Richard Branson Says Alaska Airlines “Castrated” Virgin America
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Richard Branson is still livid about Virgin America’s sale to Alaska Airlines. Back in April 2016, he originally sounded off about the matter in a blog post saying, “there was sadly nothing I could do to stop it.” Again this week he aired his grievances publicly on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” going so far as to say that “big companies often do this: they buy something because it’s doing so well and then they castrate it,” — a move Branson says he doesn’t normally take “lying down.”
In his new book, Finding My Virginity: The New Autobiography, Branson continues to discuss how disappointed he is with the sale. As Virgin America is a US-registered airline, Branson and his foreign businesses were unable to control voting interests during the acquisition. This left the voting shareholders with the ability to sell off the company to Alaska Airlines which — as he explained on air — was an offer “they decided they couldn’t refuse.”
Not only was Branson disappointed with the sale, but he also expressed his disagreement with Alaska’s decision to get rid of the brand entirely which, as we learned recently, will occur on April 24, 2018. “Alaska is very foolish to just absorb [Virgin America],” Branson added. He took the opportunity to point out that “Virgin America has been voted best airline in the States 12 years in a row.” To be fair, that’s not a universal opinion, as Virgin America landed #3 on The Points Guy‘s 2017 airline rankings.
Nevertheless, Branson hinted this may not be his last foray into the airline business. In an interview on Bloomberg TV in May he noted that Alaska has to keep paying royalties “unless we decide to start another airline. So, we’ll see what happens.”
Featured image by Steven Lawton via Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees