I’m a Velocity Platinum member and I’ve been flying so much lately that I’ve now completed all additional status credits required to maintain Platinum by Jun 2016. Unless I’m misunderstanding it, this means I’ve secured Platinum for another year after June 2016 already. So I’ve got it until June 2017.
Does that mean that any additional status credits I earn from now until June 2016 will go to waste?
I’m starting to travel to South East Asia quite a bit now and I’m wondering if it’s best to book directly with Singapore Air and earn Krisflyer points directly instead of VA. I haven’t done the math, but I could probably get gold with SQ which will open up Star Alliance flights and privileges.
Is it worth doing that?
It has come to my attention that airberlin is partners with both Qantas and Virgin Australia. This means that you can credit flights from either airline, and status with airberlin will get you status with both Virgin and Qantas, which is a handy perk.
It appears that in their program you can only get “award miles” crediting Virgin, but you can get “award miles” and “status miles” with Qantas. I would seek clarification on this, but I would assume this is deliberate, to prevent someone being able to reach oneworld status by flying Virgin Australia. Etihad flights count for status, so if flying with them is an option…
It seems possible to get airberlin status miles by booking a VA flight as an airberlin codeshare, but I can’t see a way to make such a booking. Perhaps you need an airberlin sector on your itinerary to be offered a VA codeshare?
Lastly, there is also a way to get airberlin status by the number of sectors. But I can’t find clear information on this, whether partner sectors count, and whether VA-flown sectors count. If someone wants to look into this…
All of this assumes you’re more interested in status than earn and burn. I have no idea what airberlin’s earn and burn rates are like on either VA or Qantas.
As an aside, Etihad has some surprisingly good value partner redemptions, including on VA metal: http://www.etihadguest.com/en/spend-miles/airline-partners/virgin-australia/
Thanks for the reply Keith. I just got back from Singapore on an SG flight booked as VA and you don’t really get the same privileges. Especially on the way back.
Yes, I got priority boarding and access to lounges, but the experience from Sydney to Singapore is completely different than the other way.
When I checked in at SYD I got great seats offered for both SYD-SIN and SIN-KUL without even asking. They even gave me options to choose from. I also got access to the express path.
But on the way back it’s like they don’t even know who VA is. I not only didn’t get a choice of seats when I checked in. They just said there were no available seats and put me in a middle seat in the middle of the plane all the way at the back. Even though Seat Guru showed a few seats at the front. I also asked about a paid upgrade and no go. And I was on a flexi! And on arrival I didn’t get the express path either.
I’m thinking now that I have all SC needed with Virgin I may start flying with SQ or Qantas and go for status there?
You’re right, essentially any SC’s that you earn from here out only go to add to your total lifetime balance, which with Virgin at the minute I don’t think gets you any additional perks (I don’t think there’s a lifetime status option, unlike with Qantas).
The only reason to continue earning with VA is if you want the points, and/or want to signal to them you are a high value customer.
If you earn Star Alliance status, it’s only worth it if you can use it, i.e. plan to fly Star beyond Singapore Airlines (where you have equivalent of top tier status I think with VA platinum anyway).
KrisFlyer miles on the other hand are pretty valuable, so if you know you can fly on decent KF mile earning fares, then it could be worth going after the KF miles and status as a bonus.
All up, not a simple answer, probably need to run the numbers based on your planned travel and see what the benefits would be.