Virgin America First Airline to Offer Frequent Flyer Points for Location-Based Virtual 'Check-ins'
Tech-Forward Airline Teams Up with Topguest to Offer Travelers Ability to Earn Elevate™ Points via Virtual Check-ins
Flyers Can Earn Points by Checking in at Virgin Locations with Geolocation Apps like Facebook Places and Foursquare
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Virgin America, the California-based airline that is reinventing domestic travel, today announces that it is teaming up with Topguest, the new geolocation 'check-in' club that provides guests with real-world travel rewards when they virtually check-in using applications like Facebook Places and Foursquare. As of today,* guests traveling with Virgin America are able to earn bonus Elevate points just by virtually 'checking in' at the airline's airport terminals, gates and other locations. Each 'Check-in' using popular location-based mobile applications like Facebook Places and Foursquare will earn guests 25 Elevate points.*
"Our flyers tend to be tech-forward and more plugged in to social networks and location-based services, so we're pleased to now offer them real world rewards for virtual check-ins," said Brett Billick, Director of CRM at Virgin America. "With the rapid growth and popularity of location-based apps, this is something our guests have actually been asking for – and we think it will provide an inventive new way for our travelers to earn Elevate rewards."
To participate, travelers can download Topguest's new iPhone or Android application or sign up online at www.topguest.com. Once signed up, guests can add their Elevate member number and then connect to Facebook Places, Foursquare and most other geolocation applications, including Gowalla and Twitter. Once a traveler checks into a designated Virgin America location – such as the airline's home base at San Francisco International Airport, the Topguest application will notify them in real time that they've received an Elevate points reward. All official Virgin America locations are viewable in the "Top Spots" tab of the Topguest application.
"With Topguest, consumers have access to exclusive travel perks, right from their phone," said Geoff Lewis, Chief Executive Officer of Topguest. "Teaming up with a tech-savvy travel brand like Virgin America as our first airline partner makes perfect sense. Given the popularity of mobile check-ins, the new offering will help drive loyalty and engagement with their customer base."
This new opportunity is not Virgin America's first foray into the location-based world. In August, the airline partnered with location-based social mapping company, Loopt, to deliver a special offer of two-for-one tickets to Mexico for those who checked-in virtually at select taco trucks and airports in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
With outstanding service, beautiful design and a host of high-tech amenities, Virgin America has captured a list of industry best-in-class awards since its 2007 launch, including "Best Domestic Airline" in the Conde Nast Traveler 2008, 2009 and 2010 Readers' Choice Awards and "Best Domestic Airline" in Travel + Leisure's 2008, 2009 and 2010 World's Best Awards. The airline's touch-screen seatback in-flight entertainment platform offers a 30-film library, live TV, videogames, seat-to-seat chat, 3,000 MP3s, Google maps, a digital Shop platform, an award-winning on-demand food menu and more. In May 2009, Virgin America became the first airline to offer WiFi on all its flights.
Virgin America flies to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Toronto, Orlando, Dallas-Fort Worth (starting December 2010), Los Cabos (starting December 16, 2010) and Cancun (starting January 19, 2011).**
About Virgin America: Headquartered in California and launched in August 2007, Virgin America employs over 1700 people. The airline's base of operations is San Francisco International Airport. Virgin America offers in-flight internet service on every flight and hosts the largest in-flight entertainment library in the North American skies via the Red™ platform. In addition to a 30-film library including foreign language films and Hollywood blockbusters, Red offers live TV, games, seat-to-seat chat, 3,000 MP3s, Google maps, the world's first seatback digital Shop platform and more. In just three years flying, Virgin America was named "Best Domestic Airline" in the Conde Nast Traveler 2008, 2009 and 2010 Readers' Choice Awards and "Best Domestic Airline" in Travel + Leisure's 2008, 2009 and 2010 World's Best Awards. For photos and more: www.virginamerica.com
About Elevate: Elevate is Virgin America's first-of-its-kind loyalty program, which offers guests the ability to redeem points for any unsold seat – on any Virgin America flight, at any time. Elevate offers one of the industry's most generous and easy-to-redeem flight reward programs, as few as four roundtrips or 2,500*** points can earn members a reward flight. Elevate members are able to retain their points indefinitely, as long as they either earn or redeem points at least once every 18 months.**** Elevate members receive exclusive offers that only the world–class Virgin brand could provide, such as tickets to the star-studded in-flight premiere of HBO's Entourage and the chance to compete to earn a seat on a Virgin Galactic sub-orbital space flight.
About Topguest: Topguest provides geo-smart customer relationship management solutions to leading hotels, airlines, restaurants, bars and rental-car companies. Topguest is the only service that links existing loyalty programs with smart phones to reward members, incentivize action and engage in real time drip dialogue with high value customers during trip. Topguest's consumer applications for iPhone and Android are the only way to get real hotel points, air miles, and travel perks for your Facebook Places and Foursquare check-ins. The Company is backed by notable Silicon Valley investors including Founders Fund, Ron Conway, Keith Rabois, Naval Ravikant and Jeff Clavier. Peter Thiel, the first investor in Facebook, is an Advisor. Topguest is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area.
*This offer is valid from November 15, 2010 until May 15, 2011. To be eligible for this offer you must be both a member of Topguest and Virgin America Elevate rewards programs. No purchase necessary. Employees of Virgin America are not eligible for this promotion. Limited to one 'check-in' per day per guest. Points earned via Topguest will be posted to the guest's account within 48-72 hours of the check-in taking place. Any attempt to deceive or perpetrate fraud related to this promotion or the Elevate program will result in the immediate termination, deactivation, and removal of all benefits, rights, and privileges associated with travel on Virgin America, its partners, and programs. For full Topguest Terms of Service, please visit: http://www.topguest.com/terms
**Subject to Mexican government approval.
***Points required to redeem an Elevate travel reward on Virgin America will be publicly available on a seat and flight-specific basis and are subject to change. Domestic reward bookings are subject to a security fee of $2.50 per segment, payable by credit card or Virgin America credit file. The Passenger Facility Charge and Segment Fees are waived for domestic reward bookings. For international reward bookings, Virgin America guests are responsible for the taxes and fees incurred from international travel. These taxes and fees are subject to change at the discretion of each country's government and also vary from country to country depending on the origin and destination.
****As an Elevate member, you can retain all of your Elevate points as long as you have earning or redemption activity at least once every 18 months. So your points will extend for another 18 months with any qualifying activity such as flights on Virgin America, completed reward travel, or through earning points on your Virgin America credit card or other partners.
SOURCE Virgin America
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