Posts Tagged ‘virgin america’

Frequent Fliers Update: A Message from THE DIRECTOR OF LOYALTY Re: Virgin America Elevate –> Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

It almost seems as if “Director of Loyalty(!)” Stuart Dinnis is simply assuming this takeover will take off.

We’ll see.

All right, read it and weep, or cheer, depending. See below.

And bye-bye “Fly Girls”

cw

And bye-bye Fly Models:

Victoria's Secret and Virgin America announce that the next generation airline will be the official "Airline of the Angels" for the 2007 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show which will air Tuesday, Dec. 4 on CBS. The two brands will also partner to host the first ever supermodel PJ party inflight this November. In this photo from left to right: Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, Karolina Kurkova, Miranda Kerr, Selita Ebanks and Izabel Goulart. Photo Courtesy of Victoria's Secret. (PRNewsFoto/VIRGIN AMERICA) (Newscom TagID: prnphotos065466) [Photo via Newscom]

And bye-bye cheeky, peek-a-boo-loving Sir Richard, who, as a foreigner, was prevented from outright owning the majority of American-owned Virgin America:

British billionaire and showman Richard Branson has declared war on Qantas and other rival airlines with the launch of his new fleet of V Australia passenger jets to fly the Australia-US route.

“I wanted to follow-up on the news announced earlier this week that Virgin America has agreed to be acquired by Alaska Airlines. We’ve received an outpouring of support from many of you about your love for the Virgin America brand and the flying experience, for which we are incredibly humbled and grateful. We’ve also received questions about what this means in the short and long-term for loyal flyers like you.

In particular, many flyers have questions about whether there will be an immediate impact on their Points, Status and the flying experience they’ve come to expect from Virgin America. Please know that you will not see any changes during the next several months – and potentially until the end of the year – until the merger receives regulatory and shareholder approval. Furthermore, there will likely be no significant changes to your flying experience for as many as 18 months or more while the two airlines merge into one. Until the transaction is officially approved – typically a process that can take upwards of six months – both airlines will continue to operate independently and there will be no changes to our flight schedules, the Virgin America product and guest experience, Elevate Status levels or your ability to earn and redeem points. Each airline will maintain separate websites, separate guest service teams and distinct frequent flyer programs. If you book a Virgin America flight, you will fly on Virgin America. In short, there will be no short-term changes in what you have come to expect from Virgin America’s award-winning experience.

At the point when the Virgin America Elevate program is merged into the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan™ program, you should also know there will be no disruption to your earnings or redemptions. Your Points balance and Status level will be honored in Alaska Airline’s Mileage Plan, which has been ranked the #1 airline rewards program by U.S. News and World Report for the past two years. In addition, you will be able to use your Status levels and earned Points across a significantly expanded network – including 114 destinations in North America and 900 global destinations through Alaska Airline’s robust network of international partners. This means that you can continue to fly Virgin America and accrue Points as normal, from now until when the plans combine, and you can be confident that all your points – whether earned prior to or after the transaction announcement – will be reflected in your new or existing Alaska Mileage Plan account.

For more, you can find our latest Q&A on our website. You can also call us on 1.877.FLY.VIRGIN (877.359.8474), should you have any questions. Elevate Silver or Elevate Gold members can contact us by calling your exclusive reservation line or send an email to your dedicated email address when you log into your Elevate account.

Thank you for your loyalty and for flying with us. Together, with Alaska Airlines, our intent is to make this integration as seamless as possible and to create the premier airline for West Coast travelers. As airlines both known for our commitment to operational excellence and guest loyalty – we hope to create an even better flying experience across an expanded network.

Sincerely,

Stuart Dinnis
Director of Loyalty
Virgin America

Frisco Loses “Hometown Airline,” “Thousands of Jobs” – Let’s Look at Excessive Hype for SFO the Past Decade – QANTAS and Vaunted A380

Monday, April 4th, 2016

1. Here’s the news:

Alaska Air Agrees to Buy Virgin America for $2.6 Billion

Does this airline deal “make sense?” IDK, we’ll see.

But let’s now take the chance to take a look at the hype over Virgin America nine years ago, when the Mayor of SF boasted of the “thousands of jobs” what would come from our “hometown airline.”

Flip to the next page to see that.

2. What else, oh the already-failed Airbus A380, the “green” plane what was “going to change everything.” From 2006:

These (A380) aircraft are also very efficient.

But no, not at all, not really. Actually, that’s the problem – A380’s aren’t all that efficient.

Now, did it make sense for SFO to prepare for the arrival of the A380 starting 10-20 years ago? IDK, perhaps, since the feds were paying for most of the work. But this plane certainly was not the future of air travel, as should have obvious to anyone a decade ago.

3. What else, oh, QANTAS.

The airline plans to bring its A380 aircraft to San Francisco on a regular basis in the next few years.

Hey, did this work out? No, not at all. In fact, QANTAS completely abandoned SFO a short time later. It preferred Texas(!) and, of course, Los Angeles, for various reasons.

(And that’s the way it’s been since the 1950’s – QANTAS comes to SFO then starts losing money and then it leaves us and then it comes back to us. This really isn’t under the control of any local Mayors.)

Anyway, that’s how things have gone at SFO the past decade.

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Well This is News: “Emirates and Virgin America Launch Frequent Flyer Partnership”

Monday, October 21st, 2013

 

Emirates and Virgin America Launch Frequent Flyer Partnership – International “Airline of the Year” & “Best U.S. Airline” Together Offer Frequent Flyers New Global Reward Opportunities, Award-Winning Guest Service

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 21, 2013 — Emirates and Virgin America today announce a frequent flyer partnership that allows members of both airlines’ frequent flyer programs to earn and redeem* points or miles for travel across the networks of two airlines respectively recognized as best-in-class for global and U.S. domestic service. For its part, Virgin America has swept the major travel awards every year since its launch in 2007, including being named  “Best U.S. Airline” in Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards and “Best Domestic Airline” in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards for six consecutive years. Emirates, connector of people, places and cultures, with one of the youngest fleets in the sky, has earned scores of awards for in-flight cuisine, in-flight entertainment, and excellence of overall guest service, including the 2013 “Airline of the Year” award from Skytrax.

Starting today, members of Emirates Skywards frequent flyer program will be able to earn Skywards miles when traveling on all Virgin America flights and can redeem their Skywards miles for reward flights on all Virgin America routes. Members of Virgin America’s Elevate frequent flyer program can now earn Elevate points when flying with Emirates to one of its 135 destinations in 76 countries, including Dubai and beyond, as well as redeem* their Elevate points for international reward flights on any route flown by Emirates including those out of New York (JFK), San Francisco (SFO), Los Angeles (LAX), Washington (IAD), Seattle (SEA), Houston (IAH), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Boston (BOS).** Additionally, Elevate members will have the opportunity to earn and redeem* points on Emirates’ new non-stop service between New York and Milan. Emirates is currently the only carrier to offer a First Class cabin service between these two cities.

“Through our partnership with Emirates, we’re able to offer enhanced international travel options; Emirates’ network can take Elevate members to the Middle East and beyond,” said Phil Seward, Virgin America’s Director of Guest Loyalty. “Virgin America is an airline recognized for high-quality guest service and unique tech-forward in-flight amenities. In Emirates we have found a partner that also offers guests an attractive mix of award-winning service, innovative in-flight entertainment and other features.”

“Emirates is committed to providing passengers with a superior product, service and connections,” said Jim Baxter, Vice President for North America, Emirates Airline. “We are delighted to be able to offer our loyal Emirates Skywards members with more options for earning and redeeming their reward miles through our frequent flyer program partner Virgin America.  We also look forward to welcoming Virgin America’s Elevate program members on board our flights, and providing them with more rewarding access to our extensive route network.”

To celebrate the launch of the frequent flyer partnership, one lucky Elevate member will “Win a Dream Trip to Dubai with Emirates.”*** Members may enter at http://woobox.com/dhk73a for a chance to win two (2) round trip Economy class tickets on Emirates to Dubai for an exclusive VIP experience that includes a three-night stay at Dubai’s iconic Atlantis, The Palm resort, a Dolphin Encounter at the resort’s Dolphin Bay,  and a unique all-inclusive dinner in the desert dunes.  All Elevate members will also earn 250 Elevate points for entering the promotion.***

Emirates is the fifth airline to join Virgin America’s Elevate frequent flyer program, which also includes Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, Singapore Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines. The partnership will offer expanded redemption* opportunities for both business and leisure travelers on the two carriers.

Known for beautifully designed cabins and unparalleled in-flight entertainment, Virgin America’s new fleet of Airbus A320-family aircraft offers custom-designed mood-lit cabins and amenities like fleetwide WiFi, power outlets and personal entertainment — with live TV including MSNBC, CNN, CNBC and more — at every seat. The Red((TM)) platform offers guests their own seatback touch-screen TVs, with 25 films, live TV, Google Maps, video games, seat-to-seat chat, music videos, a 4,000 song library and an on-demand menu – so flyers can order a cocktail or snack from their seatbacks any time during a flight. In addition to a Main Cabin that offers custom-designed leather seating with a deeper, more comfortable pitch, the airline’s First Class offers plush white leather seating with 55 inches of pitch, 165 degrees of recline and lumbar massagers. The carrier’s Main Cabin Select option 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 Virgin America experience dovetails perfectly with Emirates’ award-winning service and renowned in-flight experience. Recognized for its excellence in service and innovation, both on board and on the ground, Emirates holds an impressive array of prestigious awards, most recently including 2013 “Airline of the Year” award from Skytrax.

Last year, Virgin America launched a suite of enhancements to its Elevate frequent flyer program — including Elevate Gold and Elevate Silver status levels that offer perks such as: priority check-in, security clearance and boarding; points earning bonuses; free checked bag allowances; enhanced digital/social rewards; private discounts; an expanded advance purchase upgrade window for the airline’s exclusive eight-seat First Class; complimentary space-available upgrades to the carrier’s premium Main Cabin Select service; and complimentary access to the best seat assignments within Main Cabin. In December 2012, Virgin America opened its first airport lounge — the Virgin America Loft at LAX, which offers guests a sleek and modern retreat, with a selection of amenities and a space that reflects the look and feel of the airline’s mood-lit aircraft and overall design aesthetic.

Emirates currently serves more than 135 destinations across six continents with a young and technologically advanced fleet of more than 205 widebody aircraft that are equipped with industry-leading comforts in the air.  Its Airbus A380s serve many destinations worldwide, including Los Angeles fromDecember 2, 2013.  Among the many amenities available to Emirates passengers is the ice entertainment system, which offers up to 1,500 channels of entertainment in many languages, in-flight Wi-Fi service, private First Class suites, the Emirates onboard lounge, and private shower spas on the A380. For more information visit emirates.com.

Emirates Skywards, the award-winning frequent flyer program of Emirates, offers four tiers of membership – Blue, Silver, Gold and Platinum – with each membership tier providing exclusive privileges. Members earn Skywards Miles when they fly on Emirates or partner airlines, or when they use the program’s designated hotels, car rentals, financial, leisure and lifestyle partners. Emirates Skywards Miles can be redeemed for an extensive range of rewards, including tickets on Emirates and other Skywards partner airlines, flight upgrades, hotel accommodation, excursions and exclusive shopping.

In just over six years of flying, Virgin America has expanded to 23 airport destinations and has created 2,600 new jobs. Virgin America currently flies to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Newark, Washington D.C. (IAD and DCA), Las Vegas, San Diego, Seattle, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Cabos, Cancun, Chicago, Puerto Vallarta, Palm Springs (seasonal), Philadelphia, Portland, San Jose, Austin and Anchorage (seasonal).

Photos of Virgin America’s unique aircraft: www.virginamerica.com/about/airline-photos/virgin-america-pictures.html

Broadcast quality video b-roll can also be downloaded here.

EDITORS NOTE: Virgin America is a U.S.-controlled and operated airline and is an entirely separate company from Virgin Atlantic. Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is a minority share investor in Virgin America.

About Virgin America: Headquartered in California, Virgin America offers guests attractive fares and a host of innovative features aimed at reinventing air travel. With topnotch guest service and beautiful design, Virgin America has earned a host of industry awards since launching service in 2007. The airline’s base of operations is San Francisco International Airport (SFO)’s beautiful and sustainable Terminal 2. With one of the youngest fleets in the U.S., Virgin America offers Gogo((TM)) WiFi, interactive in-flight entertainment systems with the largest media library in the North American skies via the touch-screen Red((TM)) platform and power outlets near every seat. Flyers can find the airline’s Best Fares Guaranteed at www.virginamerica.com/

About Emirates: Emirates, one of the world’s fastest growing international airlines, currently serves 135 cities in 76 countries around the globe from its hub in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. It operates 63 passenger flights per week between Dubai and the U.S. Daily services are operated by Boeing 777-300ER or 777-200LR aircraft from Houston, San Francisco, Dallas/Fort Worth, Seattle, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and a triple daily service (including two daily A380 flights) from JFK in New York. The LAX A380 service begins December 2, 2013 and Emirates’ Boston route will begin service on March 10, 2014. Emirates Skywards is the award-winning frequent flyer program of Emirates. For more information on the airline or to join Emirates Skywards, visit www.emirates.com.

* Elevate members will be able to earn points on Emirates beginning today (October 21, 2013) Reward bookings using points on Emirates available fromOctober 24, 2013.

**Emirates flights from Boston start on March 10, 2014.

***Terms and Conditions:  No purchase necessary.  Open only U.S. residents 21 and older.  Employees of Virgin America Inc., Emirates, Atlantis the Palm, as well as the spouse, parents, siblings, and children, and household members of each such employee, are not eligible.  Sponsor:  Virgin America Inc., 555 Airport Blvd., Burlingame, CA 94010. Begins: at 12:00:01 a.m. Pacific Time [“PT”] on October 21 2013, and ends at 11:59:59 p.m. PT on November 21 2013. No cash or other substitution may be made, except by Sponsor, who reserves the right to substitute prize (or component thereof) with another prize (or component thereof) of equal or greater value if the prize is not available for any reason as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion.  The winner is responsible for any taxes and fees associated with receipt or use of the prize.  For complete Official Rules, including entry instructions and prize details, visit [http://www.virginamerica.com/html/pdf/131015_emirates_woobox_sweepstakes_tc.pdf]

SOURCE  Virgin America

Photo:http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090123/VIRGINAMERICALOGO
http://photoarchive.ap.org/
Photo:http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131021/AQ00715
http://photoarchive.ap.org/
Virgin America

CONTACT: Jennifer Thomas, Virgin America, +1-650-274-7329jennifer.thomas@virginamerica.com, or Arielle Himy, Emirates, +1-646-500-7761,arielle.himy@mslgroup.com

Web Site: http://www.emirates.com/

Virgin America Makes a Deal with Uber Cab – Earn Air Miles While on the Ground, or Something

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Sorry Lyft. It turns out that it’s Uber what’s “revolutionizing personal transportation” these days. See below.

I’m a cowboy/ With a pink ‘stache I ride/ Wanted/ Dead or alive:

All right, now back to Uber. I think they’re legal now. Good for them!

(But Virgin, please don’t let San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee find out about the whole “Silicon Valley’s Airline” thing – you know, he’s having a bad year.)

“Virgin America Hitches A Ride With Uber:  First-ever Uber Frequent Flyer Partnership Offers A Seamless, Connected Travel Experience From Ride To Roll – Silicon Valley’s Airline Offers Elevate® Frequent Flyer Benefits to New Uber Users

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept.12, 2012 — Virgin America, the award-winning California-based airline, announces today that it has partnered with Uber, the company revolutionizing personal transportation, to offer Virgin America’s Elevate® frequent flyer program members the ability to earn Elevate points when they complete their first ride with Uber.  As of today, Elevate frequent flyer members who are new to Uber can sign-up (on the Uber website or through the Uber app) with their Elevate membership number and will be awarded 800 Elevate reward points upon completion of their first Uber ride.  To celebrate the partnership, as of today, Virgin America and Uber will also be giving one winner a week a free domestic roundtrip on Virgin America and $500 in Uber ride credits until October 2, 2012.  More information on the “Ride with Us, Roll with Uber” sweepstakes*, official rules and other details are available at: http://vgn.am/VXuber

“As two companies known for looking at ways to improve and reinvent the travel experience, we’re pleased to partner with Uber to offer travelers a new option for ground travel that fits their busy, connected lifestyles,” said Luanne Calvert, Vice President of Marketing at Virgin America.  “Our new partnership with Uber provides our frequent flyers with a more connected, seamless travel experience – from the air to the ground.”

The latest partnership with Uber offers Virgin America’s tech-forward guests more options for ground travel during their business trip or leisure getaway. Uber harnesses the latest technology to provide an innovative on-demand car service that is unique in the marketplace.  Since its launch in 2007, Virgin America has grown a passionate following of flyers for its topnotch guest service and unique amenities. The airline’s Elevate frequent flyer program was among the first U.S. loyalty programs to offer dynamic reward pricing – with the ability for guests to redeem reward points for any unsold seat – on any flight, at any time. Earlier this summer, Virgin America announced a suite of enhancements to its Elevate program – including new Elevate Gold and Elevate Silver status levels with a host of traveler perks and enhanced social rewards for virtual check-ins.  Elevate program details can be viewed on the airline’s website at: www.virginamerica.com/elevate

And then, all hail VA, etc, after the jump

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It’s Time Again for Virgin America Day at AT&T Park – Lots of Giants Promotions Plus a Red City Hall

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Well it’s the talk of the townAugust 6, 2011 is Virgin America Day at AT&T Park, so all attendees will get a Virgin America 2 for 1 flight voucher. So if you’re into the Phillies…

But dynamic pricing appears to be at work, so don’t be looking for any of those $1 seats (that come with $10 in fees) that the Giants offer sometimes.

And, oh yes, August 8th, 2011 is Virgin America Day in the 415, so that’s why City Hall will turn red at night for a few days. (Just a guess, but I don’t know how else you’ll be able to tell it’s VA Day 11.)

And Virgin A will is a having a $49 a ticket sale on some flights. All the deets, and there are plenty, are below and after the jump.

Call sign REDWOOD transports the Trophy in first class without a seatbelt.

Click to expand

Virgin America Day – Saturday, August 6
All fans receive 2 for 1 flight voucher

Valid for travel Main Cabin between 8/16/11-10/27/11.
Blackout dates are 9/2/11 and 9/5/11.
Must book by 8/31/11, with two passengers travelling on one itinerary.

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Scrappy SFO-Based Airline Now Losing Less Money – Virgin America Announces 2009 Results

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Popular Virgin America is still generally losing money, but they have some stuff to crow about. Check it, below.

Appears as if they’ll fly right through our Great Recession.

All the deets:

Virgin America Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Financial Results

Start-up Airline Reports Strong Performance in Second Full Year of Operations

SAN FRANCISCO, April 22– Virgin America, the award-winning start-up airline, today reported its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2009.  While driving growth against the backdrop of a contracting industry, the start-up airline made significant top line progress in its second full year of operations.  For full year 2009, Virgin America reported a $48 million operating loss on revenues of $548 million – a $140 million (or 74 percent) year-over-year improvement over 2008.  In 2009, the Company also reported its first quarterly operating profit in the third quarter.

Although the revenue and demand environment remained challenging in the final quarter of 2009, Virgin America reported strong revenue performance, industry-leading load factors, and improved unit costs for the fourth quarter. The airline narrowed its operating loss by $11 million year-over-year in the fourth quarter, improving its operating margin by 10.9 points.  Virgin America also reported a 47 percent increase in scheduled service capacity year-over-year.

Ever more deets, after the jump

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Why are San Francisco’s New “Low-Cost” Airlines More Expensive than Regular Old Airlines?

Monday, March 1st, 2010

You know the JetBlue and the Virgin America, right? Let’s review:

JetBlue Airways is an American low-cost airline…”

Virgin America, Inc. is a United States-based low-cost airline…”

Well, check out what the suits attending the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ Transformation 2010 convention at the Hilton San Francisco Union Sqaure are paying to fly in from and back to the Big Apple, assuming they’re stuck in the coach section during this Great Recession:

Click to expand

See that? United, Delta, American and Continental all were quoting airfares less than $300, and the “low-cost airlines” were the most expensive.

Perhaps sexy new Virgin America and JetBlue should be called premium airlines these days?

Just asking…

San Francisco’s Virgin America Airlines Gets Its Own Reality Show March 24th: Fly Girls

Friday, February 26th, 2010

San Francisco-based Virgin America Airlines has its own “docu-series” starting up on March 24th at 9:30 PM on the CW – it’s called Fly Girls (and it’s not to be confused with the In Living Color/Jennifer Lopez kind of Fly Girls from the 90’s).

Take a look. Meet Mandalay, a local “girl” who’s a Virgin America flight attendant based out of SFO in real life. Listen to her go on about the “romance of aviation” and the benefits of choosing Virgin America, the only California-based airline left by the way.

Barbie, Skipper, and the “ethnic girlfriends of Barbie” (or, more politely, a “mini- United Nations of races and ethnicities“) are coming soon to KBCW-TV channel 44 / 45 and all the CW stations across America. Oh yes, their “real” names (or “reel” names) are Tasha, Louise, Mandy (or Mandi), Nikole and Farrah:

Doesn’t this promo shot from the CW Network of former beauty queen Nikole look just like a Virgin America ad?

This show is going to be something like eight half-hour Virgin America infomercials complete with 30-second commercials for shampoo and cosmetics. Nevertheless, it’s going to be better than NBC’s high-budget San Francisco-based Trauma serial, that’s a given from the get-go. (Wonder if cheeky Virgin Airlines founder Sir Richard Branson will make an appearance or two…)

Just discovered that my aging Trinitron (that could be older than you) actually receives channel 44 so I’ll be sure to tune in to check out the debut.

Excelsior, Ever Upward.

Now, meet the Fly Girls and get more deets after the jump.

Farrah Williams

Hometown Airport: LAX
Must Have Travel Accessories: Lip balm and a camera
Travel Tips: “Be nice to fellow travelers and flight attendants. It makes for a more pleasant experience all the way around.”
Security Checkpoint Tips: “Don’t make eye contact. Strip down quick so you’re not holding up the line.”
Years with Virgin America: 2 ½

Louise Nguyen

Hometown Airport: LAX (currently SFO)
Must Have Travel Accessories: Moisturizer and lip balm
Travel Tips: “While on the plane, always wear your shoes in the restroom!”
Security Checkpoint Tips: “Get in line behind someone who has already taken their shoes off, and who is not juggling a ton of things in their hands, and then do the same.”
Years with Virgin America: 2

Mandy Roberts

Hometown Airport: PHX (currently SFO)
Must Have Travel Accessory: A big, soft pashmina that can be used as a pillow or blanket.
Travel Tips: “Drink an endless amount of water.”
Security Checkpoint Tips: “Wear slip-on shoes with socks, if possible. It’s yucky to wait in line with bare feet on the dirty floor.”
Years with Virgin America: 2

Nikole Rubyn

Hometown Airport: SMF (Sacramento)
Must Have Travel Accessory: Visine
Travel Tips: “Always wear or bring socks with you to walk through security!”
Security Checkpoint Tips: “Don’t wear all of your jewelry to the airport, keep it in small bags and put it on after you get through security.”
Years with Virgin America: 2

Tasha Dunnigan

Hometown Airport: SMF (Sacramento)
Must Have Travel Accessory: Cell phone
Travel Tips: “Don’t forget your common sense at home.”
Security Checkpoint Tips: “Have all of your things in order and pay attention.”
Years with Virgin America: 2

“Fly Girls” is from Collins Avenue Productions, with executive producers Jeff Collins (“Bridezilla 3, 4 & 5,” “The Exterminators”) and Colin Nash (“The Hills,” “The City”) and co-executive producers Larry Bond and Porter Gale.

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