If eligible for this promotion, you’ll get a full year of elite status when flying Virgin Australia and its partners such as Singapore Airlines and Etihad.
Velocity status match opportunity for federal government employees with Qantas status
Until 31 July, Velocity will match the Qantas Frequent Flyer status of ‘Travellers of Departments, Entities or Organisations accessing the Whole of Australian Government arrangements over the age of 18’. It seems that you need a .gov.au email address but it could be worth a try even if you have a state government address!
This is not a status challenge, meaning you do not need to take any flights to get matched, and you’ll get 12 months of status. You will get elite benefits when travelling on Virgin Australia and partner airlines.
You need to send an email from your government email address to [email protected] with the subject line ‘GOVT – Status Match’. Include your Velocity number and a legible copy of your Qantas Frequent Flyer membership card (or most recent monthly statement) that clearly shows your current elite status level and expiry date.
If eligible, you will be upgraded within ten business days but it will probably be quicker than that.
The last time Velocity ran this promotion was back in 2014.
Here is a PDF of the promotion page and the full terms and conditions below:
Conditions of Status Match Promotion. Velocity Status Match Promotion (“Promotion”) is valid for travellers of Departments, Entities or Organisations accessing the Whole of Australian Government arrangements over the age of 18 only. To be eligible for the Promotion the applicant must be or become a Velocity member and send to [email protected] their valid Velocity membership number along with a legible copy of their frequent flyer membership card (or most recent monthly statement) that clearly shows their current elite status level and expiry date. This Promotion only applies to eligible members of Qantas Frequent Flyer. Frequent flyer Status will be mapped to the most similar Status tier within the Velocity program, as determined by Velocity at its absolute discretion. Any Velocity Status awarded under this Promotion will remain valid for a period of 12 months from the date of upgrade, after which time the usual Velocity member Terms and Conditions will apply. This promotion matches program Status but does not match the number of frequent flyer points held in the respective programs. Only applications submitted via the approved application process will be eligible for consideration. Velocity reserves the right to retract the offer at any time at its absolute discretion. 1. Available at major ports. 2. Membership and entry to the Virgin Australia Lounge Terms and Conditions available at virginaustralia.com/lounge. 3. Premium entry is available to Platinum and Gold members travelling with carry-on luggage only. 4. Complimentary baggage allowance will vary depending on membership level. 5. Platinum or Gold members can request to Fly Ahead either at the Virgin Australia Lounge, Priority check-in or Service Desk or kiosk (where functionality is available) on the day of travel in time to be carried on an earlier Virgin Australia Domestic flight. Additionally, Platinum members can also request Fly Ahead via a call to the Guest Contact Centre. 6. Once a year, member will be guaranteed to be able to redeem four (4) return Economy Reward Seats to: A. Gold members can select any Domestic or International Short Haul destination; B. Platinum members can select any Domestic or International destination; when travelling with Virgin Australia. Velocity member Terms and Conditions apply, available at https://experience.velocityfrequentflyer.com/member-support/ terms-conditions as amended from time to time.
In this guide
Skipping lines, relaxing in airline lounges and generally being treated better when flying is not out of your reach.
It just takes a year of careful trip planning and execution, and then a little bit of maintenance every so often to hold onto it—hopefully forever.
Why all the fuss about Gold status?
Gold status benefits usually include:
- Lounge access (this is most status-chasers’ end game)
- Extra baggage allowance (usually one extra checked bag)
- Use of Business Class check-in counters (saves time lining up at Economy check-in)
- Priority boarding
- Priority standby lists
- Expedited security and passport control lanes (at some airports)
Gold status can go by various names, but, essentially, once you reach this elite level with one airline, you will enjoy reciprocal benefits with their alliance members or partners.
An example is that if you reach Gold status with Qantas, you will enjoy reciprocal benefits with their oneworld alliance members, as well as their bilateral partners like Emirates and Alaska Airlines.
Sometimes Gold is called different names across an alliance, but it is, in essence, the same thing. In oneworld, it is called Sapphire, in SkyTeam it is Elite Plus and in Star Alliance simply Gold.
One of my favourite lounges: the Turkish Airlines flagship lounge in Istanbul has shower suites, fresh gozleme and barista bars, and even self-playing pianos
My top tips for getting Gold status quick
1. Choose an alliance and frequent flyer program which has a low miles requirement
The standard industry threshold you need to reach is generally 50,000 miles within one year credited to one airline’s frequent flyer program—you cannot pool your points between different programs. However, there are some airlines which offer a lower requirement:
- Star Alliance: 40,000 miles with Asiana or Turkish Airlines (Asiana has the advantage of giving you two years to earn the miles instead of just one)
- SkyTeam: 30,000 miles with Garuda Indonesia
- oneworld: 40,000 miles with Royal Jordanian
2. If sticking to an Australian airline, consider Virgin Australia and Velocity over Qantas Frequent Flyer
Virgin Australia is a bit easier to achieve Gold status with than Qantas, requiring 500 status credits, whilst Qantas’ threshold is 700—that is if you can make your travel patterns and Virgin’s airline partners work for this goal.
Virgin also lets you pool status credits between family members, which can accelerate your ascent to Gold or Platinum.
Whilst Qantas does have the advantage of belonging to the oneworld alliance, Virgin has reciprocal agreements with quite a few airlines typically used by Australian travellers, such as Singapore Airlines, Etihad and Delta.
3. Be aware of the difference between award miles and status credits/tier miles
As we have explained previously, wheretocredit.com is a great resource to work out how many miles you will earn for the distance and fare class you are flying, but that can differ from the status credits/tier miles you will earn from that flight. Figuring out what that number is requires a deeper search on the individual airline’s website.
4. Fly your butt off in a twelve-month period
You usually have one year to earn enough miles to qualify for Gold status. In the majority of programs, you are given any period of 12 consecutive months but sometimes it has to be in a calendar year (January to December), so time your quest carefully.
Also keep in mind that you are doing it for the elite benefits, not for the redemption opportunities but if you are interested in maximising your miles, then you will want to have a look at the award chart/s for the program/s you are interested in.
Leisure travellers are much more likely to earn a higher number of miles through credit card sign-up bonuses and spending rather than from actually flying, which is quite a contradiction.
5. Keep an eye out for status credit promotions
Airlines occasionally run status credit promotions, like Qantas, to accelerate their members up to the next elite level. Point Hacks publishes these promotions when they are run.
6. Keep an eye out for great flight deals
We round up some of the best flight deals for Economy, Premium Economy, Business and First Class flights. Any noteworthy deals can be found over on the best current frequent flyer deals page.
You can also find offers from a dedicated Travel Agent working with us to bring even more great deals. Luke Vaughan from TravelManagers Australia has deals for readers that can find them Gold status in just one trip, such as a past offer of 600 Velocity status credits (more than enough for Gold, and on the way to Platinum) on a paid ticket of $2,660!
7. Get the American Express Platinum Charge
How to keep and make the most of your Gold status
1. Apply for status matches
Airlines want to steal business from one another, so they periodically run status match promotions or challenges to entice customers to focus on their business. The usual requirement is that you have current Gold or Platinum status with an airline outside of the same airline alliance, as alliance members do not want to engage in infighting (but they sometimes do).
An example of a status match promotion is this one from United.
Checking out StatusMatcher.com will save you time, as forum members post about whether their status request was matched or denied.
My advice is to apply for any status match that you are likely to be approved for.
2. Buy or redeem Economy tickets for shorter flights; use points for long-haul Business Class
When flying, travellers actually spend quite a lot of time on the ground, but with Gold status, you can enjoy Business Class comfort in the actual lead-up to the flight having only paid for an Economy ticket.
If you don’t have points coming out of your ears, perhaps save your miles for longer flights in Business Class, and buy or redeem Economy tickets for shorter flights.
I am usually happy to fly Economy for flights of three hours or less if I have elite status with the airline, giving me check-in at the Business Class (or sometimes First Class) counter, lounge access and priority boarding.
For example, I found a paid Economy Class ticket on a flight last month from Frankfurt to Tehran on Lufthansa for only €100 back in mid-2016.
Rather than use my miles for the trip, I bought that Economy ticket and used my Star Alliance Gold status at that time with Turkish to enter the Senator Lounge.
On the other end, my bag was one of the first to come out as it had a Priority Baggage tag, even though I was one of the last passengers to deplane.
Enjoying a complimentary pretzel, raspberry custard dessert and glass of shiraz before my flight to Iran
3. Credit your miles to the program that makes the most sense to you
Having Gold status with Chilean-Brazilian airline LATAM (gained through a status match) means that when I make a booking with another oneworld airline, I am sometimes provided access to emergency exit row seat pre-selection, such as with American Airlines.
However, even though I use my LATAM card (or just the number if I don’t have the card on me) on the day of the flight to enter the lounge, I ask the lounge attendant to change the frequent flyer number on my booking and credit my points to my American Airlines AAdvantage or Qantas Frequent Flyer account, as my redemption opportunities are better with those airlines than with LATAM.
4. Place your Velocity or Qantas status on hold for parental leave
Both Virgin Australia and Qantas offer status holds or pauses of 6 and 18 months, respectively, when you have a baby but Qantas’ is more restrictive as you need to take a break from employment to qualify. After the hold or pause is over, you have 12 months to work towards maintaining that status.
In order to get that coveted Gold status, do your research and work out which airline and, therefore, alliance is the best one for you to focus on for a year.
Then keep your eye out for bonus Status Credit promotions as well as deals to earn you big status credits/tier miles in one or two trips.
Once you have your status, status match whenever you can.
If you don’t have a whole lot of points, save them for comfortable Business or First Class travel on longer flights, and buy or redeem Economy Class tickets for shorter trips, leveraging your status to enjoy comfort perks on the ground.
Finally, use the frequent flyer program that gives Gold status to access those perks but credit your miles to the program with the best redemption opportunities for you.
And don’t forget to apply for a status hold with Velocity or Qantas when you welcome a new addition into your family.