Virgin Australia axes lounge passes for Velocity frequent flyers

By David Flynn, May 29 2012
Virgin Australia axes lounge passes for Velocity frequent flyers

Virgin Australia has scuppered plans to issue free one-time lounge passes to Velocity frequent flyers for every 100 status credits they earn.

The airline originally listed the free passes, valid for any Virgin Australia lounge in Australia, as one of many benefits when the Velocity programme was relaunched last year.

In January this year Virgin closed down its 'single-entry pass' program through which infrequent flyers could purchase one-off entry into its airport lounges for $55, although the airline began trialling one-off lounge passes by issuing them to thousands of Velocity members.

At the time Phil Gunter, Virgin Australia's General Manager for Velocity Frequent Flyer, told Australian Business Traveller "We’ll still implement (the plan) but we want to make sure we have the right balance. The issue I’m concerned about is over-promising.”

Gunter said Virgin would track how those passes are used – including at what lounges, in what numbers and how long after being issued they are redeemed. "Through analysis we’ll refine the length of time the lounge pass is valid for and also how you earn them."

However, following the trial, Virgin Australia has decided not to proceed with the lounge pass plan.

"We conducted further research into preferences of our frequent flyers and the single entry lounge pass was not a priority" a spokesperson told Australian Business Traveller this week.

"Therefore we have decided not to continue with the roll-out in favour of securing new partners, for example Westfield, Foxtel and Onsport Golf Club."

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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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Oct 2011

Total posts 11

That's a shame, I saw the "free pass per 100 SCs" as a big (potential) plus for Velocity. I'm only a Velocity silver member and don't travel nearly enough to earn gold, so extra lounge passes would have been great!

Hopefully VFF can make up for it by finalising the long-awaited tie-up with Flybuys; although with the recent re-launch of Flybuys, maybe this is no longer on the agenda?

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