Virgin Australia Velocity Platinum: the unofficial guide

Virgin Australia Velocity Platinum: the unofficial guide

This article is part of our ongoing Business Travel 101 series for newcomers to the world of business travel and was last updated in January 2019.

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

Among the list of perks, four free upgrades from economy to business class each year, access to top-grade lounges in Los Angeles and Hong Kong 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.

Naturally, flights taken with Virgin Australia count towards that tally, as do those with VA’s partner airlines including Delta, Etihad, Singapore Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and SilkAir.

Crunching the numbers, 34 return trips on an economy Elevate 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.

Weekly travel in economy or even monthly flying 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.

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 gets 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 or after a VA flight with an impressive five guests – including two children aged between three and 12, plus three teens or adults.

And when departing from Sydney and Brisbane, these top-tier travellers can also use the private Premium Entry to access the lounge without venturing into the terminal itself, and can exit VA’s Melbourne lounge and clear security in a private room via Premium Exit:

Internationally, Virgin’s partner airlines normally provide lounge access for the Platinum member and one adult guest, while Virgin Australia’s lounge finder does a great job at highlighting what’s available across the globe, along with any caveats that could sting you along the way.

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

Elsewhere, Etihad’s First Class Lounge and Spa in Abu Dhabi are 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.

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.

Delta treats Velocity Platinums the same as its Gold Medallion frequent flyers and SkyTeam Elite Plus guests, with two free 23kg checked bags in economy on most flights, an extra bag on its Sydney-Los Angeles service and three 32kg bags when flying in business and first class.

Bonus points and perks for Virgin Australia Velocity Platinum

You’ll pocket double points on Virgin Australia and Virgin Samoa flights, on journeys booked as a VA codeshare taken with other airlines, and with some of Velocity’s partners on the ground including Hertz, Europcar and Thrifty on car hire, and Agoda when booking hotels.

When flying with Etihad, you’ll instead earn 50% more points, and if you’re stuck in economy with Delta, you can upgrade to its extra legroom Comfort+ seats free within 72 hours of departure, which also come with free alcoholic drinks and premium inflight entertainment.

New Velocity Platinum members are given free Hilton HHonors 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.

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.

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.

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 from Freedom economy fares, including on the airline’s Perth flights, which come with lie-flat beds on the Airbus A330s:

Platinums can also use their Velocity points to upgrade to business class in Virgin Australia’s lounges, or at the priority check-in desks in Hobart and Darwin – where lounges aren’t available.

On VA’s Los Angeles and Hong Kong flights, Gold and Platinum members can trade Velocity points for a confirmed upgrade to either premium economy or business class from the moment the flight has been booked.

That’s a significant advantage over the ‘upgrade lottery’ system at Qantas, where better seats are only dished out closer to departure.

More Velocity Platinum perks

Unable to upgrade? Platinum members stuck in economy can select Economy X seats on most flights, which give a little more legroom akin to that of an emergency exit row seat, but without the extra charge.

Friends and family 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.

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.

Finally, Platinum members can book seats in economy on full Virgin Australia flights and use their points to reserve economy seats for up to four passengers once a year on any domestic or international codeshare destinations.

Also read: Just reached Velocity Platinum? Grab free top-tier status with Hilton or IHG hotels!

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Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

15 comments

  • Hugo

    Hugo

    3 Dec, 2014 11:22 am

    Is the increased baggage allowance on Delta a new feature? I flew Delta (domestic US) in August and had to pay for my bag.

    I could have saved a hundred bucks total (two flights, two people, two bags) if I'd been allowed the same benefits as a Delta Gold Elite member but I was told that the Delta-VA partnership didn't extend to baggage allowance.

    Checking the VA website now it does indeed say that VA Gold and Platinum gets this benefit but I'm fairly sure it didn't say that a few months ago.

    No member give thanks

  • pwl

    pwl

    3 Dec, 2014 06:02 pm

    This feature is new - it was announced recently (although I've since deleted the email so can't tell you exactly when...)

    No member give thanks

  • Sunburnt

    Sunburnt

    3 Dec, 2014 11:38 am

    For me, Family Pooling (of points & status credits) has to be the one thing that sets Velocity apart from others - brilliant!

    No member give thanks

  • pwl

    pwl

    3 Dec, 2014 06:03 pm

    You get points for pets, too (!)

    https://www.velocityfrequentflyer.com/content/ProgramBenefits/pets/

    No member give thanks

  • gippsflyer

    gippsflyer

    4 Dec, 2014 01:14 pm

    That be quite the benefit for the travelling family, and is well worth taking up if you tend to fly away as a family for holidays and such.

    No member give thanks

  • UpUpAndAway

    UpUpAndAway

    3 Dec, 2014 12:05 pm

    I would be really worried if I was on the Qantas Board, once Virgin gets there food offering right they will be streets ahead of Qantas.

    No member give thanks

  • Doubleplatinum

    Doubleplatinum
    Banned

    5 Dec, 2014 06:59 pm

    Well out - they are still floundering horribly in the food department but hopefully with time they will get it right

    No member give thanks

  • smit0847

    smit0847

    3 Dec, 2014 12:56 pm

    I was VA Platinum last year and wouldnt bother trying to achieve it again. Apart from Row 3 at booking there aren't that many benefits over being Gold. Yes the 4 comp upgrades are nice but Flexi fares are so expensive now and if you're flying enough to make Platinum you'll likely have more points than you know what to do with to use for upgrades anyway.

    VA Gold is great, Platinum not so much.

    No member give thanks

  • rob01

    rob01

    3 Dec, 2014 04:10 pm

    Have to agree on that one. I'm about to be bumped down to Gold and just couldn't use the upgrade perks. Like most companies we get the cheap seats, and whenever I did have a flexi fare an upgrade seat wasn't available. I wouldn't have minded a system whereby an upgrade from a flexi fare is one upgrade soupon but if you wanted to upgrade from a saver fare you had to use 2 of them.

    That being said - snagging Hilton Diamond status definitely makes it worthwile, and I've had great recognition on Air NZ flights across the Tasman and have been personally greeted by the cabin manager.

    No member give thanks

  • Doubleplatinum

    Doubleplatinum
    Banned

    18 Dec, 2014 09:21 pm

    +1 Outstanding treatment onboard Air NZ flights as a platinum velocity member

    No member give thanks

  • pwl

    pwl

    3 Dec, 2014 06:05 pm

    The upgrade from sydney to perth is worthwhile for me .. but then again i have family in perth.

    It's pretty silly that platinum & gold boarding is lumped toegther - especially in melbourne on the flight back to SYD in the afternoon:  90% of people are platinum or gold it seems...

    No member give thanks

  • bmc

    bmc

    3 Dec, 2014 04:33 pm

    Just to clarify. To get partner gold (or platinum) you need to requlify first. That means in you first shot for platinum you need to earn:

    1000 status credits then

    800 SC to for the next year then

    500 SC extra for partner status for a grand total of 2300 SC in a year

    In subsequent years you will need  to requalify (800) then earn the extra 500

    No member give thanks

  • pwl

    pwl

    3 Dec, 2014 06:09 pm

    There are still a ton of things Virgin could do to improve their program, eg:

    - more differentiation between platinum & gold (see my comment re: early boarding in melbourne)

    - waitlists for upgrades, especially on international

    - being able to bid for upgrade with points as well as dollars

    - negotiate access to the Silver Kris lounge in singapore - the gold lounge is a joke....

    - etc...

    No member give thanks

  • andyg16

    andyg16

    25 Aug, 2015 04:53 pm

    I simply can't see the point of Platinum with VA. For the traveller, there's nothing in it over and above Gold status. The "upgrade credits" are virtually worthless - in travelling to and from Perth in the past couple of days, there have been zero seats available to use the credits on any flight (save 1 seat on the red eye). For VA, I can't see the point in offering Platinum - all its doing is annoying the most frequent travellers; flights will depart with empty J seats that we haven't been able to use "upgrade credits" on. I'm sure it was someone having a laugh when they made the wireless password in their lounges "upgrademe"...

    No member give thanks

  • zoomzoom

    zoomzoom

    28 Oct, 2015 03:55 pm

    Virgin is really putting pressure on QF.............John B has done a fantastic job. QF are just so complacent. 

    The Virgin FF scheme is miles ahead, family pooling is a huge plus..............

    I just wish they would cut a deal with Coles or Woolworths for FF like the Etihad deal where you can earn SC.

    No member give thanks

Guest

17 Jul, 2019 09:01 pm

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