Alaska Airlines has announced it will kill off the Virgin America brand name sometime in 2019. The Seattle-based airline acquired Virgin for $2.6 billion last year in a move to increase its presence in California. Thankfully Alaska isn’t standing still; the airline says it will incorporate Virgin America’s best features — mood lighting, music, and high-speed internet — into its planes by the end of 2019.
The newly combined airline says it will upgrade nearly every consumer-facing aspect of its product over the next two years. An entirely new cabin will be unveiled next year, and will feature blue mood lighting. Alaska’s current lounges will be refreshed, and two new lounges will be built in San Francisco and New York’s JFK airport by 2019.
High-speed internet capable of streaming Netflix and Hulu will begin rolling out on Alaska planes in fall 2018, alongside an improved first class, both of which will be completed the end of the following year. Even the pilots, flight attendants, and airport staff will receive new uniforms designed by Luly Yang.
Whether or not these changes will appeal to the diehard Virgin fans is still up for debate, but Alaska has been one of the two highest-rated airlines in the US for years — right next to Virgin America — so the drop-off shouldn’t be too steep in the interim.