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August 16, 2012

Virgin America's Nonstop Service from San Francisco to D.C. Takes a Break for Voter Registration

By Jacqueline Lee, Contributing Writer

Virgin America kicked off its new nonstop service from its San Francisco headquarters to Washington, D.C.’s Reagan International Airport by offering voter registration—at 35,000 feet.

In partnership with Rock the Vote, Virgin America is promoting its “Both Sides of the Aisle” fare of $249 for the nonstop flight. On its inaugural takeoff, the flight featured well-known politicos who freely chatted with guests as they flew across America. The guests included presidential impersonators Jim Gossett as “Mitt” and Reggie Brown as “Barack.”

To register to vote, passengers simply scanned a QR code on the airline’s seatback entertainment platform.

“We the people get to decide who will be flying to DC next year as our representatives, but no matter who you are voting for this November, you have to be registered first,” said Heather Smith, president of Rock The Vote, in a statement.

She added, “Rock the Vote is thrilled to bring voter registration to Virgin America's guests as well as the opportunity to make a donation to support our efforts to register 1.5 million new voters and educate young Americans about participating in our democracy.”

The snazzy flight to D.C. features Wi-Fi, power outlets and personal touch screen entertainment. Passengers can choose between three classes of service, just as they can on all Virgin America flights.

“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 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.”

The San Francisco-D.C. transit flight leaves California at 8:00 a.m. Pacific Time and arrives in Washington, D.C., at 4:05 p.m. Eastern Time, while the D.C.-San Francisco flight leaves Reagan International at 5:00 p.m. ET and arrives at 7:40 p.m. PT.

Many local officials supported Virgin America as they sought to establish the new trans-national flight. The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 was the impetus for connecting San Francisco’s innovative economy directly to the nation’s capitol.

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Edited by Jamie Epstein
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