Ever since Alaska’s takeover of Virgin America was announced, it seems like Virgin America and JetBlue have been competing more fiercely than ever before. This is likely because JetBlue also wanted to buy Virgin America, but was outbid. Since that time, we’ve seen several promotions and positive changes from both carriers.
A fierce rivalry is good news for competitors. JetBlue ran what was by far the most generous promotion, when they offered to match the points balances of Virgin America Elevate members. The idea behind the promotion was great — if someone earned a lot of points on Virgin America through flying, why not throw those passengers a huge bone that will encourage them to switch some business around?
What JetBlue probably hadn’t considered was the opportunity this presented for people who weren’t even loyal Virgin America flyers. Specifically, Starpoints can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio to Virgin America Elevate, and you even get a 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 points transferred.
To maximize the promotion many people transferred 40,001 Starpoints to Virgin America Elevate, getting them 50,001 Elevate points (worth ~2.2 cents each towards the cost of Virgin America tickets), plus 75,000 JetBlue TrueBlue points (worth ~1.5 cents each towards the cost of JetBlue tickets). That’s potentially $2,000+ worth of travel for 40,001 Starpoints, which is a heck of a deal.
JetBlue fully honored the promotion, fortunately, though I’m guessing they had a lot more people taking advantage of it than they expected. The effect this had also seems a bit backwards, since it’s actually causing more people to fly Virgin America as well, given that many people suddenly have a huge balance of Virgin America Elevate points.
Well, now a reader shared an email he just received from Virgin America, which is pretty hilarious, as it’s clearly hinting at people recently taking advantage of JetBlue’s promotion.
“You ‘blue’ the points off that one” — hah! In the text of the email they offer a 25% off code for an upcoming Virgin America flight:
Nice match, my friend. Someone was using their noggin. As a little thank you for transferring your points to Elevate, we’re offering 25% off fares fares when you book by August 29 and fly through October 15, 2016. Use this one time promo code just for you and take off with movies, food, and happy hour on-demand.
You’ve gotta love this. While I love rivalries in general, in this case Virgin America is outright throwing shade at JetBlue, essentially congratulating Elevate members on taking advantage of JetBlue’s promotion.
Did you receive this offer from Virgin America Elevate?
(Tip of the hat to Scott)