A couple months ago Virgin America‘s Elevate program officially launched Silver and Gold status tiers within the program. This week the carrier announced a challenge/match program as they look to attract elites from both United Airlines and American Airlines to their operation. The match is free and will last through April 30, 2013. Here’s how the legacy tiers will map to the Elevate program:
It is somewhat interesting to see that US Airways, Delta and especially Alaska Airlines are absent from the list. It is also interesting that Virgin America sees their Gold status as more valuable than the second tier levels from the other two.
This status match offer is more of a challenge than an outright match; in order to keep the status after April 30, 2013 members will have to reach certain earning thresholds in the program:
Based on the 5 points/dollar earn rate that means a $2400 spend in the next 5.5 months to keep Gold status through the rest of the 2013 year. That’s not cheap, though also not completely unreasonable. And it is quite a discount off the normal $10,000 annual spend required.
Overall, I think that this move will open up access to the Virgin America program to some customers who wouldn’t have otherwise considered it. I’m not sure how many given the high spend thresholds, but I’m sure there will be a few.