Virgin Australia Velocity Platinum Frequent Flyer guide

The top tier of the Velocity status ladder delivers the best perks Virgin Australia has to offer.

By Staff Writers, August 30 2022
Virgin Australia Velocity Platinum Frequent Flyer guide

Platinum status in the Velocity Frequent Flyer program is worth aiming for if you’re regularly jetting about with Virgin Australia and its partner airlines, whether you’re normally perched in business class or sitting further back in economy.

Among the list of perks, four free upgrades from economy to business class each year, access to top-grade lounges across the globe even when booked on the cheapest economy ticket, and double points on eligible flights.

 

How to earn Virgin Australia Platinum frequent flyer status

You’ll reach the lofty heights of Platinum after racking up 1,000 status credits in a 12-month period, while also travelling on at least eight flights with a Virgin Australia VA flight number.

To keep the shiny card in your wallet, you’ll need the same eight ‘eligible sectors’ and to earn just 800 status credits in future years - double the retaining criteria needed for Gold and four times the Silver qualifying threshold.

Platinum is the highest tier in Virgin Australia's Velocity frequent flyer program.
Platinum is the highest tier in Virgin Australia's Velocity frequent flyer program.

Naturally, flights taken with Virgin Australia count towards that tally, as do those with VA’s partner airlines including Etihad, Singapore Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and its newest partners, United Airlines and Qatar Airways.

Crunching the numbers, 34 return trips on an economy Choice fare between Sydney and either Melbourne or Brisbane would get you over the Platinum line for the first time, as would 10 return treks in business class between the same cities.

Travelling in economy almost weekly, or even flying monthly in business class can sound a little daunting, but once you’ve mixed in a few international flights, you’ll be there in no time.

From Australia’s east coast to Singapore with partner Singapore Airlines, five business class return trips or 17 economy return trips are more than enough to do the trick.

You can earn Velocity status credits by flying with Singapore Airlines, a Virgin Australia partner.
You can earn Velocity status credits by flying with Singapore Airlines, a Virgin Australia partner.

Or, if you’re making that journey a full Sydney-London jaunt with a Singapore transit or stopover, a mere two return business class trips will land you Platinum status, provided you’ve also travelled on at least eight VA-coded flights in the same 12-month period.

Lounge access for Virgin Australia Velocity Platinum members

Platinum frequent flyers can stop by Virgin Australia’s domestic lounges before a VA flight with an impressive six guests – including three children aged between two and 17, plus three additional guests.

On-arrival lounge access is another great perk guaranteed for Velocity Platinum members and guests, perfect for freshening up after a domestic flight. It's also available to Velocity Gold members too, but 'subject to space availability'.

At Brisbane Airport they can also enjoy streamlined access to the lounge without venturing into the terminal itself, courtesy of a Premium Entry lane with its own security checkpoint, although at the time of writing Sydney Airport’s Premium Entry remains closed. 

And with all of Virgin’s travellers from Melbourne Airport Terminal 3 now being funnelled through Terminal 4, Velocity Golds can fast-track through the T4 Priority Screening lane.

Skip the queue with Virgin's Premium Entry and Priority Screening lanes.
Skip the queue with Virgin's Premium Entry and Priority Screening lanes.

Internationally, Virgin’s partner airlines normally provide lounge access for the Platinum member and one adult guest. 

One example is in Honolulu, where Velocity Platinum members can access the United Club lounge ahead of United Airlines flights – but only if travelling to an international destination rather than connecting onwards to the continental United States.

Elsewhere, Etihad’s First Class Lounge and Spa in Abu Dhabi is also open to Platinum members ahead of Etihad services.

Checked baggage allowance for Virgin Australia Velocity Platinum

On domestic and short Virgin Australia international flights, Platinum members can check three 23kg bags on economy tickets and a generous 96kg in business class, split over three bags of up to 32kg each.

Velocity Platinum members are entitled to very generous baggage allowances.
Velocity Platinum members are entitled to very generous baggage allowances.

Three bags are also allowed when bound for Los Angeles and Hong Kong, at a maximum of 23kg per bag in economy and 32kg per bag in both business class and premium economy.

Higher baggage allowances are also available with some, but not all, of Virgin Australia’s international airline partners.

You’ll be able to check an extra 20kg 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.

Even more benefits for Virgin Australia Velocity Platinum

More points on your purchases

You’ll pocket double points on Virgin Australia flights and up to six points per $1 spent with some of Velocity’s partners on the ground including Hertz, Europcar and Thrifty on car hire.

With partner airlines, you’ll earn a 100% points bonus with United Airlines on journeys booked as a VA codeshare, as well as 50% more points when flying with Etihad.

One-off status match with a hotel and car-hire partner

New Velocity Platinum members are given free Hilton Honors Diamond or IHG Rewards Club Platinum Elite status, and a Europcar Privilege Elite or Hertz Gold Plus President’s Circle card to provide top-tier perks across all aspects of their journey.

Your Velocity Platinum status can be parlayed into an Elite tier with IHG Rewards Club.
Your Velocity Platinum status can be parlayed into an Elite tier with IHG Rewards Club.

If you know that you’ll maintain Platinum for a few years, it’s best to hold off on these until there’s a year you can make the most of it, as these are one-off offers and will not be granted again once redeemed.

Fast-track your airport experience

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.

Fly ahead over the phone

If you’ve arrived well ahead of your flight and in time for an earlier departure, you may be able to ‘Fly Ahead’ by jumping on the next available flight at no charge. Platinum members are also able to request a 'Fly Ahead' over the phone, on the day of travel.

There are a few caveats – on most routes, you can only move to the flight scheduled to depart immediately before the one you booked. For example, if there was a 2pm, 3pm and 6pm flight from Canberra to Sydney, you would only be able to move from the 6pm to the 3pm flight over the phone.

Jump onto an earlier flight if there's a seat available and your fare allows it.
Jump onto an earlier flight if there's a seat available and your fare allows it.

For flights wholly between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, you can move to a flight no more than 2 hours earlier than your current flight.

In either case, the cut-off to make the call is 30 minutes prior to the intended new departure.

Priority economy booking

Unable to upgrade? Platinum members and their guests stuck in economy can select Economy X - that’s Virgin Australia’s extra-legroom offering – at no extra cost on domestic, trans-Tasman and short international flights.

Complimentary Gold and Platinum membership

Friends and family members of high flyers can also benefit from their time away, with Partner Gold status awarded after reeling in at least 500 status credits in one membership year over and above that needed to reach or retain Platinum.

After earning a further 500 status credits – 1,000 more than required for Platinum in a 12-month period – the nominated companion is bumped up to Platinum as well.

Priority Phone service

Virgin Australia also offers priority phone support to top-tier Velocity members, so if you’re hunting for a business class upgrade or need to make a flight change, be sure to enter your membership number when calling the airline to side-step the queue.

Guaranteed economy reward seats

Once a year, you can request up to four return economy reward seats to any Virgin Australia domestic destination, or any international destination to which Virgin Australia flies or codeshares on.

This is a useful, under-publicised perk that could see you nab seats to a popular destination during peak school holiday periods. While Gold flyers get the domestic network, Platinums can access any codeshare destination around the world, including on partners such as Singapore Airlines, Etihad and United Airlines.

The only drawback is the need to request at least six months in advance, and be flexible with your arrival and departure dates.

Use your Velocity points to enjoy United Airlines' Polaris business class on a flight to the USA.
Use your Velocity points to enjoy United Airlines' Polaris business class on a flight to the USA.

You'll need to provide a three-day window for domestic itineraries (one day on either side of your desired travel dates), or a seven-day window for international trips (three days on either side of each flight sector).

Velocity can also choose the airlines and routings at its discretion. But if you know you want to take the family somewhere over Christmas, then be sure to pick up the phone before June.

Unlike Virgin’s previous partnership with Delta, Velocity upgrades are unavailable on United, even for Platinum members. 

Purchase economy seats on sold out flights

Platinum members can book up to two Economy Flex fare seats on full Virgin Australia flights as long as the request is made prior to midday of the day before flying.

Waived fees and last-minute upgrades

Finally, while it's not to be expected, you’ll also find that some fees might be waived at the discretion of the contact centre staff, such as cancelling a confirmed upgrade in order to change flights, or changing from a Lite ticket to a Flex fare.

In my experience, I've had luck securing last-minute upgrades on flights when there was no reward availability showing, simply by phoning up a day or two beforehand. This isn't an officially publicised perk, but could come as a pleasant surprise to Velocity Platinum members.

Business class upgrades for Virgin Australia Velocity Platinum

The most coveted perk at the top of the Velocity food chain? Free domestic business class upgrades four times per year.

Four free upgrades to business class to use as you see fit...yes please!
Four free upgrades to business class to use as you see fit...yes please!

That means you can trade-up on four individual one-way flights, or could take a trip with a partner, colleague or even your boss and upgrade both of you to more comfortable surroundings in business class for the return journey.

For two passengers taking a return trip together, you’d use two of your four upgrade credits on the outbound flight (one credit per passenger, per flight), and the remaining two credits for your return leg.

While they're not valid on 'long-range' flights, they can be used to upgrade on short-range international destinations, including Fiji and Bali.

There's just one catch: you can only use these complimentary upgrades when booked on flexible economy (Flex), with tickets booked in the less-pricey Lite and Choice categories keeping you firmly in economy.

Requesting your Velocity Platinum business class upgrade

As a rule, complimentary upgrades for Velocity Platinum members are only available on flights where a business class ticket can also be booked using Velocity frequent flyer points.

In other words, you can check whether upgrades are available on a particular flight by jumping onto the Velocity website and trying to book the same business class journey using your Velocity points: if a ‘Business Reward’ seat is available, you’ll know that an upgrade is also available.

Then, book your Flexi economy ticket as normal, make a note of the six-character booking reference and call the Velocity Contact Centre between 8am and 8pm (Sydney time), Monday to Friday to request your upgrade at any point up until two hours before your flight’s scheduled departure time.

Upgrades are immediately confirmed, and if changes do arise you can alter your plans up until 24 hours before departure without losing your upgrade credit – it will either be applied to your new flight or refunded back into your account, depending on the circumstances and its expiry date.

Platinum members whose plans may change at the last minute can also request a complimentary upgrade in person at the Virgin Australia lounge until 40 minutes prior to departure, or at the priority check-in desks in Hobart and Darwin (where lounges aren’t available).

That’s a great way to maximise the flexibility of your ticket without the risk of losing your complimentary upgrade, although requests filled on departure day may be met with limited food on-board or your first meal choice being unavailable, as catering is usually firmed-up several hours in advance.

21 Apr 2019

Total posts 26

No upgrades on United for Platinum unlike Delta deal.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 605

Good analysis, although, I think the 'Staff Writers' at ET will be sorely disappointed if they ever attempt the VP Business Class Upgrade, even after doing all the pre-call checks online.  I've attempted to secure business class seating 4 times now since the resumption of regular flying, and the reasons given for being unable to accommodate were . . . well . . . slightly insulting (polite, but insulting).  There's too much "fuss & bother" needed for this service, I've abandoned it.

In stark contrast, the Guaranteed Economy Reward Seats works like a dream in no small measure to the phone service being 'manned' by very diligent staff who have an intimate knowledge of how the booking service works, particularly when handling 4 pax on the same booking.  

The Complimentary Gold Membership (with 800 SC to upgrade to Platinum) delivers great 'bang for the buck'.  The Spouse got her (Ooops) Gold Card and was pretty chuffed, but then with a family holiday and Family Pooling - she already has the requisite status credits for Platinum and is now in need of just two (2) more sectors and she goes Platinum.  Both of us being Platinum will pay dividends when flying to the USA and UK next year - even if the US flights are with United (a poor/lazy choice of partner, IMHO).  

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 870

I’m wondering about VA P1 at over 3000 status credits I feel so unloved by VA, other airlines treat me like a king (and the hostesses) VA treats me like 800 status person,  very Unloved I am.


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