This week a Platinum Velocity member is seriously considering abandoning their loyalty to Virgin Australia. Until now this member has flown Virgin exclusively. But after recent devaluations to the Velocity program and poor experiences with Virgin’s partner airlines, they’re on the lookout for greener pastures.

Qantas’ superior international network is one reason for jumping ship. While Qantas flies to six continents, Virgin’s only long-haul destination is currently Los Angeles. This means that Virgin flyers must rely on Velocity partners when travelling internationally. But our member is not impressed with the poor recognition and inconsistent benefits received when flying on partner airlines.

Other reasons to switch to Qantas, according to our members, include better airport lounges, better on-board meals in Economy and lifetime status. Qantas’ Lifetime Silver and Gold status tiers are a strong incentive for many to remain loyal to Qantas in the long-term.

But not everyone agrees that the grass is really greener on the other side. One member opines that poor status recognition and many of the other cited problems occur on other airlines just as often.

While Qantas’ Gold and Platinum tiers are comparable to Virgin’s Gold and Platinum status levels, they aren’t necessarily equal. The consensus is that Qantas Platinum status is more valuable than Velocity Platinum. But Qantas requires a significantly higher number of status credits than Virgin to attain Platinum status. Virgin flyers can also benefit from family pooling – a scheme that does not exist in the Qantas Frequent Flyer program. With this in mind, one member believes that it’s a case of “getting what you pay for”.

This member plans to request a status challenge from Qantas, allowing them to sample the competition before committing. Qantas offers status challenges to frequent flyers with other airlines on a discretionary basis. To complete a Gold status challenge, you would need to earn 200 Qantas status credits within 3 months. This requirement is doubled for Platinum challenges.

Do you believe our member should stick with Virgin, or are they better off jumping ship to Qantas? Join the discussion HERE.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]