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werdywerd
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Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:03 pm

Alaska Air will announce its updated branding plan moving forward after the VX acquisition tomorrow. Any rumors or ideas of what they will announce?

My belief is that they will keep VX separate but close. Meaning Different airline name (Virgin is trademarked) and perhaps different livery. A more "Hip" Version of Alaska if you will.

Thoughts?
 
slcdeltarumd11
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:15 pm

Alaska Virgin Airlines..........poor Chester

They need to do something to bring them closer to one airline, no? Maybe Alaska airlines and Alaska America airlines on those routes ? The Alaska name I think has way more knowledge to the public. Keeping totally separate seems unheard of and weird.
 
PlanesNTrains
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:17 pm

I think it will be Alaska Airlines. Period. I think the Virgin brand disappears.

To me, the key question is what is done with the First Class experience? Aside from that, the rest is probably not critical.
-Dave


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toobz
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:20 pm

I'm pretty sure that AS has confirmed that they are doing away with the brand. I'm understanding that AS may incorporate some service enhancements from the VX brand though. I guess we will be finding out soon!
 
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intotheair
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:29 pm

PlanesNTrains wrote:
I think it will be Alaska Airlines. Period. I think the Virgin brand disappears.

To me, the key question is what is done with the First Class experience? Aside from that, the rest is probably not critical.


My money is on this too. There's really not much incentive for Alaska to dilute its own brand and confuse customers with any sort of half-baked Alaska-Virgin combination. I think the airline going forward will be all Alaska with some brand and product improvements to make Alaska more competitive and feel as "hip" as VX is/was. Maybe even a little bit of red and purple added into the visual mix, not unlike how AT&T still uses lots of orange in its branding years after the Cingular deal.
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lowfareair
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:37 pm

intotheair wrote:
PlanesNTrains wrote:
I think it will be Alaska Airlines. Period. I think the Virgin brand disappears.

To me, the key question is what is done with the First Class experience? Aside from that, the rest is probably not critical.


My money is on this too. There's really not much incentive for Alaska to dilute its own brand and confuse customers with any sort of half-baked Alaska-Virgin combination. I think the airline going forward will be all Alaska with some brand and product improvements to make Alaska more competitive and feel as "hip" as VX is/was. Maybe even a little bit of red and purple added into the visual mix, not unlike how AT&T still uses lots of orange in its branding years after the Cingular deal.


Thirded. I doubt that we will see Virgin branding long-term, with the sole possibility being something on the high-yield transcons, similar to the 'United p.s. service' on UA's premium transcon routes. I doubt they would use the Virgin brand solely on that, but I could see something with the upgraded first class keeping a 'Virgin on Alaska' style name.
 
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redzeppelin
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:44 pm

I still have some questions about the acquisition deal. It mostly comes down to this: Who owns the "Virgin" name, and what sort of non-compete clauses exist between Alaska and the Virgin Group?
Are these questions clearly answered in any public sources?
  • Did the acquisition of VX give Alaska perpetual rights to the Virgin America name?
  • Do they have to pay any licensing fees to the Virgin Group?
  • Do they pay those fees even if they don't use the name?
  • If they don't use the name, can the Virgin Group license it to another airline?
  • Can the Virgin name ever be licensed to another carrier in the USA? (Like a hypothetical future "Virgin Hawaii.")
  • Are there set geographic and/or chronological limits within which Alaska and the Virgin Group may use the name in the future? (For example, a clause that restricts any new "Virgin" branded carriers in North or South America for at least 15 years without Alaska approval, sort of thing...)
 
PlanesNTrains
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:45 pm

The primary issue is that I don't think the Virgin branding comes for free, so you're either all-in or all-out. Is it worth it to pay licensing for some passive Virgin brand usage? Doubtful. Fortunately, the color red can be used however they like.
Last edited by PlanesNTrains on Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
-Dave


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EA CO AS
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:45 pm

Respectfully, all AAG employees have been asked to not share any of the details until the embargo is lifted at 5am PDT tomorrow. Stay tuned!
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
PlanesNTrains
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:46 pm

EA CO AS wrote:
Respectfully, all AAG employees have been asked to not share any of the details until the embargo is lifted at 5am PDT tomorrow. Stay tuned!


Setting alarm clock now. :-)
-Dave


MAX’d out on MAX threads. If you are starting a thread, and it’s about the MAX - stop. There’s already a thread that covers it.
 
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intotheair
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:46 pm

lowfareair wrote:
Thirded. I doubt that we will see Virgin branding long-term, with the sole possibility being something on the high-yield transcons, similar to the 'United p.s. service' on UA's premium transcon routes. I doubt they would use the Virgin brand solely on that, but I could see something with the upgraded first class keeping a 'Virgin on Alaska' style name.


No, what I'm saying is that I find it unlikely the Virgin brand will stick around in any form in any sort of Alaska product. What's the reason for it beyond confusing customers and delaying market penetration of the Alaska brand among VX customers? Why keep around the Virgin brand when it has much more historical and higher profile connections with VS, which is more or less an airline now completely unassociated with VX and half-owned by AS' existential enemy at SEA?

I think AS will do something with the transcon and F product because they will need to in order to stay competitive. Even VX's current F product is looking a little 2007. I bet they will do something interesting with the marketing of it. But I see no upside for AS or any reason why the Virgin brand should linger on any longer than it needs to.
Last edited by intotheair on Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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b6sea
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:49 pm

Maybe I'm misremembering this, but didn't they already confirm that they're going with the single Alaska Airlines brand? It seems to me this is more likely to be an announcement about what portions, if any, of the Virgin brand (onboard product, etc) they plan on incorporating into the Alaska brand. I could be totally off-base here though.
 
PlanesNTrains
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:52 pm

b6sea wrote:
Maybe I'm misremembering this, but didn't they already confirm that they're going with the single Alaska Airlines brand? It seems to me this is more likely to be an announcement about what portions, if any, of the Virgin brand (onboard product, etc) they plan on incorporating into the Alaska brand. I could be totally off-base here though.


Well, it was either an announcement, a pronouncement, or something written on here by AS folks, but regardless, yes, that's what I recall as well.
-Dave


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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:27 pm

Crossfleeting is part of this, IMHO.
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:49 pm

As I see it, there are three options.

Option 1. Drop Virgin America brand and consolidate under Alaska name
Pros:
- less confusing for flying public
- cheaper as not paying royalties to the Virgin Group for use of the name
- maintains strong Alaska identity and brand goodwill
- lower marketing costs cf maintaining two brands
- able to consolidate fleet/cross-fleet
Cons:
- loss of 'cool and groovy' VX image (although incorporation of some VX amenities into AS would alleviate this)

Option 2: Drop Alaska brand and keep Virgin America brand
Pros:
- less confusing for flying public
- lower marketing costs cf maintaining two brands
- maintains VX 'cool and groovy' identity and brand goodwill
- able to consolidate fleet/cross-fleet
Cons:
- loss of very strong AS image (this is a huge con in my view - bigger than the con for option 1)
- still liable to Virgin Group for rights to use Virgin name

Option 3: Maintain both brands
Pros:
- maintains strong Alaska identity and brand goodwill
- maintains VX 'cool and groovy' identity and brand goodwill
Cons:
- still liable to Virgin Group for rights to use Virgin name
- confusion for the flying public
- makes cross-fleeting difficult and expensive
- expense of running two separate marketing and brand channels

I think, on balance, Option 1 is the winner. Shall we place bets?
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winginit
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:10 pm

PlanesNTrains wrote:
I think it will be Alaska Airlines. Period. I think the Virgin brand disappears.


Fourthd...

This was an acquisition - not a merger. There is no new corporate entity and thus there is no need to have a new corporate identity.
 
32andBelow
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:17 pm

My prediction is they will keep AS and slap a dab of red into the new tail logo and throughout the onboard product.
 
coolian2
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:29 pm

Rename VX to "Redwood", use a red version of the AS livery with something appropriate on the tail - done.

But it won't happen that way.
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:33 pm

I think they will create a new FC that either is called Redwood or Red and implement some of VX's "cool" features. I can't foresee any red being added to the livery or anything external because the new AS livery was just solidifed and the colors work great. The interior pieces are certainly more "redable".
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:36 pm

Virgin Alaska :stirthepot:

I can see some kind of IAG style set up where the brands are separate, bUT every single other aspect is integrated including seniority. They'll probably shift the focus of VX east to keep the intraCalifornia flying under the AS brand.
When wasn't America great?


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PlanesNTrains
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:12 pm

vhtje wrote:
As I see it, there are three options.

Option 1. Drop Virgin America brand and consolidate under Alaska name
Pros:
- less confusing for flying public
- cheaper as not paying royalties to the Virgin Group for use of the name
- maintains strong Alaska identity and brand goodwill
- lower marketing costs cf maintaining two brands
- able to consolidate fleet/cross-fleet
Cons:
- loss of 'cool and groovy' VX image (although incorporation of some VX amenities into AS would alleviate this)

Option 2: Drop Alaska brand and keep Virgin America brand
Pros:
- less confusing for flying public
- lower marketing costs cf maintaining two brands
- maintains VX 'cool and groovy' identity and brand goodwill
- able to consolidate fleet/cross-fleet
Cons:
- loss of very strong AS image (this is a huge con in my view - bigger than the con for option 1)
- still liable to Virgin Group for rights to use Virgin name

Option 3: Maintain both brands
Pros:
- maintains strong Alaska identity and brand goodwill
- maintains VX 'cool and groovy' identity and brand goodwill
Cons:
- still liable to Virgin Group for rights to use Virgin name
- confusion for the flying public
- makes cross-fleeting difficult and expensive
- expense of running two separate marketing and brand channels

I think, on balance, Option 1 is the winner. Shall we place bets?


I think to a large degree it was already decided that Option 1 was what was happening, though again it is probably not anything on official releases yet. It really comes down to things like incorporating elements of VX (as you alluded to in your "con" for Option 1). Cross-fleeting, fleet planning, etc are also in play but may not be as integral to the branding announcement.
-Dave


MAX’d out on MAX threads. If you are starting a thread, and it’s about the MAX - stop. There’s already a thread that covers it.
 
flyguy84
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:34 pm

In the coming days Alaska Airlines will hold a press conference and events that’ll unveil their new “brand identity” as they work toward integrating Virgin America into their system and product. Here’s a sneak peak at what you can expect:

The new company’s name will remain Alaska Airlines
Virgin America planes will increase 8 first class seats to 12, though it’ll be a new seat
Rumor is the new seat may not be motorized

The seat pitch in first class will decrease from 55″ to 41″
The leases on the Airbus aircraft don’t expire until 2020, so expect to see the VX planes until such time
Fleetwide new cabin interiors are planned, it seems to be “moodlighting” is the surviving aspect of Virgin America
In 2019 the Virgin America brand will vanish, and new uniforms will be unveiled
The RED InFlight Entertainment system and on-demand ordering will probably be removed and replaced with personal entertainment devices
Also in 2019 operations at SFO will combine in Terminal 2, and American Airlines will move to Terminal 1
SFO
 
doug_or
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:36 pm

I'm pretty sure the pilot's contracts require the airlines be combined and that management has already said (or at least very strongly implied) that the surviving brand name will be Alaska. These are pretty much givens.

Not sure what the announcement was, but I strongly suspect will be more about loyalty program, service level, and promotion than airline name, livery, or keeping brands separate.
When in doubt, one B pump off
 
PlanesNTrains
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:38 pm

flyguy84 wrote:
In the coming days Alaska Airlines will hold a press conference and events that’ll unveil their new “brand identity” as they work toward integrating Virgin America into their system and product. Here’s a sneak peak at what you can expect:

The new company’s name will remain Alaska Airlines
Virgin America planes will increase 8 first class seats to 12, though it’ll be a new seat
Rumor is the new seat may not be motorized

The seat pitch in first class will decrease from 55″ to 41″
The leases on the Airbus aircraft don’t expire until 2020, so expect to see the VX planes until such time
Fleetwide new cabin interiors are planned, it seems to be “moodlighting” is the surviving aspect of Virgin America
In 2019 the Virgin America brand will vanish, and new uniforms will be unveiled
The RED InFlight Entertainment system and on-demand ordering will probably be removed and replaced with personal entertainment devices
Also in 2019 operations at SFO will combine in Terminal 2, and American Airlines will move to Terminal 1


What is the difference between a motorized and non-motorized seat? Is it just that the motorized ones are smoother operating?
55" pitch seems like overkill for most AS routes.
Moodlighting seems like a weak service point but it's all you ever hear about when people talk about some carriers.
Too bad about the on-demand ordering - sounded interesting.
-Dave


MAX’d out on MAX threads. If you are starting a thread, and it’s about the MAX - stop. There’s already a thread that covers it.
 
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usxguy
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:38 pm

flyguy84 wrote:
In the coming days Alaska Airlines will hold a press conference and events that’ll unveil their new “brand identity” as they work toward integrating Virgin America into their system and product. Here’s a sneak peak at what you can expect:

The new company’s name will remain Alaska Airlines
Virgin America planes will increase 8 first class seats to 12, though it’ll be a new seat
Rumor is the new seat may not be motorized

The seat pitch in first class will decrease from 55″ to 41″
The leases on the Airbus aircraft don’t expire until 2020, so expect to see the VX planes until such time
Fleetwide new cabin interiors are planned, it seems to be “moodlighting” is the surviving aspect of Virgin America
In 2019 the Virgin America brand will vanish, and new uniforms will be unveiled
The RED InFlight Entertainment system and on-demand ordering will probably be removed and replaced with personal entertainment devices
Also in 2019 operations at SFO will combine in Terminal 2, and American Airlines will move to Terminal 1




so much for keeping it quiet....
xx
 
PlanesNTrains
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:39 pm

usxguy wrote:
flyguy84 wrote:
In the coming days Alaska Airlines will hold a press conference and events that’ll unveil their new “brand identity” as they work toward integrating Virgin America into their system and product. Here’s a sneak peak at what you can expect:

The new company’s name will remain Alaska Airlines
Virgin America planes will increase 8 first class seats to 12, though it’ll be a new seat
Rumor is the new seat may not be motorized

The seat pitch in first class will decrease from 55″ to 41″
The leases on the Airbus aircraft don’t expire until 2020, so expect to see the VX planes until such time
Fleetwide new cabin interiors are planned, it seems to be “moodlighting” is the surviving aspect of Virgin America
In 2019 the Virgin America brand will vanish, and new uniforms will be unveiled
The RED InFlight Entertainment system and on-demand ordering will probably be removed and replaced with personal entertainment devices
Also in 2019 operations at SFO will combine in Terminal 2, and American Airlines will move to Terminal 1




so much for keeping it quiet....


At least I can sleep in now tomorrow.
-Dave


MAX’d out on MAX threads. If you are starting a thread, and it’s about the MAX - stop. There’s already a thread that covers it.
 
usflyguy
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:02 pm

usxguy wrote:
flyguy84 wrote:
In the coming days Alaska Airlines will hold a press conference and events that’ll unveil their new “brand identity” as they work toward integrating Virgin America into their system and product. Here’s a sneak peak at what you can expect:

The new company’s name will remain Alaska Airlines
Virgin America planes will increase 8 first class seats to 12, though it’ll be a new seat
Rumor is the new seat may not be motorized

The seat pitch in first class will decrease from 55″ to 41″
The leases on the Airbus aircraft don’t expire until 2020, so expect to see the VX planes until such time
Fleetwide new cabin interiors are planned, it seems to be “moodlighting” is the surviving aspect of Virgin America
In 2019 the Virgin America brand will vanish, and new uniforms will be unveiled
The RED InFlight Entertainment system and on-demand ordering will probably be removed and replaced with personal entertainment devices
Also in 2019 operations at SFO will combine in Terminal 2, and American Airlines will move to Terminal 1




so much for keeping it quiet....


Word for word from this website... http://thejetset.tv/2017/03/22/exclusiv ... es-expect/
My post is my ideas and my opinions only, I do not represent the ideas or opinions of anyone else or company.
 
aaflyer777
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:24 pm

Reducing pitch in first class...guess they don't care about the transcon market!
 
allegiantflyer
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:29 pm

flyguy84 wrote:
In the coming days Alaska Airlines will hold a press conference and events that’ll unveil their new “brand identity” as they work toward integrating Virgin America into their system and product. Here’s a sneak peak at what you can expect:

The new company’s name will remain Alaska Airlines
Virgin America planes will increase 8 first class seats to 12, though it’ll be a new seat
Rumor is the new seat may not be motorized

The seat pitch in first class will decrease from 55″ to 41″
The leases on the Airbus aircraft don’t expire until 2020, so expect to see the VX planes until such time
Fleetwide new cabin interiors are planned, it seems to be “moodlighting” is the surviving aspect of Virgin America
In 2019 the Virgin America brand will vanish, and new uniforms will be unveiled
The RED InFlight Entertainment system and on-demand ordering will probably be removed and replaced with personal entertainment devices
Also in 2019 operations at SFO will combine in Terminal 2, and American Airlines will move to Terminal 1


those new uniforms were announced a year ago.. will they really take 3 years to design? setting high standards.
 
werdywerd
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:35 pm

flyguy84 wrote:
In the coming days Alaska Airlines will hold a press conference and events that’ll unveil their new “brand identity” as they work toward integrating Virgin America into their system and product. Here’s a sneak peak at what you can expect:

The new company’s name will remain Alaska Airlines
Virgin America planes will increase 8 first class seats to 12, though it’ll be a new seat
Rumor is the new seat may not be motorized

The seat pitch in first class will decrease from 55″ to 41″
The leases on the Airbus aircraft don’t expire until 2020, so expect to see the VX planes until such time
Fleetwide new cabin interiors are planned, it seems to be “moodlighting” is the surviving aspect of Virgin America
In 2019 the Virgin America brand will vanish, and new uniforms will be unveiled
The RED InFlight Entertainment system and on-demand ordering will probably be removed and replaced with personal entertainment devices
Also in 2019 operations at SFO will combine in Terminal 2, and American Airlines will move to Terminal 1


And this is why we can't have nice things, people leak info to the press for a few dollars or whatever kickback they got.
 
commavia
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:40 pm

If all true, no real surprises. It has long seemed quite likely that not only would the surviving brand be "Alaska" (seeing as it was the acquirer, after all) but also that the product/service offering would likely tend to move more towards that of pre-merger Alaska vs pre-merger Virgin America. Alaska's management has likely concluded - rightly, I suspect - that any lost business from losing whatever "cache" may have come from Virgin America's cool/hip vibe is more than made up for with the larger network and fleet opportunities that exist from the merger, not to mention the fact that all the aforementioned cool/hip vibe never translated into meaningful profitability for Virgin America.

Put differently - you don't have to out run the bear, but rather only have to out run the person next to you. Alaska may have determined that even Alaska's less flashy product/service offering, in totality, will still be better than larger network rivals and that, coupled with a far larger combined network plus the vastly larger connecting traffic potential with global partners at LAX and SFO, will be "good enough" to keep Alaska competitive.

The only place this probably won't cut it will be the premium transcon markets, unless, of course, Alaska is simply throwing in the towel on competing for much high-end business in these markets (which, frankly, might be the right business decision overall).
Last edited by commavia on Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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psa1011
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:42 pm

Combining operations at T2 @ SFO in 2019? Will there be a new T1 for AA by then?
 
PlanesNTrains
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:47 pm

I think the challenge is that the AS fans want to see them do something cool and exciting with their premium product and having them sort of punt bums them (us) out. However, looking at what AA, DL, UA, and B6 are doing in the transcon markets, it's clear that AS would not only have to keep the Virgin product but probably actually have to upgrade it - just to compete in the existing marketplace. And that would likely be largely focused on the core LAX/SFO/SEA-BOS/NYC/WAS routes. As cool as it would be, there're probably plenty of VX ff's that would love to have more F class availability than 8 seats which, when combined with Y+, will offer far more opportunities for something better than standard Y. Not flashy, but hopefully practical, which to a large degree describes AS.
-Dave


MAX’d out on MAX threads. If you are starting a thread, and it’s about the MAX - stop. There’s already a thread that covers it.
 
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:48 pm

werdywerd wrote:
flyguy84 wrote:
In the coming days Alaska Airlines will hold a press conference and events that’ll unveil their new “brand identity” as they work toward integrating Virgin America into their system and product. Here’s a sneak peak at what you can expect:

The new company’s name will remain Alaska Airlines
Virgin America planes will increase 8 first class seats to 12, though it’ll be a new seat
Rumor is the new seat may not be motorized

The seat pitch in first class will decrease from 55″ to 41″
The leases on the Airbus aircraft don’t expire until 2020, so expect to see the VX planes until such time
Fleetwide new cabin interiors are planned, it seems to be “moodlighting” is the surviving aspect of Virgin America
In 2019 the Virgin America brand will vanish, and new uniforms will be unveiled
The RED InFlight Entertainment system and on-demand ordering will probably be removed and replaced with personal entertainment devices
Also in 2019 operations at SFO will combine in Terminal 2, and American Airlines will move to Terminal 1


And this is why we can't have nice things, people leak info to the press for a few dollars or whatever kickback they got.


Yeah, but I seriously doubt AS was going to tell everyone about a decreased seat pitch, adding capacity, and removing motorization and IFE. That said, none of the three in itself is a deal breaker. I will be very interested to see if we get some renderings of AS A320 or VX 737s!
 
airliner371
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Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:53 pm

Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:49 pm

 
commavia
Posts: 11489
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:50 pm

PlanesNTrains wrote:
I think the challenge is that the AS fans want to see them do something cool and exciting with their premium product and having them sort of punt bums them (us) out. However, looking at what AA, DL, UA, and B6 are doing in the transcon markets, it's clear that AS would not only have to keep the Virgin product but probably actually have to upgrade it - just to compete in the existing marketplace. And that would likely be largely focused on the core LAX/SFO/SEA-BOS/NYC/WAS routes.


I agree. I'm not sure the business case would actually work for an airline of Alaska's size to focus on such a specialized and narrowly-focused premium transcon offering like what AA, Delta and United have. It works for JetBlue, too, but I'm actually skeptical on whether the market can support a fifth entrant on JFK-LAX/SFO offering such a product. As said, given its fleet, network, partnerships, etc., I actually wouldn't be surprised if Alaska concludes that it's better off financially selling a more "standard" premium offering on its transcon flights - including JFK-LAX/SFO - and simply accepting lower yields in those markets.

PlanesNTrains wrote:
Not flashy, but hopefully practical, which to a large degree describes AS.


:checkmark: Exactly.
 
commavia
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Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:57 pm

airliner371 wrote:


Thank you for sharing - so now we have official confirmation.

A few things I found particularly notable:

* No mention of any specialized transcon product offering
* Alaska appears to be adopting the two-track IFE solution like AA - keep AVOD PTVs on the aircraft (Airbus) that have it, but for those (Boeing) that don't, it's BYOD
* New lounges at SFO and JFK by "early 2019" - if, as is expected, Alaska does consolidate at SFO T2, and presuming that SFO isn't kicking AA out of its lounge in T2 before then, I guess that means that AA is, indeed, expected to move to SFO T1 by "early 2019" then?
 
allegiantflyer
Posts: 366
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:59 pm

Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:58 pm

The press release states that the boeing fleet will have "expressive blue mood lighting" but...doesn't EVERY airline have blue moodlighting? I don't understand how this makes them any different. I suppose even that aspect of VX will be one away with leaving only their route network surviving.
 
werdywerd
Topic Author
Posts: 610
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 1:40 am

Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:00 am

 
FlyUSAir
Posts: 387
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 6:26 am

Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:30 am

At least AS is playing smart with this acquisition. Looks like AS is also keeping the Airbus fleet for a while, don't know about any future orders though.
A319/A320/A321/A333 712/732/733/734/735/737/738/752/753/762/763 C172 CR2/CR7/CR9 E145/E170/E175/E190
MD82/MD83/MD88/MD90 Q100/Q400
 
werdywerd
Topic Author
Posts: 610
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:31 am

If this VX gamble that AS has pursued is successful, i'd venture that they would look into purchasing another airline "very similar" to VX. Probably around the 2020 mark.

They could possibly be using this VX acquisition as a learning tool on how to purchase and integrate an even larger airline into AS in a few years.
 
SFOtoORD
Posts: 1217
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2007 2:26 am

Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:42 am

aaflyer777 wrote:
Reducing pitch in first class...guess they don't care about the transcon market!


Agreed. This is a pivotal moment for the future of AS at SFO. In my mind it was always a given that the VX brand would go away not only because of the "Virgin" licensing fee, but also because AS is far larger and more established.

However, my big question was whether AS would take this moment to dramatically improve their brand and experience or make a couple small incremental improvements. It sounds like it will be the latter. There is certainly nothing terrible about the AS experience, but they won't be retaining a lot of the committed VX business travelers I know. Maybe they are fine with that, but it's going to be a long road for them in SFO until they combine terminals in 2019.
 
hiflyeras
Posts: 2283
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:48 pm

Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:46 am

Curious who will be providing the new FC seats...would love a closer look! And any speculation on who will be providing the satellite Wi-Fi? Does current AS vendor Gogo have FAA approval for such a system?
 
Overthecascades
Posts: 194
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2016 3:13 pm

Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:46 am

Alaska will adopt brand names like Main Cabin Select, Elevate, etc. but it will get rid of the Virgin brand. It doesn't need the Virgin brand when it can execute on an excellent operation and customer experience.
 
USAirKid
Posts: 678
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 5:42 am

Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:49 am

From the Press Release
In 2018, Alaska will debut an entirely redesigned cabin with new seats and amenities...


Didn't Alaska just do this with the new Recaro Seats? Or is this going to be more of a touchup to the 737s and a redesign on the A320s to an interior comparable to the 737s?
 
hiflyeras
Posts: 2283
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:48 pm

Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:50 am

Overthecascades wrote:
Alaska will adopt brand names like Main Cabin Select, Elevate, etc. but it will get rid of the Virgin brand. It doesn't need the Virgin brand when it can execute on an excellent operation and customer experience.


This hasn't been stated in anything I've read...in fact just the opposite. The names 'Mileage Plan' and 'Premium Class' are specifically mentioned in the press release.
 
airzona11
Posts: 1784
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:44 am

Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:53 am

Seems to be changes in line with improving the AS experience, already a great one.

SFOtoORD wrote:
aaflyer777 wrote:
Reducing pitch in first class...guess they don't care about the transcon market!


Agreed. This is a pivotal moment for the future of AS at SFO. In my mind it was always a given that the VX brand would go away not only because of the "Virgin" licensing fee, but also because AS is far larger and more established.

However, my big question was whether AS would take this moment to dramatically improve their brand and experience or make a couple small incremental improvements. It sounds like it will be the latter. There is certainly nothing terrible about the AS experience, but they won't be retaining a lot of the committed VX business travelers I know. Maybe they are fine with that, but it's going to be a long road for them in SFO until they combine terminals in 2019.


I am not sure business travelers are going to abandon the new airline because they can fly to more destinations, get upgraded more, utilize more partners to use and earn miles on. And have a Y+ option. If business travelers were only choosing because of the first class seat, current VX is basically the same as all the majors and those travelers are flying AA, UA, B6, DL between SFO/LAX - NYC/BOS.

I actually think this new product is going to be more considerably more attractive to frequent / business travelers.
 
SFOtoORD
Posts: 1217
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2007 2:26 am

Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:59 am

airzona11 wrote:
Seems to be changes in line with improving the AS experience, already a great one.

SFOtoORD wrote:
aaflyer777 wrote:
Reducing pitch in first class...guess they don't care about the transcon market!


Agreed. This is a pivotal moment for the future of AS at SFO. In my mind it was always a given that the VX brand would go away not only because of the "Virgin" licensing fee, but also because AS is far larger and more established.

However, my big question was whether AS would take this moment to dramatically improve their brand and experience or make a couple small incremental improvements. It sounds like it will be the latter. There is certainly nothing terrible about the AS experience, but they won't be retaining a lot of the committed VX business travelers I know. Maybe they are fine with that, but it's going to be a long road for them in SFO until they combine terminals in 2019.


I am not sure business travelers are going to abandon the new airline because they can fly to more destinations, get upgraded more, utilize more partners to use and earn miles on. And have a Y+ option. If business travelers were only choosing because of the first class seat, current VX is basically the same as all the majors and those travelers are flying AA, UA, B6, DL between SFO/LAX - NYC/BOS.

I actually think this new product is going to be more considerably more attractive to frequent / business travelers.


I don't think you understand the loyal VX customer. For most of them it's about the onboard experience. AS is fine (if not drab), but it's not going to appeal to that crew. Feel free to tell me I'm wrong, but I know a ton of loyal VX fliers and this is why they chose VX over UA. Without the onboard product, UA has many advantages over AS that include network, frequency, international and better long haul product to NYC. UA has its issues on the service side, but they are improving. I think AS will do fine with the leisure crowd and they'll certainly get some business customers, but it will not be the same VX contingent.
 
commavia
Posts: 11489
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:59 am

airzona11 wrote:
I am not sure business travelers are going to abandon the new airline because they can fly to more destinations, get upgraded more, utilize more partners to use and earn miles on. And have a Y+ option. If business travelers were only choosing because of the first class seat, current VX is basically the same as all the majors and those travelers are flying AA, UA, B6, DL between SFO/LAX - NYC/BOS.


Agreed. Alaska may lose some of the most loyal Virgin America die-hards, including some premium transcon traffic that defects to AA, Delta, JetBlue and/or United - all of which have better transcon premium products than either Alaska or Virgin America today. But that said, for those passengers specifically in the SFO bay area, while Alaska's product/service offering may be arguably inferior in some ways to that of Virgin America, it still seems better than the average product/service experience on the average flight by Alaska's primary SFO competitor, United/United Express. And with a greatly enlarged network that is actually pretty relevant and compelling for a lot of passengers, I bet Alaska will do better than many Virgin America fans assume. Alaska has proven of late to be extremely adept at countering bigger, stronger rivals with arguably better network and/or product offerings - I suspect Alaska may well be able to replicate such success in SFO.
 
werdywerd
Topic Author
Posts: 610
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 1:40 am

Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:00 am

The current "Transcon First Class War" is fully saturated and AS wants nothing to do with it. If they lose a few FC customers to B6 or AA... so be it.

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