Hot on the heels of Qantas, Virgin Australia have announced their own double status credits offer. The offer is valid for bookings made on all Virgin Australia marketed and operated flights for travel until 14/04/2020, with the exception of flights to Hong Kong and Los Angeles.
To receive bonus status credits, you must activate the offer prior to making the booking.
What are Status Credits and why are they important?
When you fly with an airline where you have membership in its Frequent Flyer program, you earn points/miles in the program. This is a concept, even those who rarely take to the skies would be familiar with. What is perhaps not all that well understood is the concept of earning Status Credits.
Besides earning points, you also earn status credits for each flight you take. The number of status credit you earn determines your membership tier in the airline’s Frequent Flyer Program. The higher your tier, the bigger your perks and privileges.
Velocity Frequent Flyer Program
Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer Program has 4 membership tiers.
Everyone starts at the Red tier. You attain this, as soon as you sign-up to Velocity Frequent Flyer Program. Consequently, it offers little by the way of benefits.
You need to earn a total of 250 status credits and take a minimum of 2 eligible flights to achieve this level. Once achieved, this is valid for 12 months. To maintain your Silver membership, you must have earned 200 status credits and flown 2 eligible flights, in the preceding 12 months of your benefit period.
The Silver tier offers benefits such as priority check-in (select flights), 50% bonus points on eligible fares and 2 single entry lounge passes to Virgin Australia domestic lounge.
You need to earn a total of 500 status credits and take a minimum of 4 eligible flights to achieve this level. Once achieved, this is valid for 12 months. To maintain your Gold membership, you must have earned 400 status credits and flown 4 eligible flights, in the preceding 12 months of your benefit period.
The Gold tier offers benefits such as extra baggage allowance, 75% bonus points on eligible fares, preferential online seat selection, unlimited lounge access to Virgin Australia domestic lounges for you and up to 2 guests flying with you, access to more than 150 International partner airline lounges, to name a few.
This is the highest tier in the Velocity Frequent Flyer Program. You need to earn a total of 1,000 status credits and take a minimum of 8 eligible flights to achieve this level. Once achieved, this is valid for 12 months. To maintain your Platinum membership, you must have earned 800 status credits and flown 8 eligible flights, in the preceding 12 months of your benefit period.
The Platinum tier offers benefits such as 100% bonus points on eligible fares, complimentary Economy X seats, complimentary upgrades to business class from eligible economy fares, unlimited lounge access to Virgin Australia domestic lounges for you, up to 3 adults and 2 children under 12, to name a few.
Platinum members get free upgrade to Economy X seats
You can look-up full details of various membership levels and the respective benefits over here.
Maximising Status Credits Earn
The number of status credits you earn depends on the class of travel and the fare sub-class. Someone flying business class will earn a higher number of status credits than those flying in the economy class.
Further, not everyone flying business or economy will earn the same number of status credits. Virgin Australia splits its economy fares into 3 subclass and business fares into 2 subclass. Lets take a look at the chart below.
This is a status credits earn chart for Virgin Australia domestic flights. The 1st column shows distance zones, the next 3 show various economy subclass and the last 2 show the business subclass. The numbers in the table show the number of status credits you earn per flight flown, under the respective subclass.
For instance, someone flying from Melbourne to Adelaide (Zone 1) on an Elevate fare will earn 15 status credits. Similarly, someone flying from Sydney to Darwin (Zone 3) on Business Saver fare will earn 90 status credits.
Virgin Australia 737- Business Class seats
The status credits earned are per flight, so someone flying from Melbourne to Brisbane via Sydney will earn status credits for 2 separate flights. These connecting flights are slightly more expensive than direct one’s, but in return offer a much higher number of status credits.
You can look up status credits table for entire Virgin Australia network of flights over here.
Gold and/or Platinum in 1 return trip
Achieving status typically involves a great deal of cost and countless hours of flying. This is what makes bonus status credits offer so attractive for a lot of people, who are either starting off in the program, or currently hold status but for whatever reason could not do the required amount of flying in the previous 12 months to maintain it.
If you do not currently hold status in the Velocity Frequent Flyer program, there is an itinerary that will get you to Gold and more than 90% of the way to Platinum with just 1 return trip. Take a look at this mock one-way itinerary below:
You can fly from Sydney to Raratonga via Melbourne and Auckland (total 3 flights) in business class for $715. With the current double status credits promotion, this will net you a cool 460 status credits. Take a similar trip home (total 6 eligible flights) and you would have earned yourself a grand-total of 920 status credits, well over 500 required for Gold, and just 80 status credits and 2 eligible flights shy of Platinum.
If you already hold Gold status, flying this itinerary from Sydney to Raratonga alone will give you the required amount of status credits to maintain it. Platinum members will be able to maintain their status on completion of the return flight. Although they will still have to fly 2 more eligible sectors.
Airlines offer bonus status credits to boost their forward bookings. As the travel periods tend to be stretched over several months, it also helps bringing-in revenues almost immediately for services which may not be due to be provided for up to a year.
Travellers, particularly in-frequent flyers love it too since it allows them to maintain status in the program for very little flying. The Sydney to Raratonga status-run in particular provides amazing value for a tiny spend, leading to its popularity amongst the status-run community.
It’s disappointing that both long-haul flights in Virgin Australia network have been excluded from the promotion. Outside of this though, the promotion offers plenty of value.
Are you planning to take advantage of this offer? Where are you looking to fly? Leave a comment below.