FLY LIKE A BOSS: VIRGIN AMERICA INVITES NEW JERSEY TRAVELERS TO ASK FOR MORE IN A BUSINESS AIRLINE
Airline Celebrates Launch of Nonstop Newark Flights with a Promotion that Invites Flyers to Share How They Would Make Business Travel Better. Survey of Frequent Flyers Finds that 24% Rate In-flight WiFi as the #1 ‘Most Wanted’ Flight Amenity for Frequent Business Travelers
San Francisco – March 15, 2013 – To mark the upcoming launch of its new nonstop flight service from Los Angeles and San Francisco to one of the nation’s top business travel markets – Newark, New Jersey, Virgin America is launching a digital campaign that invites flyers in their newest market to show how they “Fly Like a Boss.” Known for its business-friendly amenities, Virgin America’s all new fleet of aircraft offer WiFi, power outlets and touch-screen personal entertainment platforms with movies, Google maps, live TV (including Fox, MSNBC, CNN and CNBC), on-demand food ordering and more. Virgin America is the only U.S. airline to offer in-flight WiFi on every flight, and will be the only airline serving the Newark-West Coast routes to offer WiFi, power outlets and live satellite television at every seat - on every flight. To celebrate the launch of a fresh travel option for the Garden State’s entrepreneurs, the airline is launching a social media campaign that invites travelers to share how they would use the airline’s business-friendly features to “fly like a boss.” Entrants will receive 25* percent off a future Virgin America New Jersey flight, and five submissions will score** a ticket to the airline’s Newark launch – including the chance to join a live Google+ hangout onboard an aircraft with Mashable CEO & founder Pete Cashmore and Virgin Group Founder/‘Entrepreneur-in-Chief’ Sir Richard Branson. In addition, those who use the hashtag #flylikeaboss will see their Tweets appear on a live digital billboard in the New York area.*** For more, visit facebook.com/virginamerica or www.likeabossflight.com. Today, the airline also releases the results of a poll**** of frequent flyers that yielded some interesting insights about modern business traveler preferences.
“We get feedback from travelers everyday about how our ‘office in the sky’ amenities helped them close a deal, meet a deadline or just catch up on email while flying,” said Luanne Calvert, Vice President of Marketing at Virgin America. “And a recent survey of our frequent travelers found that, increasingly, guests are viewing amenities like better WiFi connectivity and nonstop flight options as ‘must haves’ for business travel instead of ‘nice to haves.’ As we launch service to one of the nation’s top business travel airports, we’re excited to ask New Jersey travelers to expect more from their airline and to invite them to ‘fly like a boss’ every time they travel.”
As of April 2013, Virgin America will offer three conveniently timed daily nonstop roundtrip flights from both San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to EWR. Virgin America has already built a strong following of bi-coastal flyers with its popular nonstop flights from both Los International Airport (LAX) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). With the addition of Newark, Virgin America will now serve nine of the top 10 business markets from SFO and eight of the top 10 business markets from LAX. Prior to the carrier’s announcement of new service to Newark International Airport (EWR), the SFO-EWR route was only served by one carrier and there was no low-fare competition serving LAX-EWR. Since Virgin America’s launch of EWR ticket sales, fares on the EWR-West Coast routes have dropped by as much as 30 percent and travelers now have an airline option that guarantees WiFi, live TV and new aircraft on every flight.
In February, Virgin America initiated a poll of its Elevate® frequent flyers**** to solicit their feedback on what aspects of business travel they would like to change or improve upon. With more than 2.6 Million Elevate® members and headquarters in California’s Silicon Valley, the airline has a strong base of frequent business travelers and entrepreneurs. The poll results included the following:
- When asked about their “most wanted” airline amenity when traveling for business, 40 percent of those surveyed noted the availability of nonstop flight options, followed by 24 percent who said their top requested business travel feature was the availability of in-flight WiFi.
- Over 50 percent of respondents use a laptop or electronic device to get work done on every flight they take, with a further 34 percent using their electronic devices every two to three flights.
- 32 percent use in-flight Wifi on every WiFi-enabled flight they take; a further 14 percent use WiFi at least once per trip; and an additional 19 percent use in-flight Wifi occasionally (every two to three WiFi-enabled flights they take).
- Delays were rated as the most frustrating aspect of business travel – noted by a full 33 percent of respondents, followed by not enough legroom or seat space (16 percent).
With topnotch guest service, beautifully-designed cabins and three classes of service – including an international grade First Class cabin, the airline offers business travelers an “office in the sky,” that allows them to stay connected, productive and comfortable coast to coast. Virgin America has been named the best “Business/First Class” experience in the U.S. in Condé Nast Traveler’s annual Business Travel Poll every year since the airline’s 2007 launch and “Best overall U.S. Airline” in both Condé Nast Traveler’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards and Travel + Leisure’s annual World’s Best Awards for the past five years in a row.
In 2012, Elevate® – Virgin America’s no black-out date frequent flyer program – rolled out a suite of business-minded program enhancements, including Elevate Gold and Elevate Silver status levels that offer perks such as: priority check-in; security clearance and boarding; points earning bonuses; free checked bag allowances; enhanced digital/social rewards; private discounts; an expanded advance purchase upgrade window for the airline’s exclusive eight-seat First Class; complimentary space-available upgrades to the carrier’s premium Main Cabin Select service; and more. In late 2012, Virgin America launched a limited time Status Match program, offering qualifying elite level flyers from select airline frequent flyer programs the ability to match their status to Virgin America’s Elevate Gold and Elevate Silver Status levels – without giving up their status (or any points/miles) in their current program. For more details please see: www.virginamerica.com/statusmatch
Photos of Virgin America’s unique aircraft: http://www.virginamerica.com/about/airline-photos/virgin-america-pictures.html
Broadcast quality video b-roll can also be downloaded at: http://www.virginamerica.com/about/airline-company.html
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* Terms and Conditions for Fly Like a Boss 25% off: This offer ends at 11:59pm PT on April 15, 2013. This offer is valid only for nonstop travel between ERW-LAX and EWR-SFO in either direction; offer is not valid for any other routes, or connect or multi-city itineraries. Promo discount is not valid for travel on Fridays or Sundays. Tickets require advance purchase of 21 days before departure. One time use promo code is valid for non-refundable Main Cabin or Instant Upgrade to Main Cabin. Select tickets only. Travel must occur between April 3, 2013 and June 6, 2013 or September 3, 2013 and October 31, 2013. Blackout dates are May 27 and June 7 through September 2, 2013. 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 $3.90 per domestic segment. A segment is a takeoff and landing. 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 2 or less. Offer is not transferable and cannot be combined with any other offers. 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. Changes or cancellations can be made for a $100 fee per guest through all channels, plus any increase in fare, if applicable. Tickets purchased through Virgin America’s reservation call center will cost an additional $20 per itinerary guest; this amount is non refundable if travel is changed or cancelled. 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 non-refundable Main Cabin, Virgin America will accept one (1) piece of checked baggage up to 50 pounds for $25 for each ticketed guest traveling within the U.S. and for free of charge for each ticketed guest traveling to/from Mexico. 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. Additional fees apply to baggage exceeding these weight limitations, and other baggage restrictions may apply.
**Twitter rules: http://www.virginamerica.com/html/flylikeaboss_tweet_tc.pdf
*** For official Fly like a Boss contest rules, visit: http://likeabossflight.com/contest/theme/Frontend/files/VX_Fly_Like_A_Boss_Contest_Rules.pdf
****More about the survey: Conducted in February 2013, the survey was a focused poll of Virgin America Elevate® frequent flyers, asking guests what amenities they prefer for business travel and how they would change or improve upon the domestic airline business travel experience. The results included responses from over 9,000 opted-in Elevate members who had flown at least four trips on Virgin America within the past 12 months. 66 percent of respondents were also members of up to three other airline frequent flyer programs, in addition to Elevate®.
Media Contact: Patricia Condon (650) 762-7187 / firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITORS NOTE: Virgin America is a U.S.-controlled and operated airline and 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, Virgin America offers guests attractive fares and a host of innovative features aimed at reinventing air travel. In just over five years flying, Virgin America was named “Best Domestic Airline” in the Condé Nast Traveler 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 ‘Readers’ Choice’ Awards and “Best Domestic Airline” in Travel + Leisure’s 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 ‘World’s Best’ Awards. The airline’s base of operations is San Francisco International Airport (SFO)’s sleek and sustainable new Terminal 2. The airline’s new aircraft offer interactive in-flight entertainment systems and power outlets near every seat. Virgin America offers Gogo™ WiFi on every flight and hosts the largest in-flight entertainment library in the North American skies via the touch-screen Red™ platform. In addition to a Main Cabin that offers leather seating with a deeper, more comfortable pitch, the airline’s First Class offers plush white leather seats with 55 inches of pitch, 165 degrees of recline and lumbar massagers. The carrier’s Main Cabin Select offers 38 inches of pitch, free food and cocktails, an all-access pass to media, priority check-in/boarding and more. In December 2012, Virgin America opened its first domestic airport lounge – the Virgin America Loft at LAX, which offers frequent flyers a sleek and modern retreat. Virgin America has continued to expand its partnerships to now + 20 airline interline partners, two codeshare agreements (with Virgin Atlantic and Singapore Airlines) and four frequent flyer partnerships (Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, Hawaiian Airlines and Singapore Airlines). The Elevate® program includes exciting reward partners such as Morgans Hotel Group, One & Only Palmilla, PlumpJack Resorts, Wynn Las Vegas, Uber Car, Gilt, Jetsetter, Virgin Vacations, Crunch, and American Express Membership Rewards. For more, visit: www.virginamerica.com