2017 is coming to an end, and so is the Virgin America Elevate program. Effective Jan. 1, Alaska Mileage Plan will be the sole loyalty program for both airlines, and the last day to earn or redeem Elevate points on either Alaska or Virgin America metal is Dec. 31.
Elevate members can transfer their miles to Mileage Plan at a ratio of 1-1.3, which means that Alaska miles are worth 30 percent more than Elevate points. Every 1,000 Elevate points transferred equal to 1,300 Mileage Plan miles. Members have until Jan. 31 to convert their Virgin America miles to Mileage Plan. If not, the miles will be converted automatically, but there’s a catch.
Elevate sent an email to its members stating that automatic conversion would happen by Feb. 8. However, in that case, members won’t be able to access their miles between Feb. 1 and Feb. 7. The 30-percent bonus will not be affected. I don’t know about you, but I like to have control over my points and miles and have access to them whenever I want. If you haven’t already done so and don’t need to make any last-minute redemptions within the Elevate program, I recommend converting your points manually and not waiting for the automatic conversion. You can do so here.
As Virgin America bids farewell to its frequent-flyer program, the airline will continue operation under that name through 2018. Consolidated flight schedule is expected to start rolling out in the spring of 2018. By 2019, the airlines will fully merge and operate as a single airline—Alaska Airlines.
What are your thoughts on the merger and point conversion details? Please share them in the comments section below.