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Virgin Australia opens its lounges to Qantas Frequent Flyers

By David Flynn     Filed under: Qantas Frequent Flyer, Virgin Australia, Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold, Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum, The Lounge, Velocity Gold, Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum One

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.


Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 24/5/11 by jordanmyer-smith

how about a status match while we are at it? :) especially now with the new fare cats being cheaper than qantas but with more inclusions?

2 on 24/5/11 by danwarne

That is frigging brilliant! Virgin is on fire with this relaunch strategy.

I would switch my business to Virgin in a moment if they'd match my Qantas Gold status... I don't really fancy having to fly without lounge access for a year just to requalify for gold status with Virgin.

1 on 24/5/11 by Jack

Hey Dan, Virgin Australia will be scrapping Velocity Rewards, and making a completely new Frequent flyer program! John Borghetti has said it will be so much better than Qantas's, best ever seen in the Pacific, will link all of it's partners together, extra rewards etc. So when that comes out, forget Qantas, Virgin will be the way to go!!

2 on 25/5/11 by Chloeglow

match as in how?? Forgive me if im wrong for assuming.. but do you mean.... you'd swap to virgin if they gave you equal gold status? Im sorry but im pretty sure you have to spend the money to "earn" your status's anywhere in the world.... doesnt make sense for a company to be giving people who have spent their money elsewhere ie "QF tickets" and then to give freeby gold memberships with all the benefits to try to entice people. Stategy is one thing... being plain stupid is another


1 on 25/5/11 by danwarne

Happens quite often when airlines are trying to entice premium flyers away from another airline. Not often in Australia, but it does happen round the world. 

2 on 25/5/11 by John

Matching status of a competitor is pretty common. US airlines do it all the time; Air France did it last month, Lufthansa's doing it at the moment. Steal the competition's most valuable customers? Most airlines would sell their grannies.

3 on 1/8/11 by chandi

I was originally offered a status match only to be told the offer expired and then to be told again that the offer is still on and to be told yet again the offer is off.  May be I should wait for them to get their act together. 

What this proved to me was that VA can be as dysfunctional as QF.


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