In what seemed like the inevitable following its acquisition of Virgin America last year, Alaska Airlines has decided to retire the Virgin America brand sometime in 2019 and operate all flights under the Alaska Airlines brand. Alaska has promised to maintain a number of elements that made Virgin America so popular with passengers, including a “modern, warm, and welcoming vibe.” As part of the phase out, the airline is planning a complete redesign, including new cabins, new seats, new music, and new staff uniforms. Alaska will also renovate its current lounges in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York JFK.
Last week, Alaska Airlines also announced a new partnership with Europe’s Condor Airlines, giving Mileage Plan members another option to accrue miles on flights to Europe. Condor is Germany’s third-largest airline and flies to Frankfurt and Munich from a number of US cities, as well as operating routes throughout Europe. Condor is known throughout Germany for its excellent customer service and modern fleet of Boeing 767 aircraft. Existing Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members can begin earning miles immediately, with award travel redemption beginning later this year.