Frequent flier programs can offer many perks, but Virgin Airlines
may have just topped all other fringe benefits associated with frequent flier programs by offering a free trip to space.
Virgin Airways has announced that the frequent flier that accumulates the most number of miles over the course of the next year, flying on Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic, and Virgin Australia, will be rewarded with a free seat on its Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo. As the company explains on its contests Website, “The Elevate member who signs in and earns the most status points throughout the year will win a suborbital space flight with our partners at Virgin Galactic.”
The contest focuses on the total number of miles achieved over the course of the year and not the number of total unredeemed miles. Virgin Airways explains, “We’ll count up the total status points you’ve earned for trips throughout the year, not the total reward points you have left when the contest ends,” adding, “So you can redeem reward flights with no blackout dates, without hurting your chances.”
Space enthusiasts have been reserving seats on the SpaceShipTwo for years now. As Virgin Galactic says, “aspiring astronauts [have been able] to pay a deposit to reserve a place on SpaceShipTwo since 2005 and several hundred people from around the globe have now booked their place in space.”
Making a reservation and booking a seat doesn’t come cheap. Refundable deposits for a reservation start at $20,000 and a round-trip ticket into suborbital space will cost you $200,000.
The contests runner-up won’t be left in the cold. In fact, “The member who comes in second will get a taste of true weightlessness on a zero-gravity flight.” The excitement of parabolic flight for the second place contestant will be provided by the ZERO-G Corporation.
The contest runs until August 7, 2013.
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