So, you’ve just been upgraded to Platinum on Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer program. A congratulations is in order. The jump up to Gold was exciting – getting international lounge access for the first time, priority boarding, upgrades and more. But at first glance, apart from an extra 25% in points when you travel on most flights, there really isn’t much more that a Platinum passenger gets that a Gold passenger doesn’t. So what else is there? Here’s a few our favourite features as a Platinum member of the program that will make you a traveller of envy – whether you’re in Economy or sitting in the pointy end.
The “Revivals Lounge” at Heathrow (Virgin Atlantic)
If you’re flying into Heathrow before lunch, chances are you’ve been on a red-eye flight. For business travellers, having access to a lounge on arrival can be a lifesaver – and Virgin Atlantic have one of the best, with private shower rooms, a la carte meal service and complimentary massages making that difficult flight just that little bit easier.
You can’t bring a guest on this one, so your partner needs a Platinum membership too, but this is a clever move to ensure the room is never too busy, and business travellers can get that shower and a meal before they head to the office. Definitely one of the best perks of the Platinum treatment.
The First Class Lounge & Spa in Abu Dhabi (Etihad)
This one is a big one for me given my frequent travel to Europe with Etihad. Their First Class Lounge & Spa is amongst the best in the world, and only accessible if you have a Platinum membership – though this one you can bring a guest into, irrespective of their status. You can get free massages, enjoy three course meals, a relaxation suite, and a generous selection of liquor at the bar. It’s worthy alone of a long stopover. Gold membership, meanwhile, gives you access to the Business Class lounge, which isn’t quite as glamorous, but still an excellent lounge.
Free Economy x upgrades (Virgin Australia)
Any domestic service will get you a free Economy x upgrade at the time of booking, and they are usually very generous on the same upgrade for an international flight when you’re checking in, depending on how busy the flight is of course.
At the gate upgrades (Across the Network)
Once I hit Platinum status, I started getting regular upgrades at the gate – both on Virgin International flights and Etihad flights. Delta also started upgrading me to Delta Comfort without fail. This happened with Gold too, it was just rarer as you’re further down the list for an upgrade. The Platinum membership puts you right at the top. After all, aside from their invite only elite membership – reserved for celebrities and politicians – this is as high as you can go in the Velocity program.
And the rest…
Beyond this, you have access to a higher tier of membership in their car rental and hotel reward program partnerships. You can bring more guests into the lounge (up to 3 instead of just 1). And as mentioned you accrue points faster, meaning upgrades and free flights are within easier reach. There’s guaranteed Virgin Australia Reward Seat availability for an annual family trip, both for international and domestic services (Gold customers only have domestic access to this guarantee). You get 4 free business class upgrades a year (as long as you purchased a Freedom economy fare in the first instance), and if you manage to get 1,300 status credits in a 12 month period, you can gift a very lucky +1 with gold status – and another 500 credits will give you the ability to gift platinum!
How to get to Platinum
The jump from Gold to Platinum is significantly more difficult than Silver to Gold – thanks to the large number of status credits needed. There’s only a 250 status credit jump between the latter – but then to get to Platinum in the first instance, you need 1,000 status credits – versus the 500 needed for gold. And maintaining it is hard too, with 800 status credits needed every 12 months. As I write this article, after two years of Platinum membership, it’s looking like I’ll be just shy of maintaining it. But Gold is nothing to turn your nose at. Still, I’m really going to miss that First Class lounge…
For more details about the service, head to velocityfrequentflyer.com.
Headline Photo: The First Class Lounge & Spa in Abu Dhabi (Image provided by Etihad)