Selected members of Coles’ Flybuys loyalty program can now fast-track their journey to Virgin Australia Velocity Gold frequent flyer status under a new ‘status challenge’ promotion, open to travellers with Qantas Silver, Gold, Platinum, Platinum One and Chairmans Lounge status.
The deal delivers perks like priority check-in, airport lounge access and priority boarding for three months when flying with Virgin Australia and its partner airlines – including Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines, among others – with an easy path to a further 12 months of perks.
But it’s not as simple as registering your details and relaxing the lounge: here’s what you need to do, and the rules you’ll need to navigate.
- Check your inbox over the coming days for an email direct from Flybuys inviting you to participate in this new ‘Explore Gold’ promotion. Unfortunately, if you don’t receive this targeted email there’s no way to manually opt-in, and if you do receive the email but don’t act on it within 10 days, you’ll lose your eligibility.
- Follow the link in that email and upload a colour photograph of your current Qantas Frequent Flyer membership card (Silver or above). Frequent flyer cards of other airlines, including Qantas partners like Cathay Pacific and Emirates, are not accepted. The name shown on your Qantas card must also match your Velocity account.
- Once approved, your Velocity account will be upgraded to ‘Explore Gold’ status for three months, giving you access to most of the perks normally offered to full Velocity Gold members, except for complimentary hotel/car hire status, annual family trip rewards and parental pauses.
Earn at least 80 status credits and notch up at least one eligible sector during that trial period and you’ll then receive a further 12 months of ‘real’ Velocity Gold status with all benefits included.
How to earn 80 status credits and one eligible sector
How you amass those all-important status credits is up to you, but here are a few different ways it can be done under Velocity’s current frequent flyer earning rates:
- Fly Sydney-Melbourne or Sydney-Brisbane return just once in business class, twice on flexible economy tickets or four times on discount economy fares.
- Take a one-way business class flight from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane to Perth, or take a return trip in economy with at least one of the flights booked as a flexible fare.
- Jet from Sydney or Brisbane to Los Angeles on any Virgin Australia fare type, including the lowest-priced economy tickets which get you over the line from a return trip.
All those scenarios net at least one eligible sector, too – that is, a flight taken on a Virgin Australia VA flight number – and don’t forget: you can also earn status credits from Virgin Australia’s partner airlines, via family pooling and now at supermarkets and bottle shops through Flybuys.
If you don’t meet that target by the end of your Explore Gold trial period, you’ll instead be given Velocity Silver status for 12 months, Australian Business Traveller has confirmed with Virgin Australia.
Velocity Silver comes with two complimentary airport lounge visits, a discount on year-round lounge membership, an extra checked bag on many Virgin Australia fares, priority check-in access when travelling internationally and up to 50% more points when flying with Virgin Australia.
What happens after your final 12-month period
Whether you qualified for a year-long Velocity Gold membership or enjoyed the comforts of Velocity Silver status, you’ll then have to retain your status in the same way as all other members.
To keep Velocity Gold, you’ll need to have earned at least 400 status credits and flown at least four eligible sectors during your 12 month gratis period to continue as a Gold member for a further year – anything less and you’ll slip down to Velocity Silver for the next 12 months.
If you instead received Velocity Silver from the promotion, you’d need a lower 200 status credits and two eligible sectors to keep it, else you’ll drop to the standard Red level.
Connect with other business travellers in our Virgin Australia discussion group