Virgin Australia's push to woo Qantas frequent flyers already includes a valuable status match offer which provides free silver, gold or platinum membership in Virgin's Velocity Rewards programme if you hold the equivalent level with Qantas or any other airline.
You can apply for the status match online at Virgin's website or do it over the counter at the Virgin lounge in any Australian airport.
But there's a third option: a 'pop-up' store in Sydney's Westfield shopping mall, where your on-the-spot Velocity upgrade can be done in less than 60 seconds.
I know this for a fact because I tried it yesterday... I walked up as a base-level Velocity Red and less than a minute later strolled away as a top-tier Velocity Platinum, just by flashing my current Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum Card.
You don't have to be a Platinum-wielding jetsetter, of course. Qantas Frequent Flyer Silver becomes Velocity Silver, and Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold becomes Velocity Gold – ditto for the equivalent levels in other frequent flyer programs such as BA's Executive Club, Cathay Pacific's Marco Polo Club, United's MileagePlus, Emirates' Skywards and Malaysia Airlines' Enrich.
Inside of one minute you'll have a new temporary Velocity card and matching bag tag, putting all the perks of the new Velocity program (which includes family pooling of points and free elite-level membership of hotel and car hire rewards programs) at your fingertips. It just doesn't get any quicker or any easier than that!
The only exceptions are Virgin Australia's airline partners – Air New Zealand, Delta, Etihad, Singapore Airlines and Virgin Atlantic – as members of those airlines' frequent flyer programs already have access to equivalent Velocity status through airline alliance agreements.
Designed to mimic the colours and contours of the new Virgin Australia airport lounges, Virgin Australia's pop-up Velocity Rewards counter is located on the Castlereagh Street level (level 3) of Westfield, opposite Mulberry and adjacent to Hugo Boss. (If you enter from the corner of Castlereagh and Market streets, turn a sharp right at Prada; if you enter from 77 Castlereagh Street, between Cerrone and Zegna, just walk straight ahead.)
Just bring your frequent flyer card or a copy of your most recent statement with you, along with your Velocity card or membership number.
But as we've already warned: move fast. Really fast. “There are a limited number of status matches on offer, so this promotion will end as soon as this number is reached” a Virgin Australia spokeswoman told Australian Business Traveller.
In other Virgin Australia news
- Virgin Australia is evaluating in-flight Internet and wireless 'streaming' of music and videos straight to your laptop or iPad!
- How to turn your power bill into Velocity frequent flyer points
- The best business class seats on Virgin Australia's Sydney-Perth Airbus 330 service
- Virgin Australia closes the gap on Qantas for on-time flights
- Spirits are back on the menu (and on the drink carts) at Virgin Australia