Virgin America absorbed by Alaska Airlines
Virgin America is no more, and is expected to disappear completely by 2019.
Air Alaska has continued its rise as a mainstay of the USA flight scene, and following its acquisition of Virgin America is now the fifth largest airline in the country, after American, Delta, United and Southwest.
Virgin America was known for its value, while retaining the goal of making flights an enjoyable experience through enhanced in-flight entertainment, mood lighting and music, and you can still book Virgin America flights right now. Alaska Airlines is looking forward to retaining a lot of the same features, and the loyal customer base that's come to love it. The goal is to "create a warm and welcoming West Coast-inspired vibe", according to statements posted by the airlines.
To minimise disruption for customers, the transition will occur over time, but by 2019 the Virgin America name and logo will no longer be around, replaced entirely by Alaska Airlines. The end result is expected to be a much wider flight network, and many more domestic flights around the USA.
With the growing airline rewards programs it can be relatively straightforward to fly to the USA on points, at which point domestic flights can provide a much more efficient way of getting around than driving across the country. Alaska Airlines is a prominent carrier, and partners with a lot of other airline rewards networks, so you might expect growing convenience with more domestic flights in the future.
If you're planning a USA trip, it might be worth remembering that you may still be able to find a lot of the Virgin America amenities after 2019, even if the brand itself is no longer around.
- Flights of the Week: Hawaii, Berlin and South America
- Jetstar brings its virtual assistant “Jess” to Facebook Messenger
- Tigerair suspends Brisbane-Perth and Brisbane-Whitsunday Coast services
- Virgin Australia breaks new ground with pop-up check-in and baggage drop service
- Top countries to BYO alcohol