This week, Alaska Airlines announced that they will phase out Virgin America brand in 2019 after their successful acquisition. While I applaud Alaska management for the benefits available to their frequent flyers from this merger and while I also like Alaska brand and their mileage plan, I still can’t help but feel a bit sad to lose VX from the sky – and the airports.
If you ever fly domestically in the US, you will know how chaotic and sub-par the overall experience is on and off the ground. After going through the long lines for TSA security check, your patience will then be tested with unpleasant crews (more often than not), aging & cramped planes, and bare minimum service (unless you’re willing to pay extra for anything). That’s not the case with VX.
I’ve only taken several flights with VX but those were enough to convince me that they deserve their Most Favourite/Best Airline in North America title. For one, you know you’re in a VX plane as soon as you board one: the mood lighting, the big, white seats in front, and the purple, semi transparent divider between cabin sections. Actually, I think the whole VX experience starts when you book your flight through their website. The layout and user interface is so unique (and may I say, hip?) that you will never mistake it for another airline’s. I’m not a marketing expert but I dare say the marketing team at VX was successful in building a distinct and strong airline brand.
Back onboard the plane, VX have a very catchy pre-flight safety announcement and the most extensive complimentary in-flight entertainment options in domestic US. Their main cabin seat pitch is similar to or better than most of their competitors (the standard economy seats, not the ones reserved to elite frequent flyers or those with extra money to spend), and what’s more, the crews seem to like their job and their customers. VX may not have the most extensive route network or the best premium cabin offering in their trans-continental flight but you are almost guaranteed a great flying experience with them.
They say all good things come to an end, and we’re nearing the end for Virgin America. Hopefully, Alaska will be able to build an even better customer experience with this merger and further differentiate themselves from the legacy carriers. When that comes true, I look forward to have my next ‘wow’ experience in the sky.