Virgin America bids farewell to Chicago

The nation’s primo hipster carrier that has been rapidly spreading through the country just pulled back on its bid to make Chicago its next destination city.

The outlooked looked great for a first flight in Q1 ’09 not too long ago, but everything hinged on the airline securing landing slots at the airport, most of which are rabidly guarded by American and United, both of which control 85% of the gates in O’Hare. Their biggest chance on getting in was via Delta Airlines, who with their merger with Northwest may now need fewer slots, but as of late last week, those plans hadn’t come through.

Why isn’t Midway an option? Well, according to Abby Lunardini, one of their spokeswomen, Chicago’s smaller airport doesn’t have the urban and international connection appeals that O’Hare has. So they’re focusing their efforts on lower hanging fruit, Atlanta, Miami and Boston, one of which I’m told will be chosen “very soon.”

Not all hope is lost, however, and work with Chicago hasn’t ceased, but as David Cush, the airline’s CEO puts it, it wont be the first new city that the airline flies to. In the meantime, those of us in the Midwest are going to have to sack up and make do with our dumpy, legacy carriers. It’s alright. We really weren’t that cool anyway.