New business class upgrade perks for Virgin Australia Platinum frequent flyers

By Chris Chamberlin , June 15 2016
New business class upgrade perks for Virgin Australia Platinum frequent flyers

Upgrading to business class just got even easier for Platinum-grade members of Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer program with new ways to use the four complimentary upgrades offered each year and also when using points to upgrade year-round.

Previously, the four annual upgrades given to each Platinum member could only be used on Virgin Australia domestic flights, but under recent changes can now also be used for a bump to business class on international flights – excluding Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi.

You’ll still need to book a more expensive economy Flexi fare rather than a low-cost Saver ticket to upgrade, but this change opens the curtain to business class on flights to New Zealand, Fiji, Cook Islands, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.

Read: Virgin Australia trans-Tasman business class review

The other rules concerning Platinum upgrades remain, in that you’ll need one upgrade credit per passenger, per one-way flight. Connecting journeys such as Perth-Sydney-Auckland require two upgrade credits in total to upgrade on both flights.

Upgrade to 'The Business' from Perth, or upgrade on international flights...
Upgrade to 'The Business' from Perth, or upgrade on international flights...

AusBT review: Virgin Australia 'The Business', Sydney-Perth

Your ability to upgrade also hinges on the availability of Velocity business class ‘reward seats’ on that same flight – so in other words, if you can use Velocity points to book a business class ticket on the same date, you’re clear to confirm a complimentary upgrade.

Also relaxed are the rules for Velocity Platinum members requesting same-day upgrades on domestic flights at the Virgin Australia lounge, when using either their upgrade credits or frequent flyer points.

These requests can now be made at any time throughout the day, giving Platinum members who arrive early ‘first dibs’ at a business class seat.

That’s useful for travellers who often fly on last-minute bookings and don’t have a chance to upgrade before arriving at the airport, or for flyers making a domestic day trip who can lock-in an early upgrade for their flight home, without the dreaded ‘catering not assured’ sticker.

Gold, Silver and Red frequent flyers can continue to request upgrades in the Virgin Australia lounge (where access is available) using their frequent flyer points from two hours prior to departure, with all requests – including from Platinum members – closing 40 minutes before wheels-up.

Also read: Virgin Australia business class upgrade guide

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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 not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

28 May 2016

Total posts 128

Well done VA, suprised that they would make a move like this with Velocity among all the current 'enhancements'.

Glad to see them not completely render the program 'useless'

...excluding Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi.

Ha!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 16

Yes, that's a big exclusion... :(

Qantas Platinum

04 Dec 2012

Total posts 48

That's good news, thanks for the upgrade Chris.

On two occassions I had some trouble booking the complimentary upgrade from flexi ticket whilst reward seats were actually available. For some reason I needed to wait until one day before traveling until the upgrade got confirmed. On Sydney-Perth, a great experience nevertheless.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Apr 2012

Total posts 9

The key is there the availability of the business class reward seats, especially on international legs...

QFF

31 Mar 2015

Total posts 6

It's like a watered down version of AA's Sector Wide Upgrade (SWU). Still a handy perk.

21 Aug 2015

Total posts 90

VA is the best........QF continues to milk its customers..........go John B. 

Just confirms to me that QF management see passengers as self loading cargo.........QF continues to be run for the benefit of its senior management. 

 

Ijumped ship a few years ago..........its great. 

24 Dec 2013

Total posts 5

Would this apply to tickets purchased with points ?


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