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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