Update: The Virgin America Elevate program has been discontinued since the carrier was acquired by Alaska Airlines. Learn more about the benefits and how to get a status match with Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan.
Virgin America has finally announced what their “Main Cabin Express” includes and how it works. I first made mention of VX Main Cabin Express when they first announced their frequent flyer program, noting then that it was probably just the front half of the aircraft reserved for their elite flyers and a way for them to make more money off of seats closer to the boarding door. Sure enough that’s exactly what it is! However, Main Cabin Express also comes with Priority Boarding (After first class and Elite passengers) and because of this Main Cabin Express receives preferred access to the overhead bins (this seems like a no brainer, since they are among the first to board the plane).
Fly in posh white leather seats and enjoy unlimited complimentary entertainment, food and drinks in this exclusive eight seat cabin.
|Main Cabin Select
Fly with more leg room, complimentary food and drinks, free entertainment, dedicated luggage space and priority check-in.
|Main Cabin Express
Sit up front in our Main Cabin, be among the first onboard, and be on your way right after touchdown, all for just a little more than a Main Cabin fare. Grab seats in Main Cabin Express starting later in the summer of 2012.
Fly with TV, movies, WiFi and more at our lowest available fare.
Virgin America is trying to up-sell this product. When exploring the “cabins” of VX’s planes, VX is trying to sell themselves as though they offer a 4 cabin aircraft. But be aware the seats and leg room are exactly the same as the rest of the economy class cabin and there are really no added perks to Main Cabin Express, other than early boarding—and who really like to be the first on the plane? If I’m not flying first/Biz, I prefer to be last!
Prices for Main Cabin Express have not yet been announced, however as the new unbundled charge is supposed to be rolled out later this summer, I would expect pricing to be announced within the next few weeks with prices ranging somewhere between $10-$25 for non-elite passengers. Per an email I recieved from Marketing at Virgin America, prices for Main Cabin Express are $20 per flight, regardless of length or destination. Would I say that this additional “perk” is worth it? Absolutely not! I would not pay for it, and I would encourage that you do not pay for it either. It’s just a way for Virgin America to make their Elite flyers feel as though they are receiving an added benefit, since their Elite program is so watered down in comparison to Delta, United, US, and AA.