Virgin America's New Golden State to Gold Coast Service Takes Off

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Virgin America, the California-based airline that is reinventing domestic travel, today expands to the tenth destination in its growing network - South Florida. The new service connects the Golden State to Florida's Gold Coast, with twice-daily nonstop flights from both San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) with fares as low as $99*. To mark the service, the airline is passing along some golden opportunities to deal-seekers from coast to coast, inaugural flight guests and the next generation of golden opportunists.


"We're pleased to make the world-class South Florida market the newest destination in our growing network," said Virgin America President and CEO David Cush. "At a time when consumers are more discerning than ever about where they spend their travel dollars, we're excited to inject competition into the market by offering Golden State to Gold Coast travelers the best of both worlds: unrivalled service and incredibly low fares."

Virgin America's expansion to a tenth destination attests to the airline's unique growth story. With low fares, top-notch service and beautifully designed new planes with high-tech amenities, the airline has captured all the major reader-based best-in-class awards and experienced significant growth since its August 2007 launch. Virgin America welcomed its one-millionth Elevate frequent flier member this fall and recently captured the "Best Domestic Airline" title in Conde Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Awards - a poll of over 25,000 travelers.

To celebrate its new Golden State to Gold Coast flights, Virgin America is sharing the wealth with travelers from coast-to-coast with a 24-hour "Go Golden" fare sale for travel from Nov. 21-March 10, 2010. Fares start at $39* from SFO-LAX and $99* from JFK-LAS and BOS-SFO. For more Go Golden fares:

"Congratulations to our hometown airline Virgin America on the launch of its tenth destination - and also to SFO for inaugurating service on a brand new route," said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. "As the only San Francisco-based airline, Virgin America continues to drive economic growth for the greater Bay Area, while lowering fares and improving service for air travelers across the country. As the airline continues to inject its innovative competition into new markets, it reflects the very best entrepreneurial spirit of our region."

Virgin America's first flight guests will enjoy WiFi, cocktails by KARMA California Brut, Patron Tequila and VeeV Acai Spirit, and golden glow treatments from Bare Escentuals underneath the airline's signature mood-lighting. Upon touchdown, the star-studded flights will receive a champagne-soaked red carpet runway welcome by Virgin's own golden boy - Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson. The festivities continue at a gilded after-party at South Florida's newest hot spot: the W Fort Lauderdale, with a performance by Santigold.

In November, the airline's "Stay Golden America" contest winners scored the chance to bring all their friends onboard the inaugural flights for the ultimate golden getaway. Virgin America pledged the winners' fares to support the in-development youth entrepreneurship program of Virgin Group's non-profit foundation, Virgin Unite. The Young Entrepreneurs program will provide mentorship, business skills training and seed funding to young people facing difficult social and economic circumstances in the U.S. The public can send a message to the inaugural flights today (hashtag: #HelpVirginUnite) and Virgin America will donate $1 per Tweet received in-flight to support budding entrepreneurs.

"We're proud to welcome Virgin America's new low-fare, innovative service. The decision to make Fort Lauderdale the newest destination in the airline's network is a testament to the investments made in our airport and the strong tourism economy of our region," said Broward County Mayor Ken Keechl. "The move to provide new non-stop service will create jobs, stimulate tourism and improve service for local travelers."

Virgin America offers innovative amenities like touch-screen entertainment, power outlets at every seat and fleetwide Gogo® In-flight Internet. The airline operates one of the youngest fleets in the U.S. and its mood-lit, custom-designed cabins feature Red(TM) - the most advanced entertainment system in the skies. Red's seatback platform offers 25 films, live TV, interactive Google Maps, music videos, videogames, and an on-demand menu that allows guests to order what they want, when they want it. In May, the airline became the first to offer in-flight internet on every flight, and in October it joined forces with Google, to make WiFi free for the holidays.

"We're thrilled that coast will meet coast when Virgin America begins this new service. Greater Fort Lauderdale invites our new California friends to immerse themselves in the many surprises that await them here," said Nicki E. Grossman, President of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Whether cruising or dining, shopping, visiting a spa or museum, Virgin America has opened so many doors to a great personal travel experience."

In addition to a Main Cabin that offers custom-designed leather seats with a deeper, more comfortable pitch, the airline's First Class offers plush white leather seats with 55 inches of pitch and lumbar massagers. The carrier's premium Main Cabin Select option, offers 38-inches of pitch, complimentary food and cocktails, an all-access pass to Red's countless entertainment options, dedicated overhead bins and priority check-in/boarding.

Virgin America flies to San Francisco, LA, New York, Washington D.C., Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego, Boston, Orange County and Fort Lauderdale. The airline 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, SFO to SNA, LAX to FLL and SFO to FLL. The airline offers connecting FLL flights from SEA, SNA, SAN and LAS.

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: Virgin America is one of the fastest growing start-up U.S. airlines of all time. The airline's new aircraft offer interactive in-flight entertainment systems and power outlets at seat for electronic gear. Virgin America offers in-flight internet on every flight and hosts the largest in-flight entertainment library in the U.S. skies via its touch-screen Red(TM) system. The airline was named "Best Domestic Airline" in the Conde Nast Traveler 2008 and 2009 Readers' Choice Awards and in Travel + Leisure's 2008 and 2009 World's Best Awards. For more:

About Virgin Unite: Virgin Unite is the non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group. We unite people to tackle tough social and environmental problems in an entrepreneurial way. Our aim is to revolutionize the way businesses and the social sector work together - driving business as a force for good. Virgin Unite's overheads are covered by Sir Richard Branson and the Virgin Group. 100% of donations go to the frontline where they are needed most. For more:

* Terms and Conditions: All Main Cabin fares are one-way and require a 1-day advance purchase. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable. Tickets must be purchased by 11:59pm PST 11.18.09. Travel must occur between 11.19.09 and 02.10.10. Blackout dates are 11.25.09, 11.28.09 to 11.30.09, 12.17.09, 12.18.09, 12.23.09, 12.24.09, 12.26.09, 12.30.09, and 01.03.10. 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 or a $75 fee through all other channels, including the call center and at the airport, plus any increase in fare, if applicable. Guests who no-show without a change or cancel 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 $15 per guest per itinerary. Any added cost associated with purchasing tickets from Virgin America through our reservation call center will be non-refundable. 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 $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. Fares, routes, fees and schedules are subject to change without notice. Virgin America will accept one (1) piece of checked baggage up to 70 pounds for $20 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 $20.

SOURCE Virgin America