Velocity Frequent Flyer offers new parents an up to six-month pause on their elite status when welcoming a new addition to their family. It’s worth taking up if you have Velocity Silver status or above.
Point Hacks founder Keith took advantage of this benefit twice in the five years for his two children. It helped him maintain his Velocity Gold status during periods of travel downtime.
Benefits of Velocity’s Membership Pause for Parental Leave
Velocity offers their parental leave scheme to allow a new parent to apply for a six-month pause period in their Velocity status.
So for a child under two years of age, a parent can apply for ‘Parental Leave’. During this time, you can continue to earn Velocity Points and Status Credits. You’ll also get to keep using the benefits of your existing status.
Once the 6 months is over, you’ll be comped another 12 months of status to then requalify as usual.
Members on Membership Pause for Parental Leave who are also members of the Virgin Australia Lounge may be entitled to have their lounge membership paused or extended too.
Eligibility for Velocity’s Membership Pause for Parental Leave
The eligibility criteria are relatively simple. You need to have:
- some form of Velocity status (Silver, Gold or Platinum) to put on parental leave
- a child under two years old in your care and be willing to provide evidence of that, which can be:
- a doctor’s certificate
- a birth certificate
- adoption or foster parent registration
There may be up to two member parents on parental leave, for the same child, at any one time.
Members are limited to one approved parental leave application within each two-year period.
Timing your application for Velocity’s Membership Pause for Parental Leave
Given the child can be up to two years old before you apply for your parental leave, you should time your application to earn the most impact for your own circumstances.
Specifically, consider applying for parental leave near the end of your current membership year. This will trigger a longer term of your current status.
You’ll get the 6-month leave plus another 12 months from the date you apply. So hold off if you’re at the beginning of your current membership year.
How to apply for Velocity’s Membership Pause for Parental Leave
- Phone the Velocity Membership Contact Centre
- If requested, provide documentation
Comparing Velocity and Qantas’ parental leave programs
As mentioned earlier, Velocity Frequent Flyer also has a parental leave program that is similar to Qantas’ in most regards, but with some other minor quirks. Here is our unbiased comparison of the two programs.
You’ll get the same-length status extension with either program
Qantas allows for your status to be extended by 18 months, during which time you have to earn enough status credits and eligible sectors to maintain the current status after the Status Hold expires.
Velocity grants an initial 6-months membership pause where you can still earn points and redeem benefits, but can’t be upgraded to a higher status level just yet.
After that period, your current status will be renewed for a further 12 months (equaling Qantas’ 18 months in total), unless you earned enough Status Credits and eligible sectors to upgrade to the next level of membership, which will also last for 12 more months as usual.
You can use the benefit more often with Velocity
Qantas members are limited to using two Status Holds in a five-year period, whereas Velocity allows one every two years.
Velocity does not require you to be on leave from work
Qantas requires you to provide documentation that shows you are taking at least six consecutive months off paid employment. Conversely, Velocity does not impose this requirement.
Velocity is more generous for parents with younger children
Velocity’s main restriction is that children must be under the age of 2 to be eligible for membership pause. This gives you more flexibility when it comes to biological children, as you have a wider window in which to start the membership pause.
For biological children, Qantas will only allow Status Hold applications from three months before birth to six months of age.
Qantas is more generous for adoptive and foster parents with older children
With Velocity, children must be under the age of 2, regardless of whether the relationship is biological, adoptive or foster.
Conversely, Qantas allows a Status Hold for adoptive and foster parents up until the child reaches 3 and 16 years of age, respectively.
This program is great for Velocity elite status holders who are or have recently become new parents. Make sure to time your application to extract maximum benefit from the status hold and to provide documentation if requested.
You can find more information on the Membership Pause for Parental Leave on the Velocity website.