Frequent business travellers often manage to notch up Gold or even Platinum frequent flyer status, but if you fly more than most, your travels could also land your partner or spouse their own shiny frequent flyer card.
Both Qantas and Virgin Australia provide this perk to their high flying elite, which lets partners enjoy many of the same privileges as they would when accompanied by their frequent flying counterpart – such as lounge access and priority boarding – but when travelling on their lonesome.
Qantas Frequent Flyer: Partner Gold, Partner Platinum
On earning 2,400 status credits in a single membership year, Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum members can bump their partner or even a friend or colleague up to Gold status, opening the doors to the airline’s domestic Qantas Clubs and international business class lounges.
Add to that the business class lounges of other Oneworld airlines such as British Airways and Cathay Pacific; American Airlines’ Admirals Clubs and Flagship Lounges; most Emirates lounges around the globe (except in places like LA and Johannesburg); the Fiji Airways Tabua Lounge in Nadi; Alaska Airlines' Board Rooms; El Al Israel Airlines lounges and Chnia Eastern lounges.
There’s also the ‘priority triple play’ covering check-in, boarding and baggage; the ability to earn 75% more points when flying with Qantas, Jetstar and American Airlines; security fast track on domestic flights, better seat selection and more.
Read our full guide: Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold
Qantas’ most frequent travellers who qualify for Platinum One status – that’s 3,600 status credits per membership year with at least 2,700 on QF flight numbers – can bump their partner up to Platinum status.
That comes with access to the airline’s flagship first class lounges in Sydney, Melbourne and Los Angeles when flying abroad and the Qantas domestic business class lounges when jetting around Australia.
The 75% points bonus for Gold is also upgraded to 100%, and with Oneworld Emerald status the alliance’s first class lounges will await your partner’s entry, as will the Emirates first class lounges in Dubai.
Virgin Australia Velocity: Partner Gold, Platinum
Virgin Australia’s Platinum members who not only retain their existing top-tier status (requiring 800 status credits) but also earn a further 500 status credits in the same membership year can nab a similar companion Gold membership for a recipient of their choice.
That comes with all of the usual Gold perks including 75% more points on selected flights (excludes domestic Getaway fares), lounge access with Virgin Australia and its partners including Singapore Airlines, Etihad, Delta, Virgin Atlantic and more, plus free Gold-level status with either Hilton or IHG and either Hertz or Europcar.
Add to that priority check-in, security screening, boarding and baggage delivery, domestic ‘Fly Ahead’ (again, except on Getaway fares) and the ability to use points for upgrades to premium economy and business class on Virgin Australia’s Los Angeles and Hong Kong flights.
If you happen to earn yet another 500 status credits in one membership year – that’s the 800 status credits to retain Platinum, 500 status credits for Partner Gold, plus another 500 status credits to total 1,800 – the person you gifted Gold to will rise to Platinum.
Atop the Gold perks, Platinum brings with it access to the Etihad Airways First Class Lounge in Abu Dhabi, double points on Virgin Australia flights (except domestic Getaway fares), and higher-tier hotel and car hire status.
Platinum members also enjoy four free Virgin Australia business class upgrades each year on domestic and short-haul international flights (excludes Hong Kong and Los Angeles), an allowance of three guests in the domestic lounges, access to domestic 'Economy X' extra legroom seats at no extra charge, and more.