Virgin Dangles Suborbital Space Flight To Frequent Flyers

Virgin America, the airline firm run by Sir Richard Branson, has dangled a new reward for its frequent flyers: a trip into space on Virgin Galactic, the suborbital space firm developing vehicles out in Mojave. According to the rules of a contest launched by Virgin America, Virgin will reward the person to earn the most number of status points in the next year on its frequent flyer program, Elevate, with a Virgin Galactic suborbital space flight. The contest runs through August 7th, and counts points earned across all of Virgin's airlines, including Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic, and Virgin Australia. An added benefit: the reward does not requiring cashing in those points, and is not the number of total reward points a passenger has left at the end of the contest, but only how many earned by members. The second prize winner gets a ZERO-G weightless flight experience. Although Virgin Galactic has yet to launch its flights, it's been working on getting full approval for its commercial flights. The flight is worth $200,000, plus Virgin said it is chipping in an additional $85,700 in cash to cover taxes on the flight to suborbital space.