Elite frequent-flier levels from JetBlue and Virgin America
Friday, July 27, 2012
Business travelers always enjoy their extra travel perks, from air travel perks and frequent-flier rewards to corporate suites upgrades. Business travelers have something to get excited about with the Wall Street Journal's recent article, which detailed that JetBlue Airways and Virgin America will be adding elite tiers to their frequent-flier programs this fall, specially for their loyal business travelers.
The new elite frequent-flier levels for both airlines were designed with business travelers in mind and will reward their repeat customers with better seats, shorter lines through security and pre-boarding opportunities. JetBlue's new "Mosaic" tier will include the rarer bonus of an option to check a second bag free-of-charge.
Virgin America will be adding gold and silver levels to their programs on August 8, and the WSJ reported that its "perks will include: priority check-in, security clearance and boarding; points earning bonuses; free checked-bag allowances; enhanced digital/social rewards; private discounts; an expanded window to purchase first-class upgrades and complimentary space-available upgrades to premium coach seats such as exit rows."
WSJ reported that Virgin America Chief Executive, David Cush, said that qualifying for its elite levels was made purposely difficult, and they expect only the top 2 percent of their customers to do so. This can be compared to roughly 6 to 10 percent of similar statuses at other bigger airlines. Cush said, "We want to maintain the cachet of exclusivity."
Business travelers in space
Virgin America is taking their frequent-flier reward programs to an extreme, which may cause a few particularly excitable corporate travelers to intentionally go on a flurry of business trips to get it, jumping from city to city and feverishly booking up short term rental apartments in cities around the world.
Coinciding with Virgin America's August 8 start date for its new reward programs, and extending over the course of the next year, the "Elevate" program member who earns the most status points will receive a sub-orbital space flight on Virgin Galactic, which sends eager travelers hurtling through the edges of the atmosphere.
The Virgin Galactic website details what it will feel like to experience outer space. It says that after the ship reaches space, "The rocket motor has been switched off and it is quiet. But it's not just quiet, it's QUIET. The silence of space is as awe inspiring as was the noise of the rocket just moments earlier."
Business travelers not only buy a higher number of tickets, but they often pay higher fees, WSJ reported. With the addition of elite reward programs, business travelers can finally receive the out-of-this-word rewards that they deserve.