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TMCNet:  Virgin America Announces New Nonstop Service to Austin and Anchorage

[February 12, 2013]

Virgin America Announces New Nonstop Service to Austin and Anchorage

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Virgin America, the airline that is reinventing domestic travel, announces it will bring its low-fare, tech-forward flights to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) beginning May 21, 2013. Tickets are on sale today for a daily nonstop roundtrip flight from the carrier's home base at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to the Texas capital - also known as the "the live music capital of the world." As the only domestic airline to offer WiFi on every flight, and with features like power outlets and personal touch-screen entertainment platforms at every seat, Virgin America's flights will offer a fresh new option that will keep travelers connected and productive when journeying between two of the nation's leading innovation hubs. In addition, the airline announced today it will offer seasonal service from SFO to Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) with six nonstop roundtrip flights a week from June 6, 2013, through September 9, 2013. Tickets for both new destinations are available for purchase now at www.virginamerica.com and at 1.877.FLY.VIRGIN* with SFO-AUS fares from $89** and SFO-ANC fares from $199** (taxes and fees included and restrictions applying).


(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090123/VIRGINAMERICALOGO) "Austin and Anchorage present unique opportunities for us to expand our network into areas that demand and deserve increased flight options," said Virgin America President and CEO David Cush. "Austin and San Francisco share strong cultural and business links, and the addition of Anchorage will allow us to offer seasonal service to one of the most popular outdoor destinations from our home in San Francisco. For the Austin route in particular, Virgin America's service will provide more options for business travelers who want to stay connected during their journey between Austin and the San Francisco Bay Area. No matter which state their job is based in, guests on Virgin America can stay productive - even at 35,000 feet." Connecting flights will be available from Austin to the carrier's Seattle, San Diego, Los Angeles and Las Vegas destinations. Connecting flights will be available from Anchorage to the carrier's Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Diego, Chicago and Philadelphia locations. For those travelers interested in both of these new destinations, there will be connectivity from AUS to SFO to ANC.

As the only airline headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area and the first and only airline to offer WiFi on every flight, Virgin America has attracted a loyal following of tech-forward flyers since its launch in 2007. The airline's current #myVXexperience media campaign highlights loyal frequent flyers known for being innovators in their own fields. In 2011, the airline gave one of its aircraft a name with a hashtag - #nerdbird - in a nod to the prevalence of wired travelers on its flights. The airline's Elevate members have routinely named Austin as a 'most wanted' destination within the airline's growing network. In addition to being the Texas capital, the Austin area is home to the University of Texas at Austin and a robust technology and innovation sector - many Bay Area employers including Apple, Google and Intel have significant presence in the Austin area.

"Austin and the San Francisco Bay Area share deep business ties, especially our world-class innovation and tech sectors. In order to facilitate tourism and subsequently keep Austin the thriving city we're so proud of, I've been stressing for some time that we need more nonstop flights in and out of our airport," said Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell. "I am pleased to see that Virgin America is adding a nonstop flight to and from the great city of San Francisco, and we welcome them as the newest airline to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. This new service will increase travel demand, offer convenient new options for business and leisure travelers, and spur local economic growth. With Virgin America's tech-focused features onboard, I think the service will be well-received by Austinites." "We are delighted to welcome Virgin America to Anchorage," said Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport Manager John Parrott. "As Alaska's largest city, it is essential to both our local and state economies that we have ample options when it comes to flying. This additional connectivity will undoubtedly bring economic growth by stimulating both tourism and business travel." Known for its tech-forward amenities and unrivalled in-flight entertainment, Virgin America has taken top honors as "Best U.S. Airline" in both Conde Nast Traveler's annual Readers' Choice Awards and Travel + Leisure's annual World's Best Awards every year since its launch. Virgin America's new fleet of Airbus A320 family aircraft offers custom-designed mood-lit cabins and the most advanced personal entertainment platform in the skies. The Red(TM) platform offers guests their own seatback touch-screen TV, with 25 films, live TV, Google Maps, video games, seat-to-seat chat, music videos, a 4000 song library (and the ability create and save your own playlist in-flight), music videos, parental control settings and an on-demand menu - so flyers can order a cocktail or snack from their seatback any time during a flight. In addition to a Main Cabin that offers custom-designed leather seating with a deeper, more comfortable pitch, the airline's First Class offers plush white leather seating with 55 inches of pitch, 165 degrees of recline and lumbar massagers. The carrier's Main Cabin Select option offers 38-inches of pitch, free food and cocktails, an all-access pass to media content, dedicated overhead bins and priority check-in/boarding.

"Not all airlines are built the same: with new mood-lit planes with three classes of service, WiFi and touch-screen entertainment at every seat - all for competitive fares, our service offers travelers an elevated experience that is very different from the stripped down, no frills service that is typical of many domestic airlines," added Cush.

Virgin America's expansion in these new markets will bring new competition, lower fares and economic growth to the regions. As a new entrant airline, Virgin America has been a case study for how more airline competition can directly improve fares and service for consumers. When Virgin America entered the SFO-Chicago O'Hare (ORD) market in 2011 and the SFO-Dallas-Fort Worth International (DFW) market in 2010, fares dropped by over one-third on these routes. An SFO-commissioned study shows the impact of new low-fare service from 2006-2011 as having lowered fares for SFO travelers overall by 18 percent.

The airline's SFO-AUS schedule is as follows: From To Dep Arr Frequency SFO AUS 10:15a 3:35p Daily AUS SFO 5:00p 7:00p Daily Service: Beginning May 21, 2013 The airline's SFO-ANC seasonal schedule is as follows: From To Dep Arr Frequency SFO ANC 8:00pm 11:55pm Daily except Tuesday ANC SFO 12:50am 6:25am Daily except Wednesday Service: SFO-ANC service beginning June 6, 2013, ANC-SFO service beginning June 7, 2013 Virgin America's principal base of operation is San Francisco International Airport (SFO), where it first launched service in August 2007. Virgin's expansion to 19 airport destinations has created 2,600 new jobs. The airline flies to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C. (IAD), Las Vegas, San Diego, Seattle, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Cabos, Cancun, Chicago, Puerto Vallarta, Palm Springs, Philadelphia, Portland, and Washington D.C.'s Reagan National (DCA). In April, Virgin America will inaugurate service to its 20th airport destination - Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and in May it will launch new service to San Jose Norman Y. Mineta International Airport (SJC).

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 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 Conde 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(TM) WiFi on every flight and hosts the largest in-flight entertainment library in the North American skies via the touch-screen Red(TM) platform. For more: 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 Fare Terms and Conditions **All Main Cabin fares are one-way. Main Cabin fares for ANC-SFO require a 21-day advance purchase and travel must occur between June 6, 2013 and September 9, 2013. Main Cabin fares for AUS-SFO require a 21-day advance purchase and travel must occur between May 21, 2013 and June 29, 2013 or September 3, 2013 and September 30, 2013. Tickets must be purchased by 11:59pm CST February 13, 2013. Lowest sale fares are available only on certain itineraries. Lowest sale fares are only valid for travel on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 2013 blackout dates are: 5/23, 5/24, 5/27, 5/28, 7/2, 7/3, 7/5, 7/7, 8/30 and 9/2. Seats are limited, subject to availability, and may not be available on all flights. Flights may not operate daily. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable. Changes or cancellations can be made for a $100 fee per guest through all channels, plus any increase in fare, if applicable. Any remaining balance will be placed in a guest's travel bank, good for travel on Virgin America for one year from date of issue. Changes or cancellations of a booking made with Elevate Points will be subject to a $100 redeposit fee per guest. Guests who no-show without a change or cancellation 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 $20 per guest per itinerary. Any added cost associated with purchasing tickets from Virgin America through our reservation call center will be non-refundable. 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. Virgin America will accept up to ten pieces of checked baggage, up to 50 pounds each, per ticketed guest traveling within the U.S. The fee for each piece of checked baggage up to 50 pounds is $25. Additional fees apply to baggage exceeding these weight limitations, and other baggage restrictions may apply.

SOURCE Virgin America http://rt.prnewswire.com/rt.gif NewsItemId=AQ58623&Transmission_Id=201302120800PR_NEWS_USPR_____AQ58623&DateId=20130212

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