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Virgin America Takes Top Prize For Innovative Campaign At Global Loyalty Event

Award-Winning Campaign Takes CRM to New Heights, Encourages Social Sharing of Guests' Virgin America Experiences

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Virgin America, the airline that is reinventing the flying experience in the U.S., took top honors for innovation in customer relationship management (CRM) for its integrated multi-media #myVXexperience campaign at the fifth annual Loyalty Innovation Awards at the Airline Business/Global Flight Loyalty 2013 conference held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates this week.  The campaign, first unveiled last fall, brings the airline's next generation cabins to life with cinematic flair – through the eyes of a few of its most frequent travelers.  The campaign launch in September 2012 took social sharing to new heights, with an Instagram feed within the new ExperienceVirginAmerica.com campaign site. During the campaign's launch, flyers were encouraged to send tweets and Instagram photos of themselves enjoying Virgin America's unique cabin experience using the #myVXexperience campaign hashtag.  Their photos were live streamed to the Nasdaq and Reuters digital billboards in New York's Times Square for the life of the campaign.  Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson and some of the airline's frequent flyer "Originals" – leaders in tech, art, design, food and film who are known for shaking up the status quo in their own sectors, helped kick-start the campaign with the first-ever live feed of Instagram photos from an aircraft at 35,000 feet to Times Square.

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090123/VIRGINAMERICALOGO)

"We are extremely honored to be recognized for this campaign, which allows our guests to share with friends just how good life can be at 35,000 feet onboard Virgin America" said Phil Seward, Virgin America's Director of Guest Loyalty.  "In just a few weeks, the Virgin America experience inspired thousands of tweets and hundreds of Instagram photos.  We've naturally seen that our unique product inspires guests to share their experience, and this campaign tapped into that wider conversation via our flyers' own networks and social communities. Even six months after its launch, #myVXexperience continues to drive word of mouth about our experience by both loyal repeat guests and dazzled first-time Virgin America flyers."

Virgin America has been named the Best Domestic Airline by Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure Magazine every year since the airline's launch in 2007. 

The campaign highlights Virgin America 'Originals,' frequent flyers known for shaking up the status quo in their own fields – including indie film director Kevin Smith, Pandora founder Tim Westergren, Animal and Son of a Gun chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo and independent artist/Facebook Creative Strategist Ji Lee.  Virgin America also invited these same frequent flyers to curate aspects of the airline's already unique in-cabin experience – including playlists, film picks and new menu items offered via the touch-screen Red™ in-flight entertainment platform.  The immersive, cinematic campaign site gives visitors a chance to feel what it's like to fly Virgin America — offering an interactive walk-through of the amenities with both active and passive viewing options. Each screen of the site provides a variety of actionable items (hot spots). By clicking, moving, and shifting these points, the viewer will learn something about Virgin America via rich content. The website was created by Eleven Inc., in close partnership and collaboration with digital production company Tool of North America.

Known for beautifully designed cabins and unparalleled in-flight entertainment, Virgin America's new fleet of Airbus A320 family aircraft offers custom-designed mood-lit cabins and amenities like fleetwide WiFi, power outlets and personal entertainment – with live TV including MSNBC, CNN, CNBC and more – at every seat.  The Red™ 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 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. 

Last  summer, Virgin America launched a suite of enhancements to its Elevate® frequent flyer program – 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 complimentary access to the best seat assignments within Main Cabin. In December 2012, Virgin America opened its first airport lounge – the Virgin America Loft at LAX, which offers guests a sleek and modern retreat, with a selection of amenities and a space that reflects the look and feel of the airline's mood-lit aircraft and overall design aesthetic.

In just over five and a half years of flying, Virgin America has expanded to 19 airport destinations and 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).  In May, the California-based carrier will launch service from Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS). The airline will begin seasonal service to Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) in June.

Photos of Virgin America's unique aircraft: http://www.virginamerica.com/about/airline-photos/virgin-america-pictures.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 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. For more: www.virginamerica.com

SOURCE Virgin America

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