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Virgin America now gone from all U.S. airports as Alaska Airlines takes over

FILE - An Alaska Airlines jet sits next to a Virgin America jet at Sea-Tac Airport (Photo: KOMO News)

SEATTLE - The changeover from Virgin America to Alaska Airlines reached a huge milestone overnight, as Virgin America ticket counters and kiosks disappeared from airports across the country.

It's the latest step in the gradual integration of the Virgin fleet and workforce into Alaska Airlines, which acquired Virgin America in December 2016 for $2.6 billion. The merger has made Alaska the fifth-largest airline in the U.S., operating over 1,200 daily flights to more than 120 cities across North America.

From now on frequent fliers of what used to be Virgin America will check in using Alaska Airlines' website and mobile app. There will now just be one call center - and all flight numbers will be Alaska's.

While there will be some Virgin America painted aircraft still flying for a period of time after Wednesday, tickets will be sold only under the Alaska name.

In the fall, Alaska Airlines will begin installing new interior cabins in Virgin America's former Airbus jets - and for a period of time, a guest may board an Airbus plane with an Alaska exterior and a Virgin America interior.

It’s expected to take until the end of 2019 for the completion of a single brand experience on all Alaska aircraft.

Some Virgin touches will be continued on Alaska planes, however - including a library of free entertainment for passengers to access on personal devices and high-speed satellite wi-fi for the entire fleet by 2019.

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