How to get a Qantas, Virgin Australia frequent flyer status match

How to get a Qantas, Virgin Australia frequent flyer status match

Most frequent flyers achieve their prized Gold or Platinum status the hard way – clocking up endless hours of bum-numbing miles in business class (or, worse, economy).

However, Qantas and Virgin Australia offer selected travellers a shortcut to that shiny card using little-known ‘accelerator' programs.

These are primarily used to woo business travellers away from competing airlines by offering instant status and the perks which come with it – such as lounge access, priority check-in and boarding and an additional checked baggage allowance.

The lure of this status match is to ensure high-spending travellers who already hold significant status on another airline don’t have to forego the equivalent perks and start at the bottom of the frequent flyer food chain.

But you don’t get something for nothing: accelerator promotions (sometimes also known as ‘challenges’) require that travellers do a certain amount of flying with the airline offering a fast-track status deal.

With both Qantas and Virgin Australia you need to clock up a set number of status credits within three months in order to keep that Gold or Platinum frequent flyer card in your pocket or purse for a full year. 

Don’t manage to make those miles? Say goodbye to your gratis status.

How to apply for a Qantas or Virgin Australia status match

Contact the frequent flyer team of the airline with which you’re seeking a status match offer, and explain what you’re seeking and why.

If there’s a possible status match on the table – and that’s not always the case – you’ll need to send a copy of your current frequent flyer card and some recent activity statements showing your travel patterns (this is to weed out freeloaders).

Then it’s up to the airline to decide if you’re a customer worth chasing and worthy of a status match.

The Qantas Tier Accelerator status match

Qantas' Tier Accelerator is a bit 'fight club' – the airline doesn't talk much about it – but it provides a fast-track to Gold or Platinum Qantas Frequent Flyer status.

The number of status credits you have to earn within the three-month trial is believed to be 200 status credits to get a full year of Gold membership, and 400 status credits for Platinum.

And that’s not a big ask.

One business class return trip from Sydney to Singapore or Hong Kong will net you 240 status credits, so you’re Gold with some to spare.

Two of those trips (or one flexible business class fare to Los Angeles and back) puts you in Platinum territory.

Connect with other travellers in our Qantas discussion group

The Virgin Australia Accelerate Pilot Gold status match

Virgin Australia’s Pilot Gold scheme provides three months of Velocity Frequent Flyer Gold status.

Pilot Gold is a component of the airline’s Accelerate business travel program for companies spending from $20,000 to $300,000 per year on Virgin Australia flights.

However, Pilot Gold is also known to be offered to individual Qantas flyers prized by Virgin Australia.

Moving from Pilot Gold to the real deal requires you to earn just 80 status credits in three months.

That’s a one-way business class flight between the east and west coasts, or a return trip in full fare economy.

Connect with other travellers in our Virgin Australia discussion group

 

David Flynn

David Flynn (David)

[email protected] / @djsflynn

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.
 

8 Comments

  • Keen Poon

    Keen

    11 Oct, 2016 11:47 am

    Hi David, I'm a P One with Qantas and called up Virgin to ask about status matching, apparently there don't do such thing.
    Member who gave thanks

    1 guest

  • UpUpAndAway

    UpUpAndAway

    21 Dec, 2016 08:07 am

    I'd email the Virgin CEO or one of the execs and ask them direct. A few years ago I took out Pilot Gold, then after a month of flying with Virgin I requested if there was a chance of being upgraded to Platinum, it was done the same day. Never looked back, these day I alway prefer Virgin domestic as a first choice. 
    No member give thanks

  • Doubleplatinum

    Doubleplatinum

    22 May, 2017 03:35 pm

    Yeah I am sure the CEO has time to go through emails from people looking for a freebie haha
    No member give thanks

  • delly

    delly

    21 Dec, 2016 06:51 pm

    Virgin won't do a status match no matter what tier you are. On rare occasions they will consider it if you work for certain businesses they want to keep happy. Smaller businesses, self-employed and travelers have no chance.

    No member give thanks

  • UpUpAndAway

    UpUpAndAway

    22 Dec, 2016 08:17 am

    Not Correct, I got one several years ago
    No member give thanks

  • conpt

    conpt

    3 Jan, 2017 03:32 pm

    I was status matched in Feb 16 through the Corporate Accounts team after signing up with the Accelerate program. It wasn't offered...
    No member give thanks

  • jad01

    jad01

    31 Jan, 2017 01:25 pm

    I sent an email to QF with attached information almost 2 weeks ago and got an email confirming receipt.
    Just wondering those of you who have sought a status challenge how long it took for a response as I am flying business international in the next week and it will definitely hit the target.
    No member give thanks

  • Doug Miller-Davie

    Dougmd

    2 Mar, 2017 10:17 am

    I called up Qantas yesterday hoping to get the status tier accelerator enrollment to make platinum, but was knocked back.  I was told that i already have a high status (being lifetime gold) and this program is not designed for me.  Apparently you need to have a lower status level...

    Any other ideas?  Has anyone else had success?
    No member give thanks

  • barrellman

    barrellman

    9 Apr, 2017 10:48 am

    Do Qantas Status Match from Virgin Platinum?
    I've been Qantas Gold for 5 years, with the closest to Platinum being 1200 SC's on self-funded travel, but I'm now Virgin Platinum. 

    No member give thanks

  • olivermking

    olivermking

    4 Oct, 2017 06:27 pm

    Dumb question to an old thread, but if I was to get a status match from QFF platinum to VA platinum would I lose my QFF status? Or could I simply retain it? I have to fly VA domestically at my new place of work but will always fly QF internationally
    No member give thanks

  • UpUpAndAway

    UpUpAndAway

    5 Oct, 2017 07:21 am

    They can’t take yr Qantas Platinum off you, not sure who you would contact for status match. Everyone I know who did hand out matches aren’t there anymore.
    No member give thanks

  • jad01

    jad01

    6 Oct, 2017 12:25 pm

    I simply sent Qantas an email asking about options to reach a higher status. I was QF Bronze and VA Platinum and after providing 12mths of statements from VA they gave me 2 options.
    1. Platinum match for 400 sc in 90 days, or
    2. Gold status for 200sc in 90 days.
    The condition is that SC's can only be on QF flights, so no partners, no Jetstar, codeshare etc.
    With QF anniversay date less than a year from new status it is extended till anniversary next year.
    No member give thanks

  • Leigh Bentley

    mutley

    11 Nov, 2017 04:15 pm

    I got to Velocity Gold the easy way: the Flybuys promotion. But I frequently have to travel Qantas for domestic work, so I asked for a Qantas status match.
    It took QFF a month to respond, and eventually I was knocked back (via Facebook Messenger, would you believe) because apparently Qantas Gold is "not equivalent" to Velocity Gold. I asked for a comparison table to substantiate this claim, and was told they didn't do competitor analysis (yeah, right).
    Pushed further, I was told that as I already held Silver QFF status and Qantas Club membership I just needed to fly a bit more to get to QFF Gold.
    I've been enjoying Virgin hospitality ever since, and happily tell anyone that wants to know how poorly QFF look after aspiring members.
    No member give thanks

Guest

17 Dec, 2017 01:23 pm

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