Three tiers for Virgin Blue's frequent flyers
Virgin Blue's frequent flyer programme, Velocity, has had a number of new features added with the aim of providing greater recognition and rewards for frequent flyers, including three new membership tiers.
Velocity has added three "status levels": Red, Silver and Gold, offering members different levels of programme benefits and different points earning rates.
Retrospective launch Velocity has determined its members' status levels retrospectively, as if the tiers had been in place since the launch of the programme almost two years ago. As a result, a number of members are to be automatically upgraded to the Silver and Gold levels with immediate effect.
According to Virgin Blue's chief executive, Brett Godfrey, "The enhancement of Velocity Rewards supports the airline's New World Carrier strategy, and the Velocity loyalty programme has developed from a simple reward programme into a competitive loyalty programme that recognises and rewards members proportionately to their loyalty to Virgin Blue and Velocity's programme partners."
Tier benefits Gold and Silver members will be entitled to priority check-in at selected domestic airports and priority telephone service (through the Velocity Membership Contact Centre).
Gold Members will also receive free membership of The Lounge and an increased baggage allowance. Silver Members will receive a free visit to The Lounge, and be eligible for discounted annual lounge membership rates.
Status qualifications In addition to the usual Velocity Points, all members will now also receive Status Credits based on their spending on fares with Virgin Blue, Pacific Blue, and Polynesian Blue. Some of the programme's other partners are also expected to begin offering Status Credits soon.
By collecting Status Credits, members can achieve and maintain their Gold or Silver membership (while Red is the entry-level membership tier). Points and Status Credit earn rates vary depending on the member's current status level. For example, Gold members earn 7 Velocity Points and 7 Status Credits per Aus$1 spent on air fares, while Silver members earn 6 Velocity Points and 6 Status Credits per Aus$1, and Red members earn 5 Velocity Points and 5 Status Credits per Aus$1.
Partners and redemptions There are currently more than 20 programme partners offering points redemption opportunities for a wide range of goods and services. These include airlines (Virgin Blue, Polynesian Blue, Pacific Blue, Emirates, Virgin Atlantic, Malaysian Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and Blue Holidays), financial services (NAB, and American Express Membership Rewards), car hire (Europcar), and hotels (Choice, Toga Hospitality, Octopus Travel, Inter-Continental Hotel Group, Saville), and other markets (The Wine Room, Roses Only, Fruit Only, Blue Tix, Airport Parking, Brunel Chauffeur Drive, OO.com).