The Qantas status match for Virgin Australia Velocity frequent flyers

By David Flynn, July 30 2018
The Qantas status match for Virgin Australia Velocity frequent flyers

Looking to move across from Virgin Australia and its Velocity Frequent Flyer scheme to Qantas, or keen to hold status with both airlines? Then you'll want to know about the opportunity afforded by the Qantas' Tier Accelerator status match.

The Qantas Tier Accelerator program is a fast-track to Qantas Frequent Flyer status and is available to eligible Virgin Australia's Velocity Gold and Platinum members along with the equivalent tiers of other competing airlines (although not 'frenemy' members of Oneworld such as Cathay Pacific or Malaysia Airlines).

Earning Platinum, Gold status with Qantas Tier Accelerator

Qantas Tier Accelerator slashes the number of status credits – and thus the amount of flying – needed to ascend the Qantas Frequent Flyer ladder.

Just 200 status credits is required to earn Gold status, compared to 700 status credits under the usual QFF rules. That's doable with two return transcontinental business class flights or just one return business class flight from Sydney to Singapore or Hong Kong.

Qantas Gold status is arguably the sweet spot because it delivers a solid set of practical benefits such as access to domestic Qantas Club lounges as well as the international business class lounges of Qantas and its Oneworld partner airlines as well as selected Emirates lounges; a higher earning rate for Qantas Points; use of business class check-in counters; a generous checked luggage allowance, and priority boarding.

Rocketing from a no-status zero to a Platinum hero takes just 400 status credits – a feat that'd usually demand a solid 1,400 status credits – with Platinum status raising the bar to include entry into Qantas' domestic Business Lounges; Qantas, Oneworld and selected Emirates first class lounges; use of first class check-in counters, and an even higher earning rate of Qantas Points.

In either case, those status credits must be racked up within three months of signing up for the Qantas Tier Accelerator offer.

However, unlike some status match offers, you won't automatically be gifted Qantas Platinum or Gold status during that initial three month period: you'll only receive that shiny Qantas Frequent Flyer card once you've done the necessary amount of flying.

How to apply for the Qantas Tier Accelerator scheme

Qantas doesn't actively promote its Tier Accelerator program, so it's up to you to take the initiative and make the strongest case as to why you should qualify.

The airline is very strict when it comes to deciding which frequent flyers are 'worthy' of the offer, and invitations to take part in the Qantas Tier Accelerator program are entirely at the airline's discretion.

To stand the best chance of qualifying you'll need to not only have Gold- or Platinum-equivalent status with a Qantas competitor but have made plenty of recent travel with your current airline, and ideally in business class.

A pattern such as weekly Sydney-Perth or trans-Tasman flights or monthly trips to Singapore or Hong Kong will be in your favour.

You'll then need to contact the Qantas Frequent Flyer team (on 13 1131 in Australia, or +61 294332329 from overseas, or via email at [email protected]). Express your interest in the Qantas Tier Accelerator program and make your case as to why you'd like to switch from your current airline and why you'd be a 'good catch' for Qantas.

Also read: How to get Qantas Lifetime Gold status


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

25 Feb 2013

Total posts 62

It's not really a status match. Qantas contacted me about this at one stage. I entertained the idea until they told me the details and I told them there was no way in hell I was interested in shifting from being a Platinum-level member to someone with no status, given that my company actively prohibits business class travel (with weekly domestic and 7-10 internationals per year).

It's a pretty good illustration of the arrogance of the Qantas attitude of entitlement in the Australian market that they think people will happily go from lounge access and priority treatment on their existing airline to no benefits at all on Qantas.

I would agree that the Tier Accelerator should include some degree of 'instant status' within that 90 day flying period, even if it was just lounge access passes. Maybe it should be instant status and 30 days to qualify. If the airline already is very tight on who gets the offer then its not as if they would have lots of people abusing this, the sort of people they approve for the Tier Accelerator are going to be serous business travellers not status-grabbing frequent flyers.

23 Oct 2014

Total posts 233

Jon W well said.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Nov 2017

Total posts 115

Yes, perhaps the headline needs to be amended or clarified. It's not a status match. Qantas does have a habit of over-promising and under-delivering (eg "revolutionary" PE seat on 787) as VA flyers are all too aware.

It's closer to what US airlines call a 'status challenge' but with a clear status match element in it, you don't qualify if you don't have that equivalent status with a competing airline. Most people know 'status match' better anyway.

01 May 2018

Total posts 12

Title should say "Qantas status challenge for Virgin Australia Velocity frequent flyers."

11 Sep 2017

Total posts 2

I agree with the sentiment of others... If you are customer that they are trying to capture - regular high spenders, why on earth would you not offer them the seniority status during the challenge period. Why would I stop enjoying the benefits of over a 3 month period? It's not enough, I'll just stick flying VA domestic, trans-continental and in and out of HKG

16 Aug 2017

Total posts 22

Why would I want to? I'm Plat on VA and pretty happy with them overall, and their J Class across the pacific is stellar.

01 Aug 2018

Total posts 3

Just called Qantas - they said this is not a public offer open to everyone and they offer it on case by case basis. I am currently gold with Qantas and Plat with VA. As Jon said above, its usual of qantas being arrogant and better to stick with VA anyways.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2551

Rattler: that's correct, and as we have described in the article. It's not an 'open to everybody' promotion, unlike those of say United or Delta or even the original Velocity status match against Qantas back in 2011 – it's judged on the suitability of any applicant, which is why readers need to make their case as to eligibility.

20 Sep 2017

Total posts 26

In defence iof Qantas, Virgin offers far worse status match options than Qantas. As a challenger I would have expected them to offer bette

02 Dec 2016

Total posts 95

What about if you're gold with Qantas and platinum with VA. Will QF offer the 200 points in 3 months to move up to Platinum?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 662

I was giving this serious consideration until I read "and make your case as to why you'd like to switch from your current airline and why you'd be a 'good catch' for Qantas.". If I take the trouble to call, I want it to be a brief conversation, not a berbal interrogation. It then reminded me of a CNS-MEL flight last year with QANTAS in Business, and I could only get 2 drinks on that flight (requests for more notwithstanding). Looks like next month's business class flight to London will be via Virgin.

24 Mar 2018

Total posts 1

Qantas continues to disappoint

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

11 Nov 2017

Total posts 7

I'm Gold Velocity and Silver QFF. My employer likes to share the love, so I buy Qantas Club to make the inevitable delays a little more comfortable.

Last year I tried this 'status challenge' in an attempt to save myself the cost of Qantas Club and get to QFF Gold.
Qantas rejected me, saying:
1. VA Gold is not the equivalent of QFF Gold; and
2. As I'm already a QFF Silver flyer, I should just try a little harder.
I recently dropped some points to upgrade my SYD > PER QF A330 flight to business class, and can confirm that the VA experience is superior in several ways:
1. Pre-flight drink is sparkling wine; not sparkling water;
2. All items on the printed business class menu were offered. I'm still waiting for the QF cheese selection to appear;
3. Service was generally more friendly and generous on VA. The QF steward asked "are you sure?" when I assured him my phone was in flight mode, because I was still able to view email on the taxi from gate to takeoff.
I fly domestic only for work, and I fly often enough to maintain Velocity Gold and QFF Silver.
I prefer Virgin because the lounges are more comfortable and the lounge food is better at both ends of the day, the in-flight service is friendlier, and Virgin flights see to leave on time more frequently.
I wouldn't bother to ask Qantas for a status challenge again. Stick with Virgin instead.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Jul 2018

Total posts 15

Do those 200SC for Gold all have to be on Qantas or can some/all be on other OneWorld carriers?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Feb 2018

Total posts 3

I believe it as to be a QF flight number, so codeshare flights. Not 100% sure though.

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

12 Feb 2016

Total posts 22

I dont think airlines understand status. They treat it like frequent flier points, as a reward for loyalty in the past. Status is an inducement for loyalty in the future. A canny airline would recognise status whatever airline it was earned on, hence attracting frequent travellers to use its services.

I reckon airlines understand status pretty well, and status is a reward for loyalty in the past, specifically for your loyalty to them or their partners. I don't see why airlines should recognise status with any airline for immediate benefits, why Qantas for example should allow Velocity Platinums to get the same perks as Qantas Platinums. But maybe they might allow some recognition 'one step down' such as Velocity Platinum being able to use the Qantas Club instead of the Business Lounge?

20 Sep 2017

Total posts 26

I’m with Martin. It is their business and they choose how to attract customers. For every true new customer you win with status match you also attract a proportion of freeloaders. I have been both true switcher and freeloader with various airlines in the past

23 Jul 2017

Total posts 96

Why doesn't Qantas "reward" its loyal flyers who reach gold and/or platinum status by reducing the number of points to retain the specific level each year? The company is NOT good at this recognition of customer loyalty. Trying to attract and reward other companies' customers ahead of its own is more than a tad miserable. No brownies point for this, Qantas.

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2472

That's exactly what Qantas does, though: to earn Silver requires 300 status credits, to retain is only 250. To earn Gold is 700, to retain is instead 600, and to earn Platinum is 1400, to retain is only 1200: and beyond that, for every 500 status credits you earn from Qantas marketed flights, you can also opt for a bonus of 50 extra status credits, which means retaining Platinum when flying Qantas really only takes 1100 status credits of actual flying (compared to earning 1400 status credits from flying if the bulk of your flights are on partner airlines and you don't earn 500SC from Qantas marketed flights).

23 Jul 2017

Total posts 96

To have developed these "reward" systems, someone with a degree in higher mathematics was needed to set it up. HA! "You do the hokey kokey and you turn around, that's what it's all about".

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Dec 2017

Total posts 2

Hey all,

I'm wondering if anyone here's experienced something similar. I've gotten an email confirmation of being awarded the Gold Accelerator Challenge.

1. Emailed through to accept and begin the challenge, no response.

2. Called through and spoke to a human. Verbally accepted and began the challenge. Was told that I cannot receive anything in writing to confirm the challenge starting. Weird.

3. Flew 3 x return SYD-SIN flights easily getting the 200SCs in 2 weeks.

4. Now trying to confirm the challenge is complete, there's no record of the challenge.

So, now I'm left with 4 return flights booked with Qantas, with no way of confirming whether this has gone through. Calling through and emailing their contact centre has been close to useless.

Anyone have any ideas on how I can fix this?

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