Velocity extends status match trial, boosts Platinum and Gold perks

Recently landed a Virgin Australia status match? You now have more time to qualify for a full year of Velocity Gold status.

By Chris Chamberlin, March 5 2021
Velocity extends status match trial, boosts Platinum and Gold perks

Virgin Australia is extending the three-month Discover Gold trials provided under the airline’s recent status match offer, giving members an extra two months to qualify for full Velocity Gold membership.

Existing Velocity Gold and Platinum cardholders will also have longer to enjoy promotional benefits added over the summer – including prolonged status after just one flight, bonus points after two, or upgrade benefits after three – plus more time to qualify for these if they hadn’t already.

Here’s what you need to know.

Velocity Discover Gold status match trials stretched to five months

In late 2020, Virgin Australia rolled out the red carpet for elite members of rival frequent flyer programs (including Qantas, among others), offering three months of Gold-grade perks at a level known as Discover Gold, with a fast-track to a full year of true Velocity Gold status.

Those granted the ‘status match’ originally had three months to take one eligible Virgin Australia flight and to earn the 80 status credits required to complete the challenge.

As of this week, the Discover Gold period has been pushed to five months for all Discover Gold members.

“With the travel situation continuing to change, we realise that 3 months may not be enough time for you to reach your travel goals and enjoy your Discover Gold membership,” reads an update published by Virgin Australia.

“So that you can enjoy Virgin Australia’s award-winning service, we’ve added an extra 2 months to your Discover Gold membership.”

Even if you’d already met the Discover Gold challenge requirements, you’ll still get that Discover Gold extension: giving you an extra two months of Gold-grade perks before those 12 months of Velocity Gold kick off: that’s up to 17 months of lounge access, from the one status match.

Velocity’s Discover Gold fast-track offer has not reopened to new applicants, however.

Read: Virgin Australia's status match for Qantas, Emirates, Oneworld

Status extensions for existing Velocity Platinum, Gold members

Velocity had previously offered all Platinum and Gold members (excluding Discover Gold cardholders) extra time at their current tier, in return for taking one eligible paid flight between December 7 2020 and March 28 2021.

That window has now become a 'booking' period instead, with members qualifying for the benefit simply by making a flight reservation during those dates, for travel until February 22 2022.

Keep your current Velocity Platinum (or Gold) status for longer, by taking just one flight.
Keep your current Velocity Platinum (or Gold) status for longer, by taking just one flight.

Meet that requirement, and your next Velocity Gold or Platinum status review date will become March 31 2022.

Depending on your current review date, this could provide anything from one month to one year of extra status, from that single flight.

For example, a Velocity Gold or Platinum member who currently holds status until mid-December 2021 would see that pushed until March 31 2022 after booking one flight: a 3.5-month extension.

However, a member whose status is due to expire in April 2021 – even after the one-year extension offered by Velocity last year – would similarly have their tier extended until the end of March 2022 after booking just one flight, being a much bigger gain from the same deal.

Note: A previous version of this article indicated that eligible flight bookings could be made until May 30. This was based on incorrect information published by Virgin Australia, which has since been amended to reflect the March 28 booking deadline.

More time to earn 5,000 bonus Velocity Points for Velocity Platinum, Gold

Exclusively for Velocity’s Platinum and Gold members, the airline had been offering 5,000 bonus Velocity Points after taking two eligible flights between December 7 2020 and March 28 2021.

Just like the status extension offer, that period has also now been pushed until May 30 2021.

There’s no need to register. When that second eligible (paid) flight is credited to your Velocity account, those 5,000 points come attached as a bonus, alongside another other bonuses also due (such as your Velocity Gold or Platinum ‘status bonus’):

Five thousand Velocity Points is more than enough to cover a one-way business class upgrade on short flights like Sydney-Melbourne, for example, when booked on a flexible Freedom airfare.

Complimentary Economy X upgrades for Velocity Gold

Normally, Economy X – Virgin Australia’s extra legroom seating – is the domain of Velocity Platinum and VIP members, with all others charged a fee per flight to select these seats.

Aboard Virgin Australia's Boeing 737s, Economy X is found in the first three rows, and at the exits.
Aboard Virgin Australia's Boeing 737s, Economy X is found in the first three rows, and at the exits.

But for a limited time, Velocity Gold members can also enjoy unlimited complimentary upgrades to Economy X after taking their third eligible flight by May 30 2021.

Previously, those three flights had to be taken between December 7 2020 and March 28 2021, with this two-month extension giving members longer to qualify for the benefit.

Once qualified, complimentary Economy X upgrades are available on flights taken until May 30 2021 (previously March 28 2021), for the Velocity Gold member as well as up to eight companions booked under the same reservation on the same flight.

This can be accessed by ensuring your Velocity Gold number is linked with a booking, and then visiting the ‘seat selection’ page during the reservation process or later via ‘manage my booking’, where choosing a perch in Economy X can then be achieved without charge.

More flexibility for Velocity Platinum upgrade certificates

Every year, Velocity Platinum members receive four complimentary upgrades from economy to business class – but those upgrades are normally restricted to members travelling on the most expensive economy class tickets, being fully-flexible ‘Freedom’ airfares.

For Velocity Platinum members who take three eligible flights between December 7 2020 and May 30 2021 (now extended from March 28 2021), those requirements are then eased, with the upgrades able to be used on any paid economy class airfare after that.

This includes semi-flexible Elevate tickets, as well as rock-bottom Getaway fares, for travel by May 30 2021.

Do note, until the airline relaunches business class this month, passengers are served only snack boxes, not full meals.
Do note, until the airline relaunches business class this month, passengers are served only snack boxes, not full meals.

The rules around upgrades remain the same, however, which means upgrades can only be processed on flights where a business class reward seat is open for booking using Velocity Points.

Upgrades can be requested over the phone (call 13 18 75 between 9am and 6pm Sydney time on weekdays), or at the airport via check-in staff or in the Virgin Australia Lounge, subject to availability.

Also read: Best Virgin Australia Velocity credit card sign-up offers

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.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

08 May 2014

Total posts 48

I feel like Jane has listened and/or turned her attention to thinking about her most highly valued customers.

American Airlines - AAdvantage

13 Jul 2015

Total posts 257

Oh man I wish they that us this a week ago - I booked flights on Qantas since my trial was about to expire, and I wouldn't have had enough time to meet their requirements. 

24 Feb 2012

Total posts 57

Interested in the platinum free upgrades offer. Do I need to take 3 eligible flights to qualify for this offer? Or am I eligible to upgrade any 3 flights between now and May 30, even the cheapest Gateway fares? Subject to reward seats being available of course?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Mar 2012

Total posts 228

i was told on the phone i had to fly the three first. made for some excellent value $49 SYD-MEL business flights lol

It takes three eligible flights to qualify for the Platinum upgrade promotion (in the same way that it takes two flights to qualify for the bonus points, or one flight to qualify for the status extension).

Once qualified, any existing upgrade credits in a Platinum member's account can then be used to upgrade from any paid economy airfare until May 31 (subject to upgrade availability). After May 31, the normal upgrade rules once again apply, including for any unused upgrade credits held during the promotion period.

(You don't get bonus free Platinum upgrades after three flights: the perk being provided is added flexibility when using any upgrade credits you may already have.)

24 Feb 2012

Total posts 57

Great, thanks for clarifying :)

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 435

For the avoidance of doubt, disappointment and frustration, are we allowed to assume that an "eligible paid flight"   includes a flight purchased using Travel Bank credits?  I'm sure it does, but wondered whether anyone has a conclusive answer?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Sep 2012

Total posts 1

Was just thinking the same! Would be good know if flights booked using travel bank credits would count towards these benefits.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 587

My question to Jayne is what am I going to get for achieving Platinum within a 12 month period if she is giving away all these extras to everyone else. If it's worth while I might even do double platinum rather than picking up Platinum with Qantas as well?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 435

Now  THAT  is a very good question.  Gosh, with so much uncertainty still surrounding Virgin 2.0, I'd be sorely tempted to land Platinum with both VFF and QFF and then try and maintain them both for a year to two before committing to one of them.  But I suspect you've already considered that.  

But you're right, it does beg the question what does Virgin have to offer a personal customer (as contrasted with a corporate customer) putting THAT MUCH business (i.e. greedy, filthy lucre) through their Till?  

In those/your unique circumstances, if flying full-fare Eco or J-Class, in lieu of limousine transfers to/from the airport, I'd have thought that should include complimentary Valet Parking at Terminal Curbside (including a quick car vacuum clean and wash) and topping up the fuel tank to half-full (if below half on arrival).  It's what you'd get as a VIP customer at the casino (BNE/SYD/MEL), so as a 'Double Platinum' you'd "earn" at least that.  But, honestly, I doubt that either Virgin or Bain REALLY know how to monetize personal patronage.  

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 587

@Boeing

I think they won't even think about people like me and I will just go Platinum with both.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 435

Argh!  I sure hope this doesn't backfire on me, but . . . because my business has 'subscribed' (if that's the right word ?) to Virgin's Accelerate program, I've found myself the recipient of direct emails from one person in particular, who on more than one occasion worked a 'minor miracle' that I've asked for outside the usual rules.  She (or he) seems to intuitively understand 'the ask', conclude that its more than reasonable, and usually within 24 hours comes back with good news.  

Now, it might simply be that 'Accelerate' participants enjoy a measure of 'management discretion' that 'Joe Public' doesn't enjoy, and any person there would do the same.  I feared that she (or he) might have been a casualty of the Deloitte Administration, but late last month discovered that wasn't the case, and 'minor miracles' were still being performed.  I'll send you that person's details through the PM service on this web site, but they'll be of no use if you're not signed up to the Accelerate program/deal/thing.  

Honour System applies: If she (or he) delivers a minor miracle, we're sharing a bottle of 16 YO Lagavulin (or 18 YO Glenfiddich) one day at an airport - at your cost.  (How that gets to happen will be another minor miracle.)

Qantas

12 Jul 2013

Total posts 11

This is just hot air marketing! I am gold or platinum with Qantas (lifetime), United, Qatar, Delta and American. Relocated to Australia last year. Just booked my first flight in 12 months with VA. Joined Velocity and called them yesterday to ask about status matches. I was advised that they are currently full and not offering any.

AC
AC

03 Apr 2013

Total posts 3

Great news. But when will it go live? The Velocity status extension information on their website still has 31 March 2021 (https://experience.velocityfrequentflyer.com/member-support/velocity-update/status-extension). Also, I'm gold and have already flow the 3 required flights to be eligible for complementary Economy X and have flights in April but Economy X doesn't appear to be complementary on those bookings yet.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Oct 2017

Total posts 9

Well, I would not rely on Virgin lounges for a while yet. I just arrived (Saturday afternoon) at Adelaide airport early to experience their new lounge. After checking in, the desk staff announce that they have closed lounge early at 1.00pm, no reason given. Incredible they would do this, but worse that they would not let any business or platinum passengers know in advance so we could make other arrangements - like re book with Qantas, or bring some food with us. I have been flying Qantas more over the past year, as Virgin just seemed too risky, and they did not have lounges. I thought I would give them another go. But once again, they seem to be working very hard to make it a bad experience.  To make matters worse, there are no cafes at the Virgin end of the airport, just a bar. 

Yaf
Yaf

02 Nov 2012

Total posts 36

Can someone please share the link to the Velocity site for the extension. When I looked at the site it still says 28 March 2021

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 435

https://www.executivetraveller.com/news/virgin-australia-velocity-extends-discover-gold-trials-platinum-gold-perks

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 435

Using the link below, scroll down to 'The more you fly the better it gets' and then under 'Unlock status rewards the more you fly',:

https://experience.velocityfrequentflyer.com/member-support/velocity-update/status-extension#rewards

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jun 2018

Total posts 12

My status review date is 9 January 2022.  I have already done the 8 sectors since January to meet the normal Platinum requalification.  Just checked the app and is still says my review date is 9 Jan 2022 rather than 31 March 2022.  

The good thing is I guess I have 15 months to requalify.   The real downside to these suite of changes is competing with all the Gold members now in addition to Platinum’s for Row 3.  I could burn the 4 upgrades on Elevate fares but would rather save them for hopefully NZ travel later this year.

Would be nice to see Virgin do a double status earn similar to Accor.  


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