Virgin America, God Among Airlines, Found Dead in Apparent Restructuring
Nothing gold can stay.
Or in this case, purple (we’ll miss you, mood lighting).
No one expected Alaska to keep the Virgin America brand alive, following the former’s acquisition of the latter last year. Hope dies hard, though, and while both airlines are popular, the VA brand was exceptionally strong. Turns out, though, that the big-wigs at Alaska didn’t want to set aside a whole buncha money in licensing fees to keep the name. So we bid adieu to:
- The mood lighting
- Those handy kiosks and very pleasing boarding passes
- The massive seat pitch in first class (from 55 inches, it’ll shrink to 41, so they can jam more seats in the cabin)
- Those good-looking uniforms
It’s not all bad news — it’s just mostly bad news. Alaska will offer free upgrades to empty first class seats, unlike Virgin (those first-class seats will just be markedly smaller). Alaska cabins will get a refresh (presumably to make them as good as the Virgin ones). Both airlines will get faster (read: non-GoGo) wifi, a move Virgin had begun but not had time to finish. And Alaska will get revamped lounges on the West Coast (Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles), plus new ones in New York and San Francisco.
Vae victus, folks: woe to the conquished.
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