SI360 and Virgin America

Guiding an upstart airline through a website rebuild that reimagined the travel booking experience.


When Virgin America (VA) launched operations in 2007, it threw out the old playbook for new airlines entering the market. VA established itself almost immediately as the nation’s most forward-thinking carrier based on its superior technology as well as its unique business and marketing strategies.

These things accelerated VA’s evolution from startup to major airline. As a result, the company needed to update its website to ensure the user experience matched the flying experience. From the outset, it knew that data analytics would be key to informing the platform’s design.


VA’s existing partnership with Strategic Insights 360 and confidence in its analytics expertise led to our team being tasked with guiding VA through this undertaking. We immediately put our depth of experience in the travel industry to work to address the intricacies of high-volume airline websites created by features such as real-time flight status, a complex passenger check-in process, and loyalty programs.

In particular, the booking process needed to be optimized if VA were to become a flyer favorite. To do this, we needed to analyze the customer journey. This included navigational preferences, areas of friction and other pain points, and overall transaction experience. Understanding how consumers engaged with the site gave us the critical data we needed to guide VA’s design team as it built out a more intuitive booking flow for the new platform.


Similar to how its cabins redefined the standards for air travel, VA’s new website redefined the standards for air travel booking. The world’s first responsive airline website received near-universal praise from reputable media outlets such as WIRED, Fast Company, and Forrester due to its simplified, customer-centric experience.

It was this experience that led to an increase of 14{5dc024b857bfab66bc32fa1c96d7ed8b7c8f021ba9ca0c555ab5084ea9acde95} in website conversion rate, setting up VA for a 2014 IPO that saw the company’s stock increase by 25{5dc024b857bfab66bc32fa1c96d7ed8b7c8f021ba9ca0c555ab5084ea9acde95} out of the gate. Up through its sale to Alaska Airlines two years later, VA was widely regarded by consumer-ratings agencies as the best airline in North America.

“Strategic Insights 360 is a cutting-edge web analytics consultancy built specifically to meet the complex demands in the age of digital data.”

– Carol Burckhardt, Director of Digital Marketing and Analytics, Virgin America .

“SI360’s professional background in business and finance, coupled with analytics expertise, provided an applicable approach that is desperately needed. They didn’t just give us a new way to think about our analytics, but gave us a new perspective on our business.”

-Scott Jensen, Sr. Director Strategic Initiatives, Extra Space Storage

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