Virgin trials free lounge passes for Velocity frequent flyers

By David Flynn, November 29 2011
Virgin trials free lounge passes for Velocity frequent flyers

Virgin Australia has issued "several thousand" members of its Velocity frequent flyer program with free one-time passes to the airline's lounges around Australia, as it trials the concept ahead of a 2012 launch.

One of a laundry list of benefits spruiked when Virgin relaunched its Velocity program in August, frequent flyers were promised a free pass to any Virgin Australia lounge for each 100 status credits earned.

However the scheme will now be rolled out sometime in the new year, with both the use-by period of the pass and the number of status credits required to earn it under consideration.

“We chose to delay the lounge pass partly because Velocity has become so successful that we want to match the capacity increase in our lounges due to these passes being issued" explains Phil Gunter, Virgin Australia's General Manager for Velocity Frequent Flyer.

"We’ll still implement it but we want to make sure we have the right balance" Gunter tells Australian Business Traveller. "The issue I’m concerned about is over-promising.”

Gunter revealed that "several thousand lounge passes" were issued this month to a group which he described as a “cross-section” of Velocity members.

The airline is now tracking 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."

Meanwhile Velocity is hurtling towards the three million member mark, having already passed 2.75 million members and rocketing up 10% in the past four months – a spike of some 250,000 new members contributed by an aggressive status match deal for members of the Qantas Frequent Flyer programme.

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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Nov 2011

Total posts 246

I prefer if they did not have expiry dates on the pass or at least a longer expiry date e.g. 1 year or so. I was recently upgraded to Silver status and had 2 complimentary passes with 3 months expiry from the day of induction.

I was lucky to use them as I am not a frequent flyer but already booked with Virgin Australia to travel interstate for leisure. Status upgrade just so happen that I flew with a partner airline and earned the status twice in 1 year period to London from Sydney.

09 May 2011

Total posts 294

I'm seriously trying to figure out what the point of the extra lounge passes given to Velocity members are -- in particular, Gold and Platinum members continue to be given the complimentary lounge passes for each 100 SCs, but they're non-transferrable, and you already have lounge access. So what's the point?

AlG
AlG

04 Nov 2010

Total posts 674

I reckon it would mainly be so you can guest in several fellow travellers. That would explain Virgin's worry about lounge capacity because if you had a dozen travellers each guesting in a bunch of other people, especially during a peak travel period, the lounges would fill up pretty fast!

AlG
AlG

04 Nov 2010

Total posts 674

Virgin's getting very clever at this stuff. First the free flight upgrade vouchers for high-ranking frequent flyers, eg four if you're Platinum, and now free lounge access vouchers. Are you watching and learning, Qantas? Give away some passes to your International First Class or Domestic Business lounges so that some people can sample them, like SIlvers and Golds, and that'll help convince them to fly with you more foten to get the magic Platinum status!

16 Aug 2011

Total posts 9

Shame they didn't allow Singapore Kris Flyers to benefit from this. I would have happily changed over.


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