VIRGIN AMERICA LANDS LOVE: AIRLINE BRINGS NEW BUSINESS-FRIENDLY FLIGHTS TO DALLAS' LOVE FIELD
New Flights from Love Field on Sale Today: Fares from $79*and a 'Love Gets an Upgrade' Special Offer of 50%**off Business and First Class Seats
San Francisco – April 25, 2014 – Virgin America today announces it is launching sales on its new business-friendly flights from Dallas' Love Field (DAL) to New York's LaGuardia Airport (LGA), Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO). The new flights take off in October 2014, with tickets on sale as of today at virginamerica.com and 1-877-FLY-VIRGIN.*** Virgin America will offer travelers award-winning service and nonstop, conveniently-timed flights from the airport closest to Dallas' central business district — the updated, modern Love Field. The airline will be the only carrier at DAL to offer a consistent, upscale product on every flight — with three classes of service (including a First Class cabin and a Main Cabin Select premium economy service) as well as WiFi, in-seat power outlets, confirmed seating and touch-screen seatback entertainment available for every guest. This month, Virgin America was selected by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for the award of two Love Field gates being divested as part of the American Airlines/US Airways merger settlement. To announce the news today, the airline made a surprise landing with one of its custom-designed Airbus A320 aircraft at Love Field — where it is hosting an "open plane" event for media, Elevate® loyalty members, partners and social media fans. For more, follow #LoveToFlyVirgin on Twitter.
Virgin America is kicking off the flights by showing Dallas some "love," with Main Cabin fares on the new routes from $79*(taxes & fees included, restrictions applying) and a "Love Gets an Upgrade" offer: 50 percent off** the airline's Main Cabin Select and First Class DAL seats now through 11:59pm CT on April 26, 2014. To support its Dallas-based community partners, the airline is also teaming up with the Knowledge is Power Program's (KIPP) Dallas Fort-Worth College Preparatory Public Schools to donate $20 for every DAL flight booked today**** to support college trips for up-and-coming middle school entrepreneurs. The airline is a long-time KIPP supporter and has partnered with KIPP schools in its other markets.
"A recent opinion piece in The Dallas Morning News on Love Field noted that 'competition requires competitors,' and we couldn't agree more. In response to the creation of now four 'mega-airlines,' the Justice Department has taken steps to ensure that consumers are protected from this unprecedented consolidation by allowing room for low-fare competition in key markets that are increasingly dominated by massive carriers," said Virgin America President and CEO David Cush. "More competition for Dallas flyers — and at an airport that is now monopoly-controlled — will bring fare discipline and product choice to local travelers. Like in any industry, when there is more competition, consumers win."
Virgin America's flights from DAL will bring needed fare and product competition to the market. At present, one carrier controls 80 percent of the Love Field gates (16 of 20) and more than 90 percent of the traffic. An August 2013 study conducted by Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers found that of airports in its size class, DAL had the largest increase in average fares from 2007-2012 — a 37% jump.¹ Launched in 2007, Virgin America is a case study for how competition can improve fares and service. When the airline entered the SFO-Dallas market in 2010 and the SFO-Chicago O'Hare (ORD) market in 2011, fares dropped in each market at the time by more than 30 percent. Prior to the launch of Virgin America's new service from SFO and LAX to Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) in 2013, the EWR routes had some of the highest fares in the nation. After Virgin America entered EWR, fares dropped by more than one-third, and travelers had access for the first time to WiFi, power outlets and live TV on EWR-California flights. Virgin America has been named the "Best Domestic Airline" in Condé Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Awards and Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards for the past six years. In April, the airline was ranked as the top U.S. carrier in the Airline Quality Rating, an annual study measuring on-time rates, guest satisfaction and other key metrics conducted by Wichita State and Embry-Riddle University.
The addition of Love Field will significantly expand Virgin America's presence in Texas. SFO, LAX and DCA to DAL flight service starts on October 13, 2014, and LGA to DAL flight service starts on October 28, 2014. The carrier's initial Love Field nonstop flight schedule is as below:
In 2015, Virgin America plans to add an additional daily flight from DAL to SFO, LAX and DCA, bringing each route to four daily nonstop flights. In addition, the airline plans to add two new daily nonstop flights from DAL to Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) in 2015. Virgin America will move its current operations from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) to DAL in October 2014.
"Dallas is a global center of industry and it deserves more business-friendly flight options from the airport most convenient to downtown," added Cush. "The opportunity to expand our service at Love allows us to not only spur more fare competition, but also provide travelers with a different kind of flight option — one that allows them to stay connected, comfortable and productive on long-haul flights to major business destinations."
The new routes will also expand Virgin America's footprint in Washington D.C. and New York. In the last six months, the airline invested in assets being sold as part of the American Airlines merger settlement, including airport slots at LGA and DCA — both airports where access historically has been constrained and where consumers have had less fare and product competition as a result. Virgin America will be only the second low-cost airline to serve all three major New York-area airports.
Virgin America's service is tailored to the modern business traveler, making it a perfect fit for Dallas-based and Dallas-destined travelers choosing to fly from Love Field's central location. With mood-lit cabins, fleetwide WiFi, custom-designed leather seating, power outlets, personal touch-screen entertainment platforms, assigned seating and new, quieter aircraft with three classes of service, Virgin America has attracted a loyal following of business travelers for its "office in the sky" amenities. In addition to a Main Cabin that offers custom-designed leather seating with a deeper, more comfortable pitch, the airline's First Class offers plush white leather seating with 55 inches of pitch, 165 degrees of recline and lumbar massagers. The carrier's Main Cabin Select service offers 38-inches of pitch, free food and cocktails, an all-access pass to media content, dedicated overhead bins and priority check-in/boarding. The airline's Express service offers preferred seating, priority security access and advance boarding. The Red™ in-flight entertainment platform offers guests their own seatback touch-screen TV, with more than 20 films, live TV, Google Maps, videogames, a 6,000 song library and an on-demand menu, which allows flyers to order a cocktail or snack from their seatback any time during a flight. The airline has been named the "Best U.S. Business/First Class" airline every year in the 2008-2013 annual Condé Nast Traveler Business Traveler Polls. In 2012, Virgin America opened its first airport lounge, The Loft at LAX, and rolled out enhancements to its Elevate frequent flyer program — including Elevate Gold and Elevate Silver status levels.
High-res photos of Virgin America's unique aircraft can be downloaded here.
Broadcast quality video b-roll can also be downloaded here.
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Abby Lunardini, (650) 533.7576 / email@example.com
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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. 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 (ends October 2014), Dallas Love Field (as of October 2014), Los Cabos, Cancun, Chicago, Puerto Vallarta, Palm Springs (seasonal), Philadelphia, Portland and Austin. For more:www.virginamerica.com
*Fare Sale Terms and Conditions: All Main Cabin fares are one-way and require a 21-day advance purchase. Travel for DAL-SFO, DAL-LAX, and DAL-DCA must occur between October 13, 2014 and November 20, 2014. Travel for DAL-LGA must occur between October 28, 2014 and November 20, 2014. Tickets must be purchased by 11:59pm CT Saturday, April 26, 2014. Lowest sale fares are available only on certain itineraries. Lowest sale fares are only valid for travel on all days of the week. Seats are limited, subject to availability, and may not be available on all flights. Flights may not operate daily. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable. For travel solely between points in the Western Region (LAS/LAX/PDX/PSP/PVR/SAN/SEA/SFO/SJD only) changes or cancellations can be made for a $75 fee per guest through all channels, plus any increase in fare, if applicable. For all other itineraries, changes or cancellations can be made for a $150 fee per guest through all channels, plus any increase in fare, if applicable. Any remaining balance will be placed in a guest's travel bank, good for travel on Virgin America for one year from date of issue. Changes or cancellations of a booking made with Elevate Points will be subject to a $100 redeposit fee per guest. Guests who no-show without a change or cancellation prior to the scheduled departure time will forfeit the amount of this fare. In addition, any future flights booked in the same reservation will also be canceled and the fare will be forfeited. Tickets purchased from Virgin America through our reservation call center will cost an additional $20 per guest per itinerary. Any added cost associated with purchasing tickets from Virgin America through our reservation call center will be non-refundable. Fares will not be honored retroactively or in exchange for any wholly or partially used ticket. Fares, routes, fees and schedules are subject to change without notice. Virgin America will accept up to ten pieces of checked baggage, up to 50 pounds each, per ticketed guest traveling within the U.S. The fee for each piece of checked baggage up to 50 pounds is $25. Additional fees apply to baggage exceeding these weight limitations, and other baggage restrictions may apply.
**50 percent off Main Cabin Select and First Class seats offer: This offer ends on April 26, 2014 at 11:59pm CT. This offer is valid only for travel to/from DAL (Love Field); offer is not valid for any other routes. Travel for DAL-SFO, DAL-LAX, and DAL-DCA must occur between October 13, 2014 and November 20, 2014. Travel for DAL-LGA must occur between October 28, 2014 and November 20, 2014. Promo code is valid on DAL routes for Instant Upgrade to Main Cabin Select and non-refundable First Class tickets only. Promo code is not valid for Main Cabin, Main Cabin Select refundable or First Class refundable tickets. Promo code is valid for a 50% discount off the base fare for travel. Promo code may be used only towards newly booked travel and may not be applied to prior bookings. Promo code discount will be deducted off of base fare. Base fares do not include Passenger Facility Charges of up to $9 each way, September 11th Security Fees of up to $5 each way and a Federal Segment Tax of $4.00 per domestic segment. A segment is a takeoff and landing. For service to/from Mexico, base fares do not include the U.S. Immigration User Fee of $7, the U.S. APHIS fee of $5, the U.S. Customs processing fee of $5.50, a U.S. International Arrival/Departure Tax of $17.50 each way and additional taxes/fees of up to $70, including: Mexico International Departure Tax and Mexico Tourism Tax. Promo code may not be redeemed for cash. Promo code may only be used for bookings made on virginamerica.com and is only valid on itineraries of one guest only. Offer is not transferable and cannot be combined with any other offers. Promotion code is not eligible for Elevate points redemption bookings. Seats are limited, subject to availability, and may not be available on all flights. If travel is changed or cancelled, promo code discount will become invalid. For Instant Upgrade to Main Cabin Select, travel solely between points in the Western Region (LAS/LAX/PDX/PSP/PVR/SAN/SEA/SFO/SJD only) changes or cancellations can be made for a $75 fee per guest through all channels, plus any increase in fare, if applicable. For all other itineraries, changes or cancellations can be made for a $150 fee per guest through all channels, plus any increase in fare, if applicable. For First Class, changes or cancellations can be made without a fee; an increase in fare will be collected if applicable. Any remaining balance will be placed in a guest's travel bank, good for travel on Virgin America for one year from date of issue. Changes or cancellations of a booking made with Elevate Points will be subject to a $100 redeposit fee. Guests who no-show without a change or cancellation prior to the scheduled departure time will forfeit the amount of this fare. In addition, any future flights booked in the same reservation will also be canceled and the fare will be forfeited. Tickets purchased from Virgin America through our reservation call center will cost an additional $20 per guest per itinerary. Any added cost associated with purchasing tickets from Virgin America through our reservation call center will be non-refundable. Fares will not be honored retroactively or in exchange for any wholly or partially used ticket. Fares, routes, fees and schedules are subject to change without notice. . For Instant Upgrade to Main Cabin Select, Virgin America will accept one (1) piece of checked baggage up to 50 pounds free of charge for each ticketed guest. The fee per guest for each additional checked bag up to 50 pounds from the second (2) to the tenth (10) is $25. For First Class, Virgin America will accept two (2) pieces of checked baggage up to 50 pounds for free of charge for each ticketed guest. The fee per guest for each additional checked bag up to 50 pounds from the third (3) to the tenth (10) is $25. Additional fees apply to baggage exceeding these weight limitations, and other baggage restrictions may apply.
***Any guest calling within the United States has access to a complimentary telecommunication relay service by dialing 711. For more information, go to: http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/telecomm.asp
****KIPP Donation: Virgin America will donate $20 per booking (in in-kind tickets) to KIPP DFW Schools (with a total donation amount not to exceed $55,000) for every Love Field flight segment booked through 11:59pm CT on April 25, 2014.
¹ Michael D. Wittman and William S. Swelbar. "Evolving Trends of U.S. Domestic Airfares: The Impacts of Competition, Consolidation, and Low-Cost Carriers."" MIT Small Community Air Service White Paper No. 3, Report No. ICAT-2013-07. (August 2013): Page 9. MIT International Center for Air Transportation (ICAT), Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.