Etihad boosts Gold Elite benefits, Virgin Australia Platinums also win

By David Flynn, April 18 2013

Etihad is pumping up the perks enjoyed by top-tier members of its Etihad Guest frequent flyer program, and Virgin Australia's Velocity Platinum members are also in the winner's circle.

Gold Elite members can now pocket free Etihad Guest Gold 'companion membership' for any other Etihad Guest member of their choice.

There's also guest privileges for Etihad's Diamond First Class Lounges in Abu Dhabi Terminals 1 and 3 if you and a friend are travelling together on the same flight, regardless of your class of travel. Etihad says this also applies to "other lounges exclusive to Diamond First Class guests at all other airports."

Gold Elites also now collect 75% tier bonus miles instead of the previous 50%, and can check-in at the Diamond First Class counter regardless of class of travel.

There's also a guaranteed Pearl Business Class seat on any Etihad Airways-operated flight, for any chosen date and destination, provided you book at least 48 hours prior to departure.

Under the alliance between Etihad and Virgin Australia, Velocity Platinum members will also enjoy the new Gold Elite perks when travelling on Etihad Airways-operated flights.

An Etihad spokesman confirmed to Australian Business Traveller that this includes lounge access, meaning that Virgin Australia's Platinum-grade flyers travelling on an Etihad Airways-operated flight will enjoy entry to any Etihad first class lounge, regardless of what class they're booked in.

This arrangement also includes guest privileges if their guest is travelling on the same flight.

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David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Dec 2012

Total posts 168

Wow, fantastic perks. Does anyone know if this is kicking off immediately? I am travelling through Abu Dhabi in May, arrive on VA (Bus)and fly out on EY(Econ), would love to check out the First Lounge

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2341

I believe they kick off as of right now, Salty. :)

KG
KG

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2011

Total posts 736

Nice boost in perks for their top tier members. It is in line with what competitors offer however (bar the complimentary Gold companion perk). 

Would have been nice if they changed the tier name to Platinum, as opposed to Gold Elite, just to distinguish it from their Gold level and have more consistency with their partner airlines KL/AF and AB.

"Velocity Platinum members will also enjoy the new Gold Elite perks when travelling on Etihad Airways-operated flights."

This means Velocity Plats can now use EY First Lounges?

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2341

Matt: indeed it does, we have double-checked that with Etihad.

Good move to let the top tier go into diamond first class lounge.

It might actually help alleviate the congestion within the pearl lounge at abu dhabi because etihad can't get the local authorities to expand the current lounge because of the size of the airport.

17 Apr 2013

Total posts 10

Does that mean Velocity Plat wil also be collecting 75% tier bonus miles instead of the current 50%?

I hope so!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Dec 2012

Total posts 168

Has anyone sampled both of the First Lounges at Abu Dhabi airport? Is there any difference between them? Know if one tends to be busier than the other? Opinion on Terminal 1 vs Terminal 3? Any info would be appreciated. Thanks

26 Apr 2013

Total posts 1

Yes, good news, EXCEPT that nobody in Abu Dhabi knows about this. I am a VA Plat traveling in business to FRA, and am sitting in the over-crowded Business lounge because nobody at the front desk of the diamond lounge in Abu Dhabi knows about this news. Perhaps you could nudge Etihad Australia to get their act together before confirming this news....


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