14 April 2014 | Operations

Velocity Frequent Flyer unveils Space Class granting Australia's first uprade to space

Virgin Galactic AircraftVirgin Galactic

Velocity Frequent Flyer, the award-winning loyalty program of Virgin Australia today announced a major breakthrough in airline upgrades, offering its members the ability to be upgraded to space.

In a world-first for a frequent flyer program, Velocity will offer its members the opportunity to be upgraded from a Virgin Australia flight to space with a seat on Virgin Galactic. 

In partnership with Virgin Galactic, Space Class will include an exclusive seat on board SpaceShipTwo, the world’s first commercial spaceline, and certified astronaut status for one eligible member of the program.

The new partnership will also see Velocity Frequent Flyer grant Platinum membership to all Australian and New Zealand astronauts registered to fly with Virgin Galactic now and into the future.

It comes as new research  shows that over 1 in 2 Australians have a strong desire to fly to outer space. Amongst males this result was significantly higher with 58% having a strong desire to fly to outer space. It also revealed Australians are upfront when it comes to asking for upgrades, with more than 1 in 4 willing to put in a request prior to their flight and 31% of younger Australians between the ages of 18 and 29 significantly more likely to do so.

Velocity Frequent Flyer Chief Executive Officer, Neil Thompson said: “Since our program first launched in 2005, we have strived to offer more than just a traditional frequent flyer scheme.”

“This represents the next major breakthrough in the Australian frequent flyer industry as Velocity becomes the first program in the world to offer an airline upgrade to space.

“We know that upgrades are a much-loved feature of our program and a core benefit to our Platinum tier members who receive four complimentary upgrades a year. This one is truly unique – offering members the chance to be a part of history, witness the breathtaking views of Earth from space and join the select few in the world who hold certified astronaut status.

“We will continue to harness an entrepreneurial spirit to offer the next generation of frequent flyer benefits”, Mr Thompson said. 

Virgin Galactic Commercial Director, Stephen Attenborough said, “Virgin Galactic’s mission is to revolutionise access to space, making a trip across the final frontier accessible to all. The ultimate upgrade captures the Virgin passion for innovation, upgrading a member of the Velocity program with a seat to space and an opportunity to be part of history.”

“There is world-wide anticipation for the first flight and I look forward to welcoming the Velocity Frequent Flyer member on board SpaceShipTwo”.

To be eligible, Velocity members simply need to fly Virgin Australia between 1 May - 30 June, register and outline what they would do for a seat to space. To find out more, visit www.velocityfrequentflyer.com/spaceclass