People are heartbroken over Alaska Airlines' decision to retire Virgin America


It might be time to book yourself onto a Virgin America flight before the brand goes away forever.

Late on Wednesday, Alaska Airlines announced that Virgin America's will disappear in 2019.

After buying Virgin last year in a $2.6 billion merger, Alaska has promised to retain the "flair" that fans associate with Virgin, such as free in-flight entertainment, colourful mood lighting and upbeat music while boarding.

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But apart from the frills, other aspects of Virgin will fade away. Of most material worth to travellers is Virgin's frequent flyer plan, which will soon go.

The mood lighting, which used to flash Virgin's pink and purple colours onboard, will become blue. Of course, staff will wear new uniforms by 2019 as well.

Virgin America's former owner, Virgin CEO Richard Branson, said in a blog post on the decision: "Many tears are shed today, this time over Alaska Airlines' decision to buy and now retire Virgin America."

Branson didn't hide his disappointment with Alaska's decision, despite the latter promising to stay true to Virgin's frills.

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He said: "If you miss flying Virgin America, you still have your beautiful sisters; Virgin Atlantic is starting service from London to Seattle next week, and Virgin Australia is starting direct service from Melbourne to Los Angeles the week after that."

"It is a sad (and some would say baffling) day." People on Twitter were similarly heartbroken: