The FINANCIAL — Virgin America, the California-based airline awarded ‘Best Airline in North America’ for the first time, ‘Best Low-Cost Airline in the U.S.’ for the fifth consecutive year and Best Staff Service among North American airlines for the fourth consecutive year in the 2015 Skytrax World Airline Awards (formerly Skytrax awards).
Based on customer satisfaction surveys completed by participants in more than 105 different countries, the awards are among the most distinguished in the industry. The survey, which covered 245 airlines, from the largest international carries to smaller domestic airlines, was conducted online between September 2014 and May 2015, during which time 18.89 million customer surveys were completed.
“We are truly honored to be recognized again in the prestigious World Airline Awards, including being named the Best Airline in North America for the first time, while maintaining our distinction for outstanding guest service for the fourth consecutive year”, said Virgin America Senior Vice President for People and In-Flight, Frances Fiorillo. “This is a testament to our hard-working Teammates, who are passionate about creating an airline that people love”.
The awards, which were presented today at the Musee de l’Air et de l’Espace during the Paris Air Show, are based on 41 key performance indicators of airline product and service – from check-in to boarding, seats, cabin cleanliness, food, beverages, IFE and staff service. Virgin America’s Fiorillo, along with a Virgin America Captain, an InFlight Teammate and a Guest Services Teammate, were in attendance at the ceremony to accept the three awards for the airline, according to Virgin America.
“This is a truly fantastic achievement for Virgin America to scoop this major award as the Best Airline in North America,” said Skytrax CEO Edward Plaisted. “Virgin America staff service quality was a very significant factor behind many of their customer votes – this covers not only terms the softer aspects such as communication and body language, but the manner in which in the service is organised and effected in both the airport and onboard flights. Looking at the competition and scale of other airlines across North America, this is a remarkable and noteworthy success for Virgin America.
Virgin America offers its guests sleek, tech-forward aircraft cabins with custom-designed seating, fleetwide in-flight WiFi, signature moodlighting, power outlets near every seat and the Red in-flight entertainment system. In addition to a Main Cabin that offers custom-designed leather seating with a deeper, more comfortable pitch, Virgin America’s First Class cabin offers plush white leather ‘cradle sleeper’ seating with 55 inches of pitch, 165 degrees of recline and lumbar massagers. The carrier’s Main Cabin Select service offers 38 inches of pitch, free food and cocktails, an all-access pass to media content, dedicated overhead bins and priority check-in/boarding. The Red in-flight entertainment platform offers guests their own seatback touch-screen TV, with more than 25 films, live TV, interactive Google Maps, videogames, a 3,000 song library and an on-demand menu, which allows flyers to order a cocktail or snack from their seatback any time during a flight.
Since its 2007 launch, Virgin America has created more than 2,800 new jobs and expanded its network to include Austin, Boston, Cancun, Chicago, Dallas Love Field, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Los Cabos, Newark, New York (JFK), LaGuardia Airport (LGA), Orlando, Palm Springs (seasonal), Portland, Puerto Vallarta, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington D.C. (IAD and DCA), Honolulu (as of November 2, 2015) and Kahului, Maui (as of December 3, 2015).