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This article is part of our ongoing Business Travel 101 series for newcomers to the world of business travel, and was last updated in January 2019.
Gold status in Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer program isn’t difficult to achieve for regular travellers that zip between capital cities at home or take longer journeys abroad.
Among the list of perks for Gold-grade flyers: access to Virgin Australia’s lounges and those of its partner airlines, priority check-in and boarding, and 75% more points on eligible flights.
How to earn Virgin Australia Gold frequent flyer status
After reeling in 500 status credits in a 12-month period and travelling on at least four flights with a Virgin Australia VA flight number, Velocity Gold status is yours to enjoy.
In future years, only 400 status credits and the same four ‘eligible sectors’ are needed to keep the shiny Gold card in your wallet, which makes Velocity Gold considerably easier to achieve than Gold status in the Qantas Frequent Flyer program.
Flights taken with Virgin Australia count towards that tally of status credits, as do those with VA’s partner airlines including Delta, Etihad, Hong Kong Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and SilkAir.
If flying domestically, 17 return trips from Sydney to either Melbourne or Brisbane on Elevate economy fares would get you Gold status for the first time, as would five business class return journeys between the same cities.
It’s an easier task for international travellers – just two business class round trips from Australia’s east coast to Singapore with partner Singapore Airlines would almost do the trick, with four VA-coded flights to other destinations getting you over the line.
Or, if you’re continuing that journey onwards to London and book the flights on the Virgin Australia codeshare, you’ll have the status credits and eligible sectors needed for Gold after just one trip: even if you haven’t set foot aboard a Virgin Australia aircraft.
Lounge access for Virgin Australia Velocity Gold members
Gold frequent flyers can use Virgin Australia’s domestic lounges before or after a VA flight with one in tow, plus two children aged between three and twelve.
Sydney’s private Premium Entry awaits for streamlined access to the lounge without venturing into the terminal itself, while Premium Exit allows travellers to clear security in a private room when leaving the airline’s Melbourne lounge.
When jetting abroad, Velocity Gold members normally have lounge access with one guest when travelling with Virgin Australia’s airline partners.
To see what’s available on your journey, just use the lounge finder, select Velocity Gold, click on the airline that you’ll be flying with and scroll to the airport you’ll be departing from.
Checked baggage allowance for Virgin Australia Velocity Gold
On domestic and short Virgin Australia international flights, Gold members are free to check in an extra 23kg bag on economy tickets, although no extra allowance applies in premium economy or business class.
When bound for Los Angeles and Hong Kong, Gold members can check one additional bag whether stuck down the back or perched up the front, and higher baggage allowances are also available with some of Virgin Australia’s international airline partners.
You’ll be able to check an extra 15kg when flying with Singapore Airlines and Etihad on any fare type to most destinations, while Singapore Airlines gives you one extra bag when flying to America – where flights tend to use the ‘piece’ system rather than relying on the total overall weight.
Delta treats Velocity Gold members as their own Gold Medallion frequent flyers and SkyTeam Elite Plus guests, with two free 23kg checked bags in economy on most flights, an extra bag on its Sydney-Los Angeles service and three 32kg bags when flying in business and first class.
Bonus points and perks for Virgin Australia Velocity Gold
Virgin Australia and Virgin Samoa flights serve up 75% more Velocity points for Gold guests, as do journeys booked with a VA flight number but taken on other airlines such as Delta and Singapore Airlines.
You’ll also earn 75% more points on the ground with partners such as Hertz, Europcar and Thrifty for car hire and Agoda when booking hotels, along with 50% more points on Etihad flights with an EY flight number.
Delta’s Comfort+ seats can also be selected for free within 24 hours of departure, giving you more room to stretch out and free alcoholic drinks – a handy perk on Delta’s longer flights such as from Sydney to Los Angeles and then onwards to New York.
Velocity Gold also comes with free Hilton HHonors Gold or IHG Rewards Club Gold Elite status in the first year, and a Europcar Privilege Executive or Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Five Star card for perks across all aspects of the journey.
Once you’re at the airport, there’s also priority check-in, security screening and boarding with Virgin Australia and most of its airline partners, along with priority baggage delivery to get you on the road faster.
And if you’ve arrived early for your flight and in time for an earlier service to the same destination, you are also able to try ‘Fly Ahead’ on the next available flight at no charge, provided you're not travelling on the cheapest Getaway fares.
Business class upgrades for Virgin Australia Velocity Gold
Using Velocity points for upgrades to business class on flights to Los Angeles and Hong Kong are exclusively the domain of Gold and Platinum members, who can nab confirmed upgrades from the moment the booking has been made.
That’s a significant advantage over the ‘upgrade lottery’ system at Qantas, where better seats are only dished out closer to departure.
On the domestic front, Gold members can use their points to upgrade to business class in Virgin Australia lounges and at the priority check-in desks in Hobart and Darwin, where lounges aren’t available.
As with all members of Velocity – including those new to the program – points can also be swapped for a better seat by calling the airline before heading to the airport, or by upgrading your booking via the Virgin Australia website.
More Velocity Gold perks
Economy X seats still come at a charge for Velocity Gold members, although you’ll be able to sit as far forward as row seven on domestic flights from the time of booking, with the economy seats in front of the exits having up to one inch of extra legroom against those further back.
Virgin Australia also offers priority phone support to its Gold and Platinum Velocity members, so if you’re on the lookout for a business class upgrade or need to change your travel plans, be sure to punch in your membership number when calling the airline to side-step the queue.
Finally, Gold frequent flyers can use their points to reserve economy seats for up to four passengers once a year on Virgin Australia domestic flights that don’t have award seats available.
More AusBT 'unofficial' status guides
- Virgin Australia Velocity Platinum
- Virgin Australia Velocity Silver
- Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum One
- Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum
- Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold
- Qantas Frequent Flyer Silver
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