Virgin America’s new Golden State to Gold Coast service takes off

Virgin America’s new Golden State to Gold Coast service takes off

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: www.virginamerica.com.

“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.”

ADVERTISEMENT

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. http://www.virginamerica.com/flights/fort-lauderdale.

“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.