Alaska’s takeover of Virgin America closed in December 2016, and they’ve been making good progress on their integration. As of April 25, 2018, Virgin America flight numbers will be discontinued. This means that all Alaska and Virgin America flights will be Alaska “coded,” so that’s when Virgin America really ceases to exist (though as far as the FAA is concerned, Virgin America ceased to exist earlier this month, when the airlines got a joint operating certificate).
There are lots of implications to Alaska and Virgin America being on a single operating certificate. For example, on (former) Virgin America flights you’ll be able to earn partner airline miles, use MVP Gold upgrade certificates, etc.
As I noted at the time, this also means that you can redeem partner airline miles for travel on Virgin America flights as of that date. I’ve written about how you can redeem British Airways Avios on Virgin America, though as noted by The Points Guy, it’s also worth noting that you can redeem American AAdvantage miles for travel on Virgin America flights as of April 25, 2018.
American’s saver level award availability on their own flights is abysmal, so being able to redeem on Virgin America is a great opportunity. Perhaps especially useful is that you can redeem AAdvantage miles for Virgin America first class, at the cost of just 25,000 miles for a one-way domestic ticket. There’s a good amount of award availability, especially for travel starting in June.
Award availability is best between New York and Los Angeles/San Francisco, though I also see space on transcon flights out of Boston, Orlando, and Washington Dulles.
At the moment Virgin America has a superior domestic first class product. First class has 55″ of pitch, which is significantly better than what you’ll usually find in domestic first class.
While Virgin America first class isn’t as good as the premium transcontinental products you’ll find on some airlines (where you’ll get a flat bed), it’s a great option nonetheless, especially in non-premium markets.
So if you’re looking to redeem American miles for a transcontinental flight, or if you’re trying to book such a segment as part of a larger award, then redeeming for Virgin America’s first class is a great opportunity.