Airlines & Airports
Virgin America Set to End Partnership with Virgin Atlantic
PHOTO: A Virgin Atlantic plane at a terminal at Gatwick Airport. (Photo courtesy of Virgin Atlantic)
Virgin America and Virgin Atlantic are poised to end their partnership later this month.
"We are introducing some exciting changes to our loyalty program, Flying Club, to offer our members more value for their loyalty. Alongside these changes, we are also changing our membership numbers, offering members a single lifetime membership number so that they can keep it as they move between our Flying Club tiers," Virgin Atlantic said in an emailed statement to TravelPulse. "Most of our partners have been able to accommodate this change, however, it isn’t compatible with Virgin America’s current system."
"Unfortunately, this means that the reciprocal agreement with Virgin America will come to an end on 12th November. There will still be many opportunities for our customers to use their miles with many different partners."
This means that travelers will have until next week to book award travel with Virgin Atlantic through Virgin America.
Virgin Atlantic also said that members will be able to earn miles when travelling on Virgin America up to and including Nov. 12 and will have six months after that date to retroactively claim miles for travel up to and including Nov. 12.
The news comes nearly seven months after Alaska Airlines' parent company Alaska Air Group announced that it would acquire Virgin America in a deal valued at $2.6 billion.
READ MORE: Could The Virgin America Brand Survive?
View from the Wing's Gary Leff points out that the impending change isn't all that surprising given several factors, including the fact Delta Air Lines owns 49 percent of Virgin Atlantic.
"Though Alaska Airlines hasn't said so, there’s almost no way they’ll keep the Virgin America brand because it means paying a percentage of revenue off the top as a licensing fee," adds Leff.
It doesn't appear that there will be any changes to Virgin America's other existing partnerships.
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