This article is part of our ongoing Business Travel 101 series for newcomers to the world of business travel.
So you’ve done the hard yards to reach Virgin Australia’s Velocity Platinum tier – congratulations, by the way – now all that’s left is to make the most of your new Platinum perks and privileges.
Certainly, Platinum gets you expected basics like airport lounge access, priority check-in and a faster boarding queue, but it proves useful in many other ways.
1. Free upgrades to business class
No doubt the most appreciated benefit of Velocity Platinum are four free upgrades from economy to business class each and every year on any domestic Virgin Australia flight – including from east to west in ‘The Business’:
AusBT review: Virgin Australia's 'The Business', Sydney-Perth
Using your upgrades is relatively straightforward: first, you’ll need to hold a paid and confirmed Freedom economy ticket on the flight you wish to upgrade, and second, there needs to be at least one Velocity Frequent Flyer reward seat available in business class on that same flight.
In other words, if you can use your Velocity points to book a standard business class reward on a particular flight, you’ll be able to use one of your free upgrades to move up from economy.
(Savvy travellers often use the Velocity website to find flights where business class frequent flyer reward seats are available before shelling out for the economy flight.)
If the stars align, simply call Virgin Australia on 13 18 75 with your Velocity membership number and booking reference to have your upgrade locked-in immediately, which can be done from the moment a booking is made.
2. Help your spouse climb the status ladder
Now that you’ve got Platinum locked in for another year, consider using Virgin Australia’s ‘family pooling’ feature to pour any status credits that you continue to earn into your spouse’s account – an easy way to help them progress through the Silver, Gold and even Platinum tiers.
Pool enough status credits and they’ll always enjoy the usual airport lounge access and fast-track benefits they’ve grown accustomed to when travelling by your side, even when they’re travelling on their lonesome.
Prefer to keep the extra status credits to yourself? That’s cool, too – earning a further 500 status credits beyond Platinum in one membership year lets you bump anybody of your choosing straight up to Gold, while pushing that to 1,000 extra status credits lifts them to Platinum.
3. Perch yourself in the front row
When travelling down the back is a must, Virgin Australia gives free Economy X seating to Platinum members and any companions travelling on the same booking, on domestic and short-haul international flights.
They're still standard economy seats, but have extra legroom and dedicated overhead lockers. On the workhorse Boeing 737s, Economy X covers the first three rows of the cabin, as well as the two emergency exit rows in the middle.
4. Boost your hotel and car hire statuses, too
Velocity Platinum isn’t just about the experience you’ll get in the air and at the airport, it also works to improve your hotel stays and car rentals.
With hotels members can choose either Hilton HHonors Diamond or IHG Rewards Club Platinum Elite – both of which offer benefits like free room upgrades, priority check-in and late check-out, with HHonors also throwing in daily breakfast and hotel lounge access as an added extra.
There’s a similar choice given between Europcar Privilege Elite and Hertz Gold Plus Rewards President’s Circle, again offering upgrades – this time on your car rental – and a fast-tracked getaway with the flash of your driver’s licence.
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