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Virgin Platinum Pointless?

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danpez

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2013
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12
Interested in people's opinion. I've just hit platinum on VFF and reading through the benefits I am not sure if the cost of achieving it is worth it. I don't really care about free domestic upgrades for example. The benefits of domestic business are a bit of a joke in my opinion unless you are flying CTC on the new A380s, and I'm not going to come up with an excuse for a holiday there, I'm only interested in flying to Perth for work.

We usually fly to LA at Xmas to see friends, and given the exorbitant prices imposed at that time of the year I'd much prefer using all 4 free upgrades to business for that return flight than ever using domestic business on the east coast. I'd be interested in maintaining platinum if that was the case. The rest of the benefits are nothing really to shout about. You get all the main benefits at Gold level such as lounge access, luggage etc. Is there anything that is "unseen" that people have experienced often? I just don't really see the point of maintaining it on paper.

Of course knowing our luck they'll probably remove most of the Gold benefits for this very reason...
 

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markis10

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Nov 25, 2004
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We usually fly to LA at Xmas to see friends, and given the exorbitant prices imposed at that time of the year I'd much prefer using all 4 free upgrades to business for that return flight than ever using domestic business on the east coast. I'd be interested in maintaining platinum if that was the case. The rest of the benefits are nothing really to shout about. You get all the main benefits at Gold level such as lounge access, luggage etc. Is there anything that is "unseen" that people have experienced often? I just don't really see the point of maintaining it on paper.

For a start you can get award seats released which will be worth some significant $$$ for your annual LA trip, that alone would make it worthwhile. WP with VA is very cheap to get, yet it has tangible benefits for most people, it comes down to how relevant those benefits are to your travelling scenario.
 

danpez

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Joined
Aug 28, 2013
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Yeah I've had a look at the reward seat options. The problem with that is if you don't book early they are all gone, at least when I've looked. I can't always book my holidays that far ahead due to work and not knowing where I'll be. I suppose I'll have to try and figure that out and look at where I can use the benefits.
 

samh004

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As is sometimes pointed out, flying just for status can be pointless. If you've got to Platinum through travel you needed to do, undoubtedly you'll notice a little extra care is taken of you and that should be good enough, but if you've flown to get Platinum, then you really need to weigh up whether the benefits are worth it.

In your case, perhaps a work trip could be taken in a flexi class with some negotiation, and then you can upgrade yourself. Or you could treat a family member with a free upgrade. A big benefit people sometimes overlook is arrivals lounge access (though I think that's Gold and Platinum with VA)... very nice to grab a coffee before heading to the taxi rank for instance...
 

williamsf1

Established Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2010
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1,189
Yeah I've had a look at the reward seat options. The problem with that is if you don't book early they are all gone, at least when I've looked. I can't always book my holidays that far ahead due to work and not knowing where I'll be. I suppose I'll have to try and figure that out and look at where I can use the benefits.
can you book 6 months in advance? as markis10 mentioned, as platinum reward seats ( in Y) are never a issue ( for one family trip a year)
 

hummel

Established Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2010
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2,881
Dropped to SG last month and let my 4 upgrades expire. Much like you, I wasn't going to fly to Perth for a holiday.

Row 3 was the only benefit I could think of, but I often redeem points for J anyway...
 

woodborer

Established Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
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1,019
It is not an uncommon criticism of the program that there is not a big step up in benefits from gold to platinum. On the other hand, it is not obvious what additional benefits they could easily offer. Having said that, you could argue that the sweet spot level in many programs is not always the top level, but one notch down.
 

paultiffen

Active Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2012
Messages
535
I think having the 4 upgrades could be from saver would be a good one. I never book flexis for personal use and that's the main time I'd like to use it. Etihad first lounge access is a good benefit if you get a chance to make it there
 

hummel

Established Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2010
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2,881
I think having the 4 upgrades could be from saver would be a good one. I never book flexis for personal use and that's the main time I'd like to use it. Etihad first lounge access is a good benefit if you get a chance to make it there
Exactly same thoughts here. Why book flexis at 3x the price when I get luggage included? (apart from the obvious)
 

MandM

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2011
Messages
176
...We usually fly to LA at Xmas to see friends, and given the exorbitant prices imposed at that time of the year I'd much prefer using all 4 free upgrades to business for that return flight than ever using domestic business on the east coast. I'd be interested in maintaining platinum if that was the case. ...
As Plat you will be at the front of the line for an op-up, and at Christmas loads are heavy so you may have some luck (I'm 4 from 6 op-ups as plat to/from LAX - very very light loads on those that I wasn't upgraded).
the Plat bonus points really start to add up too.
 

danpez

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2013
Messages
12
In your case, perhaps a work trip could be taken in a flexi class with some negotiation, and then you can upgrade yourself. Or you could treat a family member with a free upgrade. A big benefit people sometimes overlook is arrivals lounge access (though I think that's Gold and Platinum with VA)... very nice to grab a coffee before heading to the taxi rank for instance...

Yes I haven't flown for status that's for sure, that would be a bit pointless, generally work or holidays but I work for myself so it's a cost to myself rather than another company. Of course I'm sure I'll use the upgrades one way or another, but it would just be for the sake of using them rather than any great benefit. I'd probably get more out of it treating others than myself on east coast trips.


can you book 6 months in advance? as markis10 mentioned, as platinum reward seats ( in Y) are never a issue ( for one family trip a year)

Yeah I've seen that, and that could be a good money saver that's for sure. I'm going to have to try and work with that I think. Cutting it fine for this Xmas though! ;)


I think having the 4 upgrades could be from saver would be a good one. I never book flexis for personal use and that's the main time I'd like to use it. Etihad first lounge access is a good benefit if you get a chance to make it there

I just came through Abu Dhabi last week actually. That business lounge is always rammed. I heard the First lounge is a bit further away though? I need to look that up for the next time I pass through.


I think having the 4 upgrades could be from saver would be a good one. I never book flexis for personal use and that's the main time I'd like to use it. Etihad first lounge access is a good benefit if you get a chance to make it there

I agree too, flexi is a bit of a price jump. They allow point upgrades from Saver now for domestic, so I don't see why you can't use the Platinum upgrades for the same. Seems like an oversight to me.
 

danpez

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2013
Messages
12
As Plat you will be at the front of the line for an op-up, and at Christmas loads are heavy so you may have some luck (I'm 4 from 6 op-ups as plat to/from LAX - very very light loads on those that I wasn't upgraded).
the Plat bonus points really start to add up too.
Was that flying alone or with company? I figured it would be less likely traveling with someone? More points will be good though, to keep funding tickets/upgrades.
 

cssaus

Active Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2004
Messages
939
For a start you can get award seats released which will be worth some significant $$$ for your annual LA trip, that alone would make it worthwhile. WP with VA is very cheap to get, yet it has tangible benefits for most people, it comes down to how relevant those benefits are to your travelling scenario.
When did this come about for transpac flights?

I recently inquired about the availability of upgrading a transpac PE flexi farefor next May & was told there were no award seats available. I know ExpertFlyer isn't an exact science but it showed that there were no business class seats allocated for the flight I was interested in upgrading on.
 

MandM

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2011
Messages
176
Was that flying alone or with company? I figured it would be less likely traveling with someone? More points will be good though, to keep funding tickets/upgrades.
Flying alone, but was sitting next to upgraded pax on at least two of the four flights.
 

williamsf1

Established Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2010
Messages
1,189
When did this come about for transpac flights?

I recently inquired about the availability of upgrading a transpac PE flexi farefor next May & was told there were no award seats available. I know ExpertFlyer isn't an exact science but it showed that there were no business class seats allocated for the flight I was interested in upgrading on.
It is not for upgrade ... it is for a Y reward seat
 

kaelo

Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2008
Messages
243
I'm inclined to agree with the OP - the benefits of Plat aren't really that great over Gold IMHO.

The 4 upgrades appear to be the most significant part of the Plat level but their useability is compromised given they can only be used for Flexi on domestic. I'd like to see them allow the upgrades to be used from Saver/Saver Lite and allow the use of two upgrades for a Long Haul upgrade. Hell, I'd swap all 4 Plat upgrades for a single long haul J upgrade.
 

Nicholas Wood

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2013
Messages
44
I achieved Platinum status through a series of work trips over the past 12 months and some personal trips with Family Pooling.

The key benefits (above Gold) for me have been:
- Additional Bonus points earn
- Row 3 (A, B & C) with my 2YO Daughter
- Free 3 Day Weekend Car Hire (Europcar)
- Etihad first lounge (Anticipated)

I'm also planning to make use of my upgrades on BNE-PER work trips later in the year.

I did take achieving Platinum into account when booking my flights but weigh too heavily on my decisions.
 
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