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Virgin America taps mobile social network for loyalty play

Consumers that checked in to either San Francisco International Airport, LAX or one of Virgin America’s mobile taco truck locations yesterday between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. PT with the free Loopt Star iPhone application scored a two-for-one taco deal and a two-for-one ticket offer on Virgin America’s new flights to Mexico.

“We think Virgin America is the best airline in the world and we’re thrilled to work with them,” said Sam Altman, CEO of Loopt Star, San Francisco. “Location-based special offers are a great way to interact face-to-face with customers, and the strategy here is to try a new way to get people excited about a new product.”

When consumers check-in to qualifying locations with Loopt Star, they are asked to enter their email address.

In return, they receive an email with details of the two-for-one offer.

Loopt Star, currently available as an application for Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch, lets consumers check-in to compete with friends and win real-world rewards from retailers and organizations.

With Loopt Star, users play with friends and gain achievements, coupons and other brand-specified rewards for checking into specific locations.

“Loopt Star offers brands like Virgin America a virtual loyalty card, allowing them to connect directly with their customers when they’re out and about, and give them something they want or need — like a discount,” Mr. Altman said.

“We think this helps brands to drive loyalty, but also with Loopt Star, users can see what rewards are nearby, so can find deals and shop at places they hadn’t planned to go,” he said. “The foot traffic businesses can get, capturing people’s attention from a few miles away, that’s where a lot of brands will see true benefits.”

Dan Butcher contributed reporting to this story.