Monday, July 23, 2007

Finally -- New United Business Class seats/suites

I got this today from United...two quick comments:

1- United should be spending money on improvements to their product, rather than this fancy Flash movie-- which is WAY too long btw
2- Are they going to do anything about the Economy Class cabin on the 747-400 like they promised in Hemispheres magazine in 2006? The Movie Screens are getting really old, and are frankly just embarrassing.

Check it out the new suites at if you are bored.

Dear OutFlyer,

As one of our valued customers, you should be among the first to know. We are pleased to announce new international United Business with true flat-bed seats.

This fall, United's international premium cabins will begin a remarkable transformation, featuring the first 180 degree, lie-flat Business Class seat to be offered by a U.S. carrier.

When completely implemented, your flight experience will include personal 15" video screens, Apple iPod docks, cuisine by world-famous chef Charlie Trotter, and a wine list by Master Sommelier and Master of Wine, Doug Frost.

The airline you've long depended upon is becoming the airline you've dreamed of.

To view pictures, videos and learn more details about the United Business and United First experience, follow the journey at

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Virgin America Launches Ticket Sales

UPDATE 1pm PT - Rough take-off ! It looks like the site has crashed.

Virgin America Opens for Business

Tickets, starting from just $44* one way, are now on sale for travel to San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and Las Vegas

Burlingame, Calif. (July 19, 2007) — Virgin America, the new U.S. start-up airline based in San Francisco, will begin selling tickets from its website at and new toll-free phone number, 1-877-FLY-VIRGIN (877 359-8474) from 3:00am (PST) today. The airline will sell more than one million seats for travel from August 8 through February 12, 2008.

Virgin America will inaugurate service on August 8 with two daily flights between San Francisco International Airport and New York?s John F Kennedy International Airport and five daily flights between San Francisco and Los Angeles International. A third San Francisco-New York flight will be added on August 19 and a fourth on September 9.

On August 29, Virgin America will commence service between New York and Los Angeles with two daily roundtrip flights, adding a third on September 16.

Twice daily service between San Francisco and Washington Dulles International Airport will commence on September 26; between San Francisco and Las Vegas on October 10 with three daily flights; and between Los Angeles and Washington, DC on October 24 with two daily flights. All flights are nonstop, however connections are available beginning October 10 between Las Vegas and both New York and Washington, DC.

"Today is a great day for our team members, for the State of California and for consumers everywhere," said Fred Reid, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin America. "As the only California-based airline, our goal is to provide topnotch service at low fares. We can?t wait to welcome guests on August 8th."

Virgin America will offer last-minute Main Cabin fares for business travelers that are up to 60 percent off existing last-minute coach fares and First Class fares up to 50 percent below what most legacy carriers charge for coach. A simplified fare structure promises transparency with one-way fares, and no Saturday night stay requirements. Fares between San Francisco and both Los Angeles and Las Vegas start at $44 in the Main Cabin and $149 in First Class, each way. For service between Washington, DC and both Los Angeles and San Francisco, fares start from $129 and $389 each way in the Main Cabin and First Class, respectively. For service between New York and both Los Angeles and San Francisco, fares start from $139 and $389 each way in the Main Cabin and First Class, respectively.

The inaugural flights will include live entertainment at 35,000 feet and a host of celebrities, friends and supporters, hosted by Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson and Virgin America Chief Executive Officer Fred Reid. The airline will auction tickets for the star-studded inaugural flights to support KIPP ? the Knowledge Is Power Program, a network of free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public schools that serve underserved communities throughout the United States. Details of this initiative will be announced shortly.

Virgin America is a ?next generation? carrier, with airplanes that include innovative guest features such as custom-designed leather seats, mood-lighting throughout the cabin and the most advanced personal in-flight entertainment system in the domestic airline market -- with on-demand movies and TV, games, music and online chat rooms cabins. In First Class, massage chairs offer 55 inches of seat pitch and 165-degree recline.

Guests can start earning points on eleVAte, the airline?s loyalty program, from their very first flight and will be able to start redeeming points in the near future.

Virgin America expects to serve as many as 10 cities within a year of operation and up to 30 cities within five years of service. The airline has previously confirmed service to San Diego which will be announced at a later date.

Additional cities under Virgin America?s consideration include: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Hartford, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Nashville, Newark, New Orleans, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Providence, Portland, Ore., Raleigh-Durham, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Jose, Calif., Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa and West Palm Beach.

The airline currently has more than 400 team members, and aims to create more than 1,000 new U.S. jobs in its first year and up to 5,000 within five years. In addition to this direct job creation, by its fifth year Virgin America will be responsible for indirectly supporting approximately 50,000 new U.S. jobs in total.

  • Main cabin fares must be purchased by August 8, 2007. Travel must commence on or after August 9, 2007 and before November 14, 2007. First Class fares must be purchased by August 8, 2007. Travel must commence on or after August 9, 2007 and before November 14, 2007. Seats are limited, subject to availability, and may not be available on all flights. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable. Fares do not include Passenger Facility Charges of up to $9 each way, September 11th Security Fees of up to $5 each way and a Federal Segment Tax of $3.40 per domestic segment. A segment is a takeoff and landing.Tickets purchased from Virgin America through our reservation call centers will be charged a $5 fee per itinerary. Changes or cancellations can be made without a fee in First Class and for $40 in the Main Cabin, as well as any increase in fare.

Virgin America does not currently have authority from the Department of Transportation to operate the services for which your ticket is being issued. You may, upon request, cancel your ticket and obtain a full refund at any time before we start operations. If we have not started operations by the date of your ticketed travel, we will make reasonable efforts to arrange substitute air transportation for you, at a cost of up to 200% of your Virgin America ticket. If we cannot arrange substitute transportation for you, we will refund to you 200% of the price paid for your Virgin America ticket.

About Virgin America:
As San Francisco?s hometown airline, Virgin America will serve as many as 10 cities within a year of operation, and up to 30 cities within five years. Virgin America?s brand-new planes will offer guests interactive in-flight entertainment systems, plugs for laptops and other portable electronic devices, the ability to order food or chat with other guests from their own video-screen and a host of other features aimed at bringing a little fun back to flying. To learn more about Virgin America visit: