Meet the fleet

A photo of Richard Branson holding guide lights on the ramp with a Virgin America plane in the background

One thing that sets us apart from other airlines is the fact that we’ve chosen a quirky moniker for each of our 53 beautiful planes. You may have noticed the names on the side of our aircraft if you’ve ever seen one of our planes up close from an airport window. Or maybe you’ve heard one of our InFlight Teammates announcing the name onboard one of our flights. If you’re Sir Richard Branson then you’ve seen quite a few from the runway and even the flight deck. Lucky!

We put together a few plane name stories for those of you who’ve wondered where all those names come from. Got a question about the history of one of our planes? Leave it in the comments below and we’ll do a little digging for you.

Our first aircraft was christened ‘jefferson airplane’ by none other than Grace Slick and we solicited the help of consumers, Boing Boing co-editors, and designer Jonathan Adler, to help name the next ten planes in our brand new fleet in June 2007. We received tens of thousands of submissions in the first ever “Name the Plane” contest resulting in some of our favorite names to date, including ‘fog cutter,’ ‘contents may be under pressure,’ ‘mach daddy’ and ‘virgin & tonic.’ ‘Unicorn chaser,’ as coined by Boing Boing co-editor Xeni Jardin, is a concept created by the Boing Boing team as an antidote to a blog post containing a disgusting or shocking image – similar to how flying Virgin America is an remedy to flying on some of our older and more worn-out competitors.

Oftentimes we’ll ask our teammates for their plane name suggestions – sometimes offering up a theme around a new destination or achievement to help shape their ideas. ‘¡VÁmonos!’ was named for our new Mexican destinations – and narrowly beat out names such as ‘catch me if you cancun’ and ‘puerto flyllarta’.

‘Mt. hoodie’ was a name submitted by our Facebook fans when we solicited their input on Portland-themed names to celebrate our impending launch into the City of Roses. The top five submissions – including the likes of ‘the flannel flyer’ and ‘i liked this plane before it went mainstream’ (a nod to Portland’s indie sub-culture) — were voted on by our teammates.

Some planes seem to just name themselves, as was the case with ‘#nerdbird’ – the first ever hashtag-named plane. This plane was affectionately coined by our tweeting SFO-BOS flyers.

Occasionally a plane name will be donated as an auction item to raise funds for Richard Branson’s foundation, Virgin Unite, at their annual Rock the Kasbah event. Names like ‘myles from connemara’ and ‘glitter girl’ have collectively contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars for worthy causes like Galactic Unite – which creates opportunities for young people in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Richard’s philanthropic endeavors are crux of his book, “Screw It, Let’s Do It” – which teammates chose to name our recent arrival after.

Our newest bird, Jersey Girl was named for our in honor of our daily nonstop service from the West Coast to Newark Liberty International Airport, our first destination in the Garden State. The big deal with Jersey Girl is that she’s got Sharklets, a blended winglet device that reduces drag and improves aircraft operational efficiency. We’ll be adding more sharklet equipped planes to the family before 2015 is out, just you wait! 😉

Below is our complete list of aircraft with registration number (the code on the back near the tail of a plane), its’ name, and aircraft type. Click on the registration# to be taken to photos loaded onto the top aviation geek photo site, Airliners.net, by amateur and professional aviation photographers. If you have your own, upload them there too.

Registration #

Name Aircraft

N521VA

let there be flight

A319

N522VA

the 1-year-old virgin

A319

N523VA

contents may be under pressure

A319

N524VA

dark horse

A319

N525VA

virgin & tonic

A319

N526VA

jane

A319

N527VA

tubular belle

A319

N528VA

fog cutter

A319

N529VA

moodlights, camera, action

A319

N530VA

gogo dancer

A319

N621VA

air colbert

A320

N622VA

california dreaming A320
N623VA three if by air

A320

N624VA

fred, white & blue A320

N625VA

jefferson airplane

A320

N626VA unicorn chaser

A320

N627VA

runway angel A320
N628VA entourage air

A320

N629VA

midnight ride A320

N630VA

superfly

A320

N631VA chic mobile

A320

N632VA

youtube air A320
N633VA the tim clark express

A320

N634VA

mach daddy A320
N635VA my other ride is a spaceship

A320

N636VA

airplane 2.0 A320
N637VA an airplane named desire

A320

N638VA

san francisco pride A320
N639VA air drake

A320

N640VA

refresh air A320
N641VA dotcomsecrets air

A320

N642VA

breana jewel A320
N835VA arnold

A320

N836VA

spruce moose A320
N837VA air vh1

A320

N838VA

dfw one A320
N839VA myles from connemara

A320

N840VA

bytheway A320
N841VA #nerdbird

A320

N842VA

real steel A320
N843VA ¡VÃmonos!

A320

N844VA

sol plane A320
N845VA stay hungry, stay foolish

A320

N846VA

glitter girl A320
N847VA scarlett o’air

A320

N848VA

bellapierre A320
N849VA fly bye baby

A320

N851VA

Friends Of Arjay Miller A320
N852VA safady voyager

A320

N853VA

mt. hoodie A320
N854VA stand up flyer

A320

N855VA

screw it, let’s do it A320
N361VA jersey girl

A320

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