Value in being Virgin Australia Gold and flying partner airlines vs Qantas Gold with One World and Emirates?

7 replies

Journey1

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 01 Jul 2013

Total posts 1

Value in being Virgin Australia Gold and flying partner airlines vs Qantas Gold with One World and Emirates? Which is better? I have recently flown Etihad network and find they fail to recognise VA Gold or benefits. With VA having such a small footprint and relying on partners it feels like i would be better off switching and having Gold muscle in QF??

TheRealBabushka

Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,059

Journey1,

Are your trips normally to domestic or international destinations? That may impact your choice of FF programmes.

aero-seat

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 23 May 2012

Total posts 178

Australian Business Traveller made an entire series comparing Velocity Frequent Flyer and Qantas Frequent Flyer a while ago. Part of their series was how gold and platinum perks compare and they came to the verdict that Virgin Australia's Velocity Frequent Flyer program was better than Qantas' offering. Just like TheRealBabushka pointed out, it heavily differs depending on where you are travelling. I hope this helps!

SaltyJ

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 06 Dec 2012

Total posts 155

Aero-seat - I think the link you referenced is a great place to start, but as Journey1 indicated, there is a difference in the perks that a certain level FF supposedly should receive and those actually afforded them, particularly I think when a member of a program that is in a 'virtual network' as opposed to a program which is part of an actual alliance network.

SaltyJ

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 06 Dec 2012

Total posts 155

Journey1 - I am a Velocity member and on a recent trip through Abu-Dhabi, found that the staff there were very aware of the Velocity program and welcomed me and escorted me to the Lounge. I am also a Gold Flying Blue (Skyteam) member and while flying Alitalia in Italy (domestic) recently, they told me that I could not access the Domestic Alitalia Lounge in Fuimicino Airport, whether i supposedly could or not, they would not let me in. I definitely think that in a program like VA's there has to be education of staff between the participant airlines. It's all well and good to say on the website for example that we codeshare with such n such airlines and have reciprocal FF programs, but if the staff don't know then what good is it. Also I have found that many airports have local Airport Staff at check-in counters and not airline staff, so you can encounter this "lack of knowledge" even more. Recently in Istanbul, traveling to Abu Dhabi on Etihad, I am a VA Platinum member, and according to the VA and EY website Platinum is the same as Gold elite, so I should have been able to have Priority check-in, but the woman at the Business check-in counter at IST (where there was Etihad Business Class and Gold Elite signs but not VA Velocity signs) was an Airport employee and said when showing my Velocity card " that is not us". So education and things like signage etc really need to be concentrated on. But as  aero-seat and TRB have said between VA and QF really depends on whether you jave more domestic or International travel.

charlieg

QantasFF Platinum

Member since 16 Feb 2012

Total posts 133

Flying Delta domestic in the US, their SkyClub lounge in Tampa Florida wouldnt accept the Virgin Gold card, so since then i have Virgin International Lounge webpage bookmarked on my phone to show them in the future!

pab2025

Member since 25 Jun 2012

Total posts 99

I find the velocity network is definitely not as good as the QF/Oneworld network. 
I reside in the US and the few times I have flown with Virgin America they don't recognise anything to do with VA, whereas AA recognises QF status and you end up being treated to better seats, baggage and priority access.

The VA network isnt really a proper network...

TheRealBabushka

Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,059

You are right pab2025

That is the difference between an institutionalised alliance like onworld/Star Alliance and the "make-it-up-as-you-go-along" alliance such the VA/EY/DL and QF/EK.

For an institutionalised alliance, I'd imagine the training provided to staff is more consistent, resulting in a better understanding of the benefits to members across the alliance. There would also be economies of scale in the roll-out of collateral to faciliate training and knowledge sharing.

Theoretically, VA could ensure this is better performed. But I suspect it focuses its training budget on target markets such as SYD/LAX, MEL/LAX, BNE/LAX and with NZ for services across the Tasman.

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