With most frequent flier programs, participants get free flights, access to airport lounges, and free upgrades on their rental cars. But Virgin Airlines just announced that whoever accumulates the most frequent flier points over the next year will get a free trip to space.
Richard Branson's space tourism company Virgin Galactic, which has been planning sub-orbital flights to space since 2004, appears to be ready to start taking space tourists just outside of Earth's atmosphere.
From now until August 7, 2013, Virgin is offering frequent fliers the chance to upgrade to "Galactic" status. Whoever accumulates the most points by that date will win a free flight aboard the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo space plane. The second-place winner will get a free zero-gravity flight aboard a modified airplane here on Earth.
More than 500 people have placed deposits for the $200,000 trip aboard SpaceShipTwo since 2005. Although Virgin has successfully tested the vehicle, it still hasn't flown any tourists to space.
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