Shermans Travel » Blog » Archive
Tag Results: Virgin America
Like bacon and peanut brittle, or Bing Crosby and David Bowie, air travel and Earth Day make unlikely bedfellows. After all, one cross-country, round-trip air ticket can create a warming effect of two to three tons of carbon dioxide per passenger. And the inconvenient truths about carbon-offset purchasing plans include high prices and mixed reviews.
Fortunately, some global airlines are stepping up to the sustainable plate, in an attempt to raise culinary consciousness in the not-always-eco-friendly skies. So put down your tray tables, and get ready to go green. Read more
When it comes to travel, few things are more annoying than having the start of your trip delayed by a long wait for your flight to even takeoff. Many fliers – nails buried in their armrests, eyes fixed on the adjacent terminal – are familiar with the frustration of long tarmac delays. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) feels your pain, and has a number of rules and regulations to put the kibosh on delays. Unfortunately, two airlines skirted the rules, and will have to pay a hefty price.
The DOT fined both Virgin America and Copa Airlines of Panama for violating federal rules prohibiting long tarmac delays. Virgin America was hit with a $55,000 fine, while Copa received a whopping $150,000. Federal regulation dictates that airlines must allow passengers to disembark an aircraft if they have been waiting on a tarmac for more than three hours on domestic flights, or four hours on international flights. Should a flight be delayed at the gate, the airline must announce passengers are permitted to deplane 30 minutes after the scheduled departure time, and every 30 minutes after. Exceptions are made if the delay is due to safety, security, or air traffic control reasons. Depending on the length of the delay, carriers can be fined up to $27,500 per person.
This season’s bi-coastal airfare has hit rock-bottom rates, making travel from coast-to-coast more attractive than ever. From the Big Apple to sunny Southern California, here are some of today’s best hotel deals from East to West – and the cheap flights to get you there.
Fly to New York City for as little as $98 this winter, and then stay at the 4-star Millennium Broadway in Times Square for only $179 per night. You’ll receive $50 in “fun bucks” to be used towards your choice of city spending, like museums, theater, cab fares, or shopping. The Hotel Belleclaire, in the cultural hub of the Upper West Side (home to spots like Lincoln Center, The Museum of Natural History, and Central Park), starts from an incredible $89 on dates in February; choose the “holiday special” to book your room, which is valid for stays through March 31. Or, book a room in stylish Chelsea – known for its trendy galleries, bars, and restaurants – from just $161 per night in February at the 4-star DoubleTree by Hilton New York City. Read more
With this edition of our Monday Deal Alert, we’ve compiled some of the best airfare currently in the market, from West Coast escapes to journeys to Eastern Europe. Rates start from as little as $69, so whether you’re looking for a quick weekend getaway or a long vacation, we’ve got plenty of ways for you to fly away this fall.
Virgin America’s current fall sale features amazing one-way rates between West Coast cities, like $69 between San Francisco and Las Vegas, $89 between Los Angeles and Portland, and $109 between Seattle and San Francisco. The sale doesn’t only apply to West Coasters, though: you can also fly one-way to Los Angeles from Chicago, Dallas, and Philadelphia for $139, or from Orlando, New York City, or Boston for $159. Just book your getaway fast – this sale ends at midnight tonight. Read more
This season, take advantage of incredibly low fares to and from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. Experience perfect fall weather in San Fran, see the Hollywood Hills and famous piers and beaches in LA, or try your luck in the Sin City for as little as $59 each way. Or, depart from any of these cities to many more gateways throughout the country, like New York, Orlando, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. These fares from Virgin America include all applicable taxes.
Sample one-way fares include:
- San Francisco — Los Angeles: $59
- Las Vegas — San Francisco: $59
- San Francisco — Portland: $79
- Dallas — Los Angeles: $129
- Los Angeles — Chicago: $129
- Philadelphia — Los Angeles: $139
- Los Angeles — Orlando: $139
- San Francisco — Fort Lauderdale: $149
- Washington, D.C. — Los Angeles: $149
- New York City — Los Angeles: $149
- Las Vegas — New York City: $159
To see even more available fares, visit Virgin America’s website. Travel is valid Mondays-Thursdays and Saturdays from September 17 – December 12. Blackout dates are November 12 and November 15-26.
Book fast — this sale ends Friday, September 14.
Two of our favorite budget airlines are ramping up the perks for their most frequent flyers. JetBlue and Virgin America both announced yesterday new elite status levels that will give loyal customers special privileges and freebies – and for one Virgin flyer, a chance to travel aboard a Virgin Galactic spaceship.
Virgin America’s new silver and gold Elevate status levels, for customers with 20,000 or 50,000 status points, respectively, promise members priority check-in, security, and boarding, as well as dedicated customer service phone lines and free seat selection in the Main Cabin Express section (at the front of the aircraft) at booking. Silver-level flyers enjoy one free checked bag while those with gold-level status can check three bags for free. To top it off, the Elevate member who accrues the most points between August 8, 2012 and August 7, 2013 will take a suborbital flight on Virgin Galactic. The new membership levels will launch August 8.
Sorry, underage drinkers: Air travelers will have to leave their fake IDs at home starting early next year, as the TSA plans to introduce 30 document-scanning systems that will make it easier for screeners to spot fraudulent documents.
TSA employees at select U.S. airport checkpoints will use the machines to verify boarding passes and passenger IDs, such as driver’s licenses. TSA Administrator John Pistole said that the move was all about “facilitating risk-based security, while making the process more effective,” according to Bloomberg.
The announcement comes after an incident in June in which a Nigerian man passed through a checkpoint at JFK Airport in New York and took a Virgin America flight to Los Angeles using another passenger’s boarding pass.
Using my laptop in-flight is a precarious affair. My black MacBook fits on the tray table, but the screen is so close to the seatback that I’m convinced any sudden movements will result in total computer destruction.
I’ve considered investing in a more compact tool, such as a tablet or MacBook Air, but Virgin America might have concocted a better solution: Free Google Chromebook rentals. Now through September 30, Virgin America and Google are partnering to lend up to 20 passengers per flight a Chromebook to toy with while at cruising altitude.
The promotion touts Google’s nifty new computer, which ditches a traditional operating system in favor of apps and cloud computing. We’ve got to say, it boasts some pretty slick features: The Samsung version Virgin America is lending boots in about 8 seconds, automatically updates all apps, and is small enough to rest on a tray table – with room to spare for a Diet Coke and a pretzel pack.
Richard Branson’s fashionable Virgin America has long been a Savvy Flyer favorite for its seatback on-demand TVs, comfy leather chairs, and premium drink selections (think Ghiradelli hot chocolate, Blue Moon, and Honest Tea). Our only complaint: The California-based airline should service more airports.
The airline took one step to remedy that today when it launched service from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. For now, the routes head west daily from ORD to San Francisco (SFO) and Los Angeles (LAX), though we have our fingers crossed for East Coast connections in the future.
To celebrate, Virgin is slashing fares from Chicago to five cities, plus offering triple mileage points on Windy City flights. Travel is valid between June 1 and June 30 or August 24 and November 16, and you must book by May 31.
During the month of February, seven airlines have partnered with Gogo Inflight Internet (with sponsorship by Ford) to offer complimentary access to the king of social networking websites and the most-trafficked website by Gogo users: Facebook. AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, US Airways, and Virgin America are each offering the promo on Wi-Fi-enabled domestic flights. (Note that Airtran, Delta, and Virgin America are the only of the bunch to currently offer full Wi-Fi capacity on all their domestic flights.) This month-long bargain allows flyers to maintain social communication with friends 10,000-plus feet below them using personal laptops or handheld Wi-Fi devices absolutely free, though for access to other websites besides Facebook, flyers must still pay a fee ranging from $4.95 to $12.95 (the price differential depends on flight time).
Savvy Flyers – what has your experience been like with in-flight Wi-Fi?
Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates and travel deals on flights.
Sign up for the Top 25 Newsletter
to get exclusive weekly deals