Virgin America has recently announced a few enhancements to their Elevate elite program along with the expansion of their status match program. Let’s take a look.
New Ways to Earn Elite Status
Under the previous rules, members needed to earn 20,000 status credits to earn Silver and 50,000 to earn Gold. While those numbers now remain in tact, it is also possible to earn status through flight segments. Under the new system, Silver can be earned by completing 15 flights and Gold can be earned completing 30 flights.
While earning through flights is nice, it gets even better. “Reward flights will also be counted towards achieving status.” This means that you can earn status by taking a bunch of short haul flights and you can even use Elevate points to pay for them. This could be super useful for those members who are close to qualifying.
More Bonus Points
Additionally, the amount of bonus points earned has increased for elites. Here are the new earn rates:
- Silver: 50% bonus or 7.5 points per $1 (Up from 25% or 6.25 points per $1)
- Gold: 120% or 12 points per $1 (Up from 100% or 10 points per $1)
Status Match Change
Virgin has also announced an addition to their status match. Currently they match status from United, Delta, American & Southwest. Thankfully JetBlue flyers will be happy to find out that Mosaic elites have been added to the program as well. As part of the match, “Members can enjoy Gold status perks for three months, plus the opportunity to retain Gold status through the end of 2017.” You can find more info here.
Merger & The Future
Of course Virgin America may be going away soon if their purchase by Alaska is completed. While they won’t guarantee what will happen in the future, they do say things will stay the same for awhile. “Please be assured that there will be no changes to the program during the next several months – and potentially until the end of the year, following the recent announcement that Alaska Airlines will acquire Virgin America.”
This is good news for Virgin America elites and for JetBlue elites who are looking to move over. To me, the biggest addition is the ability to qualify for status based on flights. For those who like to fly short haul like LAS-LAX for example, this change makes things much easier. Add in the fact that award flights count and you have a winner! Too bad this program will probably be gone very soon.