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Feb 21st
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Home Travel Western Travel Buzz Latest News, Deals & Savings for Feb. 2

Latest News, Deals & Savings for Feb. 2

This week: Virgin America announces service between San Francisco and Orange County, JetBlue to Expand With Flights to Los Angeles, Monterey Bay Aquarium to show ‘Secret Lives of Seahorses”

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Virgin America to Begin Service to John Wayne Airport

Virgin America, the California-based airline that says it is reinventing domestic air travel, will begin service to Orange County's John Wayne Airport (SNA) from San Francisco beginning on April 30.

Virgin America plans to fly five daily flights from its home base at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to SNA, with low introductory fares starting at $59; some conditions apply. SNA will be the ninth destination airport in the airline's growing network.

"As the only airline headquartered in California, Orange County is an enormously important travel market for us. We couldn't be more pleased to be partnering with John Wayne Airport to bring our unique, award-winning service to the region," said Virgin America President and CEO David Cush. "With low fares and new planes that offer a totally different flying experience, from cabin moodlighting to touch-screen seatback entertainment, we think our service is a perfect match for Orange County's discriminating travelers."

Tickets are now on sale on Virgin America's web site (
www.virginamerica.com) and by calling (877) 359-8474.

SFO-SNA one way fares start from $59 in Main Cabin, $145 in the carrier's new Main Cabin Select premium service, and from $209 in the First Class cabin (some conditions apply). Virgin America will also offer connecting flights from SNA to Seattle (SEA), Boston (BOS), New York (JFK) and Washington Dulles (IAD).

"We're pleased to welcome Virgin America to Orange County," said SNA Airport Director Alan Murphy. "Competition brings more options for travelers, and we think Virgin America's competitive fares and fun, innovative in-flight amenities will be a popular choice for our visitors and residents."

Launched in August 2007, Virgin America has won a list of travel industry awards including "Best Domestic Airline" in Conde Nast Traveler's 2008 Readers' Choice Awards and in Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards. Virgin America's brand new Airbus A320-family fleet is one of the most fuel efficient and quiet in the U.S.

For more information visit the web site at

JetBlue to Expand With New Service to Los Angeles

JetBlue Airways said it plans to further strengthen its commitment to Southern California by bringing premium low-fare service to Los Angeles International Airport beginning June 18. LAX will be JetBlue's third Los Angeles-area airport, and the 55th destination in the airline's growing route network.

JetBlue will kick off its LAX service from the airport's Terminal 6 with two daily nonstop flights to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and two daily flights to Boston's Logan International Airport, further establishing JetBlue as the leading airline between the East and West Coasts, the airline said.

"Here at JetBlue, we've long had our eye on LAX, and this summer we're thrilled to finally be making our debut there," said Robin Hayes, JetBlue's Chief Commercial Officer. "Last year, when we postponed plans to serve LAX, increasing fuel costs made launching a new destination prohibitively expensive. Fuel prices have now reduced and we continue to get overwhelming requests from our customers to serve this market.

"Clearly, the time is right for JetBlue to enter LAX," he added. "Together with our existing flights from Burbank and Long Beach, JetBlue has the L.A. Basin covered with its award winning service. No matter where you live, or which airport you prefer to use, JetBlue has a convenient option for you."

In addition to new LAX-East Coast flights, JetBlue will continue to offer service to Boston, New York and other top destinations from its West Coast focus city at Long Beach Airport, conveniently located between L.A. and Orange County.

JetBlue also jets daily from Burbank's Bob Hope Airport, an easy option for Hollywood and San Fernando Valley travelers, to New York and Las Vegas. JetBlue is a key supporter of efforts to regionalize the L.A. air travel market and is proud to be the only airline to offer transcontinental flights from Burbank and Long Beach Airports.

For more information, visit the airline's web site at www.jetblue.com

Monterey Bay Aquarium To Show ‘Secret Lives Of Seahorses'

Seahorses have been celebrated in art, literature and mythology for centuries, so you'd think we know a lot about them. In "The Secret Lives of Seahorses," the Monterey Bay Aquarium's new special exhibition, visitors will discover that nothing could be further from the truth.

Beginning April 6, more than 15 species of seahorses, sea dragons, pipehorses and pipefish will beckon visitors into the elusive world of these charismatic creatures. The Secret Lives of Seahorses highlights the varied habitats in which seahorses and their relatives live, and shares important stories about the threats they face in the wild.

"Seahorses are wonderful ambassadors for ocean conservation because they live in the most endangered habitats in the world - coral reefs, sea grass beds and mangrove forests," said Ava Ferguson, senior exhibit developer for exhibit. "When you save a seahorse, you also save some of Earth's most precious marine habitats."

Of the 34 known seahorse species, eight are listed as threatened to some degree on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) "Red List." As the world focuses on going green, the aquarium notes that several factors are contributing to the decline of seahorse populations worldwide: loss of coral reefs and coastal habitats where they live, harmful fishing practices in which seahorses are accidentally killed as bycatch, and the excessive collecting of seahorses for the curio trade and for use in traditional medicines.

The Secret Lives of Seahorses is included with regular aquarium admission of $29.95 adult; $27.95 senior (65+) and student (full-time college, with I.D.); and $17.95 children 3-12 and the disabled (2009 prices). Children under 3 are admitted free of charge. Discounted tickets for members of the military and their families can be purchased in advance at many California and Nevada installations.

The aquarium is located on historic Cannery Row in Monterey. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and in summer and major holiday periods from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (closed Christmas Day). Summer hours include extended weekend hours, from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

More information about "The Secret Lives of Seahorses" and the aquarium in general is available online at
www.montereybayaquarium.org or by calling (831) 648-4888. Advance tickets can be purchased online or by phone from the aquarium at (800) 756-3737. Seasonal specials, details about special events and programs, family activities and live web cams can all be found online.