Virgin America was integrated into Alaska Airlines in 2018 but we still miss it. As part of Richard Branson’s line of “Virgin” brands, the company’s slogan was, “A Breath of Fresh Airline.” And it really was. It was a “fun” airline – they were “on a mission to make flying good again” and they did it with purple mood lighting (before anyone else was using that kind of lighting in their planes), altruism such as #TinyDogsTinyFares Cyber Monday (when they offered of up to 30% off flights nationwide and then donated $10 from every booking made on its website to animal shelter partners) and, of course, the infamous “Virgin America Safety Dance” pre-flight safety video:
Virgin America was voted By Travel + Leisure as Best U.S. Airline for 10 years in a row and there’s really no wonder. Their prices were good. They didn’t take themselves too seriously. And best of all, they didn’t allow their employees to take themselves too seriously – an example of this is one of the things I miss the most…
One Virgin America gate agent, known to the world as Rootbeer1 on imgur and as Steve F. in real life, took the “fun” of working for his employer to a whole other level. A Virgin America employee from late 2009 through fall of 2016, he was allowed to add little comments into what was posted at the gate, to make the airport experience a little more fun. Stuff like these (all photos [and his editorial comments beneath each one] are from rootbeer1’s page on imgur):
As the comment for the last sign said, sadly, Steve left Virgin America in late September of 2016.
You can read more about Steve and his 15 minutes of fame from his signs on this page of his blog – it’s a fun read!
But yeah – people like Steve, who helped to make Virgin America the quirky, fun airline it was, is why we miss them. True, Alaska Airlines, who bought them out, has its own place in the “not a boring, corporate airline like the Big Three” realm of aviation. But it sure isn’t Virgin America.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary