Virgin America, the only airline headquartered in California, today marks the launch of new nonstop flight service from its home at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Washington’s Reagan National Airport (DCA), with some red, white and blue festivities for its first commercial flight guests.
Prior to this year, the San Francisco Bay Area did not have nonstop flight service to DCA – the airport closest to the nation’s capital.The new daily flight will bring healthy competition to the route and offer travelers a winning new flight choice – with fleetwide WiFi, power outlets, personal touch-screen entertainment and three classes of service on all Virgin America flights. Today, the airline celebrates the new service with an election-themed inaugural flight – and a partnership with Rock the Vote that allows flyers to register to vote at 35,000 feet via the airline’s Red™ in-flight entertainment platform.
“As the only airline based in California, we’re pleased to bring new competition to this important – and currently underserved – route from the West Coast,” said Virgin America President and CEO David Cush. “We benefitted from a groundswell of community support in our bid to fly to DCA. We know both business flyers and technologically-savvy leisure travelers will enjoy having a new nonstop flight option that allows them to stay connected and productive en route to our nation’s capital.”
Even with the size of the travel market and the San Francisco Bay Area region’s vibrant innovation-based economy, until this year, San Francisco did not have nonstop flights to DCA. As a result, local consumers and businesses suffered for decades with higher fares and limited choice. The new SFO-DCA route became available following the enactment of the FAA Modernisation and Reform Act of 2012, which authorised the DOT to award a limited number of new flights to U.S. domestic airports located beyond DCA’s 1,250-mile “perimeter limit.” Earlier this year, Virgin America received an outpouring of support for its DCA flight application from local elected officials and business organisations
Virgin America has teamed up with Rock the Vote to host some surprises for the airline’s first DCA flight guests today – including the appearance of some very recognisable “politicos,” who will be chatting with travelers on both sides of the aisle en route to the nation’s capital. Presidential impersonators Jim Gossett as “Mitt” and Reggie Brown as “Barack,” will join commercial guests onboard the first flight to help “get out the vote” at 35,000 feet. As of today, guests on all Virgin America flights will be able to use their smartphones*** to scan a QR code on the airline’s Red seatback entertainment platform to register to vote. The mobile application is powered by PromoJam Social Marketing Platform and Rock the Vote – the largest non-partisan voter registration organisation in the country, engaging and building political power for young people in the U.S.