Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards
Member since 26 May 2022
Total posts 4
Flew United couple of times over the last 2 weeks and at no time was my platinum velocity status acknowledged or applied. Resulted in $300 usd each flight for additional bags. Has anyone else come across this and how did you solve it? United have been less than helpful.
Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards
Member since 05 Sep 2013
Total posts 77
For all intense and purposes Virgin Australia's Velocity Platinum and Gold are treated "Generally" as Star Alliance Gold on United flights.
1) Was it a Domestic, Caribbean, Central America and or Canada flight booking on United (not connected to an international booking)? If so, generally Economy tickets on United don’t include a free checked bag. Therefore the “Additional Checked Baggage Allowance (one additional bag up to 23kgs or 50lb)” that you get for being Velocity Platinum is the equivalent of your FIRST bag being free. Any additional baggage fees or oversized fees will still apply per the current United rules.
2) For international bookings (excluding: Caribbean, Central America or Canada) (or domestic flights connected to an international (excluding: Caribbean, Central America or Canada) booking issue under the same ticket), economy tickets (excluding “Basic Economy” tickets) you get ONE bag included in your ticket, plus the “Additional Checked Baggage Allowance (one additional bag up to 23kgs or 50lb)” being Velocity Platinum, so TWO free bags on international tickets being VA Platinum. Any additional baggage fees or oversized fees will still apply per the current United rules.
3) If it was a Basic Economy ticket, you get NO free bags regardless of status (just like Virgin Australia’s Lite Fares or Air New Zealand’s Seat only fares), but you do get a free “carry-on” for your status, in addition to your personal item. Except some international routes, where you get an included bag on a Basic Ticket (look at United website to see what routes are eligible). Any additional baggage fees or oversized fees will still apply per the current United rules.
4) If in Business class internationally (or domestic First class) you only get THREE free bags (two included with your fare and one “Additional Checked Baggage Allowance”) for being Velocity Platinum. Any additional baggage fees or oversized fees will still apply per the current United rules.
Re refunds on United for Baggage:
Use the “Refund form” on the United website, proved a copy of: (1) Virgin Australia Velocity Platinum - international Airline Partners page website; (2) United Website (Search: “Earn and use MileagePlus miles with Virgin Australia” website page, showing the partnerships and free baggage included; (3) Attach a copy of the receipts for your baggage fees; (4) a photo of your in-date Velocity Platinum Card. And hopefully they approve it with your explanation as to why you should get a refund. Worked for me anyway, per a great UA supervior in Detroit advise.
How to avoid it next time:
1) Know whether or not your eligible for a free bag and how many free bags for your booking. Go to the United Websites baggage calculator, set as “Star Alliance Gold” on the Status or membership drop down for being a Velocity Platinum/Gold member for your route.
2) Have your physical frequent flyer card with your ID at Check in.
3) Remember that the partnership is still on the new-ish side and Virgin Australia is not a part of Star Alliance. You get access to the “Preferred Partners” airline benefits (like Azul Brazilian Airlines) on United. Especially outside of United’s Australian gateways not all staff will be aware that Virgin Australia/Velocity is a partner of United and not everyone reads the internal news bulletins announcing partnerships and other updates.
4) Have a copy of the partnership details on both United and Virgin Australia website showing the free baggage and then they will normally look up on there internal policy guide.
5) Keep your cool it will probably take a minute to verify (they may need to check with a supervisor for a appoval code).
6) Lastly, United is known to have an issue with tickets being booked without status and having status at check in (therefore staff manually need to apply benefits). For the status benefits to be applied properly, make sure you are adding your status details at time of booking and your status must be valid at time of check-in to qualify for baggage perks.
These are just like the issues that happen when Virgin Australia and Delta started they partnership.
Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer
Member since 14 Apr 2014
Total posts 46
I had issues with baggage on a domestic US flight, even without status.
They advertise you can pre-purchase checked bags but their website wouldn’t allow me to. Their mobile app would go through the motions but the credit card verification seemed to cause trouble, and then their online reps would only charge at the at-checkin rate, not the reduced online rate.
Not sure if that was down to an AU address, or an AU credit card, or that I had my VA number on it.
Planesa380, thanks so much for detailed in-depth reply. Appreciate it. Ads086, feel your pain!! I tried to pay at airport today and someone else’s card was lodged in the machine. Boy did that create ructions!!
For anyone playing along at home; easiest way of handling this seems to be pay at terminal and then send invoices to VA, who say they’ll reimburse.
Thanks all again for input. Safe travels.
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