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From Virgin America: 50% Bonus Points Through August 31

Judging by their load factors, U.S. airlines are doing just fine. For June, Alaska Airlines filled 86 percent of its seats; Delta flew 87.7 percent full; other carriers’ results are expected to be similarly robust.

With such strong demand, there isn’t much reason to offer travelers extra incentives. And yet, Virgin America today announced a bonus offer for summer travel.

The likely reason: JetBlue, which has kept up a steady stream of marketing offers designed to pick up Virgin America loyalists anticipating the demise of their favorite carrier when it’s merged with Alaska Airlines.

Offer Details

Between July 6 and August 31, Virgin America Elevate members can earn 50 percent more points for Virgin flights on all routes.

Registration is required.

Deal or No Deal

Non-elite Elevate members normally earn five points per $1 spent on airfare. With the bonus, that’s upped to 7.5 points per $1. And with a value of around 2.2 cents apiece when redeemed for Virgin America flights, those 7.5 points amount to a 16.5 percent rebate on future travel.

This isn’t the most generous bonus offer we’ve ever seen from Virgin America. But it’s solid extra value, and it’s available for the rest of the summer.

Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

Reader Reality Check

How do you expect the Alaska-Virgin America merger to play out?

More from SmarterTravel:

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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