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Hotel Parties / Richard Branson / Virgin America / DoubleTree Hotels / Chicago Hotels / Celeb Hotels / → All Tags
Last night in a terrifically rainy Chicago, Virgin top dog Richard Branson filled up theWit Hotel with VIPs and held court on the roofdeck, joined by celebrities just in on one of Virgin America's first flights to Chicago from LAX and SFO. We caught Tim Meadows in the elevator, Adrian Grenier shying away from cameras, and Creed Bratton from The Office chilling...just to name a few. Of course Creed was our absolute favorite spotting of the eve.
It was a motley bunch, but in true Virgin style. The purpose of the whole thing was to announce to the Windy City that Virgin America has finally begun flights here, after three straight years of battling it out with the legacy airlines. It's such a big deal, that the party to celebrate the flights' arrival was also a Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Wines affair. And it's rumored that Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel joined Branson in his suite for pow wow.
The two are promoting a fly-with-Virgin, stay-with-Morgans deal that gets you 20 percent off of both your flight and hotel room. And you don't need to jump through any hoops to get 'em.
VegasChatter / Jaunted / Virgin America / Contests / Rick Lax / → All Tags
Finding a hotel is often only one part of your trip. The other half is getting there. And our bro Jaunted does a bang-up job of covering the latest news and trends in the travel world. Out in Vegas, VegasChatter is keeping us informed on what's going down in Sin City.
· Attending CES? Here's how to win 2 ROUNDTRIP TICKETS on Virgin America
· Special Series: How Not to Get Screwed in Vegas
· What to Look Forward to in Vegas in 2011
· What we won't be looking forward to: Resort Fees
· Southwest Changes Its Rapid Rewards Program
· We Take Air New Zealand's New 'SkyCouch' for a Test Nap
· The Hottest Walking Tour in London Right Now is All About the Royal Wedding
· Jaunted 2010 Awards
While Virgin America snapped up boutique hotels from Morgans Hotels and JDV Hotels to participate in its frequent flyer program, Elevate, the airline has actually been partnered with Hilton Hotels HHonors program for quite some time, allowing guests to earn points just for sleeping at Hilton.
If you aren't an Elevate member, you should join now because from now through September 30 you can earn double Elevate points with every Hilton Hotel stay. And that includes all brands under the Hilton umbrella with the exception of Conrad Hotels. The points vary depending on the brand, but it's typically either 50 or 250 points per stay. Elevate members must request Elevate points at check-in along with their Elevate membership number.
Loyalty Program News / Joy of Life Club / JDV Hotels / Virgin America / Airline Loyalty Programs / Hotel News / → All Tags
Great news for all you Virgin America junkies. The California-based airline has partnered with California-based hotel chain Joie De Vivre Hotels to offer guests both frequent flyer points and Joy of Life points with every hotel stay until the end of the year.
Here's how it works: When you stay at a JDV Hotel, for every eligible $1 spent on the hotel room rate, you will earn one Elevate point (Virgin America's frequent flyer program) as well as one Joy of Life Club point, the hotel's own loyalty program. Then starting in 2011, members will have to designate which program they want to earn points for. (Given the amount of flying we do, we'll probably pick Elevate.)
Just remember, that "eligible" dollars do not include the following: Bookings made by an agent or third-party, such as tour operators, or bookings made via a third-party channels, including but not limited to, expedia.com, hotwire.com, orbtiz.com, and travelocity.com, group bookings, airline crew and/or contract rates, employee rates, complimentary rates, and friends and family rates.
Fortunately, JDV hotel rates are never that out of a budget's reach and they often have sales, specials, and advance booking deals to take advantage of.
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Hey you guys heading to Miami for the Winter Music Conference, and anyone who dreams of a weekend at The Delano: Virgin America, the low-cost, high-style airline that flies to LA, SF, NYC, Seattle, San Diego, Boston and DC has partnered up with Morgans Hotels to beef up their eleVAte frequent flyer program.
Beginning now and running through December 31, 2010, the partnership between the airline and Morgans Hotels will yield eleVAte members a sweet 1,000 points per stay, versus Virgin's current partnership with Hilton, which only credit between 250-50 points per stay. Reward flights on Virgin America start as low at 2,500 points, so you could really get a free short flight by staying three times at Morgans properties, without even having flown Virgin.
OMFG, while it's probably beneath the Housewives of Orange County to fly discounted airfares, for the record we'd still rather endure a six hour turbulent flight than have Vicki, Lynne or Gretchen even in the same airport as us. For now we're hopefully in the clear so long as there is no red carpet or paparazzi. You never know with Richard Branson though asVirgin America launched its high-tech, low-fare service to Orange County, California today.
If you've been keeping up over at Jaunted, you know that we recently went to Vegas for one night flying Virgin America's "Superfly" flight and taking the opportunity to stay at The Venetian. If OTT is your thing, then The Venetian is a stand out in a city that values excess above all else.
Walking into the multi-hued marble lobby, we walked into the main rotunda thinking this is what Venice could have looked like during the renaissance, pumped up on acid and ego. Our check-in was smooth and easy and we boarded the elevator taking us to our room on the 24th floor.
Celebrity Scoop / Jaunted / Hotel Parties / Hotel Nightclubs / Virgin America / Pamela Anderson / The Hills / → All Tags
Skip on over to Jaunted's Virgin America coverage now.
There to celebrate the airline's virgin flight from SFO to LVS was VA honcho Richard Branson, Carmen Electra (who looked sad), LC and Audrina from The Hills, Richard Branson and newlyweds Pamela Anderson and Rick "Scum" Salomon (her nickname for him, not ours.)
Also on hand were the Virgin America pixies who might be nice but they are pretty scary-looking in the pictures. Sadly, no one used the stripper pole except some poor dancers that VA hired and no one paid attention to. One day, that pole will be ours. Oh yes, it will be ours.
A HotelChatter Exclusive
If this hotel maven had not grown up in Norwalk, in Fairfield County, Connecticut, she may have never noticed that three pioneering travel companies call her one-time hometown home.
Virgin Atlantic's U.S. headquarters are based in this coastal town of nearly 90,000. Priceline and Kayak have their main offices in Norwalk, too.
Despite an influx of corporate offices over the years, Fairfield County remains more a bedroom community than commerce or, for that matter, leisure-travel central, with hotel selections far and few between.
Just where do these travel concerns, which collectively book hundreds if not thousands of people in hotels around the world every single day, put up their guests when they come to town?
Their answers after the jump.
Usually we leave the planes, trains and automobiles coverage to our pop-culture and travel-obsessed younger sibling, Jaunted.
However, today we wanted to let you know that Jaunted got an exclusive inside look at the jet fleet of Virgin America in San Francisco, set to launch this summer. For the rest of the week, Jaunted's fearless editor Davie will be chronicling what she learned inside the VA headquarters and dispensing a bit of a survival guide for meeting with a VA exec who she virtually beheaded purely for avatar fun.
Skip on over to Jaunted's Virgin America coverage now.