Sunday, November 18, 2012

Why I'm Status-Matching to Virgin America

Virgin America is currently offering a status match to frequent flyers with elite status on United or American. United Premier 1K or Premier Platinum matches to Virgin's Elevate Gold status, as does Executive Platinum on American. UA Gold, UA  Silver, AA Platinum, and AA Gold all match to Elevate Silver.

I've only flown Virgin America once before, on a red eye back from a bachelor party in Las Vegas a few years ago. It was nice enough, but I can't see myself flying them much in the future. Their route map is pretty limited, and the only direct flights from New York are to Vegas, San Francisco, and Los Angeles (things are much better if you live near LAX or SFO). Side note: that's why it never made sense to me that the management consultants on Showtime's House of Lies fly Virgin America - I recognize that they're paying for that placement, but it just doesn't make any sense! They also always fly in wide bodies, even though Virgin America doesn't have any in their fleet - but don't get me started on that...

Silly Showtime, management consultants don't fly Virgin America!

In addition, their Elevate program doesn't really appeal to me since you earn miles based on how much you spend, rather than how far you fly (similar to Southwest and JetBlue). The only way to build up a nice, big stash of miles is to spend a lot of money, and I just don't see that happening for me - especially given the limited route network (as previously mentioned).

All that said, I did jump on this match offer and here's why...

For one thing, it's free - and who says no to free?!

Second, while I don't have any plans to fly them in the near future, I am going back to Vegas for a bachelor party this spring - and it was a snowstorm back east that caused me to end up on Virgin America last time. Never hurts to have elite status on your backup plan!

Third, I could possibly see myself flying Virgin Atlantic this spring - and Elevate Gold Status provides priority checkin, security, and boarding.

There are other benefits listed, but those are the ones that are most relevant to me.

For those of you that are interested, the match is good through the April 2013 and the requirements to maintain it depend on what level you match to, and whether you have a Virgin America Visa:

The requirements are MUCH lower for credit card holders

You can request the match here. Anyone else out there planning to jump on this offer?

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