Platinum status with Virgin Australia requires twice as many flights to earn as Gold status. But do the additional benefits of Platinum status justify the extra effort?
Gold status comes with numerous worthwhile benefits including lounge access, priority boarding, Fly Ahead, and access to points upgrades on international flights. In addition to these benefits, Platinum members receive 4 complimentary upgrades to Business class on domestic flights each year, additional lounge guests and access to better seats. However, many members believe the extra benefits for Platinum members are minimal.
The four complimentary Business class upgrades each year is one of the main benefits of Platinum status. These are available on domestic flights, provided a Flexi fare has been purchased. These upgrades are particularly valuable on Virgin’s A330 flights between Perth and the east coast, which feature Virgin’s luxe new Business class seats.
For me it’s the 4 free upgrades, as for work my return flight on a trip is mostly booked flexi. That alone is well worth the step up to plat, but if I didn’t fly coast to coast, or was buying my own (strictly saver!) tickets, I probably wouldn’t notice the difference between gold or plat.
Qantas offers special domestic Business class and international First class lounges at major Australian airports to its Platinum frequent flyers. Virgin, however, offers only one lounge which is shared between Gold and Platinum members. Platinum members do have the option to bring up to 3 guests with them into the lounge, whereas Gold members receive only one guest. Platinum members may also access the lounge after arriving at their destination.
Many of our members suggest that the ability to choose a seat in row 3 is one of the biggest benefits of Platinum status. Row 3 on Virgin’s Boeing 737 and E190 aircraft is the first row of Economy class and offers superior leg room. Platinum members can allocate one of these seats from the time of booking.
I fly domestically for work & row 3 is the best benefit (& extra guests into the lounge on occasion- my colleagues don’t fly as much as me).
Overall, the general consensus is that Platinum Velocity status is nice to have if you’re already flying often. However, our members do not feel that the extra benefits would justify a significant additional expense or extra flying. For many, Gold status is the real sweet spot.
In terms of value of platinum: IME VA simply do not provide any onboard recognition of Platinum. Row 3 on the 737 is a major bonus but the middle seat would almost always be filled with empty middle seats in rows 4 and 5, so the recognition of platinum by ground staff is limited. Priority boarding is great, but also available to gold. It is hard to see much value in platinum over gold
Platinum Velocity status is earned when 1,000 status credits are earned, and at least 8 Virgin Australia flights are flown within one year. By comparison, Gold status requires only 500 status credits and 4 eligible flights.
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