Alaska Airlines and Virgin America have announced to launch nonstop service between San Francisco International Airport and Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, connecting the Bay Area to the “Big Easy.” The new route is part of the largest network expansion in Alaska Airlines’ 85-year history and is one of 33 new California routes to launch this year.
San Francisco guests traveling to New Orleans will be serenaded by a live jazz band and treated to New Orleans-themed breakfast items, as well as festive Mardi Gras beads and masks on-board.
“New Orleans is an important business market for the Bay Area and a top destination for Mileage Plan reward travel,” said Annabel Chang, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of the Bay Area. “We’re proud to bring our low fares and award-winning service to this exciting destination and grow our Bay Area footprint with 18 new markets. By year-end, we’ll have grown Alaska Airlines and Virgin America’s network to serve 42 destinations from the three major Bay Area airports.”
Virgin America’s A320 family of aircraft will operate the new route with three classes of service, power outlets throughout the cabin, custom leather seats with adjustable headrests and a selection of food and beverage inspired by local chefs. The entire Alaska Airlines fleet, which includes Airbus aircraft, now offers free movies and Free Chat onboard. With Free Chat, guests flying with Virgin America can now use iMessage, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger on their smartphones to send greetings from 35,000 feet.
“The City of New Orleans welcomes Alaska Airlines and Virgin America’s new daily nonstop route from San Francisco to our great city,” said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “This is a clear indication of the continued success and growth of our regional airport. As we look ahead to our city’s tricentennial and the opening of the North Terminal, New Orleans is poised for great things as we welcome even more travelers to our world-class city.”
Widely regarded for its popular loyalty program, Alaska Mileage Plan this week was ranked best elite status program in the U.S. by The Points Guy for rewarding flyers with miles based on distance flown rather than dollars spent. Elite members enjoy unlimited complimentary upgrades upon availability and waived change and cancellation fees for MVP Gold and Gold 75K members.
“New Orleans will enjoy the exceptional travel experience offered by Alaska Airlines/Virgin America with their attractive fares and premium product,” stated Kevin C. Dolliole, New Orleans International Airport aviation director. “In addition to Seattle, the launch of SFO marks the second daily nonstop route from New Orleans offered by Alaska/Virgin, and we are very excited to see their growing presence in our market.”
Alaska Airlines, together with Virgin America and its regional partners, flies 40 million guests a year to 118 destinations with an average of 1,200 daily flights across the United States and to Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica and Cuba. With Alaska and Alaska Global Partners, guests can earn and redeem miles on flights to more than 900 destinations worldwide. Alaska Airlines ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Carriers in North America” in the J.D. Power North America Satisfaction Study for 10 consecutive years from 2008 to 2017.