THE FORECAST FOR FREQUENT FLYERS CONTINUES TO IMPROVE: VIRGIN AMERICA AND NEST PARTNER TO OFFER TRAVELERS PERSONALIZED CLIMATE CONTROL AT 35,000 FEET
Virgin America Becomes First Airline to Integrate Individual Climate Control Settings into Cabin Experience Travelers at Every Seat to Have Personalized Climate Settings Ranging from 'Cancun Afternoon' to 'Chicago Polar Vortex'
San Francisco – April 1, 2014 – Virgin America, the award-winning California-based airline already known for its inventive travel experience, today announces that it will integrate the Nest Learning Thermostat into its aircraft cabins — allowing travelers to create personalized climates at 35,000 feet. By the end of 2014, Virgin America will integrate Nest into its seatback Red™ entertainment platform across the airline's entire Airbus A320-Family aircraft. Virgin Group Founder, Sir Richard Branson, and Nest CEO, Tony Fadell, helped introduce the innovative new feature with a video. Nest reinvents unloved products like thermostats and smoke alarms for home and Virgin America has reinvented what it means to fly. The two Bay Area-based brands known for innovation teamed up to bring travelers a more comfortable, climate controlled experience — even as they jet across the skies at 500 miles per hour.
"Nest technology has completely re-imagined how people control their own climate — and Virgin-branded airlines are known for harnessing that same entrepreneurial spirit and the latest technology to reinvent the flying experience," said Virgin Group Founder, Sir Richard Branson. "Integrating Nest into all of Virgin America's seatbacks and allowing travelers to control their own personal temperature at 35,000 feet seemed like a natural next step. Why should you have to wait to arrive at your vacation destination to enjoy tropical weather, when you can turn the heat up from your very own seat?"
Nest and Virgin America engineers teamed up to create a first-of-its-kind system — Total Temperature Control (TTC), which allows travelers to create their own personal climate controlled environment thanks to Nest thermostats built into the Red™in-flight platform — the touch-screen personal seatback system already onboard all of Virgin America's aircraft. Nest's hardware and software has been seamlessly designed into the airline's entertainment system with their signature mood-lit cabin colors reflected in the Nest user interface (UI). The breakthrough technology co-developed by Nest and Virgin America engineering teams includes the development of adiabatic air curtains around each guest's seat that make climatic destination variation possible. Starting this month, and fully integrated across the fleet by the end of 2014, the system will allow travelers to adjust their personal seat temperature to their preferred climate or one of the airline's multiple Destination Acclimation settings, including:
- Cancun Afternoon
- Standard Day in Los Angeles
- Chicago Polar Vortex
"Nest will bring a one-of-a-kind experience to your flight on Virgin America," said Tony Fadell, CEO of Nest. "The idea grew out of a late night discussion with Richard, on how airline seats should do more than just comfortably transport you from one place to the next — they should consciously understand your wants and needs. That's what Nest is doing with the home and now we're helping Virgin America do it in the sky."
Since its 2007 launch, Virgin America has made environmentally sustainable practices part of its training and operations. In addition to a new fleet that is up to 20 percent more fuel efficient than the average domestic fleet, working with Nest, the airline has built energy efficiency into the new climate systems via Nest's Auto Away functionality. Now when travelers get up from their seat at any time during a flight, even to head to an onboard restroom, their personalized climate systems will pause — therefore saving energy onboard.
With top-notch service, beautiful design and a host of high-tech amenities, Virgin America has built a loyal following since its launch. The airline offers fleetwide WiFi, power outlets and personal entertainment at every seat. The airline's Red™ platform offers guests their own seatback touch-screen TV, with 25 films, live TV, interactive Google Maps, 4,000 song library and an on-demand menu — so flyers can order a cocktail or snack from their seatback any time during a flight.
Photos of the new Nest TTC climate system onboard Virgin America's aircraft can be seen here.
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Editors Note: Virgin America is a U.S.-controlled, owned and operated airline. It 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's Silicon Valley and known for its mood-lit cabins, three beautifully designed classes of service and innovative fleetwide amenities — like touch-screen personal entertainment, WiFi and power outlets at every seat, Virgin America has built a loyal following of flyers and earned a host of awards since launching in 2007 — including being named both the "Best U.S. Airline" in Condé Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Awards and "Best Domestic Airline" in Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards for the past six consecutive years. In April 2013, Virgin America topped the 2012 Airline Quality Rating, a research project conducted by faculty at Wichita State University and Purdue University that analyzes airline operational performance as reported by the Department of Transportation. The airline's base of operations is San Francisco International Airport (SFO)'s sleek and sustainable Terminal 2. Virgin America has created 2,700 jobs and flies to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Newark, Washington D.C. (IAD and DCA), Las Vegas, San Diego, Seattle, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Cabos, Cancun, Chicago, Puerto Vallarta, Palm Springs (seasonal), Philadelphia, Portland and Austin. The Red™ touch-screen entertainment platform offers guests on every Virgin America flight their own seatback screen, with 25 films, live TV, interactive Google Maps, videogames, a 4,000 song library and an on-demand menu, which allows flyers to order a cocktail or snack from their seatback any time during a flight. In addition to a Main Cabin that offers custom-designed leather seating with a deeper, more comfortable pitch, the airline's First Class offers white leather seating with 55 inches of pitch, 165 degrees of recline and lumbar massagers. The carrier's Main Cabin Select option offers 38-inches of pitch, free food and cocktails, an all-access pass to media content, dedicated overhead bins and priority check-in/boarding. In 2012, Virgin America opened its first airport lounge, The Loft at LAX, androlled out enhancements to its Elevate frequent flyer program — including status levels. For more: www.virginamerica.com
About Nest: Nest reinvents unloved but important home products, like the thermostat and smoke and CO alarm. The company focuses on delighting customers with simple, beautiful and thoughtful hardware, software and services. The Nest Learning Thermostat™ and Nest Energy Services offerings address home energy consumption, and Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide™ helps keep people safe. Nest products are sold in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, and are installed in more than 120 countries. For more information, visit www.nest.com