In a canny move to tempt Qantas' most coveted customers, Virgin Australia is giving Qantas Frequent Flyer gold and platinum members full access to its new lounges in Melbourne and Brisbane as well as Sydney's premium lounge entry.
The trial program, which began in late May, has now been extended to August 31, and will cover any gold or platinum Qantas Frequent Flyer even if they're holding a Virgin Australia economy ticket.
Access to Virgin Australia lounges, and Sydney's fast-track premium lounge entry, is usually restricted to the airline's top-tier Velocity Gold flyers along with passengers booked in premium economy or business class (separate Velocity Lounge membership is also available).
Martin Daley, Virgin Australia’s Group Executive for Product & Guest Services, told Australian Business Traveller that even Qantas gold and platinums who are travelling with The Red Roo will still be welcome to check out the lounge on a private escorted tour, Daley said.
"I've asked our Lounge team to allow any QF Gold or Platinum member who is travelling with Qantas and who wishes to see our Lounge, to be given that opportunity and we will escort them around. It wouldn't be possible for them to sit and use the facilities instead of using Qantas', but it's a chance for them to see our facilities and for us to showcase the lounge."
Daley's offer is bound to be a hit with many regular Qantas passengers who might be tempted to try the new Virgin Australia but lack sufficient status under Virgin's Velocity rewards program to gain lounge access, which is a key issue for business travellers and frequent flyers.
About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.