Barring the highly unlikely possibility of a successful anti-merger lawsuit, Virgin America’s future is as a footnote to the history of commercial aviation: the innovative, highly popular carrier whose spark was extinguished when Alaska Airlines purchased them and consolidated the two airlines’ operations, erasing any traces of Virgin’s outsize personality.
Between now and Virgin’s eventual homogenization, the airline’s fans have a couple of opportunities to rack up bonus points in the Elevate program. Those points will eventually be converted, presumably 1:1, into miles in Alaska’s Mileage Plan program. There are worse fates—Mileage Plan is one of the best of the larger airline loyalty programs.
First, as reported here, Elevate members can earn an easy 500 bonus points by signing up to receive email announcements of new Virgin Hotel openings and promotions.
And now, hard on the heels of that offer, Virgin America has announced yet another 500-point bonus, this one for signing up to receive email updates on Virgin Sport, Richard Branson’s athletic-event company that aims to “change the health and wellness game for good.”
As with the hotels bonus, the deadline to earn the Virgin Sport bonus is September 30.
The common thread here, of course, is the connection to Virgin Group companies. Once Virgin America is folded into Alaska Airlines, that link will be severed, yet another casualty of the merger. A footnote to the footnote.
Reader Reality Check
Are you resigned to a travel world with no Virgin America?
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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.