Virgin America, Inc. is a United States-based low-cost airline that began service on August 8, 2007. The airline's stated aim is to provide low-fare, high-quality service for "long-haul point-to-point service between major metropolitan cities on the Eastern and West Coast seaboards". San Francisco International Airport is Virgin America's principal base of operations. Virgin America's frequent flyer program is known as eleVAte and runs on a "dollars spent versus miles accrued" model.
Virgin America, though the brainchild of British entrepreneur Richard Branson, is a U.S. airline. By law, no more than 25% of a US airline may be owned by foreign interests and must be under the "actual control" of U.S. citizens; VAI Partners LLC owns 75% of the capital stock and is responsible for appointing two-thirds of the voting members of the board of directors. The remaining 25% of the company is owned by Virgin Group, which also licenses the Virgin brand to the airline.
Virgin America, headquartered in Burlingame, California, is separate from Virgin Atlantic and as such is under no obligation to work with Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Blue, Virgin Nigeria, Virgin Galactic or any other companies that share the Virgin brand name. However, on June 3 2009 - it established an interline agreement with Virgin Blue international subsidiary airline V Australia which allows Virgin America customers access to V Australia's trans-pacific long haul network between Australia and the United States, and allows V Australia guests access to Virgin America's network within the U.S.
Ever since I heard the announcement of Virgin America (VA), I had been eagerly awaiting to try them out. Hearing all the features that they were to be incorporating to this low-cost airline and knowing that Richard Branson was partially behind it (Richard Branson is the man and he doesn't lend his name or the Virgin Brand to just anything), I was juiced because I knew it was going to be good. When I finally got the chance to fly them, it was totally everything that they had promised … more