Virgin America Offers Bonuses for Transcon Flights
American triggered the bonus-mile battle for transcon flights with attractive bonuses for flights between New York and Los Angeles through March 31.
United matched American's offer, and one-upped it with the addition of bonuses for flights between New York and San Francisco.
Virgin America has now weighed in with its own transcon bonuses, expanding its promotion to include four additional east coast cities.
Through March 31, Elevate members can earn bonuses for the following Virgin America flights:
- Between Los Angeles and Newark, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. (IAD)
- Between San Francisco and Newark, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. (IAD and DCA)
The bonuses, based on roundtrip travel:
- 10,000 bonus points for first class refundable
- 7,500 bonus points for first class or main cabin select
- 5,000 bonus points for main cabin refundable, paid upgrade to first, instant upgrade to main cabin select
- 3,750 bonus points for paid upgrade to main cabin select
- 2,500 bonus points for main cabin
One-ways earn half the above bonuses.
Registration is required.
Deal or No Deal
In a head-to-head comparison with the bonuses on offer from American and United, the Virgin America bonuses are decidedly lacking.
For example, a mid-February flight between Los Angeles and New York could be booked today for $377 each way in Virgin America's main cabin and would earn 1,700 points each way, 3,400 points roundtrip. The 2,500 bonus points on offer amount to less than double points. The same flight on a first-class refundable ticket would cost $2,449 one way and earn 11,340 points each way, 22,680 points for the roundtrip. The 10,000-point bonus falls short of a 50 percent bonus.
By comparison, the bonus offers from American and United feature double miles for discounted coach, triple miles for full coach, and quadruple miles for premium-class tickets.
So, for New York-Los Angeles flights, the best bonuses are American or United's.
For New York-San Francisco flights, United has the best bonuses.
And for flights between Los Angeles or San Francisco and Newark, Philadelphia, or Washington, D.C., Virgin America's bonuses are best. But only because they're the only bonuses on offer.
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.