Holding Velocity Frequent Flyer status is the key to unlocking a raft of premium perks with Virgin Australia, especially on its domestic network. You will also get extra benefits when flying with their partner airlines like Singapore Airlines, Etihad and Delta.
This guide outlines the four tiers of Velocity status, the benefits available to each level, and how to keep your status going year after year. You may also be interested in our beginner’s guide to Qantas Frequent Flyer status and benefits.
How do I earn Velocity Frequent Flyer status?
The answer is simple: earn Status Credits. With enough Status Credits, you will be able to gradually ascend the membership tiers, from base-level Red to top-tier Platinum.
Status Credits can be earned through three main ways:
- Flying on Virgin Australia and partner airlines — this earns the most and is required to earn higher status levels
- Meeting the requirements of a credit card such as the American Express Velocity Platinum card — this provides a useful yearly boost
- Shopping at Coles with Flybuys — ideal for topping up your Status Credits balance over the long term
With all three methods combined, it is generally easier to earn Velocity Frequent Flyer status than the corresponding Qantas Frequent Flyer status.
Using the Velocity Points Tables
The Virgin Australia and partner airlines table is a useful guide to checking how many SCs each flight can earn — we recommend bookmarking the link for future reference.
Simply use the provided mileage calculator to work out the distance you will be travelling and then find out what fare class your ticket is (denoted by a single letter) to see how many Status Credits you will get for each leg.
For example, Melbourne – Singapore – Tokyo return on Singapore Airlines, travelling on a Discount Economy fare, will earn 30 Status Credits for each segment for a total of 120 Status Credits across all flights.
Understanding the Status Credits cycle
Status Credits are earned on a rolling 12-month cycle, unlike Qantas which utilises a fixed anniversary date. A rolling cycle means you just need to earn enough Status Credits in any 12-month period to move up, rather than doing it within a fixed date period.
Once you have achieved status, you then have 12 months from that day to maintain your status or move up to the next level. Every time you reach a new tier, the 12-month counter resets.
What are Virgin Australia eligible sectors?
In addition to Status Credits, you also need to meet the ‘eligible sector’ flights requirement every membership year:
- 2 flights for Silver
- 4 flights for Gold
- 8 flights for Platinum
Eligible sectors are simply paid (not reward) flights that carry a Virgin Australia (VA) flight number. Every new flight counts as an eligible sector, so Perth-Melbourne-Hobart return trip will net you four eligible sectors, assuming they are all booked under a VA flight number.
What are the Velocity Frequent Flyer status membership tiers?
There are four membership tiers in Velocity Frequent Flyer: the entry-level Red, then Silver, Gold and Platinum.
The higher your status, the better the perks you get. This includes higher points upgrade priority, more bonus points from flying, faster phone service, and even complimentary upgrades for Platinum members.
To achieve: 0 SCs
To maintain: 0 SCs
To achieve: 250 SCs + 2 eligible sectors
To maintain: 200 SCs + 2 eligible sectors
- Two complimentary passes to a domestic Virgin Australia lounge
- Use of Business Class check-in counters for international Virgin Australia flights
- One extra bag on Virgin Australia flights (23kg for Economy, 32kg for Business)
- 50% points bonus on Virgin Australia flights (except Getaway fares) and a 25% bonus on Etihad
- Priority telephone line
- Priority upgrade waitlisting above Red members
- Some reciprocal benefits with partner airlines, including Delta and Etihad
- Discounted lounge membership ($300/year, saving $330)
View the full list of benefits here.
To achieve: 500 SCs + 4 eligible sectors
To maintain: 400 SCs + 4 eligible sectors
In addition to most of the Silver perks above, you also get:
- Unlimited Virgin Australia and partner lounge access + one guest, including Sydney and Brisbane Premium Entry
- On-arrival domestic lounge access, subject to space
- Priority check-in, baggage, security and boarding where available
- Reciprocal benefits on all partner airlines
- Fly Ahead on an earlier flight free of charge (except Getaway fares)
- Up to four guaranteed economy reward seats to any Virgin Australia domestic destination, if booked at least six months beforehand (includes peak periods)
- Complimentary once-off Gold status with Hilton or IHG
- Complimentary once-off Privilege/Five Star status with Europcar or Hertz
- 75% bonus points on Virgin Australia flights (except Getaway fares) and a 50% bonus on Etihad
- Ability to upgrade flights to Hong Kong and Los Angeles with a Freedom fare or higher
View the full list of benefits here.
To achieve: 1,000 SCs + 8 eligible sectors
To maintain: 800 SCs + 8 eligible sectors
In addition to most of the Gold perks above, you also get:
- Four complimentary upgrades a year from Freedom fare to Business Class on domestic and short-haul international flights
- Complimentary Economy X seating on domestic and short-haul international flights, including for other guests on the same booking as you
- Ability to bring up to three guests at all Virgin Australia lounges
- Access to better international partner lounges, e.g. Etihad First Class Lounge Abu Dhabi
- Guaranteed on-arrival access to domestic lounges
- Points upgrades clear from five days before departure
- Up to four guaranteed Economy reward seats to any Virgin Australia or codeshare international destination, if booked at least six months beforehand (includes peak periods)
- Complimentary once-off Platinum/Diamond status with IHG or Hilton
- Complimentary once-off Privilege Elite/President’s Circle with Europcar or Hertz
- Gift companion Gold/Platinum status when you maintain Platinum and earn another 500/1000 SCs
- 100% bonus points on Virgin Australia flights (except Getaway fares) and a 75% bonus on Etihad
What’s the best Velocity status level to aim for?
In most frequent flyer programs, Gold is usually the mid-tier status that is seen as the ‘sweet spot’ for many travellers, and Velocity is no exception.
This level is when a whole suite of premium perks kick in, including priority check-in, baggage, boarding and screening, as well as unlocking access to Virgin Australia and partner lounges worldwide, even when travelling in Economy Class.
Within Velocity, Gold status is twice as easy to obtain as Platinum status while offering the same core benefit overall.
What are the other perks of Velocity status?
‘Parental Pause’ for new parents
This is a handy feature for parents who have or are expecting a child and would like to put their membership on hold.
You will get a six-month break where you do not need to earn any Status Credits, and then your current status will be renewed for another 12 months.
Family Pooling of points and Status Credits
Family Pooling is an excellent and unique program feature where eligible members in a household can pool all their points and Status Credits into one account to get that person up the status ladder quicker.
Each family pool can have two adults (including the beneficiary) and four children, so a family of six could potentially all pool to one person and hit Gold or Platinum in little time.
Velocity Frequent Flyer COVID-19 updates
1. Status extension
All Silver, Gold and Platinum Velocity members will receive a 12-month extension to their current status. There are no minimum flight sectors required for members to maintain their current tier for the next year
2. Bonus Status Credits
Status Credits (SCs) were gifted to Velocity members’ accounts in three instalments earlier in 2020. The first lot landed in the first week of April.
3. Former Velocity status holder upgrade
Members who held Velocity Silver, Gold or Platinum status on 3 March 2020 and were downgraded to a lower tier between 4-29 March 2020 will revert back to the original level. This change will be processed automatically and the original tier maintained for 12 months.
If you held Pilot Gold status between 4-31 March, then you will get a full year of Gold status.
Velocity Frequent Flyer status is a very solid offering to those who travel a lot on Virgin Australia and partner airlines.
While its lounge network is not as large or refined as Qantas and its oneworld partners, Velocity makes up for it by providing practical perks to Gold and Platinum members that are not seen with Qantas.
This includes ‘Fly Ahead’ for Gold and Platinum members and complimentary fare upgrades for Platinum members.
It is also easier to earn Velocity status overall. As the thresholds are lower, fares generally cheaper, and Family Pooling can reduce the amount of flying needed by half or even more.
Still, we wouldn’t recommend spending extra time and money just to obtain status. It’s best suited to those who are travelling constantly for work or leisure anyway and could maybe tweak a few things to maximise their Status Credits return.
Remember, once you have status with one airline, you have your foot in the door and can status match to other airlines and alliances.
Frequently asked questions
A Status Credit is a way for Velocity to track your loyalty. The more Status Credits you have, the better your perks.
Supplementary images courtesy Velocity Frequent Flyer. This article was originally written by Evin Tan Khiew.