the virgin america - alaska airlines merger was officially announced today.
i sent alaska the following in an email:
sorry, but alaska is no virgin. not even close. virgin was the only domestic airline i’d even fly on in the past decade. virgin has been so far above and beyond everyone else, especially alaska, that quite honestly if virgin didn’t fly there, i didn’t fly there. the idea that virgin could become like the rest of alaska airlines or anything remotely less than its former self just makes me want to stop flying again altogether. so i will do that until i find another airline, i guess, unless alaska truly honors richard branson’s wishes of leaving virgin america to indefinitely be its own entity and continue its own expansion, management style, in-flight perks, and everything else that made virgin virgin. virgin america has been the top consumer rated domestic airline ever since its inception by a hugely wide margin over alaska and everyone else for years now. this is just sad that the company that got me to truly love air travel for the first time in my life is being swallowed by one of the many companies that drove me to hate it prior to virgin’s existence. i’ve flown alaska enough to know that i’ll never again fly alaska. looks like i may never again fly virgin america again as well. the US's domestic air travel options and our department of transportation are just pathetically sad at best and grossly corrupt at worst.
if you, too, care about things like truly free markets in this country along with business competition that encourages better standards and pushes things forward for all of us, then i'd highly encourage you to send alaska/virgin an email yourself as well. you might also contact the USDOT and rail on them for their absurd stipulations, entirely exclusive to america and entirely meant to keep huge monopolies running the US airline industry, which kept richard branson from maintaining enough voting shares to keep virgin america from being swallowed up by alaska in the first place.
i can only hope alaska listens to consumers anywhere near as well as virgin did, or that branson manages to open up a new domestic airline in the US.