VIRGIN AMERICA TO LAUNCH NEW SERVICE TO FORT LAUDERDALE
Award Winning Airline Brings New Competition to California-Florida Routes
San Francisco (August 11, 2009) /PRNewswire/ — Virgin America, the California-based airline that is reinventing domestic travel, today announced it will serve Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) with daily non-stop flights from the West Coast beginning Nov. 18, 2009. The South Florida region will be the tenth destination in the airline's growing network. Virgin America will serve FLL with two daily non-stop roundtrips from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and two daily non-stop roundtrips from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The airline will also offer convenient connecting flights from Seattle, Orange County, San Diego and Las Vegas.
"The South Florida market has always been at the top of our list. It is a world-class destination and an important tourism and business travel market that, until today, was served by little or no non-stop competition from the West Coast," said Virgin America President and CEO David Cush. "Our business model is focused on population centers where our unique service and amenities resonate with travelers — and we think the South Florida region is a perfect match. With its central, convenient location and modern facilities, we're pleased to partner with Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to bring our low-fare, upscale service to this growing market."
Virgin America's new service will be the first and only non-stop service from FLL to SFO. Tickets are on sale today on Virgin America's Web site (www.virginamerica.com) and at 1.877.FLY.VIRGIN * (1.877.359.8474). FLL-SFO and FLL-LAX fares start at $99 one way in Main Cabin, $499 one way in the carrier's Main Cabin Select premium service, and from $849 in its international-grade First Class cabin.**
"Virgin America's innovative service is a great match for our region and we're proud to welcome them," said Broward County Mayor Stacy Ritter. "The move will not only drive local job growth, but is a testament to the strong tourism economy of our region even in the current climate. Linking South Florida with non-stop air service from San Francisco and Los Angeles will stimulate tourism and is a win for travelers — when more airlines compete, consumers tend to find lower fares and better service."
Virgin America has captured a list of travel industry best-in-class awards since launching service in August 2007 — including most recently, "Best Domestic Airline" in Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards for the second consecutive year. The carrier offers unrivalled value with low fares and high-tech features that are uniquely suited to long-haul flights, including: fleetwide WiFi, power outlets, mood-lighting, custom-designed leather seating and Red™ — the most advanced entertainment system in the U.S. skies. Red allows guests to control their own experience, with a food ordering system, 25 on-demand films, seat-to-seat chat, the ability to create a play-list from thousands of MP3s, videogames, interactive Google Maps, live TV and more — all accessed via touch-screen and remote control at every seat.
"Congratulations to Virgin America, California's only hometown airline, on expanding to a tenth destination," said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. "From its home at San Francisco International Airport's modern International Terminal, Virgin America continues to drive economic development for the greater Bay Area, while offering travelers across the country high levels of customer service as well as high-tech amenities that reflect the very best entrepreneurial spirit of our state."
In May, Virgin America became the first and only airline to offer guests Gogo® In-flight Internet on every flight. Virgin America is also the only airline in the U.S. with a touch-screen seatback food menu that allows guests to order what they want, when they want it during a flight. The airline offers one of the largest selections of fresh menu items, with a focus on lighter, more health-focused options — in keeping with its California roots.
"We're thrilled that Virgin America is bringing its distinctive, low-fare service to our airport," said Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Director, Kent George. "While other airports are cutting capacity, we're pleased to be growing and bringing travelers more choice. We think the service will be a great fit for our passengers and we look forward to welcoming Virgin America's inaugural flights in November."
In addition to a Main Cabin that offers custom-designed leather seats with a deeper, more comfortable pitch, Virgin America's First Class cabin features international-grade amenities, including plush white leather seats with 55 inches of pitch and lumbar massagers. The carrier's premium cabin option, Main Cabin Select, offers 38-inches of seat pitch, complimentary food and cocktails, an all-access pass to Red's countless entertainment options, dedicated overhead bin space, and priority check-in and boarding.
"With Virgin America's four daily flights into FLL, it just got easier for Californians to experience our Blue Wave beaches, exotic Everglades and cruises from Port Everglades. And just in time for Pro Bowl and Super Bowl 2010 in South Florida," said Nicki E. Grossman, President of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Virgin America flies to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego, Boston, Orange County and as of Nov. 18, 2009 — Fort Lauderdale. 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 and SFO to SNA. Virgin America has flown close to five million guests since its inaugural flights in August 2007 and now counts over 950,000 Elevate loyalty program members.
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 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 Redô seatback system. In just over a year flying, the airline was named "Best Domestic Airline" in the Condé Nast Traveler 2008 Readers' Choice Awards and in Travel + Leisure's 2008 and 2009 World's Best Awards. Elevate is Virgin America's first-of-its-kind loyalty program, which 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. For more please visit: www.virginamerica.com
*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.
**Terms and Conditions: All Main Cabin fares are one way and require a 21-day advance purchase. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable. Tickets must be purchased by 08.25.09. Travel must occur between 11.18.09 and 02.10.10. Blackout dates of 11.25.09, 11.28.09, 11.29.09, 11.30.09, 12.18.09, 12.19.09, 12.26.09, 12.27.09, 01.02.10 and 01.03.10 apply. Seats are limited, subject to availability, and may not be available on all flights. Flight may not operate daily during off-peak periods. Changes or cancellations can be made for a $50 fee if changes are made on Virgin America's website (www.virginamerica.com) or a $75 fee through all other channels, including the call center and at the airport, plus any increase in fare, if applicable. Tickets purchased from Virgin America through our reservation call center will cost an additional $15 per guest per itinerary. Any added cost associated with purchasing tickets from Virgin America through our reservation call centers will be non-refundable. Fares do not include a Passenger Facility Charge of $4.50, September 11th Security Fees of $2.50 and a Federal Segment Tax of $3.60 per domestic segment. A segment is a takeoff and landing. Fares will not be honored retroactively or in exchange for any wholly or partially used ticket. Fares are not applicable to check-through connecting flights for city pairs where direct flights are offered. Virgin America will accept one (1) piece of checked baggage up to 70 pounds for $15 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 $15. Additional fees apply to baggage exceeding these weight limitations, and other baggage restrictions may apply. Fares, routes, fees and schedules are subject to change without notice.