Virgin Australia restores Velocity status for past elite members

If you recently held – but have since lost – Velocity Silver, Gold or Platinum status, there's a surprise waiting for you.

By Chris Chamberlin , April 3 2020
Virgin Australia restores Velocity status for past elite members

Members of Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer program who recently slipped down the status ladder will be boosted back up to their former tier, while those on three-month trial Pilot Gold memberships will go straight into a year of full Velocity Gold status.

Frequent flyers whose Pilot Gold trial period had recently concluded – and who have since been downgraded to Velocity Silver after not meeting the requirements of that trial – will also be extended a year of full Velocity Gold status.

“The impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has drastically impacted the airline industry along with many other industries both in Australia and overseas,” the airline says.

“We wanted to make sure that when flying returns to normal our Platinum, Gold and Silver members are set to continue enjoying all the benefits that come with Status.”

Restoration of previous Velocity Silver, Gold, Platinum status

Velocity Frequent Flyer members who held Silver, Gold or Platinum status on March 3 2020, and were downgraded from that tier between March 4 and March 29 (inclusive), will revert to their previous status level and remain at that higher tier for at least 12 months.

For instance, a traveller with Velocity Gold status as at March 3, who didn’t manage to retain their tier and was subsequently downgraded to Velocity Silver on March 15, would return to Velocity Gold.

The same is true for Velocity Silver members who dropped down to Velocity Red, and for Velocity Platinum members who were lowered to Velocity Gold, in line with the dates above.

Members whose status is restored via this offer will find their new tier valid for 12 months from March 30 2020, locking in that level until at least March 30 2021.

Eligible Velocity cardholders don’t need to request this restoration – Virgin Australia will process these automatically.

Those with immediate and necessary travel plans can access their updated Velocity membership card, reflecting their revised status level, via the airline’s mobile app on iPhone or Android.

There’s no change to Velocity’s rolling 12-month tally of status credits – even for those who have their previous status level restored – so those who continue to fly may also be able to upgrade further to the next tier after earning the required number of status credits.

Current Pilot Gold members get full Velocity Gold membership

Separate to the regular Velocity Gold tier, Virgin Australia’s frequent flyer program also has a level known as ‘Pilot Gold’, being a pared back three-month trial of the Velocity Gold experience, minus a few perks such as complimentary hotel and car hire status.

Pilot Gold is commonly given in response to status match requests, and to members of Virgin Australia’s Accelerate program for businesses.

Pilot Gold cardholders normally graduate to 12 months of full Velocity Golf after taking one Virgin Australia flight and earning 80 status credits during their three-month trial.

Pilot Gold is normally Virgin Australia's shortcut to full Velocity Gold status.
Pilot Gold is normally Virgin Australia's shortcut to full Velocity Gold status.

However, with travel opportunities largely curtailed for the time being, all Velocity members who held Pilot Gold status as at March 31 2020 will be given that subsequent year of full Velocity Gold membership, even if they haven’t earned at least 80 status credits and taken one eligible flight.

Once their membership ticks over from Pilot Gold to full Velocity Gold status, all perks and privileges of Gold will be unlocked, including complimentary hotel elite status with either Hilton Honors or IHG Rewards Club, and free status with either Europcar or Hertz.

Recent Pilot Gold members also given full Velocity Gold membership

Some Velocity members who previously held Pilot Gold status, but were downgraded to Velocity Silver after not meeting the requirements of their three-month trial, will also benefit from a full year of 'real' Velocity Gold.

This applies to previous Pilot Gold members who were downgraded to Silver between March 4 and March 29 2020, inclusive: representing those who began their three-month trial on most dates in December 2019.

Eligible members will enjoy full Velocity Gold status until at least March 31 2021.

Virgin Australia’s other recent Velocity status extensions

These latest offers for past and present Pilot Gold members, and those who’ve recently had their Velocity status downgraded, come on top of the airline’s previous promises of an extra year of status for existing Velocity Silver, Gold and Platinum members, and bonus status credits over the next three months for those same cardholders.

Read: Virgin Australia extends all Velocity memberships by one year

Velocity Silver members, as well as Gold and Platinum cardholders, will earn bonus status credits over the coming months.
Velocity Silver members, as well as Gold and Platinum cardholders, will earn bonus status credits over the coming months.

(As previously reported, Velocity is giving Platinum members 70 bonus status credits per month over the next three months, Gold members 35 bonus status credits per month over the next three months, and Silver members 20 bonus status credits per month over the next three months, based on the status level held by the member on March 29 2020.)

This means members upgraded to a higher tier under these latest arrangements won’t also receive bonus status credits as per that higher tier, as those upgrades are dated from March 30, rather than March 29: the date used to calculate these bonus status credits.

However, upgraded members may still earn bonus status credits based on their previous tier: the level they held on March 29 2020.

A Velocity Platinum member who was downgraded to Gold on March 21, and who returned to Velocity Platinum on or after March 30, would qualify for three months of bonus status credits as per the Velocity Gold rate, based on their membership tier on March 29.

That’s 35 status credits per month over the next three months (April, May and June).

Virgin Australia is yet to announce any extensions for paid Virgin Australia Lounge members, who cannot currently access any facilities under their membership as all airport lounges are closed. This came in response to government regulations forcing the closure of sit-down venues like cafes and bars.

Meanwhile, Virgin’s domestic competitor Qantas is extending all paid Qantas Club airport lounge memberships by six months, and all elite frequent flyer status by one year.

Read: Qantas extends frequent flyer status for a full year

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.

jch
jch

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

15 Nov 2017

Total posts 58

Its unclear whether those who have already earned enough to maintain their Platinum membership for the current period will even benefit from an additional year or it will just roll over for additional year as usual for the renewal date

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Feb 2014

Total posts 9

I am Platinum with both Virgin and Qantas, and I have to say Virgin are fantastic and more accommodating when it comes to flight changes, or certain requests as compared to QF. I was always loyal to QF but i am finding Virgin to be a great airline that adapts and really is trying with its passengers.

It is also one of the reasons Virgin have never made a true profit - it is much easier to satisfy customers if you do not worry about the bottom line, it is the same thing that destroyed Ansett.

11 Mar 2012

Total posts 297

Won't matter much if the government chooses not to bail Virgin out.

There is no way the government should bail them out. They are an unprofitable airline with International Airlines as owners - if they are not willing to keep them afloat why should an Australian citizen with no material interest in them do so? It is absurd.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Sep 2018

Total posts 136

I appreciate the gesture of goodwill they are trying to make. Right now, handing out status upgrades won't cost them anything. Lounges are closed, no one is flying, nothing that costs money in that shiny gold or platinum status is going to be used right now. It's smart of them to build up that goodwill so that when we are ready to travel again, they'll think of the status they hold with Virgin and book with them so that when they need that cashflow and onward bookings, they get it.

18 Nov 2015

Total posts 121

I suspect part of this is to help rally the troops to pressure the government to provide financial support to Virgin Australia (VA).

The more Gold and Platinum VA members out there, the more vocal the public will be, and the more support and pressure there will be on the government. A smart strategic move by VA.

I have been a high level member of VA for a number of years.


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