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Best U.S. Airlines: 2013 Edition Unveiled By Airfarewatchdog

Best U.S. Airlines: 2013 Edition Unveiled By Airfarewatchdog Nov 12th, 2013 at 10:30AM: Flickr/InSapphoWeTrust Eight weeks remain in 2013-including the busy holiday travel season-but apparently Airfarewatchdog has seen enough. Last week it announced its picks for the best, and worst, U.S. airlines of the year. The top three were Frontier, Virgin America and JetBlue with United ranking last. For criteria, Airfarewatchdog looked at canceled flights, on-time arrivals, mishandled...

Richard Branson Makes Airplane Hookups Easier By Letting Travelers Send Each Other Drinks

Richard Branson Makes Airplane Hookups Easier By Letting Travelers Send Each Other Drinks Apr 29th, 2013 at 2:00PM: If you travel when you're single, the following scenario may sound familiar: You get a friend to drop you off at the airport early, you make it through security and grab a coffee or a pre-trip beer, you wander to your gate and board, scoping out the people around you. You sit down in your seat - damn, how did you get stuck sitting in the middle row again? - and you secretly cross your fingers...

Cockpit Chronicles: The iPad Flight Bag Is Finally Here (Video)

Cockpit Chronicles: The iPad Flight Bag Is Finally Here (Video) Mar 20th, 2013 at 10:00AM: The long awaited, previously announced iPad Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) has finally been approved for most of our airplanes at the company. In fact, we're the first U.S. airline to receive FAA approval for the use of the iPad as a replacement for all of our paper Jeppesen approach plates. The process started in 2007 when we were allowed to use laptops to hold our company manuals. This meant we...

Virgin America And Singapore Airlines Launch Mileage Partnership - Star Alliance Next?

Virgin America And Singapore Airlines Launch Mileage Partnership - Star Alliance Next? Mar 10th, 2013 at 3:00PM: Passengers on the scrappy airline startup Virgin America were introduced to a new benefit last week: an expanded partnership with Singapore Airlines. Now, in addition to the assorted codeshare agreements currently in place, fliers on each airline can accrue miles from the partner carrier. So the 2000 Elevate points earned on Virgin America from Chicago to Los Angeles can now turn into 11,000 miles...

Survey Suggests American Airlines Has Rudest Employees Among Domestic Carriers

Survey Suggests American Airlines Has Rudest Employees Among Domestic Carriers Dec 13th, 2012 at 4:00PM: According to a recent Airfarewatchdog study, a preponderance of surveyed travelers think that of domestic air carriers, American Airlines has the "rudest employees." United was a close runner-up, followed by Delta. Ranking last (which in this case, means winner) is a four-way tie, between Alaska, JetBlue, Frontier and Virgin America. Hmm. Seems budget airlines know how to bring it. Here's...

Virgin America Elevates Car Service, On Demand

Virgin America Elevates Car Service, On Demand Sep 17th, 2012 at 4:00PM: As loyalty rewards go, Virgin America's Elevate frequent flier program has been on the cutting edge since its inception. Virgin America was among the first U.S. loyalty programs to offer guests the ability to redeem reward points for any unsold seat, on any flight, at any time. Now, Elevate has partnered with Uber, the on-demand personal transportation company, to offer members the ability to...

Virgin America's Most Frequent Flier Will Get A Gratis Trip to Space

Virgin America's Most Frequent Flier Will Get A Gratis Trip to Space Jul 25th, 2012 at 1:00PM: Virgin America is dangling the possibility of Virgin Galactic space travel in front of its most frequent fliers and Elevate reward members with a new promotion. The Elevate member who earns the most status points between August 8, 2012, and August 7, 2013, will earn the ultimate round-trip flight reward: a sub-orbital space flight on Virgin Galactic. This is part of a series of membership...

Virgin America; United To Begin San Francisco To Washington, DC, Nonstop Service

Virgin America; United To Begin San Francisco To Washington, DC, Nonstop Service May 15th, 2012 at 3:00PM: Virgin America has been awarded permission to fly into Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport beginning sometime this summer. United Airlines began their service today. While the well-known carriers already fly direct to San Francisco, its US hub, out of Washington Dulles International, this new route opens up additional opportunities for the business and leisure traveler looking to fly from...

Virgin America expands with service to Philadelphia

Jan 17th, 2012 at 3:00PM: Welcome to the City of Brotherly Love Virgin America. The California-based airline has announced that starting April 4, 2012, they will offer three daily nonstop flights from Philadelphia (PHL) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and two daily nonstop flights from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) starting April 10, 2012. Connecting flights will also be available from PHL...

5 airlines with great in-flight services in economy class

5 airlines with great in-flight services in economy class Jan 9th, 2012 at 8:30AM: Last week, I spent 13 hours desperately trying to fall asleep on a Thai Airways flight from Bangkok to London; my economy class seat didn't have a personal entertainment system and the cabin monitor was pitch black from my angle. The week before, my sister took a red-eye United Airlines flight from Honolulu to San Francisco without the benefit of a pillow, blanket, or snack. For many...

Photo of the day - Flying Mariachi band

Photo of the day - Flying Mariachi band Dec 8th, 2011 at 5:00PM: Last week, Virgin America launched new flights from San Francisco to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. What better way to get into the espíritu than with a Mariachi band? Frommers editor and Flickr user DavityDave was on board to get this shot and taste some Mexican goodies. We wonder if the band had to purchase an additional seat for their guitars or if they could just fit them in the overhead...

Gilt City lets you name your own Virgin America plane and take your friends on a trip - for just $60,000

Gilt City lets you name your own Virgin America plane and take your friends on a trip - for just $60,000 Nov 28th, 2011 at 4:00PM: In search of a luxe holiday gift for someone special? You don't have to shell out for the G5. For just $60,000 this Cyber Monday, Gilt City has partnered with Virgin America to offer a lucky person the chance to name a Virgin plane (permanently!) and enjoy a round-trip flight for the purchaser and 145 of their closest friends. You can take any roundtrip nonstop domestic flight (Las Vegas,...

Virgin America launches real-time deals with Loopt

Virgin America launches real-time deals with Loopt Sep 27th, 2011 at 12:30PM: Virgin America, the airline that always seems to be on the cutting edge with in-flight entertainment and passenger satisfaction, is launching a new initiative to keep customers happy before they even board their flight. Virgin America's new program "VX Deals on the Fly" has it teaming up with the mobile check-in company Loopt to offer deals at the airline's hub at San Francisco International...

Virgin America improves inflight entertainment system

Virgin America improves inflight entertainment system Sep 14th, 2011 at 1:00PM: Part of the reason that Virgin America keeps getting voted the best domestic carrier is because of their Inflight Entertainment (IFE). Called RED, the seatback system lets passengers browse live television, catch up pre-recorded shows, watch movies and participate in a whole host of other fancy activities from ordering food to browsing around a real-time Google map. To stay on top of the...

Emirates, Virgin America win Passenger Choice Awards

Emirates, Virgin America win Passenger Choice Awards Sep 13th, 2011 at 4:00PM: Window or aisle? Coffee or Coke? Choices for airline passengers are shrinking faster than the on-board snack. But there are some airlines that are still mindful of the passenger experience and they were announced last night at the 2011 Passenger Choice Awards. Winning the top awards for Best Overall Passenger Experience were Emirates and Virgin America. The top awards were split between larger...

FAA stops collecting airfare taxes -- and the airlines cash in

FAA stops collecting airfare taxes -- and the airlines cash in Jul 23rd, 2011 at 1:30PM: Recent budget woes in the legislative branch of our US government have been creating a cascade of disruptions, and the most recent hiccup involves the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Without proper agreement on a fiscal plan moving forward, the government has been forced to shut down a portion of the agency, most notably the section that collects taxes on our domestic airplane tickets. ...

Virgin America names new plane after Twitter hashtag

Virgin America names new plane after Twitter hashtag Jun 23rd, 2011 at 9:00AM: Virgin America increased its fleet to 39 planes last week, and the social media savvy company has decided to brand the newest plane after a Twitter hashtag: #nerdbird. "For all our social media fans and followers, this bird's for you!" announced the airline on their Facebook page. After three days in the air, the social media buzz is still soaring: travelers continue to tweet about the plane...

Virgin Atlantic celebrates 25 years flying to Miami

Virgin Atlantic celebrates 25 years flying to Miami Jun 16th, 2011 at 7:00AM: 4.5 Million passengers later, Virgin Atlantic is celebrating 25 years of flying to Miami. Sir Richard Branson walked the wing of a Virgin Atlantic Airways 747-400 at Miami International Airport this week to celebrate 25 years of flying from London to Miami. "This is a fantastic milestone in Virgin Atlantic's history," Branson said reports the DailyMail. "Miami was the second route Virgin...

Virgin America now connects California to Chicago

Virgin America now connects California to Chicago May 25th, 2011 at 2:30PM: Virgin America is taking its mood-lit flights to the Midwest. Today the airline kicks off service from San Francisco and Los Angeles to Chicago O'Hare, and Gadling is joining the airline for its inaugural celebration. To celebrate the new service, Virgin is offering Chicago flyers a $25 Groupon deal for $100 in air travel, discounting one-way fares as low as $59, and gifting triple...

Virgin America's flight for Chicago challenge

Virgin America's flight for Chicago challenge Apr 25th, 2011 at 1:30PM: In May, Virgin America will begin flying to Chicago O'Hare from Los Angeles and San Francisco. To celebrate their service to an airport traditionally dominated by legacy carriers, Virgin is rolling out a social media contest to entice travelers to "put the smack down on everyday air travel." The contest invites Chicagoans to submit a photo or video via the Virgin America Facebook fan page...

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