Virgin America launched its new route from San Francisco to Honolulu today with special fares as low as $199 (taxes/fees included) or 8,558 Elevate points (plus taxes/fees). This same special pricing will also apply the new SFO-Maui route that launches on December 3.
The launch festivities are pretty exciting:
This morning, Branson surprises workaholics with the chance to join the Hawai‘i flight – at a local office and at SFO.
Virgin America and Airbnb transform the airline’s SFO T2 home into a colorful tropical oasis with a lu’au hosted at the HNL departure gate.
Upon touchdown of the first flight in Hawai‘i, Virgin America’s first guests will be feted with a red carpet l?’au reception on the HNL tarmac.
This evening, Branson and Airbnb’s Jonathan Mildenhall will host an oceanfront sunset event at an Airbnb property, the notable Paul Mitchell Estate on O’ahu.
Travelers can follow the festivities with the hashtags #NowBoarding, #AirbnbHawaii and on both brands’ Snapchats.
Wish I was there! 😉
Find a Better Place to Stay on Hawaii
Virgin America also had a big surprise, announcing a new partnership with AirBnb — the first of its kind as far as I know. You can earn 1,500 Elevate points on your first AirBnb stay and an additional 1 point per dollar on all completed AirBnb stays. Do you have your own place you want to let out? Elevate members who sign up to become AirBnb hosts can earn an additional 20,000 Elevate points.
Hawaii is one of the largest markets from the West Coast and has been dominated by Alaska Airlines. However, we’ve also seen lots of new competition from Delta and now Virgin America. Southwest is also thinking about new service to Hawaii. I’m glad for all the competition as fares have risen in recent years (I remember when you could find last-minute air + hotel packages under $500).
The new AirBnb partnership is also pretty awesome. Hawaiian resort hotels are still expensive despite cheaper fares. I’m a particular fan of rentals on an island like Oahu, where most of the hotels are clustered in the busy Waikiki area but you can find rental houses just blocks from the beach all around the island. I expect to take up Virgin America on this new partnership.
Promotional Fares to Hawaii
Terms and Conditions: Tickets must be purchased by 11:59pm CT on Tuesday, November 3, 2015. All fares listed are one-way and require a 21- day advance purchase. Travel must occur between December 3, 2015 and March 9, 2016. Lowest sale fares are available only on certain itineraries. Lowest sale fares are only valid for travel on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Blackout dates include: 12/18/15 – 12/31/15, 1/1/16 – 1/4/16, 1/15/16, 1/18/16, 2/12/16, and 2/15/16. Seats are limited, subject to availability, and may not be available on all flights. Flights may not operate daily. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable. For travel solely between points in the Continental Western Region (LAS/LAX/PDX/PSP/PVR/SAN/SEA/SFO/SJD only) and DAL-LAS/AUS, changes or cancellations can be made for a $100 fee per guest through all channels, plus any increase in fare, if applicable. For all other itineraries, changes or cancellations can be made for a $150 fee per guest through all channels, plus any increase in fare, if applicable. Any remaining balance will be placed in a guest’s travel bank, good for travel on Virgin America for one year from date of issue. Changes or cancellations of a booking made with Elevate Points will be subject to a $100 redeposit fee per guest. Guests who no-show without a change or cancellation prior to the scheduled departure time will forfeit the amount of this fare. In addition, any future flights booked in the same reservation will also be canceled and the fare will be forfeited. Tickets purchased from Virgin America through our reservation call center will cost an additional $20 per guest per itinerary. Any added cost associated with purchasing tickets from Virgin America through our reservation call center will be non-refundable. Fares will not be honored retroactively or in exchange for any wholly or partially used ticket. Fares, routes, fees and schedules are subject to change without notice. For Main Cabin Select, Virgin America will accept one (1) piece of checked baggage up to 50 pounds free of charge for each ticketed guest. For First Class, Virgin America will accept two (2) pieces of checked baggage up to 50 pounds free of charge for each ticketed guest. Virgin America will accept up to ten pieces of checked baggage, up to 50 pounds each, per ticketed guest traveling within the U.S. The fee for each piece of checked baggage up to 50 pounds is $25. Additional fees apply to baggage exceeding these weight limitations, and other baggage restrictions may apply.