jplatts
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:48 pm

Would Alaska Airlines sell the A319 and A320 planes that are currently owned by Virgin America to American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, or Allegiant Air? If Alaska decides to sell the A319 or A320 planes that are currently owned by Virgin America to American or Delta, would Alaska acquire some of the 737 planes that are currently owned by American or Delta?

Alaska Airlines trading A319 and A320 planes that are currently owned by Virgin America with Boeing 737 planes owned by American Airlines or Delta Airlines might make sense since American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Virgin America all have Airbus A319 and A320 planes that are powered by CFM56 engines and since American Airlines and Delta Air Lines both have 737-800 planes in their fleets. The sale of the Airbus A319 and A320 planes that are currently owned by Virgin America to Frontier Airlines or Allegiant Air also might make sense since Frontier's and Allegiant's A319 and A320 planes are powered by CFM56 engines.
 
commavia
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:55 pm

SFOtoORD wrote:
Will Alaska be touting their superior profitability on their billboard ads along 101?


Personally, I suspect that Alaska's ability to stay in business as a viable enterprise with a network that serves more than 30 cities will speak for itself.

SFOtoORD wrote:
They've already proven that they either didn't understand or care about what made VX unique.


Well, again, has Alaska "proven" that it "didn't understand or care" about Virgin America's differentiation or, alternatively, did Alaska "understand" it but conclude that said differentiation was simply not economically sustainable? Given Virgin America's history, it would be hard to argue with that conclusion.
 
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Polot
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:56 pm

SFOtoORD wrote:
commavia wrote:
SFOtoORD wrote:
AS had a chance to do something bold and they didn't.


I suppose building a solidly profitable airline doesn't pass for "bold" these days. Either way, Alaska has clearly decided that it's more in the business of making money than value-diluting "differentiation."


Again, that is an internal company perspective and not a passenger perspective. Will Alaska be touting their superior profitability on their billboard ads along 101? They've already proven that they either didn't understand or care about what made VX unique. Adding a few knickknacks and calling it a day made that clear. But good luck telling passengers you killed their special thing, but you added some subtle blue light and your profitability is better.

If AS is getting superior profitability they could not care less what the former VX passenger think.

Hate to break it to you, but VX's passengers are/were not special.

jplatts wrote:
Would Alaska Airlines sell the A319 and A320 planes that are currently owned by Virgin America to American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, or Allegiant Air? If Alaska decides to sell the A319 or A320 planes that are currently owned by Virgin America to American or Delta, would Alaska acquire some of the 737 planes that are currently owned by American or Delta?

I'm pretty sure almost all if not all of VX's fleet is leased. In that case AS will likely return them when the leases are up, and it is up to the lessor to decide who they go to after. The more interesting question is what will happen to VX's A320neo order with Airbus (the A321neos are being leased from GECAS).
Last edited by Polot on Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
cschleic
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:59 pm

EA CO AS wrote:
n7371f wrote:
keitherson wrote:

The real scandal and outrage should be over Alaska overpaying for Virgin, simply because they didn't want JetBlue to get bigger. It was not even about eliminating Virgin America, it was about combining with them to keep JetBlue down.


And, yes, the added element is after Alaska tried to eliminate Virgin, JetBlue got involved. And AS viewed B6 as the same type of disruptor as Virgin long-term. A lot of finance folks were, and still are, worried about the price paid. The fact that B6 finally said no, when it was more desperate for the west coast, says something. Good point.



Perhaps you missed the part where AS only approached VX after they publicly put themselves up for sale?

No matter how many times you repeat yourself, this was never some predatory purchase designed to eliminate a small competitor with marginal profitability. This was about securing a foothold in the next logical market for AS to evolve in over the next several decades, California. And that's exactly why AS jumped in.

This only occurred because VX put themselves up for sale, and because AS had deep enough pockets to make it a reality.


Exactly. It's a business and they're expanding into a enormous population base across the entire state. Look at all the new routes. It's not just about the eight seats up front on a few transcon routes in a market that's over saturated anyway.

Regarding VX F seats, I recently flew in F on two flights. Is it just me or...the seats looked really nice but turned out to be rock hard. The recline function was awkward and I didn't need that much space, even for an SFO - FLL flight.
 
jplatts
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:07 pm

Polot wrote:
SFOtoORD wrote:
commavia wrote:

I suppose building a solidly profitable airline doesn't pass for "bold" these days. Either way, Alaska has clearly decided that it's more in the business of making money than value-diluting "differentiation."


Again, that is an internal company perspective and not a passenger perspective. Will Alaska be touting their superior profitability on their billboard ads along 101? They've already proven that they either didn't understand or care about what made VX unique. Adding a few knickknacks and calling it a day made that clear. But good luck telling passengers you killed their special thing, but you added some subtle blue light and your profitability is better.

If AS is getting superior profitability they could not care less what the former VX passenger think.

Hate to break it to you, but VX's passengers are/were not special.

jplatts wrote:
Would Alaska Airlines sell the A319 and A320 planes that are currently owned by Virgin America to American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, or Allegiant Air? If Alaska decides to sell the A319 or A320 planes that are currently owned by Virgin America to American or Delta, would Alaska acquire some of the 737 planes that are currently owned by American or Delta?

I'm pretty sure almost all if not all of VX's fleet is leased. In that case AS will likely return them when the leases are up, and it is up to the lessor to decide who they go to after. The more interesting question is what will happen to VX's A320neo order with Airbus (the A321neos are being leased from GECAS).


Alaska will probably cancel Virgin America's A320neo order and put in a new order for additional Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes. Alaska Airlines used to be one of three commercial airlines in the US with Boeing 737s that did not operate Airbus A320 family aircraft, but that changed with the acquisition of Virgin America. With the Alaska-Virgin America merger, Southwest and Sun Country are the only commercial airlines remaining in the U.S. that only have Boeing 737 planes in their fleets.
 
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TVNWZ
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:10 pm

This is not a zero sum game. For every miffed VX flyer who goes to UA (funny in itself) there could be three others who like the new AS look and start to fly the airline.
 
IPFreely
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:14 pm

keitherson wrote:
Every single Virgin America loyalist that I've talked to has been extremely disappointed by the merger. Many are simply not going to fly Alaska. They are going to fly other airlines instead.


Too bad there weren't enough VX loyalists to make VX a viable business. Everyone seems to be forgetting that VX was marginally profitable in only 2 of 10 years of operations -- aided by record low oil prices. And they lost 523 million dollars during their years of existence -- when other airlines were very profitable. Long story short, VX was doomed and being sold to an airline that can run a profitable operation was the best possible outcome.

As far as loyalists, VX only flew to 21 cities. Outside of SFO and LAX they were an unknown commodity.
 
FSDan
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:53 pm

SFOtoORD wrote:
commavia wrote:
SFOtoORD wrote:
AS had a chance to do something bold and they didn't.


I suppose building a solidly profitable airline doesn't pass for "bold" these days. Either way, Alaska has clearly decided that it's more in the business of making money than value-diluting "differentiation."


They've already proven that they either didn't understand or care about what made VX unique. Adding a few knickknacks and calling it a day made that clear. But good luck telling passengers you killed their special thing, but you added some subtle blue light and your profitability is better.


I think the point is that being unique ultimately didn't work for VX, so why should AS adopt those things? People want more but don't want to pay for it, which led to VX's demise and wont' help AS either. I understand the disappointment, but you can't really blame AS for deciding to do things the way they did.
This is my signature until I think of a better one.
 
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william
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:16 pm

The cool and hipster airline is gone, and its a shame, we need more competition not less. But its gone, because there were not enough cool and hipster customers.

Oh, and making questionable decisions by VX former management did not help. Who thought going up against the 900 pound gorilla...............errrrrr............KING KONG at Love Field was a good idea?
 
cschleic
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:23 pm

william wrote:
The cool and hipster airline is gone, and its a shame, we need more competition not less. But its gone, because there were not enough cool and hipster customers.

Oh, and making questionable decisions by VX former management did not help. Who thought going up against the 900 pound gorilla...............errrrrr............KING KONG at Love Field was a good idea?


:checkmark:

If there's such a huge customer base then there's a business opportunity. There's certainly enough money floating around the Bay Area to start a new airline targeting the cool and hipster base. But don't bet on it happening.
 
TW787
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:49 pm

I love all the comments here about the "loyal VX flyers." I'm not questioning that there are some, but let's be realistic...they never translated to profits. AS on the other hand , is leading the industry in profitability despite being the target of one of the largest airlines in the world. I trust their judgment a lot more than VX's.

Plus, let's remember that Mint is still largely unproven outside the largest Transcons markets. It will be fun to look back on this thread 10 years from now when Mint has bankrupted B6 and AS is buying them.
 
flyingcat
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:55 pm

Can someone clarify something for me. I fail to see how any element of VX will survive. Isn't moodlighting standard on the B737 at this point and don't the vast majority of customers utilize blue only.

Looks like Alaska was going to do all of this even without acquiring Virgin America. Compared to Jetblue or Delta's latest cabins Alaska will fall back on it's people and definitely not it's hard product.
 
milemaster
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:29 pm

flyguy84 wrote:
MesserJ wrote:
https://www.facebook.com/alaskaairlines/posts/10155133716632486
It's nice, but the Alaskan flair is completely gone. No more tapestry design on the bulkheads.

For the love of god, stop saying "Alaskan!"


How big of a dork does one have to be for this to matter?
 
F9Animal
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:42 pm

airplaneboy wrote:
Nobody seems to be able to answer my question about the "Alaska experience" on the regional fleet, which will comprise almost a third of its fleet shortly. I'm going to assume that besides having an assigned seat and maybe a $9 sandwich "created" by a popular PNW chef, there will not be much of anything unique to a flier's experience if they are traveling on this third of the fleet- much of which are flying mid-cons and funding a large portion of the newly announced flying.


I have yet to see the what the Horizon E175 will have in it. I suppose they will make some enhancements to the Horizon side of things, but I wouldn't plan on things like satellite Wi-Fi, or mood lighting. But!!! Maybe the 175 will bring treats similar? There hasn't been any release on the QX side of things yet.
I Am A Different Animal!!
 
F9Animal
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:45 pm

flyingcat wrote:
Can someone clarify something for me. I fail to see how any element of VX will survive. Isn't moodlighting standard on the B737 at this point and don't the vast majority of customers utilize blue only.

Looks like Alaska was going to do all of this even without acquiring Virgin America. Compared to Jetblue or Delta's latest cabins Alaska will fall back on it's people and definitely not it's hard product.


Alaska is still a work in progress. I got an email and survey asking me what else I would like to see change. To me, this clue tells me Alaska isn't finished yet. To me, I don't need lie flat seats. Mainly because I can't afford first class. When I upgrade, I am very happy up front on Alaska. Yes, I am going to miss Virgin America, but.... I also know Virgin America wasn't going to be here forever.
I Am A Different Animal!!
 
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usxguy
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:56 pm

I was reading somewhere that Alaska sells about 1/3rd of all First Class tickets as full fare/discount first; and about 1/4 of the seats are paid upgrades/instant upgrades (As a Gold 75K, I can pay anywhere from $50 to $150ish more than the coach fare for an instant upgrade if and when open). And the rest go to comp upgrades.

Virgin America doesn't give out F, even to non-revs. So the only way upfront is to pay for it. And its a nice product. But, its not all that either. Here's a write up I did on flyertalk:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/alaska-a ... a-75k.html

the VX F is an overly generous product. Alaska has some top-notch financial and revenue analysts. I bet you they've been scouring over all the VX data. If VX was *that* good and profitable, I doubt AS would be gutting it.

But I do hope they keep the candies!
xx
 
FlyUSAir
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:57 pm

AS better cut out that "Proudly all Boeing" BS and keep the Airbus fleet (provided they are making a profit on them of course).
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
 
CaribClipper
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:00 pm

Is it just me or do these integration plans prove VX would of been a better brand fit for JBLU and not ALK?
 
FlyUSAir
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:04 pm

CaribClipper wrote:
Is it just me or do these integration plans prove VX would of been a better brand fit for JBLU and not ALK?


Everyone and their grandmothers also agree with you, but this wasn't about what fit best, this was an acquisition to get rid of a competitor, simple as that.
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
 
CaribClipper
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:08 pm

FlyUSAir wrote:
CaribClipper wrote:
Is it just me or do these integration plans prove VX would of been a better brand fit for JBLU and not ALK?


Everyone and their grandmothers also agree with you, but this wasn't about what fit best, this was an acquisition to get rid of a competitor, simple as that.


Agreed, glad to see that's the consensus hopefully it resonates with mgmt.
 
winginit
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:09 pm

TW787 wrote:
I love all the comments here about the "loyal VX flyers." I'm not questioning that there are some, but let's be realistic...they never translated to profits. AS on the other hand , is leading the industry in profitability despite being the target of one of the largest airlines in the world. I trust their judgment a lot more than VX's.


THIS!

Thank you, and such an accurate statement. "The VX flyers are just devastated! They'll never fly Alaska!" cry me a river.
 
SXDFC
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:13 pm

So are the Airbus planes staying or going?
 
N757ST
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:15 pm

TW787 wrote:
I love all the comments here about the "loyal VX flyers." I'm not questioning that there are some, but let's be realistic...they never translated to profits. AS on the other hand , is leading the industry in profitability despite being the target of one of the largest airlines in the world. I trust their judgment a lot more than VX's.

Plus, let's remember that Mint is still largely unproven outside the largest Transcons markets. It will be fun to look back on this thread 10 years from now when Mint has bankrupted B6 and AS is buying them.


Jetblue's mint has led to large increases in RASM on transcontinental sectors, especially outside of NYC. And I don't laugh if any airline goes bankrupt, nor do I wish it on anyone. That's poor class.
 
FlyUSAir
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:28 pm

TW787 wrote:
I love all the comments here about the "loyal VX flyers." I'm not questioning that there are some, but let's be realistic...they never translated to profits. AS on the other hand , is leading the industry in profitability despite being the target of one of the largest airlines in the world. I trust their judgment a lot more than VX's.

Plus, let's remember that Mint is still largely unproven outside the largest Transcons markets. It will be fun to look back on this thread 10 years from now when Mint has bankrupted B6 and AS is buying them.


Mint isn't going anywhere and neither is B6, despite you wishing so. What a terrible human being, wishing other people would lose their jobs.
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
 
jeffrey1970
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:45 pm

slcdeltarumd11 wrote:
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.


I agree with you. I think keeping both names would cause a lot of confusion amongst those passengers that do not fly a lot, and are not avgeeks. I think they should just stick with Alaska Airlines.
God bless through Jesus, Jeff
 
CaribClipper
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:53 pm

TW787 wrote:
I love all the comments here about the "loyal VX flyers." I'm not questioning that there are some, but let's be realistic...they never translated to profits. AS on the other hand , is leading the industry in profitability despite being the target of one of the largest airlines in the world. I trust their judgment a lot more than VX's.

Plus, let's remember that Mint is still largely unproven outside the largest Transcons markets. It will be fun to look back on this thread 10 years from now when Mint has bankrupted B6 and AS is buying them.


When you say loyal VX passengers never translated to profits, what do you mean? Look at their financials they were profitable, they reported an 85.9% load factor on their last 10-K as an independent company (Q3-16), prior quarter was 82.5%.

Regarding B6, Mint is also on Caribbean flights as well. Care to opine on how Mint is going to bankrupt B6? Do you know what the load factors/yields are on the seats thus far? They announced at the JPM Aviation/Industrials Conference just last week that Mint had best in class margins, that the product was driving margin improvement for the company and that they were seeing improved performance. Curious to hear your thoughts and facts.
 
SFOtoORD
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:22 pm

commavia wrote:
SFOtoORD wrote:
Will Alaska be touting their superior profitability on their billboard ads along 101?


Personally, I suspect that Alaska's ability to stay in business as a viable enterprise with a network that serves more than 30 cities will speak for itself.

SFOtoORD wrote:
They've already proven that they either didn't understand or care about what made VX unique.


Well, again, has Alaska "proven" that it "didn't understand or care" about Virgin America's differentiation or, alternatively, did Alaska "understand" it but conclude that said differentiation was simply not economically sustainable? Given Virgin America's history, it would be hard to argue with that conclusion.


I said "didn't understand OR care" and you're saying you think it's the latter which makes my point.
 
PlanesNTrains
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:23 pm

winginit wrote:
TW787 wrote:
I love all the comments here about the "loyal VX flyers." I'm not questioning that there are some, but let's be realistic...they never translated to profits. AS on the other hand , is leading the industry in profitability despite being the target of one of the largest airlines in the world. I trust their judgment a lot more than VX's.


THIS!

Thank you, and such an accurate statement. "The VX flyers are just devastated! They'll never fly Alaska!" cry me a river.


A customer is a customer. I don't think the attitude of most people at AS - from CEO down - is "boo hoo" to the VX flyers. They want every one of those people if they can get them and make money. Unfortunately, while someone earlier commented on how sensitive the AS folks are, reading the comments in this thread shows just what an emotional attachment some people have to their carrier of choice. Apparently for a lot of VX flyers, anecdotally at least, they'd rather fly in a cessna caravan than give their business to the evil AS.

This reminds me of when we have elections every 4 years. One party wins, then the other party feels like they should be able to call the shots and have their opinion matter as much if not more than the winners. (This is D or R - doesn't matter). Newsflash: Alaska Airlines acquired Virgin America, and unfortunately it was unrealistic to expect that they were going to turn into Virgin America II. I think they've handled it about as well as can be expected, knowing that a lot of VX flyers wanted the VX experience - period. I'm sure there will be push-back, and there's nothing anyone can do about that. However, hopefully through the process enough VX flyers will give Alaska Airlines a chance, and enough OA flyers will as well.
-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.
 
SFOtoORD
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:26 pm

TVNWZ wrote:
This is not a zero sum game. For every miffed VX flyer who goes to UA (funny in itself) there could be three others who like the new AS look and start to fly the airline.


Acquiring new customers will require spending money. Again, AS can make that decision, but it's not the zero friction process people here seem to espouse to win customers from a competitor as you lose others. I've long said the VX fliers would be unhappy and today's reaction proves that our. Now it's AS next move.
 
PlanesNTrains
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:26 pm

[I think I posted this in two parts - hope it came through making sense\

CaribClipper wrote:
FlyUSAir wrote:
CaribClipper wrote:
Is it just me or do these integration plans prove VX would of been a better brand fit for JBLU and not ALK?


Everyone and their grandmothers also agree with you, but this wasn't about what fit best, this was an acquisition to get rid of a competitor, simple as that.


Agreed, glad to see that's the consensus hopefully it resonates with mgmt.


Bull. It was not as simple as that at all. Whether VX and B6 would have been a better fit or not is meaningless - that is often true in many mergers/acquisitions. Regardless, VX put them up for sale and the highest bidder won. Alaska absolutely benefits from losing a competitor on the west coast, but they also benefit from a once in a generation opportunity to grow their footprint in California. Putting the shoe on the other foot for a minute, were B6 to have acquired VX, Alaska would have been unable to grow in CA due to limited capacity at SFO and LAX, marginalizing their business plan. The fact that AS won out is just the way these things go sometimes. You win some, you lose some, and B6 certainly understood that the value of VX to them was not great enough to continue the bidding war.

N757ST wrote:
TW787 wrote:
I love all the comments here about the "loyal VX flyers." I'm not questioning that there are some, but let's be realistic...they never translated to profits. AS on the other hand , is leading the industry in profitability despite being the target of one of the largest airlines in the world. I trust their judgment a lot more than VX's.

Plus, let's remember that Mint is still largely unproven outside the largest Transcons markets. It will be fun to look back on this thread 10 years from now when Mint has bankrupted B6 and AS is buying them.


Jetblue's mint has led to large increases in RASM on transcontinental sectors, especially outside of NYC. And I don't laugh if any airline goes bankrupt, nor do I wish it on anyone. That's poor class.


I doubt he wished they would lose their jobs. He even mentioned merging with AS, which would likely preserve jobs. The way it was stated, though, was definitely off-putting.
-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.
 
flyguy89
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:29 pm

SFOtoORD wrote:
EA CO AS wrote:
Timaay419 wrote:
A Mashable article headline reads people are heartbroken over the elimination of Virgin America.


In fairness to my new co-workers from VX, those supposedly heartbroken people had a decade during which they could have put their money where their mouth is by flying VX in droves and paying a premium for the experience.

But that didn't happen, and coolness alone doesn't keep the lights on.

As you've seen already, AS will definitely incorporate some of the flair that made VX unique, while recognizing it's the consistent, reliable, genuine service AS provides that has made them wildly profitable while VX was not.


AS people sure are sensitive. This has been the feedback from the VX loyalists since day 1. And yet the AS people just start talking about the dull brand, pedestrian onboard product and AS profitability. Might as well post a "hey VX people, take it or leave it " during the boarding experience. AS had a chance to do something bold and they didn't. It's not the end of the world, but pretending that VX passenger will suddenly stop caring about what differentiated VX is a silly response. But hey, there is new gate music, right?

Btw - "incorporating some of the flair" is not the same as brand experience.

No, I'm sorry, but obviously the VX brand couldn't keep them in business. A lot of people may have liked their product and "style," but that obviously was not a profitable niche. All the awards in the world VX received didn't mean squat for the hundreds of millions of dollars they lost in their years in operation. AS might lose some VX loyalists, but those loyalists obviously weren't loyal enough to make Virgin America profitable and sustainable, won't be a huge loss in the larger context of what AS will grow into.
 
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usxguy
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:35 pm

SFOtoORD wrote:
TVNWZ wrote:
This is not a zero sum game. For every miffed VX flyer who goes to UA (funny in itself) there could be three others who like the new AS look and start to fly the airline.


Acquiring new customers will require spending money. Again, AS can make that decision, but it's not the zero friction process people here seem to espouse to win customers from a competitor as you lose others. I've long said the VX fliers would be unhappy and today's reaction proves that our. Now it's AS next move.


well, they've already given almost all the elites in Elevate Gold 75K status... that's not necessarily cheap.
xx
 
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flybynight
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:38 pm

55 inch pitch to 41 inch pitch. That's a pretty big change. A little disappointing that Alaska reduced it that much. What is the current pitch in 1st on AS?
Heia Norge!
 
wnflyguy
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:56 pm

AS had to BUY VX just like WN had to BUY FL!
This is a Kill or be killed industry.
AS with the full frontal assault by DL could not afford the potential of another attack on its market share if B6 were to have won the bid for VX.
Like WN Buying and killing off of FL AS is only going to keep the what it wanted from VX at the Get go. Market share! The fluffy stuff is just all PR spin to ease the quick death of VX.

As for All the VX markets like DCA,LGA and DAL I'm not sure there going to Die and go away! A bigger stronger successful AS is going to need those opportunities in the future to grow its future.
Giving away to put all your eggs in one SFO basket isn't the path AS is going with this.

DAL for example AS has had huge success fighting off WN in the PNW. Now a lot of former WN people left the new WN and went to VX and AS over the past 10yrs. Now the new AS/VX knows how and where to succeed fighting WN. AS in DAL will give WN a run for its business travelers money.

Good bye VX hello competition!
Popcorn is ready!

Flyguy
my post are my opinion only and not those of southwest airlines and or airtran airlines.
 
CobaltScar
Posts: 434
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:06 pm

usxguy wrote:
I was reading somewhere that Alaska sells about 1/3rd of all First Class tickets as full fare/discount first; and about 1/4 of the seats are paid upgrades/instant upgrades (As a Gold 75K, I can pay anywhere from $50 to $150ish more than the coach fare for an instant upgrade if and when open). And the rest go to comp upgrades.

Virgin America doesn't give out F, even to non-revs. So the only way upfront is to pay for it. And its a nice product. But, its not all that either. Here's a write up I did on flyertalk:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/alaska-a ... a-75k.html

the VX F is an overly generous product. Alaska has some top-notch financial and revenue analysts. I bet you they've been scouring over all the VX data. If VX was *that* good and profitable, I doubt AS would be gutting it.

But I do hope they keep the candies!


JetBlue does not give away/upgrade pax to Mint either, and even employees have to pay $75 to attempt to fly standby in Mint. As someone said about this once "if you like Mint, then pay for it". Difference with Jetblue is, their product is "all that".

JetBlue played their hand perfectly in this whole ordeal, driving up the cost tremendously for a failing airline that would of been nice to have (at a bargain) but not necessary as their bread and butter is up/down east coast and transcon. They knew what they were doing , and sucessfully burdened Alaska with a much higher acquisition cost than would of been otherwise.

Looks like the final act is playing out now, Alaska will do Jetblues dirty work by killing off the only other "hipster hybrid" LCC for JetBlues direct benefit. What is left is Alaska, a lite version of United domestic in terms of product and service minus the large network, but with newfound debt. Just as most of JetBlues debt is being paid down.

Personally I am glad Virgin America has been killed off because they had some of the most horrendous work rules and lowest pay in the country (this probably added to Virgin Americas worth to the two bidders by the way, they'd get cheap labor with little to no work rule protection to fly around for awhile). And they were expected to be chipper and pleasant while slaving under that "Red" order on demand setup. I can't imagine how much bitterness is going to be felt by crew after they are absorbed into Alaska when they think about how hard they were expected to work at Virgin, for such low pay and lower work rules to only be sold off when they started to organize for better pay/workrules. Virgin FAs even had/have to pay for their own accommodation while training in SFO, so yeah they get to live 20 to a crashpad from day one with the company. Who got rich off their backs? The top 1 percent of the company.

The entire history of the company was smoke, mirror, and mood lights. No substance.
 
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usxguy
Posts: 1701
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:08 pm

flybynight wrote:
55 inch pitch to 41 inch pitch. That's a pretty big change. A little disappointing that Alaska reduced it that much. What is the current pitch in 1st on AS?


36-37ish depending on the plane, but I believe its now right around 40, if not 41 on the 737-800s and soon the -900s. -400s aren't being reconfigured since they are gone (maybe?) this year. 700s are 38" but tolerable because the have the "old" new 737-800 seats.
xx
 
GoCougs
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:40 am

Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:08 pm

flybynight wrote:
55 inch pitch to 41 inch pitch. That's a pretty big change. A little disappointing that Alaska reduced it that much. What is the current pitch in 1st on AS?


Current pitch in 737 first class:
AS 41"
DL 37"
AA 40-42"
UA 38"
 
PlanesNTrains
Posts: 9527
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 4:19 pm

Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:16 pm

CobaltScar wrote:
usxguy wrote:
I was reading somewhere that Alaska sells about 1/3rd of all First Class tickets as full fare/discount first; and about 1/4 of the seats are paid upgrades/instant upgrades (As a Gold 75K, I can pay anywhere from $50 to $150ish more than the coach fare for an instant upgrade if and when open). And the rest go to comp upgrades.

Virgin America doesn't give out F, even to non-revs. So the only way upfront is to pay for it. And its a nice product. But, its not all that either. Here's a write up I did on flyertalk:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/alaska-a ... a-75k.html

the VX F is an overly generous product. Alaska has some top-notch financial and revenue analysts. I bet you they've been scouring over all the VX data. If VX was *that* good and profitable, I doubt AS would be gutting it.

But I do hope they keep the candies!


JetBlue played their hand perfectly in this whole ordeal, driving up the cost tremendously for a failing airline that would of been nice to have (at a bargain) but not necessary as their bread and butter is up/down east coast and transcon. They knew what they were doing , and sucessfully burdened Alaska with a much higher acquisition cost than would of been otherwise.

Looks like the final act is playing out now, Alaska will do Jetblues dirty work by killing off the only other "hipster hybrid" LCC for JetBlues direct benefit. What is left is Alaska, a lite version of United domestic in terms of product and service minus the large network, but with newfound debt. Just as most of JetBlues debt is being paid down.


Well, that's a nice sentiment. However, if you think JetBlue's master plan was to force Alaska to overpay for Virgin America so that JetBlue could then swoop in and ... do what exactly, I'm not sure ..., then I think you are choosing to read into it more than was there.

Jetblue wanted Virgin America to grow their presence in the west and be a more relevant national player, as well as to kill off a cool competitor.
Alaska wanted Virgin America to grow solidify their strength in the west and to keep Jetblue out of their backyard, as well as to kill off a cool competitor.
Jetblue bid as much as it was worth to them.
Alaska bid as much as it was worth to them.
Jetblue didn't value the VX acquisition as high as Alaska because, as you said, it wasn't as integral to their future as it was to Alaska's.

If you want to tell yourself that Jetblue placed bids as some sort of master plan to drive up the cost for Alaska, that's fine. That doesn't make it a reality, unless you think Jetblue is really that stupid.
-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.
 
allegiantflyer
Posts: 360
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:18 pm

FlyUSAir wrote:
CaribClipper wrote:
Is it just me or do these integration plans prove VX would of been a better brand fit for JBLU and not ALK?


Everyone and their grandmothers also agree with you, but this wasn't about what fit best, this was an acquisition to get rid of a competitor, simple as that.


Im going to go ahead and disagree with this theory that the VX/AS merger is the same as WN/FL all over again. Everyone knows FL was purchased to get rid of a competitor, however in this case, the two merging airlines only competed in what..a handful of routes? how is that even a competitor? It does actually make sense that AS made the purchase to grow their own brand and route network, they are now a major player in California.
 
TransGlobalGold
Posts: 248
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:40 pm

Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:23 pm

Timaay419 wrote:
A Mashable article headline reads people are heartbroken over the elimination of Virgin America. I don't know if there's ever been an airline with so many likes. AS definitely can't bank on the VX customer coming along...for the frequent flyer program.

http://mashable.com/2017/03/23/virgin-a ... pPpIuEFaqh


This isn't new. Dedicated Airtran pax said they'd never fly Southwest. WN is still pretty big at ATL. People said they wouldn't fly Delta after they merged with Northwest. It's easy to say you aren't going to fly an airline before a merger is completed. It's another when the carriers are combined. AS is going to be just fine.
 
PlanesNTrains
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Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 4:19 pm

Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:36 pm

TransGlobalGold wrote:
Timaay419 wrote:
A Mashable article headline reads people are heartbroken over the elimination of Virgin America. I don't know if there's ever been an airline with so many likes. AS definitely can't bank on the VX customer coming along...for the frequent flyer program.

http://mashable.com/2017/03/23/virgin-a ... pPpIuEFaqh


This isn't new. Dedicated Airtran pax said they'd never fly Southwest. WN is still pretty big at ATL. People said they wouldn't fly Delta after they merged with Northwest. It's easy to say you aren't going to fly an airline before a merger is completed. It's another when the carriers are combined. AS is going to be just fine.


I actually think it's quite likely that many loyal VX customers will bolt out of protest. I'm not sure it's entirely rational but that's emotions for you. Humans have emotions and we often bond with things in an emotional way. If DL bought AS, I think you'd see a large number of AS loyalists vow never to fly DL again, even if DL flew the same planes on the same routes with the same crews. They'd say "It's just not the same Alaska" or "They don't have the Alaska spirit" or whatever. It's why we have marketing departments full of people trying to keep us emotionally connected to their product. In the case of Virgin America, I just think that their customers are the type that like how they feel on Virgin America and are pissed off or disappointed that it's being taken away from them in a way that makes them feel unimportant - so, they protest. I think Alaska will feel it but I don't think it will be as big as it's made out to be, and I'd imagine that Jetblue will be smiling the whole time because they are (in some people's minds) the next best thing. That's business.
-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.
 
SFOtoORD
Posts: 1083
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:39 pm

flyguy89 wrote:
SFOtoORD wrote:
EA CO AS wrote:

In fairness to my new co-workers from VX, those supposedly heartbroken people had a decade during which they could have put their money where their mouth is by flying VX in droves and paying a premium for the experience.

But that didn't happen, and coolness alone doesn't keep the lights on.

As you've seen already, AS will definitely incorporate some of the flair that made VX unique, while recognizing it's the consistent, reliable, genuine service AS provides that has made them wildly profitable while VX was not.


AS people sure are sensitive. This has been the feedback from the VX loyalists since day 1. And yet the AS people just start talking about the dull brand, pedestrian onboard product and AS profitability. Might as well post a "hey VX people, take it or leave it " during the boarding experience. AS had a chance to do something bold and they didn't. It's not the end of the world, but pretending that VX passenger will suddenly stop caring about what differentiated VX is a silly response. But hey, there is new gate music, right?

Btw - "incorporating some of the flair" is not the same as brand experience.

No, I'm sorry, but obviously the VX brand couldn't keep them in business. A lot of people may have liked their product and "style," but that obviously was not a profitable niche. All the awards in the world VX received didn't mean squat for the hundreds of millions of dollars they lost in their years in operation. AS might lose some VX loyalists, but those loyalists obviously weren't loyal enough to make Virgin America profitable and sustainable, won't be a huge loss in the larger context of what AS will grow into.


Again you all keep making the same point that somehow the loyal customers somehow have some correlation with AS profitability. You can keep saying it, but it will never ever be true from a customer perspective. Meanwhile the word around town in SF on this change keeps getting worse. But you should all keep saying the customers should suck it up bc AS has great profitability.
 
jplatts
Posts: 2679
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:43 pm

allegiantflyer wrote:
FlyUSAir wrote:
CaribClipper wrote:
Is it just me or do these integration plans prove VX would of been a better brand fit for JBLU and not ALK?


Everyone and their grandmothers also agree with you, but this wasn't about what fit best, this was an acquisition to get rid of a competitor, simple as that.


Im going to go ahead and disagree with this theory that the VX/AS merger is the same as WN/FL all over again. Everyone knows FL was purchased to get rid of a competitor, however in this case, the two merging airlines only competed in what..a handful of routes? how is that even a competitor? It does actually make sense that AS made the purchase to grow their own brand and route network, they are now a major player in California.


Alaska and Virgin America competed with each other on Seattle-Los Angeles, Seattle-San Francisco, Portland-Los Angeles (even though Virgin America later dropped PDX-LAX nonstop service), Portland-San Francisco, and Los Angeles-Washington, D.C. (with Virgin America flights to IAD and Alaska flights to DCA and BWI), San Francisco-Honolulu (with Alaska flights to HNL out of OAK and Virgin America flights to HNL out of SFO), San Francisco-Kahului (with Alaska flights to OGG out of OAK and Virgin America flights to OGG out of SFO). Most of Virgin America's other routes were not in competition with Alaska flights.

The Virgin America-Alaska merger has already led to further expansion by Alaska Airlines and Virgin America out of California. Delta Air Lines has expanded in Seattle and established a hub operation in Seattle after its merger with Northwest. Southwest Airlines had added additional nonstop service to destinations that were acquired through the Southwest-AirTran merger and that were not served by Southwest prior to the Southwest-AirTran merger,.
 
commavia
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Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:47 pm

TVNWZ wrote:
This is not a zero sum game. For every miffed VX flyer who goes to UA (funny in itself) there could be three others who like the new AS look and start to fly the airline.

william wrote:
The cool and hipster airline is gone, and its a shame, we need more competition not less. But its gone, because there were not enough cool and hipster customers.


Agree with both of those comments.

william wrote:
Oh, and making questionable decisions by VX former management did not help. Who thought going up against the 900 pound gorilla...............errrrrr............KING KONG at Love Field was a good idea?


Indeed. It's seems hard to argue that the DAL adventure has been value-accretive to Virgin America's owners.

SFOtoORD wrote:
I said "didn't understand OR care" and you're saying you think it's the latter which makes my point.


I think the point it makes is that Alaska "cares" about creating a viable business that will survive long-term. It that offends some Virgin America fans, so be it.

SFOtoORD wrote:
Acquiring new customers will require spending money. Again, AS can make that decision, but it's not the zero friction process people here seem to espouse to win customers from a competitor as you lose others. I've long said the VX fliers would be unhappy and today's reaction proves that our. Now it's AS next move.


Indeed. Acquiring new customers does require spending money - for Alaska just like for Virgin America. Unfortunately for Virgin America, despite a decade of near-continual losses, it could still never acquire enough new customers to make its business financially competitive. Alaska, on the other hand, does not have that problem - it has proven impressively adept at making almost stunning margins in the face of an onslaught of direct competition. And critically, Alaska's business model actually has proven scalable - meaning capable of both growth and industry-competitive profitability simultaneously - which is something that Virgin America never really managed. Looking back at the history of these two companies, I have far more faith in Alaska's ability to successfully and profitably acquire new customers than in Virgin America's ability to do the same.
 
FlyUSAir
Posts: 387
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 6:26 am

Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:49 pm

allegiantflyer wrote:
FlyUSAir wrote:
CaribClipper wrote:
Is it just me or do these integration plans prove VX would of been a better brand fit for JBLU and not ALK?


Everyone and their grandmothers also agree with you, but this wasn't about what fit best, this was an acquisition to get rid of a competitor, simple as that.


Im going to go ahead and disagree with this theory that the VX/AS merger is the same as WN/FL all over again. Everyone knows FL was purchased to get rid of a competitor, however in this case, the two merging airlines only competed in what..a handful of routes? how is that even a competitor? It does actually make sense that AS made the purchase to grow their own brand and route network, they are now a major player in California.


This acquisition makes sense from a business perspective, but what I am getting at is that the two company's brands are polar opposites. It made no sense from a brand perspective.
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ckfred
Posts: 5147
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Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:54 pm

I read a comment from Richard Branson about his disappointment with Alaska. Then, he commented that Virgin Atlantic is starting LHR-SEA. That reminded me that Virgin Atlantic has dropped LHR-ORD, again.
 
PlanesNTrains
Posts: 9527
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 4:19 pm

Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:00 pm

FlyUSAir wrote:
allegiantflyer wrote:
FlyUSAir wrote:

Everyone and their grandmothers also agree with you, but this wasn't about what fit best, this was an acquisition to get rid of a competitor, simple as that.


Im going to go ahead and disagree with this theory that the VX/AS merger is the same as WN/FL all over again. Everyone knows FL was purchased to get rid of a competitor, however in this case, the two merging airlines only competed in what..a handful of routes? how is that even a competitor? It does actually make sense that AS made the purchase to grow their own brand and route network, they are now a major player in California.


This acquisition makes sense from a business perspective, but what I am getting at is that the two company's brands are polar opposites. It made no sense from a brand perspective.


I wouldn't disagree. This was always going to be messy because Alaska was damned from the moment the acquisition was announced. It won't matter in the minds of the customers that Virgin America put themselves up for sale - all they will care about is that Alaska was the one who eliminated them. I'd say there is a certain similarity in this regard to the WN/FL merger, but the big difference to me is that WN was not flexible in it's approach to the FL takeover, while Alaska at least is trying to extend an olive branch to the folks at VX. First Class and Premium Economy will be different but at least still exist. A few token "vibe" items were incorporated into the Alaska product, and they seem to be trying to market themselves a bit more to the hipsters (posers as they may be). WN really didn't do any of that from what I recall.
-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.
 
PlanesNTrains
Posts: 9527
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 4:19 pm

Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:02 pm

ckfred wrote:
I read a comment from Richard Branson about his disappointment with Alaska. Then, he commented that Virgin Atlantic is starting LHR-SEA. That reminded me that Virgin Atlantic has dropped LHR-ORD, again.


Easy to say while he's counting his wad. I think he's been classless through this whole process. "Hey, I love you guys!" to the VX crowd while at the same time VX is putting themselves up to the highest bidder.
-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.
 
FlyUSAir
Posts: 387
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 6:26 am

Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:06 pm

PlanesNTrains wrote:
FlyUSAir wrote:
allegiantflyer wrote:

Im going to go ahead and disagree with this theory that the VX/AS merger is the same as WN/FL all over again. Everyone knows FL was purchased to get rid of a competitor, however in this case, the two merging airlines only competed in what..a handful of routes? how is that even a competitor? It does actually make sense that AS made the purchase to grow their own brand and route network, they are now a major player in California.


This acquisition makes sense from a business perspective, but what I am getting at is that the two company's brands are polar opposites. It made no sense from a brand perspective.


I wouldn't disagree. This was always going to be messy because Alaska was damned from the moment the acquisition was announced. It won't matter in the minds of the customers that Virgin America put themselves up for sale - all they will care about is that Alaska was the one who eliminated them. I'd say there is a certain similarity in this regard to the WN/FL merger, but the big difference to me is that WN was not flexible in it's approach to the FL takeover, while Alaska at least is trying to extend an olive branch to the folks at VX. First Class and Premium Economy will be different but at least still exist. A few token "vibe" items were incorporated into the Alaska product, and they seem to be trying to market themselves a bit more to the hipsters (posers as they may be). WN really didn't do any of that from what I recall.


Definitely agree with you on that. AS is definitely trying to win some VX folks over along with keeping some of the product and routes. WN basically took the profitable routes/airports and the 737-700's and disposed of the rest.
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MD82/MD83/MD88/MD90 Q100/Q400
 
flyingcat
Posts: 516
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 10:33 am

Re: Alaska Airlines Brand Update Announcement 3/23

Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:24 pm

PlanesNTrains wrote:
Easy to say while he's counting his wad. I think he's been classless through this whole process. "Hey, I love you guys!" to the VX crowd while at the same time VX is putting themselves up to the highest bidder.


Due to ownership restrictions he was never allowed to retain majority control. Why do you think his actions were duplicitous. He was upfront that he could not stop the transaction.

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