Frequent flyers on Virgin America and Alaska now have some insight into how their loyalty programs will coexist in early 2017. But there's much more to learn about how the joint operation will soon look.
WHAT TO KNOW NOW
The puzzle pieces are all starting to come together for Alaska Air Group and Virgin America. Last week the two carriers finalized their union, launched DifferentWorks, a merger landing page, and unveiled a custom 737 with joint branding before a packed event at SFO.
Like in the Marriott-Starwood merger, the carriers’ first move was to sync rewards programs and retain loyalty. Starting today, members of Elevate and Mileage Plan can earn miles on Alaska and Virgin America respectively; next year, that relationship will expand to award tickets, while the carriers also just announced a conversion ratio when transferring points across accounts.
The carriers are still mum on what the joint product will look like, but according to Skift’s Brian Sumers, those changes may come slowly. In the meantime, enjoy those fancy cabins and in-flight entertainment.
SOCIAL QUOTE OF THE DAY
The Alaska “More to Love” plane sat grounded with new livery for a month+. Yet it still has the old seat configuration. ? #DifferentWorks
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Photo credit: Alaska Airlines President and CEO Brad Tilden at the airline's corporate headquarters in Seattle. Alaska's acquisition of Virgin America has cleared regulatory hurdles. Ted S. Warren / Associated Press