Virgin America Saves Endangered Pups. Or, I Heart Richard Branson Part Deux

My love for Sir Ricky B continues…

I’m a huge fan of Virgin America and their latest animal-rescue program, Operation Chihuahua.

They’ve brilliantly partnered with local and national animal rescue organizations like the ASPCA to help safely fly pups from California to their new homes on the East Coast, including NYC.

For us PR/MarComs, the jokes always been to try to include babies or puppies. It’s nice to see a PR program doing so in a completely authentic way.

I’m a cat person, but I can’t deny checking every Facebook update about “Maximus,” a lil’ guy who just arrived in NYC. I may have had a tear in the eye when VA posted a video of “Maximus” on his flight as a thank you.

VA have a top-notch social networking team, brilliantly leveraging FB and Twitter to promote the program beyond just pet enthusiasts. Their page launched last year and they’ve already garnered 50,000 loyal fans. Keep in mind this is completely different from Virgin Atlantic enthusiasts.

Americans typically travel more so domestically than internationally and it’s a rarity when we’re able to feel we’re getting a flight of passport quality. Jet Blue used to deliver warm and fuzzy back in the 2000’s, but with the economy and embarrassing cut backs in the entire flight experience, many of us can’t name an airline we don’t hate, let along friend on Facebook. Virgin America is schooling the competition and other North American carriers better pay attention.


Jet Blue and Southwest Vie for New England Travelers

A Beantown native might compare the competition between airline carriers Jet Blue and Southwest 

to an average BU/BC game. Both companies, known for mass customer appeal, seasonal discounts and quirks are now using the same New England airspace, starting first in California, then NYC and now, Boston.

Once a discount (“sure I’ll take 4 connections”) student traveler, imagine just how cut-throat it will get during student travel season, especially when you consider nearly one third of Boston residents are not residents at all — really students who call the Boston, MA home for no more than 8 months a year. I used to be one of them.

Known for their social media prowess (in good and bad) and unique in-flight entertainment, both airlines will no doubt pull out all the stops when it comes to attracting the discount-hungry, digital savvy 18-24 demo as they look to score the best deal.  Something to watch.

Full story here.