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    Virgin AmericaTwo of our favorite budget airlines are ramping up the perks for their most frequent flyers. JetBlue and Virgin America both announced yesterday new elite status levels that will give loyal customers special privileges and freebies – and for one Virgin flyer, a chance to travel aboard a Virgin Galactic spaceship.

    Virgin America’s new silver and gold Elevate status levels, for customers with 20,000 or 50,000 status points, respectively, promise members priority check-in, security, and boarding, as well as dedicated customer service phone lines and free seat selection in the Main Cabin Express section (at the front of the aircraft) at booking. Silver-level flyers enjoy one free checked bag while those with gold-level status can check three bags for free. To top it off, the Elevate member who accrues the most points between August 8, 2012 and August 7, 2013 will take a suborbital flight on Virgin Galactic. The new membership levels will launch August 8.


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    JetBlue’s TrueBlue Mosaic program, rolling out this fall, extends perks to frequent flyers’ friends and family. All those traveling on the Mosaic member’s reservation will be entitled to a second free checked bag, expedited security lines at 36 airports, and early boarding. Other perks include six free Even More Space seats for those hitting the Mosaic level in 2012, a dedicated customer service line, and a total of nine TrueBlue points per dollar when booking on the JetBlue website. To reach the Mosaic level, members must earn 12,000 base flight points in one year and complete 30 flight segments, or earn 15,000 base flight points.


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