Now this is an upgrade, Virgin Atlantic frequent flyer converts miles into a space trip

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

A north Londoner will be getting the ultimate upgrade with his Virgin Atlantic frequent flier miles. Alan Watts, a former electrician, has amassed more than 2 million miles and has converted them into a space trip on the newly formed Virgin Galactic. He will be one of the first 1,000 people scheduled to fly to 75 miles above Earth.

Virgin Galactic will start testing space flights next year and hopes to have regular flights in 2009. Flyers, or more correctly brave souls strapped onto 3000 miles per hour rockets, will temporarily experience zero gravity at the top of their 150 mile flight.

Sir Richard Branson, owner of Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Galatic, recently partnered up with Burt Rutan to form a spaceship-building company, aptly named The Spaceship Company. Branson will initially purchase five spacecraft along with two launch aircraft.