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.
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.
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.
Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter – we're @AusBT