With Qantas just announcing their own status hold program, I thought it would be worth revisiting Velocity’s offering for new parents.
I’ve taken advantage of this twice in the last 5 years for our two children, helping me maintain Velocity Gold status during periods of travel downtime. It’s worth taking up if you have Velocity Silver status or above.
How Velocity ‘parental leave’ works
Virgin offer their parental leave scheme to allow a relatively new parent to apply for a 6 month pause period in their Velocity account.
The eligibility criteria are relatively simple – you need to have a child under two years old in your care, and can provide evidence as such, and you need to have some form of Velocity status (Silver or above) to put on parental leave.
So for a child under two years of age, a parent can apply for ‘Parental Leave’ during which time you can continue to earn points and status credits, but can’t be upgraded to the next Velocity membership tier. 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.
A key difference to Qantas’ program is that Velocity do not require you to provide evidence that you’ll be taking a break from employment, which recognises the change in travel habits from a new child from both parents, not just the primary carer.
Timing your Velocity Parental Leave application
Given the child can be up to two years old before you apply for your parental leave, you should time your application to earn most impact for your own circumstances.
Specifically, consider applying for Velocity 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.
It’s a great incentive from Virgin, and one I’ve been grateful to be eligible for.
Feature image from Virgin Australia’s ‘Kids Class’ 2016 April Fools video