One of our members has finally reached Gold Velocity Frequent Flyer status for the first time. If you’re not familiar with the benefits on offer, things can be confusing for a newly minted status holder.

Recently made Gold. Hooray! Any tips on how to make the most of it? I’ve signed up for the HERTZ and HHonors program. I also don’t really understand what an “award” seat is. Does that just mean cashing in your points for a free ticket? Can you use your GOLD card to get priority check in for the person you’re travelling with?

The car and hotel elite status offers have been popular with our members. They are also a major differentiator between Virgin and Qantas’s frequent flyer programs. For the car rental program, there is the choice of Hertz or Europcar. Earlier this Europcar changed its program to remove a generous discount of up to 30%. With that discount now reduced, Hertz is probably the best program of the two on offer.

For Hotel programs, a Gold member can chose from Gold with Hilton or IHG. As recently covered in our Knowledge Centre WEBINAR, both programs have good benefits for local members. IHG Gold Members do get extra points but beyond that there not many perks on offer above base membership. Hilton on the other hand offers its Gold members free breakfast when staying as a guest. With Breakfast these days often costing over $30, this benefit for HHonors Gold members does give it the edge over IHG rewards. Again, it looks like our member has picked the best option.

Aside from the car and hotel benefits, check in is probably one of the most useful airline benefits status offers. On a busy Monday morning, the wait in the normal queue at most airports can be long and boring. As a Gold member, you might be travelling with someone who does not have status. Being allowed to check in together using the priority lane is often a courtesy shown by the airline, but not always.

Last year my daughter went to Europe with her friend and both were on the same PNR. They were waiting for my daughter but they wouldn’t let her friend checkin with her. My daughter questioned her but wouldn’t budge so she lined up in Y with her friend. My daughter is Platinum.

This came as a shock to some of our members. Many status holders have previously had no issue checking in with a non status colleague or friend and using the benefit. Perhaps it was a one off event, regardless further action was suggested

Hmmm, I wonder if you were checked in by a contracted staff member…. Either way that is pathetic service from VA, if your daughter is a Plat then her friend should have been checked in at the same time. Send some feedback.

Have you held elite status with Virgins Velocity program, how did you get the most from the perks, have your stay HERE.

Aside: Last week we introduced a new feature to our website – AFF Verified Airline Status. In summary, this is an automated way to independently verify your Airline Status with some great benefits to you. In addition to the peer group recognition you will receive by displaying your status, it may well help you in obtaining a “Status Match” with another airline. Full details HERE.

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