Virgin America introduces status matching for Elevate program

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.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. American and United both have hubs in New York and LA (and bonus for UA @ SFO), that is the only reason I can think that UA and AA are the only ones they are matching.

    1. But VX doesn’t have a hub in NYC nor LA so I’m not really sure how that plays into it.

      I’d think they have a much better chance of getting the folks on the west coast north/south routes than the transcon fliers. I don’t get why AS wasn’t included in the match at all.

  2. LAX is a focus city, and I don’t know why I thought JFK was a focus city/hub. But AA and UA are the only majors with hubs at VX’s big airports.

  3. There route map is OK, still need additional routes to wholly compete with the legacies.

    I think I will go ahead and give it a try. If I try Kayaking next year it should be easy to maintain the status for another year on Virgin (especially if I get the credit card…)

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