Virgin America Landing on AA's Home Turf

By Susy Solis
|  Tuesday, Nov 30, 2010  |  Updated 12:48 AM CDT
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Virgin Airlines is flying into <a title=DFW Airport, and American Airlines is fighting back with matching fares and double miles for loyal customers." />

Susy Solis, NBCDFW.com

Virgin Airlines is flying into DFW Airport, and American Airlines is fighting back with matching fares and double miles for loyal customers.

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American Airlines is getting some competition.

Virgin Airlines begins service from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to Los Angeles on Wednesday and to San Francisco on Dec. 6.

For travelers heading to those West Coast destinations, Virgin America's arrival means good bargains are available.

Meanwhile, American Airlines launched a new promotion to match fares and double miles for AAdvantage Members heading to Los Angeles and San Francisco. The company also plans to launch "15 days of Giveways" starting Wednesday that includes one-day Admirals Club passes, $100 AA Vacations coupons and 5,000 frequent flier miles.

"Virgin America has sort of an interesting product -- airbus cabin, mood lighting, leather seats, every seat has a plug -- so the last thing they want to do is have their long-term business customers that may fly several times a year defecting over to Virgin America," said Farecompare.com CEO Rick Seaney. "So loyalty points are a great way to keep people on the straight and narrow."

American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith said the Fort Worth-based carrier has been trying to amp up growth in its West Coast markets -- specifically, Los Angeles -- for some time now. He said AA is aware of its new competition but said that 80 to 85 percent of its business is competing with low-cost carriers.

"I think initially it won't be huge competition because the frequency of flights just isn't there yet," Seaney said.

But even loyal American Airlines customers say the right price can lure them away.

"I could be convinced with low rates, low fares," AAdvantage member Rob Viohl said.

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