Virgin America started offering status matches last November for American Air and United Elite frequent flyers. When they first offered the status match, those matched to Virgin America Elite status were not offered a true status match, but instead were given a status challenge. In addition, not all benefits were provided (specifically the lounge benefit). Now, many months later, Virgin America has expanded their status challenge and has invited Southwest Airline Elite Flyers to match their status to Virgin. Delta and US Airlines are still left in the dust.
The new status challenge started April 1, 2013 and continues through June 30th. New flyers who receive the status match are required to earn 8,000-12,000 status points by the end of June to retain status. The requirements remain the same as the initial status match, but now instead of having 6 months to earn status like the original challenge, newly matched elites only have 3 months to earn the same number of miles. Although the stakes and requirement are high, Virgin America is still offering a lower threshold of Virgin America Visa Card holders, reducing the requirements to just 3,000 points. In addition, newly matched members receive 1 lounge pass for The Loft at LAX.
The only part that is somewhat weird to me is that Virgin America is still not offering status matches to Delta members. Virgin America and Delta compete on 7 routes of the 30 that VX currently flies. Despite having this competition, mainly out of LAX, Delta elite are still excluded from this offer.
Will VX offer DL status Challenges next? Many LAX routes do Overlap!
For more details on the status match, check out my previous post. Just know, the offer is now open to AA, United, and SWA Elite Frequent Flyers.