Virgin America Announces End Date For Airline Partners

Earlier this year Alaska Airlines announced the wind down process for the Virgin America brand, as well as their loyalty program called Elevate. One of the items that was clearly communicated in this announcement was the actual end date for the Elevate program, December 31st, 2017. At that time Elevate would be ended, and all existing Elevate members would be converted into the Alaska Airlines Mileage Program.

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Virgin America A321neo Inaugural Flight

Today Virgin America operated the first revenue inaugural flight of the Airbus A321neo aircraft. Flight VX1 took off from San Francisco at 8:00am PDT and landed five hours later at Washington D.C.’s Regan Airport. The occasion was celebrated by both Airbus and Virgin America with cake and balloons at the gate, and commemorative pins and key chains handed out during the flight. The A321neo is Airbus’s newest version of their popular A320 family of aircraft. Virgin America was the worldwide launch airline carrier for the new aircraft produced by Airbus.

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Austrian Airlines Business Class: One Delicious Flight!

I thought that skiing in Verbier would be the only highlight of a trip to Switzerland last January. Austrian Airlines #89 Business Class from Vienna to Newark proved that assumption wrong – but not for the reason you might think.

My Austrian Airlines #89 Boeing 767 after landing in Newark

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Fairmont Signature Visa by Chase Update

Earlier this year Chase discontinued their Fairmont Signature Visa card and it was reported by William Charles at the Doctor of Credit site. I also wrote a quick post on the subject with a link to a still working application page.

I’ve stayed at a couple Fairmont’s including the Empress in Victoria and Le Château Frontenac in Québec City, both of which are wonderful. I’ve been interested in this card for a while and assumed I would get it later, after running through my last year of higher end status with Hyatt.

Realizing this opportunity might already be gone, I used the active link and applied immediately for the card for both Susan and myself. Susan was approved immediately, and then I was after a review. Three weeks later we received our welcome kits in the mail. One of the nice things about these cards is that they don’t fall under Chase’s 5/24 rule, and so my activity for the last 24 months didn’t preclude myself from picking up the card.

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Final Evening At The Loft, May 10th 2017

I’m writing this post from The Loft, Virgin America’s lounge at LAX Terminal 3 on the night of May 10th. Tonight is the last night for this lounge to be open, and I happen to be flying into LAX this evening. Normally I would go directly from the airport to my go-to hotel at LAX, The Hyatt Regency. But since the club is closing I decided to stop by and pay one final visit, on the final evening of, Virgin America’s only lounge.

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Delta Sky Club at Nashville: A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock n’ Roll

Nashville, one of the many jewels embedded in the fabric of the southern United States, is all about music. Everyone there talks about music and the music business. It was quoted to me that over 20,000 live music acts take place there every year. That is more than two every hour, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Although it is growing rapidly, Nashville is still on the small side with a population of under 700,000. The small size and energy is mirrored perfectly by Delta’s one and only Sky Club at Nashville International Airport (BNA).

True to Nashville Artwork

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Virgin America To Launch Airbus a321neo Late May

Airbus a321neo (by Airbus)

Virgin America is planning to launch its first flight of the Airbus a321neo aircraft on May 31st, 2017 on its San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Washington’s Regan National Airport (DCA). The airline has had orders on the Airbus a321neo since 2010, well before any plans of a merger with Alaska Airlines. Alaska Airlines is an all-Boeing fleet (except for the smaller Embraer E175s run under Horizon Air). Virgin America by contrast is an all Airbus fleet.

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Update On My Plan For Airline Elite Status

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about elite status, and what my strategy and plans are for airline frequent flying. I’ve held elite status with Delta for many years including both Diamond and Platinum levels. I still enjoy flying with Delta, and operationally the airline is very good. I also find the Delta front line employees to be some of the best. They genuinely enjoy their jobs, and most of the time I see it reflected in my interactions with them.

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