U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Monday announced that new nonstop flights will be available from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) to four cities that, because of distance, had earlier been ineligible for nonstop service.
The U.S. Department of Transportation selected Alaska Airlines for service to Portland, Ore.; JetBlue Airways for San Juan, Puerto Rico; Southwest Airlines for Austin, Texas; and Virgin America for San Francisco. This is Virgin America’s first service at Reagan National. The other carriers currently have only limited service at the airport. Each city will receive one new nonstop roundtrip per day.
“These new flights will provide convenient nonstop service to our nation’s capital for travelers from four major cities,” Secretary LaHood said. “The flights will increase competition for airlines serving Washington, which can lead to lower fares for consumers.”
Ernest Hopkins, legislative director for San Francisco AIDS Foundation, applauds the new flights. Hopkins maintains residences in D.C. and San Francisco, and he often flies Virgin American from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Dulles International Airport (IAD).
"It is great to have the additional options, and I welcome the convenience of not having to fly to Dulles," said Hopkins.
Portland, San Juan, Austin and San Francisco rank among the top destinations for gay travel. In addition, Alaska , JetBlue , Southwest and Virginia America received near perfect ratings in the Human Rights Campaign's 2012 Corporate Equality Index.