Overnight, the Virgin America brand flew away for good. Since its acquisition by Alaska Airlines two years ago as part of a $2.6 billion deal, Virgin America was slowly disappearing. To the dismay of many travelers, the carrier took its final flight on the evening of April 24, 2018, marking the last time a “VX” flight made its way across the skies. And now, nothing remains of Virgin America’s branding in the 29 airports it was serving. Feeling nostalgic yet?

When “A Breath of Fresh Airline” (the company’s slogan), began its operations over a decade ago, it soon won over the hearts of millions of travelers. The boutique carrier offered the style and high-quality service that is expected from a Virgin (VAH) company, making customer service and experience a priority. Aside of being ranked as one of the best low-cost airlines in North America, it was also… pretty awesome. The California-based carrier was an airline “on a mission to make flying good again”. And at the least, it definitely made flying fun.

Remember that time in 2016, when the brand announced a #TinyDogsTinyFares Cyber Monday offer of up to 30% off flights nationwide and then donated $10 from every booking made on its website to animal shelter partners? It also undertook the "Operation Chihuahua" airlift – flying Chihuahuas in style from San Francisco to New York so they could be adopted into loving homes. Or that time in 2012, when a five-year-old Pomeranian named Boo, a social media phenomenon, considered as the world’s cutest dog, was inaugurated as the Official Pet Liaison for Virgin America?

Image by Albert Domasin  CC BY 2.0

How about the signature deep-purple glow in the cabin? Virgin America added mood lightning into its aircraft before any other airline did. And how about those chick black leather seats? Let’s not also forget the brand’s cutting edge airport terminal at its San Francisco International Airport (SFO) hub. But what travelers will probably miss the most is the infamous pre-flight safety video “Virgin America Safety Dance” placed instead of traditional safety instructions since 2013 ("For the point-zero zero zero one percent of you who have never operated a seat belt before …"). Virgin America was one low-cost high-fun airline indeed.

Most passengers flying on U.S. airlines seem to view air travel as a necessary evil. Which is why Sir Richard Branson’s offspring with its offbeat cool, lavish lifestyle, risk-taking behavior and funky approach will be missed by many. Nevertheless, there is still hope. Not for Virgin America, but for many other airlines all over the world that also strive to make flying experience as fun and enjoyable as possible and are ready to go the extra mile to make sure that the flight is memorable in a good way.