Join Virgin Atlantic? | Page 3 | Australian Frequent Flyer
Australian Frequent Flyer

Welcome to Australia's leading independent Frequent Flyer and Travel Resource since 1998!
Our site contains tons of information that will improve your travel experience.

Joining AFF is fast, simple & absolutely free - register now and take immediate advantage of these great BENEFITS.

Once registered, this box will disappear. And you will see fewer advertisements :)

Join Virgin Atlantic?

Status
Not open for further replies.

browski

Established Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2004
Messages
1,490
Do Flying Club points expire? Could not find any reference in the T&C.
 

snufl

Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2006
Messages
255
2.7 Your membership is valid for three years following your first Virgin Atlantic or partner earning or spending activity in your account. Both your miles and membership will remain active, provided that you complete an earning or spending activity in any three-year period.
 

bigdog

Newbie
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
5
I have flown each of airline alot (Qantas platimum / virgin gold (which is their top), so here are a few other pointers to think about around Virgin itself:

* Out of Syd, yep, virgin is very limited, only flying to London via HK.
* Virgin upperclass is far superior to Qantas. In fact I think its the best business class I have ever flown. True lie flat beds are hard to beat. They also have an onboard bar you can sit at, eat as much as you like before and on the plane and even have an onboard masseuse.
* A return upper class seat on Virgin to HK is 80,000 points. Or 180,000 to London. Qantas Business is 120,000 and 256,000 as a comparative and virgin seats are alot easier to get that Qantas.

So limited flight options - but if you wish to splash out on one big trip and head towards London, its a no brainer Virgin for sure!
 

OzFlipper

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2005
Messages
18
One other benefit that I missed at first - each time you requalify for Gold status, they issue you a partner voucher. Buy a ticket, partner gets the same free. That's probably worth more than every point earned to me.

I'm a QF Plat/PG/LTS, and thought I'd give Virgin a go for the first time. QF have given me some shockers (sleeping on an airport bench on a $11k fare, being told "we're closing up and going home, we'll assist you with altered flight arrangements tomorrow" after stranding me due to their own errors is not my idea of treating a customer well). I'm in HK now, getting ready for my return trip. Some comments:

1. I was so-so about the seating on this A340-600. All seats having aisle access is nice, but after 20 years of business flying I'm still a nervous flyer, and like to look out on takeoff and landing. The window seats face away from the window, so to look out you have to jam yourself sideways in the seat and still turn your head hard around (assuming your seat has been put at the right spot to actually see out the window). I also felt a bit squashed - the stats say it's wider than a Skybed but it felt narrower to me.

2. The customer service in Syd when booking my flight and talking to the Flying Club staff couldn't have been better. They asked me to send them a copy of my QF card & statement and immediately issued me with a gold status memberhip. Polite, courteous, knowledgeable and very friendly. Probably being small helps a lot, so they can make a call on things right then and there.

3. Expect to wait a long time on the phone. No priority numbers.

4. The plane was so-so. The staff were not especially friendly or helpful. They had run out of amenity packs on the way to SYD. On the other hand, they didn't walk around with the 'god, I wish you'd go away and stay off my plane' expressions that QF business & first international staff seem trained to carry these days. (I have to add that QF staff based in HK have a very different attitude. On that basis, all power to Qantas to move the FA basing offshore. QF FAs: if you want customers to support your job security, treat them with the respect a $13k airfare deserves).

5. Tickets are very attractively priced. SYD-HKG for $4200 business (no limos) on 14 day advance purchase right now beats QF by what, $1500 or so?

6. The limo service is very handy, and real limos, not silver service taxis (that's what I was expecting anyway). And as my taxi trip is close to $100 each way, that's another $200 saving on the airfare.

7. I very often fly midweek, and this was no exception. There were 15 or so people in Upper Class - basically, almost empty. That's some concern for the long-term viability of the route, though the FAs assured me it was unusual. The seat selection map for the return leg would suggest otherwise (only 7 seats reserved right now, 24 hours out).

All this is based on one single SYD-HKG flight. I'll report back after my return flight if there are any variant comments.

All in all, I liked it a bit better than Qantas business on a 747, quite a bit better than the A330's, and the Frequent Flyer deal can't be beat, particularly if you're going to be holding Gold. If the return trip is as good or better, they'll get my future Kangaroo Route and HKG business.
 

simongr

Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 10, 2006
Messages
14,229
OzFlipper said:
2. The customer service in Syd when booking my flight and talking to the Flying Club staff couldn't have been better. They asked me to send them a copy of my QF card & statement and immediately issued me with a gold status memberhip. Polite, courteous, knowledgeable and very friendly. Probably being small helps a lot, so they can make a call on things right then and there.
Sorry I havent read this entire thread - but this is an interesting one for me. Are you saying that having shown them a QF gold card - you were issued with a Virgin gold status? I have a few flights to HKG planned next year and one issue I have from SYD is that I dont want to fly non-Oneworld but the cost is exorbitant on oneworld. If I got status on virgin I migt be tempted....
 

jasonja3

Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2005
Messages
368
OzFlipper said:
2. The customer service in Syd when booking my flight and talking to the Flying Club staff couldn't have been better. They asked me to send them a copy of my QF card & statement and immediately issued me with a gold status memberhip. Polite, courteous, knowledgeable and very friendly. Probably being small helps a lot, so they can make a call on things right then and there.
.
Unforunately my experience was completely different, I had contacted them and got a very cold and flat "no" response to status match, I even told them I can show future travel plans etc.:evil: Maybe I should try again, as I enjoy their product.
 

JohnK

Veteran Member
AFF Supporter
Joined
Mar 22, 2005
Messages
41,355
simongr said:
Sorry I havent read this entire thread - but this is an interesting one for me. Are you saying that having shown them a QF gold card - you were issued with a Virgin gold status?
Sorry to answer for someone else.... QF Platinum/Partner Gold/Lifetime Silver

OzFlipper said:
I'm a QF Plat/PG/LTS, and thought I'd give Virgin a go for the first time.
 

ozstamps

Active Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2003
Messages
615
Virgin
Platinum
Transferred a large number of Amex miles late August and they show up already in Virgin account with the 20% bonus added.

Great deal. :)

So I have 3 years to use them even without any other account activity?
 
Last edited:

OzFlipper

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2005
Messages
18
jasonja3 said:
Unforunately my experience was completely different, I had contacted them and got a very cold and flat "no" response to status match, I even told them I can show future travel plans etc.:evil: Maybe I should try again, as I enjoy their product.
Per the answer you've already had, I'm a QF Platinum, so maybe that helps. Also, VA's Gold is equivalent to QF Platinum, actually a bit better if anything. They don't really seem to have an equivalent to QF gold, their median tier seems, to me, somewhere between QF gold & silver.

They were very helpful. They only asked for a copy of my QF platinum card, so I would take it from there that any plat could get this deal. I've been plat for several years now, > 2000 SC's but I only sent the statement as the copy of the card came out awful.

Back from my trip now (off again Monday). All up, I'd have to say that I don't like the upper class seats. They're simply badly designed. You can't see out the window unless you're a contortionist (and lucky to get just the right seat, which seems to be about 30% of them). The headphone socket is behind the most pointless armrest I've ever seem, and takes me 10 goes to plug the headset in. The headsets are hopeless (take your own noise-cancelling unit). But, saving > $1,000 over Qantas each time I go to HK, makes this a no-brainer. And the service can't be beat. On top of that, no taxi costs to or from the airport, as they send a limo to pick me up and another meets me on exit from customs to take me home, no waiting for a cab, and another $200 in taxi fares saved on the trip.

Also, I make the earn-burn-status rates somewhere between 150% to twice as good. A simple calculation - to retain Plat on QF takes 5 return trips in business to HK (at 120 SCs each way, need 1200 SCs to retain). Virgin needs 3 returns to HK in Upper Class (5 tier points each way, 30 to requalify for gold). And when I requalify I get a free partner ticket anywhere - which could easily be worth $7,000 if I take my wife with me to the UK on upper class.

The HK lounge was excellent .. and they have actual meals. When you sit down, you're offered a menu. I had a great dinner, so when I got on the plane, I put my seat down (for those so inclined, you are even allowed to do that on takeoff) and crashed out as soon after takeoff as the bouncy air this time of year in HK would allow. And the seat is a real flat bed, though I found it a little uncomfortable. I'll take an inflatable pillow next time which will fix that.

Others have pointed out the vastly better points earn-burn rate, and from others it seems that redemptions are far more available than QF. A business class redemption to LA on QF .. if you can get one with less than 6-9 months notice, you beat me. QF redemptions are basically just economy on any of the international routes you are more likely to want to use (UK, USA in my case).

And with Virgin Blue becoming a VA partner at the end of this year, earning will be easier. And they crack it with Amex cards being able earn towards Flying Club points.

The icing on the cake is the wide range of partners, particularly SIA, who I love to fly with and can take me from SYD to anywhere I'd want to go, and Air NZ whioch seems to be improving in leaps and bounds, so have two USA options (NZ or SIA). ALl, of course, requiring one stop, but usually allowing that stop to be a layover if desired .. I could shop and rest in Singapore for ever. Lots of friends there, too.

Qantas - goodbye, and when I go so do those of my co-workers and those I bring here or take away with me on business. I've just been unceremoniously dumped in an airport or grumped at by an international FA too many times of late, and paid a significant premium for the privelege.. I hate to say it, but I think QF is going to slowly morph into a collection of LCCs and a boutique international carrier with a limited route selection.

:confused: Now, how to eat my million QF points quickly while I'm still platinum and get priority on waitlists? I can see a lot of free domestic travel for my extended family coming on.... though I'll probablky still have the odd OneWorld carrier flight to get my SCs up to LTG, so I can use the QF lounbges for the rest of my life (until they pull that privelege from their frequent flyers, too).
 

OzFlipper

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2005
Messages
18
simongr said:
Sorry I havent read this entire thread - but this is an interesting one for me. Are you saying that having shown them a QF gold card - you were issued with a Virgin gold status? I have a few flights to HKG planned next year and one issue I have from SYD is that I dont want to fly non-Oneworld but the cost is exorbitant on oneworld. If I got status on virgin I migt be tempted....
They gave me gold-for-plat, easy as anything. Doubly worth it if you plan to do three upper class trips to HK in one year, as that will requalify you for FC gold. And you employer or clients will be very happy as you'll probably save them $4,000 that year over QF as well.

NOte that they made that offer while I was making a booking. I have no idea if they would be as acommodating if I just rang them up without booking a ticket (they might, I just have no idea).
 

jasonja3

Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2005
Messages
368
OzFlipper said:
Per the answer you've already had, I'm a QF Platinum, so maybe that helps.
I too have the esteemed privilege :)rolleyes: ) of being WP, they just did not want to know me...

The HK lounge was excellent .. and they have actual meals.
Although a little small, I also found it to be great, and the full meal is a big step up from other lounges.

Also, I make the earn-burn-status rates somewhere between 150% to twice as good.
I just redeemed 2 upper class SYD-HKG-SYD tickets usually 160k (with the AMEX bonus 20% only 134k) when QF wants 240k. No brainer alright!!

And with Virgin Blue becoming a VA partner at the end of this year, earning will be easier. And they crack it with Amex cards being able earn towards Flying Club points.
I believe they are becoming a serious competitor being able to combine the domestic market with a good international arm. For Australians, this is where the *A is not so attractive (IMO).
 

Yada Yada

Established Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Messages
1,872
Thanks for your posts, OzFlipper. You've provided some very helpful info about the VS program and made some very good points about the slack effort from QF. With Virgin Blue upping the ante locally, we may well end up with very strong FF competition for QF in Australia.
 

ozstamps

Active Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2003
Messages
615
Virgin
Platinum
Virgin had a widely publicised publoic offer last year or early this year that they would comp QF top elites in a heartbeat.

They also had a neat double miles deal. :)
 

jasonja3

Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2005
Messages
368
ozstamps said:
They also had a neat double miles deal. :)
I collected 36,000 points for a return trip to HKG :D , thats a one way upper class award seat with the CC points for the ticket purchase.....but it is only double points for your first trip as a new Flying Club Member.:(
 

OzFlipper

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2005
Messages
18
jasonja3 said:
I collected 36,000 points for a return trip to HKG :D , thats a one way upper class award seat with the CC points for the ticket purchase.....but it is only double points for your first trip as a new Flying Club Member.:(
Without the double points offer, but with the Gold membership and Amex points, my return Upper Class to HKG netted me 22,900 points for the flight and about 7700 points for the ticket purchase (on an Amex Rewards Maximiser) plus 1,000 points for my hotel stay and another 7,000 points from Amex for the hotel bill & other charges = over 38,000 points, more than enough for a one way premium economy SYD-HKG and almost enough for an upper class one way. Those earn-burn rates do look good compared to QFF, don't they?

The actual points cost of the one-way rewards (double for return) SYD-HKG are:
Upper Class 40000
Premium Economy 27000
Economy 22500
 

simongr

Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 10, 2006
Messages
14,229
OzFlipper said:
They gave me gold-for-plat, easy as anything. Doubly worth it if you plan to do three upper class trips to HK in one year, as that will requalify you for FC gold. And you employer or clients will be very happy as you'll probably save them $4,000 that year over QF as well.

NOte that they made that offer while I was making a booking. I have no idea if they would be as acommodating if I just rang them up without booking a ticket (they might, I just have no idea).
Hmm - thanks for that. We are planning to do a fair amount of work in HKG next year and I was thinking of relocating the work to SIN instead - so maybe if I bite the bullet and go to HKG myself I might try this. I will be AA platinum and with my two returns to SYD-JFK each year I might be able to maintain both - woo hoo another set of luggage tags ;)
 

OzFlipper

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2005
Messages
18
simongr said:
Hmm - thanks for that. We are planning to do a fair amount of work in HKG next year and I was thinking of relocating the work to SIN instead - so maybe if I bite the bullet and go to HKG myself I might try this. I will be AA platinum and with my two returns to SYD-JFK each year I might be able to maintain both - woo hoo another set of luggage tags ;)
SIA is a Virgin Atlantic partner. From the VA website, you get the same number of tier points Sydney-Singapore on SIA as Sydney-Hong Kong on VA (which means, once you are gold, 3 Syd-Singapore returns a year gets you a partner flight voucher, only valid for redemption on VA) Also, same points earning rate, but you miss out on the extra points for being a gold (only earned on VA flights). SIA partner details at:

Virgin Atlantic Airways - Popup
 

annettemc

Newbie
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
3
I've had the opposite experience with Virgin Atlantic. Tried to book upgrades into Prem Econ or Upper Class on Syd-Hk-Lon return for end of April/May - NO AWARD SEATS available within a two week block! And now I can't get the points back from Virgin (transferred from Amex) to try and use with another carrier. :evil:
 

pksw

Intern
Joined
Oct 11, 2005
Messages
68
annettemc, what about asking if you can fly a partner airline Sydney-London? If you transferred the points, did you try asking for Singapore or Malaysian airlines?

This thread is excellent - like many others, I have about 250k QFF points, but they are all from credit cards, and I have no chance of getting reward flights as a bronze member. I prefer flying SQ, and with about 200k Amex points that I could convert to QFF, it seems that I'd be better off converting them to Virgin Flying Club, and getting the 20% bonus. As long as there is a good chance of claiming a reward flight, especially with a partner airline, then I can kiss the QFF goodbye.
 

serfty

Veteran Member
Moderator
Joined
Nov 16, 2004
Messages
40,798
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Platinum
Flights
My Map
pksw said:
... - like many others, I have about 250k QFF points, but they are all from credit cards, and I have no chance of getting reward flights as a bronze member. ...
This is not strictly true; for F and J award travel you have just as much chance of booking an award flight as ANY OTHER Qantas Frequent Flyer.

As for economy awards, there is an additional allocation for CL/WP/SG but this is really does not vary a great from the standard allocation, especially when bookings are made well in advance.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

AFF on Air Podcast

  • Air Chathams – AIR019
    Sat, 07 Sep 2019 16:41:06 AEST
      With less than two weeks until the upcoming Qantas Frequent Flyer changes, now is the time to make any last-minute Classic Flight Reward bookings! In this episode, Matt cha ...
  • Project Sunrise – AIR018
    Sat, 24 Aug 2019 16:12:31 AEST
      Later this year, Qantas will decide which aircraft it will use to operate non-stop flights from the east coast of Australia to London and New York – a feat it aims to ach ...
  • Choosing a Rewards Program – AIR017
    Sat, 10 Aug 2019 13:32:24 AEST
      If you’re new to the world of frequent flyer points – or moving to a new country – it can be difficult to know where to start. In this episode, Matt discusses the con ...
  • Travel Insurance – AIR016
    Sat, 27 Jul 2019 07:34:12 AEST
      They say that if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel! In this episode, Matt chats to James Green about the importance of travel insurance, and ...
  • The Qantas Oneworld Award – AIR015
    Sat, 13 Jul 2019 02:07:50 AEST
      Learn how to fly around the world using your Qantas Frequent Flyer points as Matt chats to James Green, an award travel consultant at Frequent Flyer Solutions. This episode ...

Community Statistics

Threads
82,859
Messages
1,921,050
Members
50,538
Latest member
nutricollector
Top