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Perhaps to apologize for opening a hotel in Chicago in the middle of winter, Virgin Hotels is nuzzling up with Virgin America to help surprise flyers on the airline's routes to/from Chicago.
Last night, VX's Chicago flyers enjoyed a Virgin Hotels Social Hour, with free in-flight WiFi and a complimentary cocktail. These things may cost at 35,000-feet, but Virgin Hotels plans to offer them free to guests. One passenger on each flight also won roundtrip tickets and a 2-night stay at the Virgin Hotel Chicago (which opens January 15, 2015).
The onboard fun was also a prime time for Virgin Hotels to announce what perks Virgin America's frequent flyers will enjoy when on the ground and in bed:
All Virgin America Elevate members will receive 1,000 points per stay at Virgin Hotels. They will also get a special introduction offer of double bonus points for stays from January 15 to March 31, 2015.
Elevate Gold members will get complimentary breakfast and a room upgrade, based on availability. Silver members will also receive an upgrade, if available.
T2 at SFO / SFO / Virgin America / Delta / San Francisco Travel / Airport News / Airports / → All Tags
For travelers flying out of Terminal 1 at San Francisco International Airport the options are pretty limited for dining and entertainment and, to make matters worse, the Delta Sky Club is located before the security checkpoint. Those stuck with this situation are traveling on AirTran, Delta, Frontier and Southwest.
At least they were stuck with it, as the good news arrives that SFO has opened up a new passageway connecting the boring and bland Terminal 1 with the contemporary and cool Terminal 2. We have a whole tag tied in with T2 at SFO, and we love everything about T2's shiny digs, from the bathroom and yoga room to the free WiFi and plentiful electrical outlets (not to mention a food court with a Pinkberry).
Welcome onboard Flight 101 from Newark to San Francisco, a 5-hr, 45-minute journey. It's a route flown by thousands of travelers every day, and yet the newest itineration of the flight is actually a simple video, depicting the mind- (and butt-) numbingly dull environment of the average trip on a legacy airline, the fictitious BLAH Airlines in this case.
The fact that the film was uploaded to Virgin America's channel gives away the powers behind it, but what's most shocking is that the eye-gougingly lengthy video has managed to attract over 75,000 views in its first 24 hours.
The campaign, which AdWeek pegs as the work of Eleven in San Francisco, stretches beyond YouTube to create an entire presence for BLAH Airlines (slogan: "You will get there"):
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Sometimes it’s hard to stay on top of all the new route announcements that come our way, so we’ve complied a little bit of a rundown below. As long as you can afford the fares, this should definitely help add to your passport stamp collection.
The free snacks and blue chips are on the move once again, as JetBlue is adding a couple new options to their route network. The carrier plans to do the nonstop thing between Las Vegas and San Francisco beginning on January 5. Things will head back and forth two times each and every day, and it’ll be some of the carrier’s Airbus A320s doing the flying. JetBlue isn’t done there either, as they have one more flight to add. October 29 will bring nonstop flights between Las Vegas and Fort Lauderdale too.
· American Airlines:
Here’s a new option for those that enjoy the up in the air experience offered up by American Airlines. The carrier will be heading in and out of Delta’s home in Atlanta, as they’re planning to start new nonstop flights between Los Angeles and Atlanta. The plan is to start taking to the skies beginning on March 5. American Airlines plans to send planes and people between the two cities three times each day, and they’ll be doing it all with some help from their Boeing 737-800s.
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It feels like forever ago that the future existence of Virgin Hotels was teased. In reality it was only 2010, and finally there's a solid opening date. The first Virgin Hotel will open in Chicago in January 2015, and roomsexcuse us, "Chambers"just went on sale from $209 per night.
For everything we know about Virgin Hotels to this minute, you'll want to check out the HotelChatter story, because right now we're pretty distracted by the tasty news that hotel stays will work with flights towards your frequent flying totals. The NY Times tucked this tidbit into the very end of their story:
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We're sorry to say that winter's approaching, but we're not sorry to admit that we have no problem high-tailing out of colder climes in search of sunny skies, sandy beaches and skimpy swimsuits. While South Florida specializes in these things, one city in particular is reaping more attention than normal, and that city is Fort Lauderdale.
Fort Lauderdale sits about 40 minutes north of its big sister Miami, and is similar packed with nightlife, warm weather activities, and daytime culture. With an average year-round temperature of about 75 degrees and 3,000 hours of sunshine per year, it's plain to see why this city is on the upswing with tourist numbers.
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In the days following last week's category 3 Hurricane Odile and the destruction of Mexico's Baja Peninsula, both military and commercial jets mustered and pooled resources to rescue a thousands of stranded and weary travelers. Among the airlines to provide free relief flights were United, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Delta, Southwest, and Virgin America.
The September 18 relief flight by Virgin America transported pallets stacked with water and food to Cabo and brought back a planeful of trapped tourists. Flying nonstop from Los Cabos to San Francisco, they fared far better than those who ended up with transport only as far as Tijuana. Virgin America has been one of the greatest champions of Cabo travel in the few years since they began flying to SJD, in the winter of 2010.
The plane to fly the mission was N855VA, named "screw it, let's do it" after one of Richard Branson's books. The lucky passengers who made it onboard surely echoed the sentiment, after queuing down airport roads for hours in the sun, waiting for a flight any flight to get them out of there.
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When Hurricane Odile hit Mexico's Baja Peninsula on Monday, the resort destination of Cabo San Lucas quickly became hell instead of a holiday for travelers. Storm damage was so great that parts of the region lacked electricity, running water, cell phone service, and even transportation. Major roads, neighborhoods and tourists sites were all hugely hurt; in fact, hotels may not reopen for another month. The situation wouldn't be so bad, however, if Los Cabos International Airport weren't also so horribly battered.
The FAA announced that both Los Cabos and General Manuel Marquez De Leon International in La Paz will be closed for at least a week, which leaves the earliest resumption of flights at next Tuesday, September 23.
Airlines have canceled flights accordingly and issued travel waivers for free flight changes or refunds. Virgin America's alert notes they have canceled through September 22 and travelers booked to Los Cabos from now through September 30 are eligible for a flight change to another date, or to another Virgin America destination (may we suggest Palm Springs?).
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If you’re heading to Texas anytime soon, you should know of the switcheroo taking place with the planes and people over at Virgin America. In case you don’t study the carrier’s route network on a daily basis—we just might—the airline has been flying to and from Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport, but that’s about to change.
Thanks to all the complicated details surrounding the merger between American Airlines and US Airways, plus the lifting of the restrictive Wright Amendment, the area’s other airportDallas Love Fieldis now open to new airlines and destinations.
Virgin America filled out their paperwork in number two pencil, and recently received good news. They’re now getting the green light to put their planes at Dallas' Love Field, and that means that they will do the nonstop thing to spots like San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York (LGA), and Washington (DCA) this October.
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For almost 40 years, flying in and out of Dallas meant you had a couple different options when it came to airports: DFW, the major international airport further from the city or DAL, the airport just about 10 minutes from the city center.
If you've never heard of Love Field, or perhaps know it as "the small one," that's thanks to the limitations put in place by The Wright Amendment. The bill, passed by congress in 1978, limited the size, destination, and type of aircraft that could fly in and out of Dallas-Love Field. Flights within Texas and into the four neighboring states (Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico) were all allowed. The Wright Amendment chased off most of Dallas' airline action to Dallas-Fort Worth International.
This October, however, the amendment will be lifted to end restrictions and Love Field will flourish with new airlines and routes. So who's due in?
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Gone are the days when a hot meal was a complimentary part of any flying experience, so when any in-flight menu changes make the headlines, we get a little giddy. Here, for easy digestion, is a round-up of the latest in airline food news:
· Virgin America wanted their passenger's thoughts on the new First Class ice cream served in their swanky premium cabins, so they took to Twitter for a final decision. Designed specifically for the airline by San Fransisco-based ice creamery Humphry Slocombe, three unique flavors now complement Virgin America's existing Tahitian vanilla. Either Red Hot Banana (banana ice cream with Red Hot candies), Butter By Moodlight (buttery with a blueberry glaze) or Coconut Blonde Ambition (vanilla marshmallow fluff meets lemon sorbet) will make it the trays for transcontinental flyers.
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Virgin America has always been the US' new little airline that could, and the intrepid company has fought for every bit of cool cache they carry, helped along by introducing many "firsts."
For example, Virgin America was the first airline to produce a flight attendant-based TV show, the first airline with an advanced seatback entertainment system including food and beverage ordering functions, the first to fly nonstop between New York and Palm Springs, the first to film a movie completely on scheduled flights, and the first airline to do Instagram promotions. Now they can tack another first onto this impressive list: that of creating the first in-flight social network.