Just reached Velocity Gold? Make the most of your new perks

By Chris Chamberlin, August 26 2016
Just reached Velocity Gold? Make the most of your new perks

This article is part of our ongoing Business Travel 101 series for newcomers to the world of business travel.

Virgin Australia’s Velocity Gold frequent flyer tier offers more than just lounge access and priority queuing at the airport, with benefits also covering your hotel stays, car hires and more.

We’ve assembled four of the best perks that come with Velocity Gold which you’ll want to take advantage of right away.

Virgin Australia Premium Entry

Forget merely joining a faster line to get through airport security: Virgin Australia Premium Entry in Sydney and Brisbane gives you a dedicated and completely private entrance to the domestic terminals.

From there, you’ll glide through an also-private security screening point before emerging in the Virgin Australia lounge, without for a moment setting foot in the ‘public’ area of the terminal.

Premium Entry is available in Sydney seven days a week from 45 minutes prior to the first flight of the day until the last flight is called for boarding, while in Brisbane it’s available from 4:30am until the last flight boards, Monday to Friday (closed on weekends).

’Fly Ahead’, your ticket to an earlier flight

Flown out for a meeting but finished up earlier than expected? Not to worry – with ‘Fly Ahead’, your ticket just got flexible.

Simply head to the service desk in any Virgin Australia lounge with your frequent flyer card or boarding pass and ask what’s available. You’ll be moved forward at no charge, as long as there are seats available and you're not travelling on the cheapest Getaway fare (all other fares including reward bookings are fine).

The big drawback: full catering isn’t guaranteed on your new flight, so if you booked a business class ticket to have dinner on the way home but jump onto something earlier, you might need to settle for just a snack or drink.

Upgrade on flights to Los Angeles, Hong Kong

As with all Velocity members, your hard-earned frequent flyer points can net a reward flight in premium economy, or even business class – yet on Virgin Australia’s flights to Los Angeles and Hong Kong, upgrading using your points is a benefit kept only for Velocity Gold and Platinum members.

Use your Velocity points for an upgrade to Virgin Australia int'l business class...

It’s a great perk for business travellers whose companies will only expense premium economy tickets, or even just regular economy, as you can earn points on your business trips and then boost that long journey once you’ve booked and paid for a ticket that keeps your employer happy.

Just 18,000 Velocity points are enough to move up from flexible economy to premium economy, while 45,000 points upgrades you all the way to business class from the same.

Guests with a paid premium economy ticket can also upgrade to business class for either 25,000 or 45,000 Velocity points, depending on their fare type, with upgrades either locked in when requested or waitlisted for processing closer to departure.

If flying to Hong Kong, then 27,500 points is all you need to swap your Freedom fare for a business class seat on the Airbus A330.

Also read: Virgin Australia unlocks 'waitlisting' for flight upgrades

Elite status with hotels, car hire companies

Beyond the airport, you can now enjoy privileges like free breakfast and room upgrades at hotels like Conrad, Hilton and DoubleTree by Hilton by requesting a Hilton HHonors Gold card, or more basic benefits like priority check-in and a free newspaper via IHG Rewards Club Gold Elite.

There’s also a choice between Europcar Privilege Executive and Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Five Star for similar benefits of car category upgrades and express car collection: another chance to jump the queues and get you on your way.

Just choose wisely – even if you renew your Velocity Gold status in future years, you’ll only get one chance to pick your preferred hotel and car hire memberships, which are usually valid for just one year.

Also read: Singapore Airlines lounge guide for Velocity Gold

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

deany83

deany83

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jul 2014

Total posts 135

The one downside I have found with Fly Ahead was when I was in Canberra and was flying to Adelaide, there was a 6 hour wait for the flight and I wasn't able to be routed via Sydney or Melbourne to get there faster.

riley

riley

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Mar 2014

Total posts 574

I think it's still the single greatest gold status perk of VA or QF. It's particularly useful on the high frequency triangle which is what I use. When travelling on my own kick, I would typically book the earliest "cheap" flight (say 9pm sunday MEL>SYD) then head to the airport for a 6pm departure. With the ability to travel later if I desire. It's far cheaper than a flexi fare and gives me much of the flexibility I need.

I have been caught short on times where I've been a 5 hour lounge lizard but I just think to myself, if I wanted to get onto those flights, I should've booked those flights.

Fly ahead is pretty much the main reason I'm VA loyal. If the altered it, I'd be out the door.

thelongroad

thelongroad

14 Nov 2015

Total posts 30

Does anybody know if Fly Ahead is available for multiple people on a booking?  My wife is Platinum, I'm lowly Red, and we frequently fly together.  

jorgb

jorgb

23 Feb 2016

Total posts 34

"When arriving at the Virgin Australia lounge, Gold and Platinum members and any other guests on the same booking may request to Fly Ahead to their destination on an earlier flight."

In my experience I've also had no trouble moving my lounge guests forward when they're on a different booking.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2939

Likewise - as long as my guest has been on the same flight number I've had no issues if seats have been available on an earlier flight.

jimmy0210

jimmy0210

04 Aug 2016

Total posts 1

Premium entry with 'carry on baggage only' so if you have to check luggage in, you still need to use the standard Priority Check In counters in the main hall before utilising the Premium Entry... :)

TheRealBabushka

TheRealBabushka

21 Apr 2012

Total posts 3034

I thought the Servcorp perk is really good till i read that is free for only 1 day every month!

Right....next!


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