Virgin America Celebrates Four Million Elevate® Frequent Flyer Members By Launching 'Flights With Bennies' Campaign

Travelers Can Sign Up and Receive 500 Elevate Points or Score up to 2,500 Points* for Referring Friends to Elevate;

Elevate Membership Grown More Than 30 Percent in Just Two Years

Feb 23, 2016, 12:00 ET from Virgin America

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Virgin America, the upscale, low-cost airline, announces today it has grown its Elevate loyalty program to four million members strong, and is celebrating by launching a cheeky "Flights with Bennies" campaign to invite Elevate members to share the love with their family and friends and encourage them to "break up" with their current loyalty programs and instead enjoy a more "beneficial" relationship with Virgin America. Since launching in 2007, the airline's Elevate frequent flyer program has pioneered a number of loyalty benefits in the U.S. industry, including being the first to offer dynamic reward pricing – with the ability for guests to redeem reward points for any unsold seat – on any flight, at any time – with no blackout dates.  Starting today, Elevate members can refer up to five friends to the program via email, Facebook, or Twitter – and earn 500 bonus reward points for each sign-up – allowing for up to 2500 points (the equivalent of a free flight on Virgin America).*  Each person referred will also score 500 reward points just for signing up.* Virgin America has captured a slew of awards since its launch in 2007, and is the only airline in the U.S. skies to be named the "Top U.S. Airline" in Travel + Leisure's Annual World's Best Awards and in Conde Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Awards for the past eight consecutive years. Through the "Flight with Bennies" campaign, travelers who haven't yet joined Elevate can even reward themselves.  For more, visit:

"With our award-winning product and guest service, we see that once people try Virgin America they usually stay with us – and we're seeing a growing number of flyers who will only fly us," said Stuart Dinnis, Director of Loyalty at Virgin America. "Flyers appreciate our innovative approach to travel – from our loyalty program to our website to our onboard experience. Now we're giving them a chance to break up with that old airline that doesn't treat them well, and instead put the magic back in the flying experience by choosing Virgin America."

Through the "Flight with Bennies" campaign, travelers can find that spark again by setting themselves up with Virgin America and taking to Twitter or Facebook to announce their break-up with their least favorite part of flying with the "other guys" -- like aisle TVs, no WiFi or power outlets, peanuts instead of meals, and blackout dates galore. To celebrate its most loyal customers, Virgin America is also marking the four million member milestone by naming one of its new Airbus A320 aircraft deliveries, "Flights with Benefits."

More on Virgin America's Elevate loyalty program:

  • Elevate membership has grown over 30 percent in just the last two years
  • Over 80 percent of Virgin America Elevate Members would refer a friend to fly with the airline for its unique product and service
  • Virgin America has doubled the number of Gold and Silver status members in the last 12 months
  • Over 30 percent of Virgin America's Gold and Silver tier members were status match travelers from other airline programs
  • The number of Virgin America Visa Signature® credit card holders almost doubled in 2015
  • The most popular destination to redeem points for travel is Cancun – with the airline's newly launched flights to Hawaii growing quickly in popularity
  • As the only airline with no blackout dates for reward point redemption - the holidays are a popular time to burn points on Virgin America – with nearly 40,000 travelers using reward points during the holiday season in 2015

In 2012, Virgin America launched a suite of enhancements to its Elevate frequent flyer program -- including Elevate Gold and Elevate Silver status levels that offer perks such as: priority check-in, security clearance and boarding; points earning bonuses; free checked bag allowances; enhanced digital/social rewards; private discounts; an expanded advance purchase upgrade window for the airline's exclusive eight-seat First Class; complimentary space-available upgrades to the carrier's premium Main Cabin Select service; and complimentary access to the best seat assignments within Main Cabin – as well as access to the airline's first airport lounge -- the Virgin America Loft at LAX, which offers guests a sleek and modern retreat, with a selection of amenities and a space that reflects the look and feel of the airline's mood-lit aircraft and overall design aesthetic.

This isn't the first time that the airline has pointed out flyers' irrational loyalty to carriers with disintegrating amenities and benefits. Virgin America launched a "Loyalty Made Me Do It" campaign in 2014 with humorous videos depicting the dismal relationship many travelers face with their current frequent flyer program. These videos were created in a partnership with the crowd-sourcing platform, Tongal, with an open call to creative flyers to send their best videos about the typically frustrating domestic airline service experience and loyalty rewards process. Virgin America even created a fictional airline, 'BLAH Airlines' to point out the boring, beige and dull antithesis of the innovative and stylish experience of flying on Virgin America.  

Virgin America's Elevate program partners include: Virgin Hotels, Virgin Limited Edition, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Hilton Worldwide Hotels, Morgans Hotel Group, One & Only Palmilla, the Cosmopolitan Hotel of Las Vegas, Silvercar, Uber, Gilt, Gilt City, Virgin Wines, Crunch and American Express Membership Rewards.

In addition to a Main Cabin that offers custom leather seating with a deeper, more comfortable pitch, Virgin America's First Class cabin offers plush white leather seating with 55 inches of pitch, 165 degrees of recline and lumbar massagers. The carrier's Main Cabin Select service offers 38-inches of pitch, free food and cocktails, an all-access pass to media, dedicated overhead bins and priority check-in/boarding. The Red® entertainment platform offers guests their own seatback touch-screen, with +25 latest release films, TV, interactive maps, videogames, a 3,000 song library, surround sound technology and an on-demand menu, which allows flyers to order from their seatback any time during a flight.

Virgin America flies to Austin, Boston, Cancun, Chicago, Dallas Love Field, Denver (starting March 15, 2016), Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Los Cabos, Newark, New York (JFK and LGA), Orlando, Palm Springs, Portland, Puerto Vallarta, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington D.C. (IAD and DCA), Honolulu and Kahului, Maui.

PHOTOS AND VIDEOS: Photos & broadcast-quality video of Virgin America aircraft:

ABOUT VIRGIN AMERICA: Known for its mood-lit cabins, beautifully designed classes of service and innovative fleetwide amenities — like touch-screen personal entertainment, WiFi and power outlets at every seat, Virgin America has built a loyal following of flyers and earned a host of awards since launching in 2007 — including being named both the "Best U.S. Airline" in both Conde Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards and "Best Domestic Airline" in Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards for the past eight consecutive years.  The airline serves Austin, Boston, Cancun, Chicago, Denver (as of March 15, 2016), Dallas Love Field, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Los Cabos, Newark, New York (JFK and LGA), Orlando, Palm Springs, Portland, Puerto Vallarta, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington D.C. (IAD and DCA), Honolulu and Maui-Kahului.  For more:

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SOURCE Virgin America