Virgin America plans minor renovation of LAX Terminal 3

Virgin America and Los Angeles World Airports are planning a small-scale renovation of the carrier’s Terminal 3 at Los Angeles International Airport, records show.

Virgin plans to grow from six gates to eight, according to a report shared recently with the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners. Virgin’s new lease will be for $30,255,000 and cover a five-year period. The airline will receive 42,913 square feet of space.

Virgin will make about $20 million of improvements to the space, and the landlord, Los Angeles World Airports, will eventually pay the airline back for most of the cost. This is standard practice at LAX.

I wouldn’t call this a major overhaul. Here are the plans, taken directly from the airport board report.

Virgin Renovations – include branded improvements, unique to Virgin’s operational needs, such that it is not reasonable to assume that another airline could use the improvement without modification. The Virgin Renovations are estimated to cost $610,000 and will be solely Virgin’s responsibility.

Non-Proprietary Airline Renovations – include non-proprietary improvements to Terminal 3 that are usable by any airline operating in Terminal 3 and located in parts of Terminal 3 classified as “airline areas”, including a proportionate share of building improvements allocated to “airline areas” of the terminal. The Terminal 3 Airline Renovations are estimated to cost $13,752,000 which LAWA will purchase upon completion of renovation components.

Terminal Renovations – include improvements that are allocated to the “public areas” of Terminal 3 that are being implemented during the course of the overall project including a proportionate share of building improvements allocated to “public areas” of the terminal. Terminal 3 Renovations are estimated to cost $4,973,033. The Terminal Renovations will be acquired by rent credits to Virgin over the term of the Lease, including annualized accrued interest on the outstanding principal for the value of such improvements at a total cost not to exceed $5,386,000.

This pretty minor stuff in comparison to United, which is receiving $400 million in upgrades, and Southwest, which is getting a $500 million plus overhaul.

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Virgin America ups its game in attempt to win Dallas Love Field gates

Virgin Is it still a grassroots campaign when one big corporation goes up an even bigger, more powerful one?

Virgin America would like you to think so. Virgin, the Northern California-based airline with about 50 airplanes, is trying to win two gates at Dallas Love Field. The airport is dominated by Southwest Airlines, which, despite cultivating a reputation as the underdog, is actually huge. Southwest has more nearly 700 planes and it is a giant in domestic air travel.

Virgin has created a website — FreeLoveField.com – to plead its case. The website even includes a petition for customers to sign. And of course, customers are asked to use a hashtag — #lovetoflyvirgin — when they Tweet about the issue.

Virgin AmericaThe two gates up for grabs have been held by American Airlines, but the carrier has been forced to divest itself of them as part of its merger deal with the U.S. Department of Justice. The city of Dallas ultimately must sign off on which airline gets the gates.

If it gets the gates, Virgin plans to fly to  Los Angeles, New York LaGuardia, San Francisco and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

Which airline do you think should get the gates?

Virgin America 3

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We have a winner in Virgin America trivia!

Photo: Virgin America.

Photo: Virgin America.

Last week I asked readers to name the only two Virgin America routes that do not touch the airline’s hubs in Los Angeles or San Francisco. The question was timely in light of the fact that Virgin wants to expand with flights from Dallas to New York and Washington, D.C. — if it can get the gates at Dallas Love Field.

The answer, as eight of my readers correctly guessed (eight!) is two routes flown from New York John F. Kennedy International Airport. One is year-round — that’s New York – Las Vegas — and the other is seasonal. The seasonal route is New York to Palm Springs.

Our winner is Rick Delgado. My editor chose his name randomly from a pile. Congrats, Rick. He wins a United Airlines amenity kit.

Check back again soon for more trivia.

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Trivia… How well do you know Virgin America’s route network? Win a prize!

Virgin America wants to add flights in Dallas. Photo: Virgin America.

Virgin America wants to add flights in Dallas. Photo: Virgin America.

As we reported Wednesday, Virgin America wants to open a focus city at Dallas Love Field, from which it would fly to Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C., as well as to its hubs in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

This is a a bit of a strategic change. Since Virgin was launched in 2007, the overwhelmingly number of its flights have either started or ended in the airline’s San Francisco or Los Angeles hubs.

Related to this, I have some trivia. For now, according to a Virgin spokesman, the airline has only two routes that do not either start or end in San Francisco or L.A. California. One route is seasonal, and the other year-round.

What are these routes? Surely this information is on the internet, but try not to cheat.

Until noon PST on Saturday, leave your guesses in the comments section.  I’ll take all the correct answers and randomly choose a winner. I’ll ship the winner this week’s prize, though I can only send stuff to U.S. addresses.

Here’s the prize, which comes courtesy of another airline. Remarkably, these things are popular on Ebay.

United amenity kit

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Virgin America wants to add flights in Dallas

Virgin America will add flights in Dallas. Photo: Virgin America.

Virgin America will add flights in Dallas. Photo: Virgin America.

Virgin America is branching out from San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The airline announced today that it wants to add 18 new flights from Dallas Love Field. For now, Virgin doesn’t have any gates at the airport, which is considerably closer to downtown Dallas than the much larger Dallas-Forth Worth International Airport, but it wants to acquire from American, which is required by the Justice Department to give its gates up. (Delta wants the gates as well. So does Southwest.)

In October, the federal government will lift long-time restrictions on which destinations can be served by large jets from Love Field. Competitor Southwest Airlines, which already has some gates at Love Field, previously announced its proposed Love Field schedule.

Here’s what Virgin America plans from Dallas. It’s notable because Virgin America has been, since is founding in 2007, a California airline, with just about every flight, touching San Francisco or Los Angeles.

  • DAL to New York (LGA) (four roundtrip flights a day).
  • DAL to Washington (DCA) (four roundtrip flights a day).
  • DAL to LAX (three roundtrip flights a day, expanding to four in 2015).
  • DAL to San Francisco (SFO) (three roundtrip flights a day, expanding to four in 2015).
  • Virgin America also would add two roundtrip flights a day from DAL to Chicago O’Hare in early 2015.

I know many of my readers are incredibly knowledgeable abut the airline industry. So I ask you this question: Will Virgin’s Dallas experiment work?

Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

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