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Virgin America, the airline that has been reinventing flying since its August 2007 launch, today marks its fifth anniversary with festivities that celebrate the airline’s continued job growth, network expansion and award-winning service. 

In honor of the young carrier’s milestone, San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee proclaims today (August 8, 2012), “Virgin America Day” in the City of San Francisco.  As a thank you to its loyal flyers, Virgin America today launches a “Book Like it’s Your Birthday” network-wide fare sale for travel between August 21, 2012-November 14, 2012.  Main Cabin fares start as low as $55** from San Francisco (SFO) to Las Vegas (LAS) and from $145* from Los Angeles (LAX) to New York (JFK) (restrictions apply). Tickets must be purchased by 11:59pm CDT on August 9, 2012.  Tickets are on sale today via www.virginamerica.com and 1.877.FLY.VIRGIN (1.877.359.8474).** For a list of all fares:  http://www.virginamerica.com/vx/booking/fare-sale  As of today the airline’s Elevate® frequent flyers will also be able to take advantage of a new suite of status benefits that promise to make travel even more rewarding – including bonus points earning via social check-in and the chance to earn*** a Virgin Galactic space flight . 

“Virgin America launched five years ago with a lofty mission – to make flying good again,” said Virgin America President and CEO David Cush. “Since that time, our teammates have worked tirelessly to build an airline that people love, as evidenced by a slew of prestigious travel awards and an Elevate loyalty program that now has over 2.4 million members.  Our successes in just five short years are a credit to the work of all 2,600 members of our growing team, to our loyal guests who have embraced a better way of flying and to the support we’ve received from the San Francisco Bay Area community.”

“In addition to having built deep roots in this community through its charitable community partnerships, Virgin America has created thousands of jobs and is an anchor tenant at SFO’s world-class and sustainable Terminal 2,” said San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “Our City is proud that Virgin America calls San Francisco home, and I am pleased to proclaim today ‘Virgin America Day’ in San Francisco.”

This weekend, the airline continues the birthday celebration with sports fans at a special “Virgin America Day at AT&T Park,” as the San Francisco Giants host the Colorado Rockies on August 11th.  The game will open with the first ceremonial pitch live broadcast from a flight at 35,000 feet.  A lucky fan won the chance to join Giants mascot “Lou Seal” and throw the first pitch down the aisle of Virgin America commercial flight 753 as it enters Bay Area air space en route from Seattle.  The first pitch will be transmitted live air-to-ground via Gogo® in-flight WiFi to AT&T Park, where more than 40,000 fans will be watching.  As a birthday present to its hometown, Virgin America will offer all attendees at AT&T Park this Saturday a two-for-one flight voucher****on the airline that just last month captured Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Domestic Airline title for the fifth year in a row.  

“I am thrilled that Virgin America decided five years ago to make San Francisco its national corporate headquarters,” said Congresswoman Jackie Speier. “It’s been a great fit -- San Francisco's creative spirit meets its match.  A marriage we hope lasts a lifetime.”

Virgin America has much to celebrate; in its first five years of operations, it has expanded to 18 new destinations, created more than 2,600 new jobs, welcomed 19.3 million flyers and swept the major travel industry best-in-class awards, including “Best Domestic Airline” in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and “Best Domestic Airline” in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards.  On the fifth anniversary of its launch of operations, the airline is rolling out a number of enhancements including the launch of a new uniform for its frontline teammates and the introduction of status benefits within its Elevate frequent flyer program.

As of today, Elevate Gold and Elevate Silver members will begin to enjoy the perks of status, including:  priority check-in and boarding; an expanded advance purchase upgrade window for the airline’s exclusive First Class; complimentary space-available upgrades to the carrier’s premium Main Cabin Select service; and the ultimate flight reward*** – a sub-orbital Virgin Galactic flight for the member who accrues the most status points between today and August 7, 2013.  Virgin America was the first U.S. airline to award frequent flyer points for virtual “check-ins” via Topguest, a product of Switchfly, Inc – and the new status levels will take social rewards to the next level.   Elevate Gold and Elevate Silver members will now be able to share their digital status on social networks and earn points for ‘checking in’***** at the airline’s airport terminals, gates and other locations through applications like Facebook, Instagram and Foursquare.  In addition, every day for the next five days, the carrier is giving a social media-savvy flyer the chance to upgrade their status to Elevate Silver – just by virtually checking in.******  For more on Elevate status, visit: www.topguest.com/elevate

In the past year, Virgin America has marked more than a few notable milestones:

Other notable milestones since the airline’s launch:

Virgin America flies to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C. (IAD with DCA starting August 14th), Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Dallas–Fort Worth, Los Cabos, Cancun, Chicago, Puerto Vallarta, Palm Springs, and Portland.

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