Virgin America Offering Status Matches to United and American Elite Members

Virgin America is offering elite status matches to United and American flyers.

If interested, email with your Virgin America frequent flyer number and either a screen shot of your elite status account with United or American or a copy of your elite card.

They will match United Platinums and 1Ks and American Executive Platinums to their top tier Gold status, and American Platinums and United Golds to their Silver status.

Status only lasts through April 30, but there’s an expedited requalification scheme.

Certainly Virgin America wants as many high value customers as possible given their financial performance. I’m tempted by the offer, since I’ve never flown them. But top tier elite status only gets you the right to buy up to first class on a space available basis 24 hours prior to flight. While I hear good things about the product, that’s not enticing for me.

(HT: The Points Guy)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Once you fly them, the comparisons of elite status won’t matter. The flying experience alone is worth the switch. I was a 20-year AA loyalist and I recently dumped my miles with AA to switch to VA.

  2. I just submitted the match (UA 1K/AA Exec Plat). I typically fly them once a year BOS-LAX due to a conference we organize and host and my boss makes all of us fly VX on the same flight because of the wi-fi. I’ve enjoyed the main cabin select, and in-flight experience and find it much more enjoyable than the legacy carriers but the route network out of BOS and FF program are still lousy. I will not hit their challenge mark and will stick with UA and AA in 2013 but hopefully can score a MCS seat in two weeks.

  3. I will probably try this, as they have good frequency out of SFO to the destinations they serve. However, I’m a little skeptical I would qualify to keep it.

    There’s no lounge access (I have AA’s lounge in Terminal 2 at SFO anyway); the frequent flyer scheme is based on revenue, and that devalues my frequent personal trip earnings’ utility versus AA; I don’t see a lot of value in the VS/VX mileage sharing program; and I’m not sure what concrete program I’d get (any free upgrades to their excellent First service LAX-SFO?).

    I like VX a lot; Clean, new planes, few delays, superior staff attitude, reasonable prices, excellent First. But man, it takes a lot of SFO-LAX to make any headway on their program. I’ll probably stick with AA, unless they decrease LAX frequency or I get significant SAN flights.

  4. If they end up merging with another airline (one in an alliance we don’t already have) while this is in effect, maybe those on the Elevate books would be comped into the gaining airline’s plan.

  5. I fly Virgin America quite a bit domestically. I definitely have to say that I would rate their planes as much more of a “fun entertainment” experience than any other airline out there. The on-board computer screen built in right in front of you is much more fun to play with than any of the other systems out there. (Of course, this might not matter so much for short-hauls or if you’re planning on working on your laptop anyway.)

    I would definitely recommend giving Virgin America a try. In my opinion, it’s one of those products you have to just experience to really understand.

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