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Leading airline industry magazine awards 3-year-old airline top honors for guest service

Virgin America wins Passenger Service Award from Air Transport World

Virgin America, the California-based airline that is reinventing domestic travel, took top industry honors for "Passenger Service" at Air Transport World’s Industry Achievement Awards for the airline’s superior service in the skies. Air Transport World (ATW) is a monthly magazine covering the global airline industry and began its awards program in 1974.

"Virgin America has redefined the airline customer service experience for the better, raised the bar for current and future market entry and disproved the notion that there is nothing new or original to offer airline passengers," said Perry Flint, Editorial Director of Air Transport World. "The editors were impressed by passenger-pleasing features like cabin mood-lighting and touch-screen menus with on-demand food service."

ATW’s editors noted that Virgin America was the first airline to equip its fleet with Aircell’s Gogo in-flight WiFi (as of May 2009, the carrier offered WiFi on every flight) and has installed one of the industry’s most-advanced in-flight entertainment systems. Other factors taken into consideration by the editors included Virgin America’s commitment to a strong operating performance. The airline achieved an 85.5% cumulative A-14 on-time ranking for January-August 2010, a 99.6% flight completion factor and a baggage handling rate of just 0.89 mishandled bags per 1,000 customers. Although Virgin America does not yet meet the size threshold to be classified a "major" carrier by Department of Transportation (DOT), the airline tracks its on-time performance, baggage handling and other operational statistics in advance of DOT’s requirement to report.

"We are honored to receive this award from one of the most respected industry publications," said Virgin America President and CEO David Cush. "Virgin America aims to create a memorable experience and put our guests first. We are only able to deliver on that promise with the best teammates in the business, so this award is really recognition for their work to reinvent the flying experience – one guest at a time."

Since its launch in 2007, Virgin America has stood out for its unique service and in-flight experience which offers mood-lit cabins, power outlets near every seat and the Red platform. The Red touch-screen platform offers 30 films, live and premium TV, Google Maps, music videos, videogames, seat-to-seat chat, a 3000 MP3 library, on demand food menu and a first-of-its-kind digital Shop section – so guests can take care of last minute shopping from their seatback any time during a flight.

The awards will be presented on February 8 in Washington, D.C., at ATW’s gala dinner and celebration at the Renaissance Hotel.

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