What's the next best thing to a Qantas status match for Virgin Australia frequent flyers? It'd have to be a status match from a Qantas partner airline which gives Velocity Silver, Gold or Platinum members the same core perks as if you were a Qantas Silver, Gold or Platinum.
That's the offer from Qatar Airways, which is a Qantas partner by virtue of their shared membership to the global Oneworld airline alliance.
As a result, holding status in Qatar Airways' Privilege Club rewards program delivers the essential benefits – such as lounge access, priority treatment at the airport and a higher checked luggage allowance – as enjoyed by a Qantas Silver, Gold or Platinum frequent flyer.
So if you're a Virgin Australia Velocity Gold or Platinum member who happens to be flying with Qantas, you'll have access to the Qantas lounges – and beyond that, if you're on any other Oneworld airline such as British Airways, Cathay Pacific or JAL, you'll have access to their lounges as well.
There's no cost for this status match, and there's no catch – you won't even need to take a Qatar Airways flight, just submit your Velocity details to Qatar Airways.
But you'll need to move fast, because this one-timer offer closes at 11.59pm on Wednesday May 20 (Doha time), which is 7am Thursday May 21 on Australia's east coast.
Read on for all the details.
With Virgin Australia now in administration, Velocity Frequent Flyers find it hard to escape the feeling that a large dark cloud is hanging over their head – but this cloud has a silver, gold or even platinum lining.
Qantas partner Qatar Airways is now offering to match the status of all Velocity Frequent Flyers to the equivalent tier in the Gulf airline's own Privilege Club rewards program – and as Qatar Airways is a Qantas partner
You won't 'lose' your treasured Velocity status: you'll simply gain another shiny card for your wallet, ready to whip out and wave about once travel returns.
And that won't even have to be international travel, although Qatar Airways remains one of the few international airlines connecting Australia with the rest of the world.
Unlike Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai, for example, its Doha hub hasn't banned passengers in transit, and even now the airline itself continues to fly to 16 destinations in Europe alone.
If all that sounds appealing – and we're betting it does – you'll want to step lively, because this one-timer offer closes at 11.59pm on Wednesday May 20 (Doha time), which is 7am Thursday May 21 on Australia's east coast.
Benefits of the Qatar Airways Velocity status match
As Qatar Airways belongs to the Oneworld alliance, its frequent flyer perks extend to fellow Oneworld member Qantas – meaning that your freshly-minted Privilege Club Silver, Gold or Platinum status will pack the same core privileges as if you were Qantas Silver, Gold or Platinum.
And yes, that includes lounge access: a flash of your Qatar Airways Privilege Club Gold card will get into all domestic Qantas Club lounges, plus Qantas international business lounges (once overseas travel resumes).
Likewise, the Qatar Airway Privilege Club Platinum card opens the doors at domestic Qantas Business lounges plus Qantas First lounges for international trips.
Privilege Club Gold is also your ticket into the business class lounges of other Oneworld member airlines – including British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines – while the Privilege Club Platinum card does the same for any Oneworld first class lounge.
Other status benefits include:
- checking in at the business class or even first class desk, regardless of the travel class you're flying in
- enjoying a higher checked baggage allowance, and having those bags tagged for priority handling
- being among the first to board (and claim your overhead bin space) through priority boarding
- and using the express lane for security and immigration at selected airports
It gets better: your gratis status with Qatar Airways Privilege Club will be valid for 12 months, meaning that could could enjoy all the privileges and perks through to May 2021.
And it gets better again: to keep that status through to as far as May 2022, status match recipients will need collect only half as many 'Qpoints' as other members would.
How Qatar Airways and Velocity status tiers compare
Apart from the entry-level Burgundy tier, the Qatar Airways Privilege Club has three core levels: Silver, Gold and Platinum.
These conveniently line up against Virgin Australia's Velocity Frequent Flyer Silver, Gold and Platinum status tiers (and the sound-alike ones of Qantas Frequent Flyer, if you hop a flight on the Red Roo.)
In all likelihood your Velocity Silver, Gold or Platinum status will be matched directly to Qatar Airways Privilege Club Silver, Gold and Platinum – although the fine print on this promotion says the decision "remains at the discretion of Privilege Club management; Privilege Club reserves the right to decide on the corresponding tier."
How to apply for a Qatar Airways Velocity status match
You'll need to be a member of the Qatar Airways Privilege Club – signing up is fast, free and done at qmiles.com.
Also, take a photo or a scan of your Velocity Frequent Flyer membership card
Qatar Airways requests that your status match application also include the last two months of statements for your current airline – but given that the last two months have probably seen you doing no flying, we suggest you go back to a few months from late last year or early this year when you were travelling quite a bit.
Add those to your application, with a covering note explaining how your recent travel plans have been scuppered by COVID-19.
Bundle everything up and email it to [email protected], with the subject line “Privilege Club Status Match", and also include your new Qatar Airways Privilege Club membership number in that email.
Remember: this has to be done before 7am on May 21, Australian eastern standard time.
Your membership status match request will be reviewed, and approval sent within 10 business days.
How to keep your Qatar Airways status to 2022
Qatar Airways Privilege Club status is determined by how many Qpoints you earn during your membership year – and that bar has been substantially lowered for successful status matchers.
During your complimentary gratis status period you'll need yo earn the following number of Qpoints to keep your Privilege Club tier status for another 12 months:
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club Silver: 75 Qpoints (usually 150)
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club Gold: 150 Qpoints (usually 300)
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club Platinum: 300 Qpoints (usually 600)
In general, the more you spend on your ticket, the more Qpoints you’ll earn. This applies to both the class of travel you book and the distance you fly.
But with Qpoints able to be earned on the flights of Oneworld member airlines, including even domestic Qantas hops, this makes it easier to slowly work your way up the ladder.
That said, in order to retain your Qatar Airways Privilege Club status you'll also need to have clocked up at least 20% of your Qpoints and "flown four sectors" on "flights either marketed or operated by Qatar Airways", the airline says.