Virgin America took top honors on Monday night when it was named Best Overall Passenger Experience at the Passenger Choice Awards 2013 in Anaheim, Calif. The airline also swept three other categories, including Best in Region, Best Ground Experience, and Best IFE User Interface.
“We are honored by the recognition we’re receiving from travelers,” Jennifer Thomas, director of corporate communications for Virgin America told ABC News. “The idea behind Virgin America is to reinvent the travel experience and these latest awards are a testament to the work of our team and demonstrate that we’re hitting the mark with our flyers. Our mission is to continue to innovate on behalf of our guests.”
In a couple of areas the airline didn’t take top honors. For instance, the Scandinavian budget carrier Norwegian beat out the carrier for Best In-flight Connectivity and Communications with its free in-flight Wi-Fi.
“We are extremely happy that passengers all around the world consider our connectivity the best,” said Lasse Sandaker-Nielsen, a spokesperson for Norwegian, which plans to be fully wi-fi equipped in all planes by 2014. “Currently, 60 Boeing 737-800s are Wi-Fi-equipped out of 79 aircraft. But we will add another 14 by the end of the winter.”
The process for Wi-Fi setup in Norwegian planes takes about five days, a fair amount of time to be out of traffic. But the carrier believes it is time on the ground well spent.
“We are definitely percentage-wise the most connected airline in Europe,” said Sandaker-Nielsen.
And the U.S. is fast on their tail. Gogo, Virgin America’s Wi-Fi service provider, is due to announce the next generation of its in-flight technology products on Wednesday.