Air Travel News
Virgin America’s Elevate plan creates two elite levels with new perks
To mark its fifth anniversary, Virgin America Airlines has announced plans to expand its Elevate frequent flyer program with the addition of two elite levels—Silver and Gold – along with a plethora of perks for customers who achieve that status.
Virgin said the changes take effect August 8, creating an Elevate Silver status for persons who rack up 20,000 status points in a calendar year, and Elevate Gold for those who earn 50,000 points.
As part of the changes, the company said it will set aside “the most sought-after seats in its Main Cabin” so elite members can reserve them at the time of booking for no charge. That includes rows 5, 6 and 9 on its A319s and rows 5, 6, 7 and 9 on its A320s. Virgin is calling those rows “Main Cabin Express.” Non-elites will be able to reserve those seats at the time of booking as well, but for a $20 fee. An assignment to one of the Main Cabin Express seats also includes priority boarding. “Main Cabin Express seats that remain unsold 24 hours prior to flight will be free of charge as available seats for all guests at check-in,” the company said.
Other perks for Silver members include a 25 percent bonus on the usual points earned (five per $1) for buying Virgin America flights; priority check-in, security line access and boarding; one free checked bag; a waiver of call center service fees; a 12-hour window for advance purchase of first class upgrades and free Main Cabin Select upgrades; and a 25 percent discount once a year on a non-refundable Main Cabin ticket.
Gold members will get a 100 percent point bonus on flight purchases; priority check-in, security line access and boarding; three free checked bags; a waiver of call center service fees; a 24-hour window for advance purchase of first class upgrades and free Main Cabin Select upgrades; and a 25 percent discount twice a year on non-refundable Main Cabin tickets. They’ll also get a waiver of the $100 fee to redeposit Elevate points.
For details on the changes, go to www.virginamerica.com/elevatebenefits.