Just when you though Alaska Airlines couldn’t possible have another goodie to offer up to their new customers from the Virgin America acquisition, they again have another benefit that the airline is giving away gratis. MVP status.
Well the goodies just keep coming from Alaska, although some members aren’t happy with the pace that there being rolled out. For the record this integration is taking place at lighting speed as compared to ones of the past, and less than a month after the acquisition closed several announcements and changes have taken place for Alaska Airlines and Virgin America flyers.
Virgin America until recently had a very generous status match program for its Elevate loyalty program. The match had been available on and off for a number of years, and was frequently covered and discussed in the frequently flyer community. In April it was announced that Alaska Airlines would be acquiring Virgin America and it was speculated that the opportunity for a status match with Virgin America would disappear – which it did later in the fall of 2016. If you look for the challenge on the Virgin America website now the message is:
“We like your thinking. Unfortunately we are longer accepting status match applications for 2016. Please check back in 2017 for some exciting changes.”
Being based out of a secondary market like Sacramento means that you usually are going to connect to wherever you’re going. There are a handful of directs, but at the end of the day it’s a connection (or two) for most of your travels. One of my favorite airports to connect through is Los Angeles International Airport. People love to hate LAX, but in my twisted view of reality I enjoy the sea of humanity that is constantly trying to get into and out of the iconic location.
One of my favorite tricks is to overnight at this airport when flying a transcontinental to the east coast. I’ll typically come in the evening before and try to get out early the next day. This gives me a few things. A rested evening before a day of travel. An earlier arrival into the east coast. The chance to enjoy a true business class seat when traveling across the county. An opportunity to pick up a Hyatt stay toward my Diamond status. All wins again in my twisted view.
Susan, the girls and myself are spending New Year’s Eve in Boston this year. It’s not same as visiting Scott in New York last year, but we’re having a great time no less.
I’m not much of a New Year’s resolution kind of guy. If something is a good idea to do, why wait until the end of the year or January 1st to start doing it. Start when you’re ready regardless if it’s January, February, September – it’s all the same with no time better than the present. Having stated this, the end of the year is a good time to reflect on the past year and what’s going on ahead in the next year.
Surf Air is the California regional airline that sells an all you can fly memberships for $1950 per month. They started up over three years ago and in this short time span have had an interesting history. Until now the model has been a “member’s only” airline with an all you can fly approach for a single monthly fee. Their fleet is a single type aircraft that uses the Pilatus PC-12, which seats a total of 8 passengers.
When my family decided to visit Yellowstone we all knew it was going to be incredible, but again, we didn’t really understand how incredible it is. The landscape and features are very unusual and breathtaking. The National Park Service makes much of the park accessible, and that is fortunate because there is so much to see.
After a wonderful stay at Old Faithful Inn we packed our bags and drove to West Yellowstone Airport. Our returning flight again was on Delta as Sky West operates this flight as a Delta Connection flight. The weather was clear when we first arrived at the airport, but shortly after arriving the sky turned dark and it began to rain.
The dust has settled on the first day of the Alaska Airlines and Virgin America integration, and the speed of that integration is even faster than it first appeared. On December 14th we learned that the deal had closed and that on December 19th several nice program benefits would be shared between Alaska’s Mileage Plan and Virgin America’s Elevate program, which I covered in this post. On top of this news we also learned that miles flown on Virgin America counted as Alaska Elite Miles, and would be accrued toward Alaska Elite status as of December 19th. That again, is very fast in the airline merger universe.