Virgin America Elevate Program Offers Status Match/ Challenge Program

by on November 14, 2012 · 12 comments

in Elite Status, Virgin America

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Virgin America launched its Elevate elite status program back in July, and now it’s offering members the chance to status match. Between now and April 30, 2013, qualifying elite level flyers from United Airlines and American Airlines’ frequent flyer programs will be able to request matched status to Virgin America’s Elevate Gold and Elevate Silver Status levels. It’s a bit strange that they are not matching status to Delta since they also compete on the same transcontinental routes. Applicants will need to sign up for the Elevate program if not already a member, and can expect their Elevate status to be updated within 7 to 14 days after submitting their application. Approved members will receive their new Elevate status through to April 30, 2013, and will have an opportunity to retain their status through the end of 2013 by earning sufficient status points by flying Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia.

To status match, you have to do the following:

1. If you haven’t already, join Elevate.

2. Email [email protected] with your Elevate number and one of the following:

  • A copy or screenshot of your most recent mileage summary showing your name and current elite level.
  • Or, a copy of your membership card that identifies your name and current elite level in the United Air Lines or American Airlines frequent flyer program.

To match to Gold status, you’ll need to be either a United Premier 1K or Platinum, or an American Executive Platinum.

To match to Silver status, you’ll need to be a United Premier Gold or American Platinum member.

To keep your Gold status after April, you’ll need to earn 12,000 status points (equivalent of spending $2,400) – reduced to 5,000 status points for Virgin America Visa Signature cardholders.

To keep your Silver status after April, you’ll need to earn 8,000 status points ($1,600) – reduced to 3,000 points for Virgin America Visa cardholders.

Just as a reminder, Elevate elite perks include:
-Priority check-in, security clearance and boarding
-Points-earning bonuses (25% for Silver, 100% for Gold)
-Free checked bag allowances (1 for Silver, 3 for Gold)
-An expanded advance-purchase upgrade window for First Class (12 hours for Silver, 24 hours for Gold)
-Complimentary space-available upgrades to Main Cabin Select (12 hours for Silver, 24 hours for Gold)
-Complimentary access to newly designated enhanced seat assignments within Main -Cabin (rows 5, 6 & 9 on the A319, and 5,-7 & 9 on the A320), which will be called “Main Cabin Express” (other members will just have to purchase them for $20)
-Enhanced digital/social media rewards (such as earning double points by checking in at airports and other locations through Facebook, Instagram and Foursquare)
-15% discount on Main Cabin tickets (1 per year for Silver, 2 per year for Gold)
-No Elevate points redeposit fee for Gold
-No call center service fee

Normally, it takes 20,000 Elevate status points ($4,000 in flight purchases) within a calendar year to earn Silver status, while those who earn 50,000 status points ($10,000 in flight purchases) in a full calendar year achieve Gold status, so this is a significant discount on both levels.

All in all, I’m happy to Virgin America investing even more in its elite status program and making those valuable perks available to more and more fliers. I’ve never flown Virgin America, but am going to do a status match and requalify- always good to have options and I’ve heard universally good things about the airline (though I much prefer traditional frequent flyer programs). However, I don’t want to judge until I’ve experienced it all first hand so stay tuned for some trip reports.

As for using Virgin America status to match with other airlines- I haven’t heard of any airline recognizing it as a valid match partner, but it never hurts to ask! Check out the contact information for airline status match and challenges here- I’ll be doing an updated post on the topic shortly so stay tuned. 

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Jim Thompson

    No Delta Status match? I was waiting for the chance to match my Platinum and start flying VA… oh well. The non-stop FLL to SFO works well for my business travel during the winter but the flights are heavily booked.

  • thepointsguy

    Never hurts to ask! I also thought it was weird delta was excluded

  • MiamiMike2

    Is there a downside to applying for a match, even if you don’t intend to use it? If not, it would be nice to have in case I end up traveling on Virgin, since it takes 7-14 days to process. But if they are unlikely to do a match in the future, it might make sense to wait until I have plans to fly them. Thoughts?

    Also, is anyone else doing matches for AA Platinum right now?

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  • Michel

    every time I click on the link to status match and challenges comes up as a 404-not found

  • thepointsguy

    Whoops- just fixed! Thanks

  • Paul

    Has anyone heard of them matching status with Southwest since they have an almost identical program? I currently have 1.4 Million points with southwest and i am also Premier Gold with United. I am starting an 18 mos project in Vegas and will be flying back and forth every week during that time. I am interested now since they announced you can book on Hawaiian Airlines !! Major Plus!!

  • Bouses

    Is it advisable to block out one’s frequent flyer number (or any other information items) when submitting the screenshot?

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  • Chris Eberle

    I tried Delta status match the day you posted this story (thanks!) and just heard back today.
    No go. And the insult to injury was the totally canned response (see below) to my friendly, detailed request message. Guess I should status match to United then use the status given during their challenge period to status match to VA?

    Hi there, Thanks for applying to match your United Air Lines or American Airlines elite status to Elevate® Gold or Elevate® Silver. Unfortunately, we had trouble verifying your current elite status with the information you provided, so we’re unable to match your status at the moment for the following reason(s):

    We were unable to validate your elite status in an eligible airline program based on the documents you submitted.

    We’re sorry that we weren’t able to match your status this time around, but please check out the full terms and conditions of the Virgin America Status Match offer for more information, or if you’d like to apply again.

    And don’t forget: You can always earn Elevate status points the old fashioned way by flying Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic, and Virgin Australia.

    Virgin America

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