I do approx 80 flights per year for the last 6 years, at least 70 with Virgin. 90% is domestic between either Brisbane/Gold Coast and Sydney/Melbourne. I never buy the most expensive ticket - it is usually a combination of the cheapest/departure time and destination that dictates what fare i take, i never go business because I simply do not need the leg space and I think for anything under 6 hours it is pointless expense. I take the family to nZ once a year most years so family pooling is activated (wife and 1 child qualify) and Have at least one trip to the states as well. My issue is i generally only just re-qualify for gold, let alone step up to platinum! It is the status credit earning on my flights that is hurting, even though I spend around $25000 on flights the miles, lack of business seats and the fact i buy the fare that suits is working against me. I feel i spend more than enough per year but is the system just geared wrong for my situatio and should i look at another frequent flyer programme - I want value for money - I am the definition if a frequent flyer yet the pay out is just not showing up. (I do link flybuys as well but its very minimal - I never have time to get to a coles). Whats a recomendation to get status credits without spending a tonne more than I already do?
Well something is not quite right, because based on the numbers you’ve given you should be easily retaining Gold and giving Platinum a run for its money. Consider: the very cheapest and shortest Virgin fares (eg. Gold Coast-Sydney) will give you 5 Status Credits. If you’re flying “at least” 70 times per year with Virgin, that will get you a bare minimum of 350 SCs (you need 400 to retain Gold). But you’re also taking some flights to Melbourne (which give you double the SCs) and you’re taking the family to NZ and you’re going to the USA once per year. On those figures you should be easily retaining Gold and nudging Platinum.
Assuming that you’re flying 70 times a year and, mysteriously, struggling to retain Gold, here are some random thoughts…
- Are you certain that you're giving Virgin your Velocity number before every flight? And that the points/SCs are coming through? And are you certain that Family pooling has been set up correctly? (I personally check my Family Pooling before each time a member of my family flies, just to be sure).
- I get that you never have time to get to Coles. But heck -- you have a family. Somebody has to be doing the grocery shopping. Get that person a supplementary FlyBuys card and ask them to scan it each time they shop. With a family of 3, that should get you at least 60 SCs each year and probably a whole lot more.
- As a last resort, consider booking some of your flights on an Elevate fare -- just to get you over the line if required. Sometimes the Elevate fares are only $30 or so more expensive than Getaway, and they earn a bucketload more SCs.
I fly about a third of the number of flights you do, and chiefly MEL-SYD on Getaway (ie. 5 SCs each way). And yet thanks to FlyBuys, Family Pooling, and the very occasional Getaway fare when it's not too expensive, I'll easily retain Gold this year. As I said above, if you're struggling, something is not quite right.
Michael - This doesn’t seem right: Brisbane-Melbourne: 15 SC; Gold Coat-Sydney:10 SC. So on average: 12.5 SC and with 70 flights, you should get 875 SC. All you then need is 125 SC with trip to NZ and family pooling, you should be in Platinum easily and the subsequent years should be a cinch (800 SC). I can’t see why you should have any trouble.
I always check in using my card, Keeping gold isnt too hard its going from Gold to Platinum, I usually get within 150 status credits (I am 320 away now and due november). The issue is i often get 5 status credits and its not economical to just spend another $100 each way sometimes to get status credits (i realise thats probably the best way too collect however). I monitor the velocity site like mad to make sure everything is credited as it should be including family pooling. Ive been flying at least 40 times a year for 15 years now but the last 4 have been increased in frequency - so costs are up, but less long routes. The changes they made in september last year have made a noticable difference in the abilty to go platinum. I keep a close eye on my flights numbers ect because its usually work related, so I claim all of them. Im not upset at not been platinum, but its alot of trips on planes with what is feeling like less and less reward. i flew 18 times last calendar year with Qantas (all domestic) - is it worth just going with them? Oh and thank you for the reply, appreciated.