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.
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.
Meet that requirement, and your next Velocity Gold or Platinum status review date will become March 31 2022 – and on September 30 2021, be amended again until September 30 2022.
Depending on your current review date, this could provide anything from six to 18 months of extra status, from that single flight.
For example, a Velocity Gold or Platinum member who currently holds status until mid-December 2021 would ultimately see that pushed until September 30 2022 after booking one flight: a nine-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 September 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.
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.
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.