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Virgin America Woos Elite American, United Fliers

Virgin America on Wednesday launched an elite status match program for travelers who have frequent-flier elite status on American and United Airlines.

Road Warriors who fly at least 25,000 miles annually on American or United will be elevated and matched to Virgin America Elevate Silver status. Those who fly 75,000 miles or more on United — or 100,000 miles or more on American — will be given Elevate Gold status.

The matched status upgrade will be valid until April 30, 2013. Travelers can extend their status through the end of 2013 by accumulating either 8,000 status points for Silver, or 12,000 status points for Gold by April 30, 2013.

The match program is the latest in Virgin America's strategy to attract coveted frequent fliers. In August, Virgin America upgraded their frequent-flier program by adding Silver and Gold elite levels, a common practice by major airlines to reward loyal travelers. (Read more: Virgin America Adds Elite Tiers, Upgrades Benefits)

Elite Perks

Under the match promotion, Elevate Silver members on Virgin America receive 25 percent bonus reward points per flight, priority check-in, boarding and security, complimentary Main Cabin Express seats (those near the front of the coach cabin), one free checked bag and other perks.

Elevate Gold members receive 100 percent bonus reward points per flight, priority check-in, boarding and security, complimentary Main Cabin Express seats, three free checked bags and additional perks.

Additionally, both Silver and Gold members are able to purchase upgrades to first class ahead of other travelers. (Read more: Road Warrior Tested: Virgin America First Class)

Click here for the full list of elite status perks on Virgin America.

How to Accumulate Points

Members of the Elevate frequent flier program have three ways to earn status points in the program:

  1. Flights on Virgin America earn five points per $1 of base airfare.
  2. Flights on Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia earn points based on the number of miles flown and the class of service in which you travel.
  3. You can earn 10,000 points when you spend at least $25,000 in a calendar year on the Virgin America Visa Signature credit card.

For full details on the status match program, click here.

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