Virgin Australia extends Velocity tiers by a year with one flight, offers new Gold status match

by James Wilkinson

Virgin Australia is ramping up its efforts to keep its loyal travellers from switching to rival airlines by offering a new 12-month status extension with just one flight.

The move comes as Australia’s second largest carrier also fires back at its bigger rival, by inviting Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold status and above members to receive a Velocity Discover Gold Status trial membership.

Virgin Australia says by “simply filling-in a short expression of interest form by 21 December 2020, Qantas Gold status and above members will receive a three month Velocity Discover Gold Status trial membership, which offers complimentary Lounge access, priority boarding, preferential seating, higher checked baggage allowances, and lucrative bonus points when customers book and fly with Virgin Australia”.

To retain Velocity Gold status for 12-months and receive an additional benefit of Velocity Gold membership for their companion, Virgin Australia says the members who switch are only required to take one eligible flight and earn 80 status credits during their three month Discover Gold Status trial period.

That is one of the most generous status match offers made available by any airline in the world and Virgin Australia says this is a “highly sought-after reward only previously awarded to the most active Velocity members”.

Virgin Australia Group CEO, Jayne Hrdlicka, said domestic airline competition was alive and well and thanked the airline’s loyal Velocity members, particularly those who have stood by the program and the airline this year.

“Virgin Australia was the first airline in Australia to bring genuine competition to the domestic market, and that competitive spirit is in our DNA, so we’re happy to offer a more compelling loyalty offer than what is currently in market,” she said.

“Travellers are longing for fun and friendly service, consistent on-time performance, an exceptional safety record and value when they travel, and these are the things that Virgin Australia is so well-known for and why people choose to travel with us over our competitors.

“We’re pleased to welcome Qantas members to Velocity who are interested in taking advantage of cheaper fares, award-winning cabin crew, and great rewards for ongoing loyalty. We look forward to welcoming them onboard this summer season.

“In true Virgin Australia spirit, we’ll continue to bring competition across the domestic, loyalty, regional and cargo sectors.

“We know we have a compelling offer for business and leisure travellers who are emerging from COVID-19 with less discretionary spend, but who still want lounges, preferential seating, priority boarding, checked baggage, and all the comforts a mid-market carrier can offer their guests without the price tag.

“Importantly, we know we can offer something no one else can, and that’s our fabulous people, who deliver our service with a smile no matter what seat number is on your ticket,” Hrdlicka said.

When it comes to existing members receiving a status extension, she said Velocity Frequent Flyer would offer eligible Gold and Platinum members a status extension of up to one year (or until 31 March 2022), as long as they take one eligible flight with Virgin Australia before 28 March 2021.

Hrdlicka said this is the second time Velocity has granted eligible members a Status extension this year, and this generous offer will enable Gold and Platinum members to continue enjoying some of their most cherished benefits, like Lounge access, priority boarding, and higher Velocity points earning ability when they return to the skies.

“With less flying this year we know it’s been difficult for our most loyal Velocity members to keep their status and so we’ll continue to reward their loyalty by offering another Status extension and generous rewards when they fly with us,” she said.

“We want to thank them for the support during the year, and now that borders are reopening and we’re doing more flying, we can’t wait to see them in the skies soon.

“This is just a sign of things to come, and that the good news will keep coming from Virgin Australia,” Hrdlicka said.

Virgin Australia’s Melbourne and Sydney lounges are set to re-open on 15 December. The Brisbane Lounge reopened last month and the airline’s Gold Coast, Perth and Adelaide lounges will reopen early in the new year, according to the airline.