Virgin America Announces Fee Changes

Airline Introduces $15 per Bag Fee; Reduces Web Change/Cancellation Fee

SAN FRANCISCO , March 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Virgin America today announced changes to the airline's baggage fee structure, as well as its online change and cancellation fee. Effective today, the airline is lowering its fee for changes or cancellations made online at from $75 to $50. The airline has also changed its baggage fee structure to a flat, simple rate for all checked items.


Starting today, any guest who books travel on or after May 5, 2009 , will be charged $15 for each checked bag ($15 for a first checked bag and $15 for the second through the tenth checked bag). The airline previously charged $25 for a second checked bag and $50 for third and subsequent bags. Virgin America maintains one of the most generous first bag weight limits in the industry - up to 70 lbs.*

"We're looking at all areas of our operation to help maintain competitive fares while continuing to offer the award-winning, value-added service for which we're known," said Virgin America's Vice President of Planning and Sales, Diana Walke . "Because we fly to primary airports, we mainly compete with the large network carriers - all of whom already charge this fee. We're following the trend in domestic travel both here and abroad, in order to keep fares low, while continuing to offer the highest quality product in the U.S. market."

Virgin America offers unique amenities that appeal to today's business and leisure travelers, including beautifully designed new planes, power outlets at every seat and the largest in-flight entertainment library in the U.S. skies. Coming this summer, software upgrades to the touch-screen Red(TM) system will allow for greater functionality, reliability and speed - and expansion of its already robust content platform. Now available on half its fleet, by June 2009 , Virgin America will be the first U.S. airline to offer in-flight internet on every flight.

"We think we offer the best value proposition in the U.S. skies in terms of amenities, service and fares. This new fee structure is competitive with, or lower, than our major network competitors and will allow us to continue to invest in our innovative service and high-tech amenities," added Walke.

The fee changes are as follows:

Under the new fee rules, First Class guests will continue to receive up to two checked bags for free. Guests in the carrier's premium Main Cabin Select service or those who purchase Fully Refundable Main Cabin fares will continue to receive one checked bag for free.** All weight and size policies remain the same, and the airline's carry-on baggage policy has not changed. Guests who purchased Virgin America tickets before today or who book and travel before May 5, 2009 , will be charged per the carrier's previous bag fee policy.

The airline's online change/cancellation fee has been reduced to $50 (from $75), in response to guest feedback and increased web options.*** As before, the airline's First Class and Main Cabin Select guests, as well as guests who purchase Fully Refundable Main Cabin fares, will not be charged any change/cancellation fees. The change/cancellation fee through all other channels, including Virgin America's reservation center, the airport and all other travel partners, remains $75. Guests can re-book their flight at a lower fare should the fare drop before departure via all booking channels, including, less the respective change fees. Virgin America continues to have a streamlined, transparent one-way fee structure with no Saturday night stay requirements for travelers.

Virgin America is one of the fastest growing U.S. airlines of all time, with a new 28-aircraft Airbus A320-family fleet and daily flights from San Francisco , Los Angeles , New York , Washington D.C. , Seattle , Las Vegas , San Diego , Boston , and as of April 30, 2009 - Orange County .

*Overweight bag policy: Virgin America maintains one of the most generous first bag weight limits in the industry - up to 70 lbs. For the second through tenth checked bags weighing from 51-70 lbs, the airline charges an additional $50 per bag. For all overweight bags weighing from 71-100 lbs, the airline charges an additional $100 per bag.

**Virgin America's Main Cabin Select and Fully Refundable Fare guests will not be charged for a first bag and First Class guests will not be charged for a first or second bag, but overweight and oversized bag fees are applicable. The airline's checked baggage policy allows guests to check a first bag for $15 that can weigh up to a generous 70 lbs, and a second through tenth bag weighing up to 50 lbs for a $15 fee.

*** Elevate members may change or cancel reservations made with Points via the call center for a $50 redeposit fee, instead of the previously charged $75 fee.

About Virgin America: Launched in August 2007 , Virgin America is a California -based airline that offers guests attractive fares and innovative features aimed at reinventing air travel. In its first year flying, the airline captured a list of travel industry awards including "Best Domestic Airline" in Conde Nast Traveler's 2008 Readers' Choice Awards and in Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards. The airline's Red(TM) system features a touch-screen food menu, 25 on-demand films, seat-to-seat chat, thousands of MP3s, videogames, and live TV. In addition to a Main Cabin that offers custom-designed leather seats with a deeper, more comfortable pitch, Virgin America's First Class features international-grade amenities, including seats with lumbar massagers. The carrier's Main Cabin Select service offers 38-inches of seat pitch, complimentary food and cocktails, an all-access pass to Red(TM) and priority check-in and boarding. To learn more:

SOURCE Virgin America