Do Virgin Golds get Etihad lounge access? Extra bag piece? Better seats?

ozstamps

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Have flown Etihad many times to Europe in Biz and loved the lounges. :)

Do Virgin Gold members get Etihad lounge access if flying on Etihad issued tickets with EH fight numbers?

Have a relative who has been stuck in Russia for many months and desperately wants to get home - for obvious reasons! One of the few carriers that flies out of Moscow now is Etihad, so I suggested he book them as I MIGHT be able to make the long trip more comfy. Not easy to book when all credit cards are blocked there! Anyway he somehow booked it all, and flies in 2 weeks, May 20.

Have had several Gold/Plat memberships available to 'gift' in the past as 10 years as a Virgin Platinum, often flying 1000s of SC a year, but have never bothered or got around to doing anything about it. Last one were 2 years back and with COVID ahead, what a dud gift!

Maybe if I ask Virgin very nicely. they might allow one to be gifted a bit late, as he has a long layover in AUH. But if no real benefit to him, will not bother.

Feel sure Virgin Gold does not offer better seating choice, but someone here may know from experience? Or an extra checked bag piece etc?

Do Golds get extra points on Etihad booked tickets? His ticket was $A1600 one way, so assume it is in a fairly high category fare bucket.

Even just lounge access would be very handy, so hopefully someone knows Etihad policy on this for Velocity Golds? With COVID, and Etihad selling out their share as I recall, many things have altered of course.

Thanks in advance for any first hand input. :)
 
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AIRwin

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(scroll down to "Velocity Status Benefits with Etihad Airways")

Bonus points - Da! Up to 25%
Additional checked baggage - Da! Up to 15kgs
Lounge access - Da! International lounge access | Virgin Australia
 

GDale

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Flew EY recently on an EY issued ticket + EY codes as VA plat and yep, all the benefits pre-COVID are still conferred:
  • no extra seat selection privileges (for one of the four legs I was auto-assigned an Economy Space seat at T-48, but the load factor was close to 100% so it may have just been luck)
  • extra baggage was honoured at check in without a fuss, and bags were properly tagged with priority + transit tags (though it was never terribly consistent at outstations, so sometimes prompting is needed)
  • recognition of status on boarding pass
  • first class lounge access in AUH for plats (presumably still the Al Reem for gold? but it looks to have permanently closed? either way surely they wouldn't leave golds without a lounge at the home base?)
  • contract lounge access at outstation (the check in agent gave the wrong advice on guesting but confessed to not being sure, but I didn't actually encounter any issues guesting someone in at the lounge door)
  • bonus points have decreased since VA2 - used to be 25/50/100%, now its 10/25/50%. Bonus is calculated based on flown miles (i.e. if plat, your earn rate increases by 0.5 points per mile) rather than earned base miles, which is great for anyone flying in economy
  • points (inc bonus) posted within 24 hours of taking flight
 

ozstamps

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Superb replies thanks guys.

Looks like it is well worth begging the Plat line to dredge up one of my lapsed Gifted Gold statuses as a favour, or ask nicely here if anyone has one. if they decline. :D :)

Flights are 2345 and 7492 actual miles so he will earn some decent SC too I imagine?
 
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SYD

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Flew EY recently on an EY issued ticket + EY codes as VA plat and yep, all the benefits pre-COVID are still conferred:

  • first class lounge access in AUH for plats (presumably still the Al Reem for gold? but it looks to have permanently closed? either way surely they wouldn't leave golds without a lounge at the home base?)
There is a large Biz Lounge in AUH for Golds (and obviously J PAX) in addition to the 1st Lounge.
 

ozstamps

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Does anyone know where on Velocity website the Status credit earn for long haul is now?

All I could find was a table covering Virgin metal flights up to 2500 miles -


 

AIRwin

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Does anyone know where on Velocity website the Status credit earn for long haul is now?
Same link as what I posted above
(scroll down to "How many Status Credits will I earn?")
 

GDale

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Flights are 2345 and 7492 actual miles so he will earn some decent SC too I imagine?
Either 60 or 120 SCs for the two flights depending on class, so a good start but not terribly helpful if he doesn't fly too much usually. Table here: Etihad Airways

I think bestowed golds still get a soft landing to silver don't they?

There is a large Biz Lounge in AUH for Golds (and obviously J PAX) in addition to the 1st Lounge.
I've tried plenty of times over the years but never had luck getting access to the business lounge at AUH as a VA gold flying in Y, and it's not a stated benefit (the VA website mentions VA golds are only entitled to Al Reem at AUH). No dispute for EY golds and passengers flying business though, they're definitely entitled to the business lounge.

But if Al Reem is actually closed, having access to the business lounge would make sense (not that the airlines always run on logic)
 

SYD

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I've tried plenty of times over the years but never had luck getting access to the business lounge at AUH as a VA gold flying in Y, and it's not a stated benefit (the VA website mentions VA golds are only entitled to Al Reem at AUH). No dispute for EY golds and passengers flying business though, they're definitely entitled to the business lounge.

But if Al Reem is actually closed, having access to the business lounge would make sense (not that the airlines always run on logic)
Ah, yes your probably correct and I think there might be a thread or two on VA Gold lounge access in AUH. I’ve only flown through in J as both VA WP and Gold.
 

GDale

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Ah, yes your probably correct and I think there might be a thread or two on VA Gold lounge access in AUH. I’ve only flown through in J as both VA WP and Gold.
Lucky you! That Al Reem lounge was just so depressing with no windows and no lighting that came remotely close to resembling daylight. They fixed that one time for us by booting us out at exactly the 3 hour mark though...
 

ozstamps

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Lucky you! That Al Reem lounge was just so depressing with no windows and no lighting that came remotely close to resembling daylight. They fixed that one time for us by booting us out at exactly the 3 hour mark though...


So they timed you somehow? Never heard of that before. How do they track anyone down inside the lounge? :)
 

GDale

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Not sure how they did it but they did! Maybe because we entered when it was super quiet so she remembered us, and when the lounge reached capacity a couple of hours later she knew we were bootable... and there was no winning that one - either accept the walk of shame and judging eyes, or spend time fighting to stay in a lounge that you don't even enjoy (and most likely lose the fight anyway, thereby bringing more shame and more judging) :(
 

ozstamps

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I sent off a polite email to Velocity Plat line re organising the hopefully comped Gold status for my relative. The glacial pace in there might work against me.

Probably not really their wheelhouse. Does anyone know a specific department in Virgin I can email to nicely ask the same question?
time is marching on fast, and I'd like to scan him the card, to assist his lounge entry as ZERO mail to Russia is being accepted now, not even Express.

There must be some niche area that OK's comp Golds for Elites who qualify for status match offers etc?

Appreciate if anyone can clue me in on who to ask with a direct email.

Thanks in advance if anyone can PM me an email to someone who might be able to assist. :)

OR, if anyone has a current Gold status to gift - be glad to sort out a decent trade, have a drawer full of First Class amenity kits from global carriers etc! :D
 

Must...Fly!

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I might be missing something as never been in a position to gift status, but can't you call?
 

ozstamps

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No idea whom one would call. :)

The Platinum phone line MIGHT have a clue, but I suspect there might be a specific staffer/staffers who deal with such issues. All I need do is find a direct email address (or phone number.)

I have received emails in the past when I'd earned status to gift, with presumably some specific direct contact options, but those long been deleted.

I sent off an email last week to Plat Desk, but no response.
 
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ozstamps

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Platinum email section replied 2 weeks ago saying nothing was possible, and after my response, have finally looked and seen the ungifted Gold memberships I earned in the past, and never used, and have finally agreed to pass on my request and endorsed it, 'to relevant team members to look at' and advises ''I'll have a reply in 3-5 Business days'' (He flies out in 3 days.)

So touch or go it seems. A darn shame that I do have email contact of the relevant sections to hopefully move it along quickly. Takes just a keystroke from right staffer. :D

I'll end up with about 2000 SC by this year's review date .. shame I could not draw down early on this year's Gifts!
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Flew EY recently on an EY issued ticket + EY codes
  • no extra seat selection privileges (for one of the four legs I was auto-assigned an Economy Space seat at T-48, but the load factor was close to 100% so it may have just been luck)

So Virgin Elite Status seems to do nothing with getting exit row seats etc if unsold?
 
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