How to get a Qantas, Virgin Australia frequent flyer status match

By David Flynn, December 21 2016
How to get a Qantas, Virgin Australia frequent flyer status match

Most frequent flyers achieve their prized Gold or Platinum status the hard way – clocking up endless hours of bum-numbing miles in business class (or, worse, economy).

However, Qantas and Virgin Australia offer selected travellers a shortcut to that shiny card using little-known ‘accelerator' programs.

These are primarily used to woo business travellers away from competing airlines by offering instant status and the perks which come with it – such as lounge access, priority check-in and boarding and an additional checked baggage allowance.

The lure of this status match is to ensure high-spending travellers who already hold significant status on another airline don’t have to forego the equivalent perks and start at the bottom of the frequent flyer food chain.

But you don’t get something for nothing: accelerator promotions (sometimes also known as ‘challenges’) require that travellers do a certain amount of flying with the airline offering a fast-track status deal.

With both Qantas and Virgin Australia you need to clock up a set number of status credits within three months in order to keep that Gold or Platinum frequent flyer card in your pocket or purse for a full year. 

Don’t manage to make those miles? Say goodbye to your gratis status.

How to apply for a Qantas or Virgin Australia status match

Contact the frequent flyer team of the airline with which you’re seeking a status match offer, and explain what you’re seeking and why.

If there’s a possible status match on the table – and that’s not always the case – you’ll need to send a copy of your current frequent flyer card and some recent activity statements showing your travel patterns (this is to weed out freeloaders).

Then it’s up to the airline to decide if you’re a customer worth chasing and worthy of a status match.

The Qantas Tier Accelerator status match

Qantas' Tier Accelerator is a bit 'fight club' – the airline doesn't talk much about it – but it provides a fast-track to Gold or Platinum Qantas Frequent Flyer status.

The number of status credits you have to earn within the three-month trial is believed to be 200 status credits to get a full year of Gold membership, and 400 status credits for Platinum.

And that’s not a big ask.

One business class return trip from Sydney to Singapore or Hong Kong will net you 240 status credits, so you’re Gold with some to spare.

Two of those trips (or one flexible business class fare to Los Angeles and back) puts you in Platinum territory.

The Virgin Australia Accelerate Pilot Gold status match

Virgin Australia’s Pilot Gold scheme provides three months of Velocity Frequent Flyer Gold status.

Pilot Gold is a component of the airline’s Accelerate business travel program for companies spending from $20,000 to $300,000 per year on Virgin Australia flights.

However, Pilot Gold is also known to be offered to individual Qantas flyers prized by Virgin Australia.

Moving from Pilot Gold to the real deal requires you to earn just 80 status credits in three months.

That’s a one-way business class flight between the east and west coasts, or a return trip in full fare economy.


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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Aug 2016

Total posts 25

Hi David, I'm a P One with Qantas and called up Virgin to ask about status matching, apparently there don't do such thing.


11 Jul 2014

Total posts 903

I'd email the Virgin CEO or one of the execs and ask them direct. A few years ago I took out Pilot Gold, then after a month of flying with Virgin I requested if there was a chance of being upgraded to Platinum, it was done the same day. Never looked back, these day I alway prefer Virgin domestic as a first choice. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum

07 Feb 2013

Total posts 552

Yeah I am sure the CEO has time to go through emails from people looking for a freebie haha

22 May 2015

Total posts 13

Virgin won’t do a status match no matter what tier you are. On rare occasions they will consider it if you work for certain businesses they want to keep happy. Smaller businesses, self-employed and travelers have no chance.


11 Jul 2014

Total posts 903

Not Correct, I got one several years ago

04 Apr 2012

Total posts 11

I was status matched in Feb 16 through the Corporate Accounts team after signing up with the Accelerate program. It wasn't offered...

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Jul 2012

Total posts 15

I sent an email to QF with attached information almost 2 weeks ago and got an email confirming receipt.

Just wondering those of you who have sought a status challenge how long it took for a response as I am flying business international in the next week and it will definitely hit the target.

02 Mar 2017

Total posts 1

I called up Qantas yesterday hoping to get the status tier accelerator enrollment to make platinum, but was knocked back.  I was told that i already have a high status (being lifetime gold) and this program is not designed for me.  Apparently you need to have a lower status level...

Any other ideas?  Has anyone else had success?


22 Jul 2015

Total posts 3

Do Qantas Status Match from Virgin Platinum?

I've been Qantas Gold for 5 years, with the closest to Platinum being 1200 SC's on self-funded travel, but I'm now Virgin Platinum. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2017

Total posts 2

Dumb question to an old thread, but if I was to get a status match from QFF platinum to VA platinum would I lose my QFF status? Or could I simply retain it? I have to fly VA domestically at my new place of work but will always fly QF internationally


11 Jul 2014

Total posts 903

They can’t take yr Qantas Platinum off you, not sure who you would contact for status match. Everyone I know who did hand out matches aren’t there anymore.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Jul 2012

Total posts 15

I simply sent Qantas an email asking about options to reach a higher status. I was QF Bronze and VA Platinum and after providing 12mths of statements from VA they gave me 2 options.

1. Platinum match for 400 sc in 90 days, or
2. Gold status for 200sc in 90 days.
The condition is that SC's can only be on QF flights, so no partners, no Jetstar, codeshare etc.
With QF anniversay date less than a year from new status it is extended till anniversary next year.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

11 Nov 2017

Total posts 7

I got to Velocity Gold the easy way: the Flybuys promotion. But I frequently have to travel Qantas for domestic work, so I asked for a Qantas status match.
It took QFF a month to respond, and eventually I was knocked back (via Facebook Messenger, would you believe) because apparently Qantas Gold is "not equivalent" to Velocity Gold. I asked for a comparison table to substantiate this claim, and was told they didn't do competitor analysis (yeah, right).
Pushed further, I was told that as I already held Silver QFF status and Qantas Club membership I just needed to fly a bit more to get to QFF Gold.

I've been enjoying Virgin hospitality ever since, and happily tell anyone that wants to know how poorly QFF look after aspiring members.


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

15 Nov 2017

Total posts 56

Platnium with VA at the moment, but would rather start putting my points on KrisFlyer to get gold with Star Alliance, whilst keeping many of the VA benefits.

29 Mar 2017

Total posts 30

To save anyone a phone call, for qantas status match email [email protected] with a photo of the front and back of your card and a velocity statement for the last six months.

29 Mar 2017

Total posts 30

I eventually got a default email denying my request. Too bad Qantas, I'll fly with someone else.

21 Feb 2013

Total posts 7

Are there examples of successful approaches to Virgin to have your gold Qantas status matched? Thanks

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