VIRGIN AUSTRALIA: ‘Switch-A-Roo’ status match offer for Gold and Platinum.
Virgin is on a mission to poach premium frequent flyers – especially from Qantas. They trumpet that with the ‘Roo’ in ‘Switch-A-Roo’.
If you missed out on the previous match offer you should seriously consider this, especially if you have Platinum status wwith Qantas or equivalent. I took up the previous offer, and scored Gold with Virgin Australia – the highest on offer then, despite my Qantas Platinum Status. I completed a couple of flights within the specified time period, and estended my Bold Velocity status for 2 months. I havn’t taken much advantage of it, but its good to have.
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Airlines NOT eligible for match
With the latest offer, you can match Platinum with Platinum. Status with most airlines qualifies, but not if it is already a partner with Virgin Australia, so that nixes:
Airlines that ARE eligible for this match
Basically, all the airlines which are members of any of the three major alliances, but are not the airlines listed above. So, think:
- Star Alliance
The match offer definitely does include domestic competitor Qantas, and other airlines, including the following:
- Air New Zealand
- American Airlines
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- Delta Air Lines
- Malaysia Airlines
Air New Zealand, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Lufthansa and its several siblings, Malaysia Airlines… indeed, the bulk of the Star Alliance, Oneworld and SkyTeam
What you need to qualify for the Switch-A-Roo Discover Gold status match offer
You will need:
- Gold or Platinum (or equivalent) frequent flyer status with another airline (not a current VA partner), which you will need to evidence
- Membership in the Virgin Australia Velocity frequent flyer loyalty program, and
- NOT have participated in the last Gold status match offer – damn it! That’s me
- Apply between now and Monday 26 September 2022
You will need to email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, Velocity membership number, and the name of the airline and that status you intend to match with. Head straight over to the Velicity website for full details.
Oh, and the number of matches is also limited – so do it now!
Extending your Gold or Platinum status once it is granted
It will take a few days to a couple of weeks before your status match is activated. Once granted, the match only lasts for 3 months, unless you extend it. You extend it by earning some status credits: 80 for Gold, and 200 for Platinum in the 3 month period, but if you do – you get an additional 12 months of that status. You should also note, that for those 80 points to extend Gold status for 12 months – you can earn them on Velocity or partner flights or even through family sharing. For Platinum – it has to be on Virgin Australia flights – NOT partner airlines. Family pooling is also allowed.
Wifi is going to happen – slowly
Virgin Australia is due to re-introduce WiFi, which got dropped once the new owners took over.
For some travellers, having wifi on a plane is a big determinant of their loyalty, which Qantas has a monopoly on at the moment.
Virgin Australia will be re-introducing high-speed in-flight Wi-Fi, over the next 6 months on 55 aircraft, and over 18 months on 80% of aircrft, but not starting until just before the Christmas 2022 holiday break.
WiFi will be complimentary for Business Class passengers, and for Beyond (VAs equivalend to the Chairmans Club) and Velocity Platinum members. Other passengers will be charged a ‘nominal fee’ to access Wi-Fi although VA is not saying how ‘nominal’ that fee will be.
Well, I did predict this would happen soon, and it looks like they left it until the beginning of 2023 to make the announcements.
If you think you can use this match offer – don’t delay. Three months might be worth it if you have some flights coming up and want to make use of the lounge, or a bit of priority treatment. Extending it to 12 months is the real sweet spot. Remember under normal circumstances you would need to earn 500 status credits and travel on 4 flights to get Gold, and to get Platinum, 1,000 points and 8 flights.
Less is required in both categories to retain status (Platinum 8000 status credits, Gold 400 status credits).
Part of me is sad I can’t take this up because I took up the previous offer to match to Gold. On the other hand, I could easily make the 12 month extension requirements of the previous offer, whereas earning 200 status credits in 3 months to match and retain Platinum is a much larger ask, especially when the points must be earned on Virgin flights, and not partner flights.