3 Things to Know About the Future of Alaska Airlines and Virgin America

The new First Class look.

The new First Class look.

While the Virgin America name is set to retire sometime in 2019, Alaska is making a promise to infuse the amazing elements of the Virgin America brand into the Alaska experience, bringing a warm and welcoming airline with a West Coat vibe.

Here’s a few things to expect:

So much fun:

That fun, refreshing vibe is only going to get better, with newly redesigned cabin interiors, mood lighting, music and stylish designer uniforms.

Better connectivity:

More reliable Wi-Fi will be rolling in starting Fall 2018, and Free ChatTM for Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and iMessage (already available on Alaska plans), will be on Virgin America planes this August. Oh, and did we mention there will be 200+ free premium movies and TV shows available to stream on your devices?

More lounging:

You’ll see new Alaska lounges in San Francisco and New York (JFK), as well as a revamp to existing lounges in Seattle, Portland and LA.

More routes:

We've seen new routes from both Alaska and Virgin America since the official merger in December 2016, but Alaska broke company history last month by announcing 21 new markets with 25 new daily departures out of San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles and San Jose, California.

More perks + rewards:

In 2018, the Alaska Mileage Plan will be the loyalty program for both airlines and is still the only major airline loyalty program that rewards a mile flown with a mile earned. Benefits include complimentary upgrades, award travel starting at 5,000 miles one-way (plus taxes and fees) and a faster path to elite status compared to other airlines. Free upgrades to First Class or Premium class have historically been awarded 75% of the time to Mileage Plan MVP Golds and above on Alaska Airlines flights, and complimentary upgrades on Airbus flights will debut for the first time ever in late 2018 – a brand-new perk for Virgin America elites.

Our take? We are big fans of any brand aiming to make the travel experience more enjoyable!