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The writing was on the wall for Virgin America, ever since the announcement of its takeover by Alaska and the completion of the deal last year. Only a few months back, Alaska announced that they would be terminating the Virgin America Brand in 2018, and now Virgin America has announced the dates of the closure of all its partnerships in preparation for the dissolution of the Virgin America brand.
Which Partnerships Are Affected
The Closure is complete and affects all of Virgin America’s partnerships, from airlines to car rental and hotels all partnerships will be terminated including the ability to transfer American Express Membership Rewards to the Virgin America Elevate program. Luckily the terminations are somewhat staggered over the latter half of 2017, which will mean you will have to be careful when a specific partnership ends if you have plans to use it.
Virgin America has posted an entire timetable of when and when each partnership will be terminated. While the majority will end on September 30, 2017, others will last a little longer; one will be terminated earlier. The partnerships that have different ending dates are:
- Alaska Airlines ends December 31, 2017 (obvious)
- Airbnb ends June 30, 2017
- Membership Rewards transfers ends October 31, 2017
- Points.com ends October 31, 2017
Sadly, the termination of the Membership Rewards transfers is a blow, since it was the only way to transfer points to Alaska which is not a Membership Rewards partner — even though the transfer ratio to Virgin Elevate is 2:1 which was not the best.
This move is no surprise really, ever since Alaska announced the termination of the Virgin America brand. It seems Alaska is keen to bury the Virgin America brand and move on as soon as possible. We think it simply comes down to Alaska not wanting to continue to pay Richard Branson licensing rights for the Virgin Brand. These fees were scheduled to continue until 2040; however, it seems Alaska obviously believes that if they kill off the brand, they will no longer have to pay up.
Source: The Points Guy
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