at the airline’s airport terminals, gates and even dog parks through applications like Facebook, Instagram and Foursquare.
Frequently found jet setting around the world with his pal Buddy, Boo is widely considered the expert in canine travel. After joining Virgin America as its Official Pet Liaison, Boo has continued to serve as a trendsetter by playing the Top Gun theme song on a xylophone, attempting to reposition his ears on top of his head and instituting naked Wednesday.
Since its launch in 2007, Virgin America has grown a passionate following of two and four-legged flyers alike with its unique blend of low fares, topnotch guest service and upscale amenities. Known for beautifully designed cabins and unparalleled in-flight entertainment, Virgin America has swept the travel awards since its 2007 launch. The airline has taken top honors as “Best U.S. Airline” in both Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards and Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards for the past five consecutive years. Virgin America also has supported animal rescue efforts since its launch through a partnership with the San Francisco Animal Care and Control and with multiple Operation: Chihuahua airlift flights.
In just over five years flying, Virgin America has expanded to 19 airport destinations and created 2,600 new jobs. The airline flies to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C. (IAD), Las Vegas, San Diego, Seattle, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Cabos, Cancun, Chicago, Puerto Vallarta, Palm Springs, Philadelphia, Portland, and Washington D.C.’s Reagan National (DCA). On April 2, Virgin America will inaugurate service to its 20th airport destination – Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). Later this spring, the California-based carrier will also launch service from Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) on May 1, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) on May 21 and Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) on June 6.
Photos of Virgin America’s unique aircraft can be found here.
Broadcast quality video b-roll can also be downloaded here.
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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.
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 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 and 2012 ‘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. For more:www.virginamerica.com.