Travel tip: Virgin Australia frequent flyers get priority with Virgin America

By David Flynn , April 15 2014
Travel tip: Virgin Australia frequent flyers get priority with Virgin America

Here's a handy shortcut to ensure that Virgin Australia's top-tier frequent flyers get priority treatment when travelling on Virgin America.

Although the two Virgins are partners – with codeshare flights, reciprocal frequent flyer rights and lounge access – AusBT contributor and regular US flyer Liam Rasmussen notes that Virgin America's system doesn't flag your Velocity Gold or Platinum status with Virgin Australia.

As a result, you'll miss out on the time-saving priority triple play of priority check-in, priority screening and priority boarding on Virgin America flights.

"But if you show your Velocity card to any Virgin America staff member at checkin they'll put a Priority sticker on your boarding pass" Liam says.

"The stickers are at the Virgin America's priority check-in desk at any US domestic airport and are good for security and boarding."

"Even though your boarding pass may say boarding group A or B, I was encouraged to board with the 'Virgin America Elevate Gold, Silver and partner airlines' group" Liam reports.

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David

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.

Virgin Australia - Platinum

26 Jun 2011

Total posts 77

It seems that not all VX staff are aware of this though.  Flying economy from LAX, IAD and FLL,  I  presented my Velocity card at priority (First Class) check-in, and only the staff at LAX where familiar with it.  IAD and FLL staff just responded with "we have our own frequent flyer program"!  Not a problem to myself, but there does seem to be some inconsistencies.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Aug 2011

Total posts 42

Intersting. I've used this trick at LAX, SFO, SJC, SEA and LAS with no problems. Sounds as if the news hasn't made it over to the east coast!

KG
KG

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2011

Total posts 736

Now this is a very handy tip, thanks Liam (and David for reporting on it).

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Oct 2013

Total posts 10

Interesting about IAD. Was there not long ago and had full recognition of status (Velocity Platinum) for both lounge and priority boarding.

Virgin Australia - Platinum

26 Jun 2011

Total posts 77

Good to hear Edward.  I'll try again next time.

Velocity

03 Sep 2013

Total posts 3

I have had a number of flight with VX and have always been given priority screening, boarding and never had an issue with louge acsess on my VA Platinum card, worth pointing out though Liam. 

I also found that a cash upgrade at check in is by far the cheapest way to sit up front. Recently paid $50.00 for an upgrade from SEA-LAX. 

All in all i have to say VX in my experience do a great job and where possible i fly them over delta. 

Velocity

19 Jun 2013

Total posts 52

I got the Priority sticker without asking at LAX back in Jan., but one big problem remains for VA Plats/Golds worldwide with VA's "virtual alliance", and that is that the Virgin Australia name/logo are still not displayed on the membership card  - just Velocity - which means nothing to any airline check-in/lounge employee for EY, DL or SQ in some out of the way port.

How do we get this fixed?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Aug 2011

Total posts 42

Not sure what you mean, the Virgin Australia logo is printed on the bottom right hand corner of their cards.

Velocity

19 Jun 2013

Total posts 52

The baggage tag yes, but most definately not my Plat membership card. On THAT, having just re-checked, there is definately nothing whatsoever in the way of ID'ing VA.

Maybe you have an updated card?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Aug 2011

Total posts 42

Ah. I just double checked.

My standard Velocity card has the Virgin logo on it. However by 2 in 1 Velcotiy/Travel card does not have the Virgin Australia logo on it.

That's annoying and poorly planned.

Velocity

19 Jun 2013

Total posts 52

Indeed!  And that silly double-sided card caused a lot of head-scratching with Etihad's check-in staff (admittedly contractors, not actual EY staff) and the contractor's lounge at IST last week, as at first they thought I was trying to pay with a Visa card to get into the lounges. 


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