Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum
Member since 07 Feb 2013
Total posts 431
Watered down benefits with "virtual alliances"
Having just flown SQ utilising my virgin platinum for lounge access I really think these quasi-alliances are not worth that much to higher tier members. Obviously comparing these alliances to members of OW and Star is a little unfair however with no priority screening or boarding it hits home again that VA is just a budget airline still trying to act as a full service carrier. The differing benefits needs to be streamlined too, flew Air NZ a few months ago as velocity platinum and along with lounge access was personally greeted by the CSM on board and immediately given customs/immigration priority card. Obviously this was in the system and VA have a stronger alliance with Air NZ than SQ as when I enquired as to whether my velocity details were attached to my booking while in the lounge in singapore they stated their system does not allow such things, only for star alliance members.
Member since 05 May 2012
Total posts 12
I hear you - even flying out of SYD as a platinum on VA to ZQN last month, baggage was not priority tagged. I know it is a trivial matter in the scheme of things but if the advertised benefits of status levels aren't delivered on, why bother?
Member since 13 Sep 2013
Total posts 114
They didn't put a sticker on your bag?? Outrage!! You should defintely look at moving to QF
Member since 26 Mar 2014
Total posts 88
I'm a VA Plat and have flown SQ Many times, even recently in Y for a non work trip, and was given lounge access, priority baggage, priority boarding, priority Immigration cards, the works that I expected as a recognised Plat. I checked in with my friend through the Business check in counter in Australia and then on the return in Changi again with no issues whatsoever.
Unfortunately with these alliances I agree sometimes untrained staff don't recognise it at aswell because your card is not affiliated with *A.
But I've never had a problem with them.
I can also echo your thoughts on Air NZ, flown them to the US before as a VA Plat and had impeccable treatment.
Sorry to hear you didnt have the same experience I had with SQ. I agree in the early times there was alot of work needed, but recently I believe alot of ground has been made.
I'd love just as much as the next guy for VA to just join *A but unfortunately it just isn't going to happen in the forseeable future.
Hope your next trip is better!
I might add I even had the same smooth experience with Silk Air on that trip! - which was the first time I had flown Silk and I didn't expect them to recognise it to be honest.
But I flashed the Velocity card at USM and got Business check in, priority tags, lounge access (into the Bangkok Air lounge) and priority boarding etc.
I think the alliances are working quite well. Again I wish everyone had this consistent experience.
Member since 28 Feb 2014
Total posts 55
I was SQ Krisflyer Gold for 10 years, but as time went on with SQ all of the good benefits were removed including express clearance cards (you still get them for outbound in Australia) priority security Singapore etc.
When I traveled recently on my VA Platinum, it was just the same as Krisflyer Gold. The one thing they told me at Sydney when I was checking in that they cannot see on my reservation my VA status, I had to show them my frequent flyer card. When I travel on NZ, they can see my status in the system. SQ Gold level frequent flyer is not that good (I always felt I was better treaded on other *Alliance carriers) you really need PPS to get the good access like the Silverkris lounge in Singapore, the Krisflyer Gold lounge in Changi is not very nice. I would have through that VA Platinum would get better lounge access in Singapore. I will be travelling with Eithad soon so I will be looking forward to seeing how that works…..
I do agree with you on the Changi Gold lounge access for sure.
The lack of toilets is a bit interesting.
Must be an SQ thing, lounge at bangkok has the toilet outside too, interesting as you say, I'm sure it saves on the $
I've heard good things from those I've known flying etihad with VA status, hope it continues for your flight(s)
Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards
Member since 13 Jan 2014
Total posts 57
I am really starting to get frustrated with the gaps in the "alliance". I am also treated better as a plat on some of their partner airlines than i am on their own. Strange.
A recent example was flying airnz from SFO. Checked in the buisness check in desk flying Y+, and was told i was not able to get lounge access. They use a SQ lounge. So flying on 1 partners airline i cant get access to another parners lounge? I was not given priority screening at security. While it's not the end of the world, its just something i would prefer not to have to think about.
Member since 21 Apr 2012
Total posts 2,058
As with all processes, the service compliance by airline staff to an alliance’s benefit schedule consist of both system (automatic) and manual controls.
Where an airline has not updated or invested in adequate system controls to ensure compliance with an alliance’s benefit schedule, then you’ve got to wonder at their sincerity in offering the full suite of benefits.
The problem really is in the manual controls, where there is a higher risk of non-compliance by staff.
This is where the benefits of an institutionalised alliance comes into play. With the 3 main alliances, the benefit schedule and its implementation can more easily and efficiently be communicated to staff across all member airlines. Institutionalising an alliance breeds familiarity resulting in improved consistency.
That is why, in my opinion, a non-institutionalised alliance (like the AY version) has a much harder task in implementing the alliance’s benefit schedule.
Member since 30 Aug 2013
Total posts 148
Everyone except John Borghetti wants VA to join Star Alliance but I don't see it happening anytime soon so base your travelling decisions around that assumption.
Member since 22 Aug 2013
Total posts 117
Star Alliance. Wouldn't that be nice. Sadly no chance under Borghetti.
Forgot to add I did get priority tagged for bags - a little scattered after the overnight in Y :(
Hi Guest, join in the discussion on
Watered down benefits with "virtual alliances"
Having just flown SQ utilising my virgin platinum for lounge access I really think these quasi-alliances are not worth that much t
Already have an ET account? Log in below.
Signing up with Executive Traveller only takes a second and lets you
interact with our community. It's completely free and we'll never pass your information on to
Didn’t receive an activation email? Resend one to yourself here.
If you’ve forgotten your password, simply enter your email address
below, then click 'Submit'. We’ll send you an email to re-activate your account and enter a new password.
If you have not received the activation email, simply enter your email address below, then click 'Submit'. We’ll send you an email containing the activation link.
Subscribe to our free newsletter and get the latest news, reviews, tips and more sent straight to your inbox