Virgin America ranks No. 1 in APEX Passenger Choice Awards


SAN FRANCISCO – Virgin America, the California-based airline that is reinventing travel, took top honors in four categories in the 2010 APEX Passenger Choice Awards.(TM) The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) is a nonprofit organization that represents over 400 of the world’s leading airlines. APEX’s Passenger Choice Awards were designed to recognize airlines for their service, products and innovations.

This is the first year that APEX has conducted the awards by surveying flyers from all over the world. Virgin America received the most honors in this year’s awards – sweeping categories that included domestic and international airlines. The airline took home the following awards:

— Best Overall Passenger Experience
— The Best in Region: The Americas
— The Best Ground Experience
— The Best In-flight Connectivity and Communications

“We are honored by the recognition we’re receiving from travelers,” said Virgin America President and Chief Executive Officer David Cush. “The idea behind Virgin America is to reinvent the travel experience through guest service, design and new technology. These latest awards are a testament to the work of our team and demonstrate that we’re hitting the mark with consumers. They also inspire us to continue to do what we do best: innovate on behalf of our guests.”

The 2010 APEX Passenger Choice Awards ceremony was held September 13 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, California. APEX, formerly known as the World Airline Entertainment Association (WAEA), hosted the awards ceremony during the APEX Annual Conference and Exhibition, the venue for exhibitors to showcase new products and innovations that will improve the airline cabin environment in the future and further enhance the air travel experience. A dozen awards in a range of categories were given to individual domestic and international airlines. Travelers voted via an online survey launched in June of 2010.

Virgin America offers design-driven and inventive features that appeal to today’s travelers, including beautifully designed mood-lit cabins, power outlets near every seat, fleetwide WiFi and the Red(TM) in-flight entertainment platform. In just three years flying, Virgin America was named “Best Domestic Airline” in the Conde Nast Traveler 2008 and 2009 Readers’ Choice Awards and “Best Domestic Airline” in Travel + Leisure’s 2008, 2009 and 2010 World’s Best Awards. The Red platform is the most advanced in-flight entertainment system in the skies and offers both touch-screen and remote control interactivity – with over 700 hours of media content. In addition to a 30-film library, the system offers live TV, videogames, seat-to-seat chat, 3,000 MP3s, Google maps, a Shop platform and more. The airline’s unique on-demand food menu allows guests to order what they want, when they want it during a flight – right from the Red seatback screen. The airline’s menu earned it the “Best Domestic Airline for Food” title in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards.

The Red platform includes:

— “Watch”: Live satellite TV, cached specialty channels, +30 on-demand
films, premium TV like HBO and an on-demand music video library;

— “Play”: A variety of videogames, including cult favorites like DOOM,
navigated by a Qwerty keyboard handset at every seat;

— “Talk”: A seat-to-seat chat feature inside the aircraft, so guests
can chat with someone in a nearby seat. Guest can also block unwanted
chat requests;

— “Journey”: Interactive Google Maps, now with terrain-view, that zoom
at eight levels and track the aircraft in-flight;

— “Eat”: A first-of-its-kind on-demand menu system that allows guests
to order what they want, when they want it during a flight;

— “Shop”: An on-demand shopping section powered by SkyMall with
hundreds of products;

— “Listen”: A 3,000 MP3 library and platform to create playlists