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While Alaska’s takeover of Virgin America closed in December 2016, it was only last week that Virgin America formally ceased to exist. On April 24 the last flight was operated using a Virgin America flight number. Since that date, all flights use Alaska flight numbers, meaning the Virgin America brand is officially dead.
Now when you board a Virgin America flight you’ll be welcomed aboard Alaska Airlines. Obviously this news makes a lot of Virgin America loyalists sad, given what a unique brand they were. There are some positive aspects to this, though. For example, as of last week Alaska Mileage Plan elite members can receive complimentary first class upgrades on Virgin America planes, which weren’t previously offered.
Historically Alaska and Virgin America have offered very different first class experiences, though the plan is for Virgin America’s first class seats to eventually be eliminated, in favor of Alaska’s first class product. So Virgin America will lose their edge with first class, though on the plus side it’s already possible to get elite upgrades on them.
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