There was some good buzz recently in the aviation world with the purchase of Virgin America by the Alaska Air Group in December. The merger has created the 5th largest US carrier and things have been shaken up a bit. There have been some good and bad consequences of the Alaska-Virgin America merger.
There were some definite benefits of the merger including an automatic point bonus to those who had both loyalty programs at the time of the merger. They also have reduced the number of miles needed to fly on some flights as well.
However, there are some negative consequences of the merger. Before the merger loyalty members were able to credit points to Delta or American due to partnerships with the two airlines. Delta and Alaska have terminated their relationship altogether and benefits with American have been scaled back.
As was expected Alaska has decided to eliminate the Virgin name altogether – but is promising to uphold the good reputation it held. I haven’t flown Alaska (yet) but I did have a fantastic experience at the Alaska Lounge in LAX (part of the AMEX Platinum benefit). Alaska flies out of my local airport BWI – based on my excellent experience at their lounge, I will definitely give it a try in the near future!