Our member FIFOSuit recently headed to the United States for a whirlwind of a trip. Six US and Canadian cities including Las Vegas, New York and Toronto were visited in just twelve days.

As a Velocity frequent flyer, our member decided to fly with Virgin Australia to LA. Delta, Virgin’s partner airline, was used for flights within the United States. Flyers with elite status on Virgin Australia have access to status privileges on Delta including free checked luggage, lounge access, priority boarding and a host of other benefits. They can also earn Velocity points and status credits for Delta flights.

All of our delta flights were booked direct, in one go. We also made use of deltas complimentary comfort+ upgrades for gold and platinum velocity members.

Velocity Platinum, Gold and even Silver frequent flyers are also able to request a complimentary upgrade on Delta flights from Economy to “Comfort Plus”. These upgrades are free but subject to availability. Upgrades can also be guaranteed by purchasing them well in advance. Platinum members are able to request an upgrade three days before departure, while Gold and Silver flyers can try 24 hours in advance. Delta’s Comfort Plus is similar to premium economy as it comes with a better seat, free food & drinks and in-flight entertainment. It is slightly better than American Airlines’ “Main Cabin Extra” product, which provides extra legroom but not improved on-board service.

After a few days in Las Vegas to begin the trip, our member flew to the Kentucky city of Louisville. Unfortunately there were significant delays flying onto Louisville (SDF), but for a remarkable reason.

Upon arriving at SDF we circled for around half an hour (very noticeable on a 1 hour flight). After landing, we were told all ground operations were halted including baggage and gates because Air Force 1 was due to land. Luckily we made it off the plane, however we were waiting on our bags for at least 2 hours… #thanksObama.

For something a bit different, our member tried out a small Canadian airline called Porter for a day trip from New York to Toronto. Our member was pleasantly surprised by the service both on the plane and on the ground. Porter is a regional airline based out of Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport. This small airport is located close to the city on one of the Toronto Islands. The airport is accessible only by a free ferry shuttle.

PORTER IS FANTASTIC, cannot recommend them highly enough. Beautiful new prop planes, plenty of leg room, service with a smile and when I missed my return flight (got in the wrong security line) they moved me to the one an hour later at no charge (your mileage may vary).

The same can’t be said about Virgin Australia’s status recognition, however. Although our member was pleased with the business class service on Virgin between Los Angeles and Brisbane, priority baggage did not work and the domestic sectors were fairly ordinary.

I was heavily disappointed in the status treatment from VA, especially flying flexis/upgraded seats. Domestic flights were unremarkable (expected maybe recognition, coming from business international? or upgrade? or something?), and our bags were virtually LAST off in BNE. Just underwhelmed.

Find out more about the trip, check out the photos and read our member’s many tips for travelling on Delta, as well as around the USA 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]