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***November 13th*** Virgin America Launches 'Operation Chihuahua' Airlift


Virgin America is assisting the City of San Francisco Animal Care & Control (SF ACC) by flying Chihuahua pups in need from San Francisco to the New York area so they can be adopted quickly into loving homes in time for Thanksgiving. The overpopulation of Chihuahuas in California continues to force animal shelters on the West Coast to look to shelters on the East Coast for help - where demand for the dogs exceeds supply. As the only San Francisco-based airline, Virgin America first teamed up with the SF ACC to fly needy pups to new homes on the East Coast in 2010 to help address the influx of dogs at shelters on the West Coast. The overpopulation issue has only escalated since the 2010 airlifts, and as part of its long-standing partnership with and commitment to SF ACC, Virgin America is undertaking its fifth airlift - and asking Bay Area residents to help the cause by visiting their local shelter or making a donation to the SF ACC at:

Virgin America's "Official Pet Liaison," Boo, will host a special red carpet send-off at the departure gate at SFO for his fellow four-legged friends before they begin their journey, complete with doggie treats and plenty of toys to play with until departure time. The Chihuahuas will be received at EWR by the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) - who will place the little dogs in loving adoptive homes. Virgin America teammate volunteers will escort the little dogs on flights to the East Coast on November 13 and will track their journey with real-time in-flight updates via the airline's WiFi service on Instagram and Twitter at In addition, Virgin America is asking flyers to post travel photos of their favorite furry companions on Twitter or Instagram with the VXBark hashtag. The cutest travel critter will win a doggie swag bag containing Boo's latest book, "Boo: The Life of the World's Cutest Dog" andVirgin America Swag Shop pet favorites.


-Virgin America's Official Pet Liaison, Boo, hosting a special red carpet sendoff for the Chihuahuas at

the SFO T2 gate

- Chihuahuas walking the red carpet to board their flight to New York with their Virgin America escorts

- Boo taking the Chihuahuas on a tour of the amenities the pups will enjoy while traveling onboard

Virgin America Airbus A320 plane - like moodlighting, WiFi and live TV

- Cupcakes and "Chi-mosa" champagne cocktails at the gate for human guests onboard

- SF Animal Care & Control representatives talking to Virgin America guests about pet adoption

- Virgin America teammates playing with Chihuahuas at departure gate

- Virgin America commercial flight guests visiting with dogs at Chihuahua send-off


Doug Yakel, San Francisco International Airport

Rebecca Katz, Director of the City of San Francisco Animal Care & Control

John MacLeod, SVP of Planning & Sales at Virgin America (and dog lover)


San Francisco International Airport Terminal 2 (Media must RSVP to attend and bring photo ID)


Wednesday, November 13th at 7:15am (Media should arrive at 6:30am to allow for time to get through security)


Virgin America - Patricia Condon /650-906-8147/ or Sean Harris/650-554-1971/

SF Animal Care & Control - Deb Campbell/415-554-9427/

ASPCA - Mallory Kerley / / (212) 876-7700 ext. 4589


About the San Francisco Department of Animal Care & Control:

The San Francisco Department of Animal Care & Control is a taxpayer-funded, open door animal shelter. SF ACC adopts out a variety of animals and provides housing, care and medical treatment to wild, exotic and domestic stray, lost, abandoned sick, injured and/or surrendered animals. SF ACC aims to rehome or reunite domestic animals with their guardians, and to rehabilitate and release wildlife to their native habitat. SF ACC responds to animal related emergencies 24/7 including animal abuse and neglect as well as matters of public safety.

About the ASPCA®:

Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation's leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA's mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

About Virgin America:Headquartered in California, Virgin America, which celebrated its sixth year of operations in August, offers guests attractive fares and a host of innovative features aimed at reinventing air travel and has swept the industry awards. Most recently, Virgin America was named "Best Domestic Airline" in Travel + Leisure's 2013 'World's Best' Awards,' an award the carrier has won every year since 2008. In May, Virgin America was voted "Best Airline" by Consumer Reports Magazine. In April, Virgin America topped the 2012 Airline Quality Rating, a joint research project conducted annually by faculty at Wichita State University and Purdue University that analyzes airline data as reported by the DOT. Virgin America was named "Best Domestic Airline" in the Conde Nast Traveler 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 'Readers' Choice' Awards. The airline's base of operations is San Francisco International Airport (SFO)'s sleek and sustainable Terminal 2. Virgin America offers Gogo'WiFi on every flight and hosts the largest in-flight entertainment library in the North American skies via the touch-screen Red'platform, and provides power outlets near every seat. Since its launch in 2007, Virgin America has created 2,600 new jobs and now 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). For more

/PRNewswire -- Nov. 8, 2013/

SOURCE Virgin America

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