Although Virgin Galactic has promised to eventually lower prices on its suborbital space tourism flights aboard SpaceShipTwo, it looks like prices are actually going up 25 percent in the near term.
In an interview broadcast Monday night on KABC-TV 7 News Los Angeles, Branson said a seat on the suborbital space plane would now cost $250,000 — an increase of $50,000 from the price the company has been advertising for eight years.
Now, does that seem a bit counter-intuitive, wouldn’t it? Absolutely. But, this is actually a clever marketing move. How so? Now, you really didn’t think I’d tell you before the break, did you?
So, for the last eight years, nearly 600 people — let’s call them the early adopters — have put down between $20,000 and $200,000 for their trip into space. Some people have actually been waiting eight years for said flight. And some of those folks have become rather impatient. But, that’s a story for another day.
Others — which we’ll call late adopters, or ladopters — have been holding off, waiting for some sign that SpaceShipTwo will be something other than the world’s most expensive glider. Now, what might possibly convince them otherwise?
Oh, maybe — just maybe — a spectacular powered flight of SpaceShipTwo under the Mojave sky. Like the one that took place on Monday. Yeah, that would help a lot.
But, what would really seal the deal? Oh, a large price increase just on the horizon.
Kah-ching, baby! That’s coin in the register. Money in the bank. Cash on the barrel. (What the hell does that mean, anyway? Cash…barrel…what?)
But, I digress.
Expect the number of paid Virgin Galactic passengers — which was (I think) somewhere around 575 last I heard — to see a considerable spike in the weeks to come as people rush to avoid the pending price hike.