It seems Virgin Australia is making moves - as Qantas flounders - announcing a key new travel partnership, and a bold grab for the national carrier's best customers.
Fancy a little luxury?
The new partnership between Velocity Frequent Flyer and boutique travel brand Luxury Escapes, is big news for Velocity's 11.5 million members, giving them the power to earn and redeem Velocity points across thousands of luxury holiday packages, hotels, cruises, tours and more.
Also read: Virgin slashes prices on 500k flights
The new partnership is also great news for Virgin, with Luxury escapes bringing their own 3 million strong customer base to the table. The airline says Velocity members will earn one Velocity point per $1 spent on eligible Luxury Escapes' bookings and can now offset the cost of booking their next Luxury Escapes holiday by using Velocity points to pay for part, or all, of their booking – driving their dollar further.
Virgin woos Qantas customers with status-match offer
And to celebrate the new partnership, Virgin is making a bold move for Qantas's best customers, with the Velocity Frequent Flyer program officially inviting Gold (or higher) members of "other loyalty programs" to apply for Velocity Gold Status, under a new fast-track "Discover Gold" trial membership.
Although the trial membership is feature-restricted and only runs for a few months, the devil in the detail is that trial participants can achieve full Velocity Gold Status for one year by earning just 80 status credits during the trial period (usually 500).
Velocity Gold members enjoy a range of privileges, including Virgin Australia Lounge access, priority boarding, preferential seating, additional baggage allowances, as well as bonus Velocity Points and Status Credits when booking and flying with Virgin Australia.
World class holidays at your fingertips
Velocity Frequent Flyer CEO Nick Rohrlach said the announcement would create more choice, value and rewards for millions of Australian travellers.
"We are thrilled to officially launch our exclusive partnership with Luxury Escapes today. Our 11.5 million members now have access to thousands of additional opportunities to earn and redeem Velocity Points with an unmatched inventory of world-class holiday packages at their fingertips," Rohrlach said.
"We know the high cost of living is still very much on the minds of Australians and, by using points or points + pay, our members now have access to premium holiday experiences without the price tag. We are incredibly focused on providing our members more ways to earn and redeem points by unlocking new partnerships and rewards that have significant value and meaning to them."
Luxury Escapes CEO and co-founder Adam Schwab said the partnership was born from an aligned ambition to deliver the very best travel experience possible to consumers.
"At Luxury Escapes, we have an unwavering commitment to provide our members with the best experience, quality and value possible," Schwab said.
"Velocity shares this commitment, and we are thrilled to be partnering together to bring the best of both brands to Australian travellers. From expanded earn and redemption opportunities to the incredible limited-time status-match offer, we can’t wait to welcome a new era in travel for all our members."