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Qatar Airways and Virgin Australia Form Unlikely Partnership

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James Larounis

James Larounis

Senior Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 30U.S. States Visited: 35

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in...

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Qatar Airways, a major member of the Oneworld alliance, and Virgin Australia, the third-party airline that recently broke up with partner Delta Air Lines in favor of United, have linked up to form an unlikely partnership.

The Partnership

There are several elements to the new Qatar and Virgin Australia link up you need to be aware of.

Earn and Redeeming Points/Avios

Both Qatar Privilege Club members and Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer members will be able to earn points/Avios on each carrier as well as redeem points/Avios on each carrier.

Qatar Airways uses Avios as its currency and Virgin Australia uses Velocity Points. While you’ll be able to earn points/Avios flying either airline, which in and of itself is interesting, what makes this partnership more fascinating is the potential for flyers that accumulate Avios to be able to fly Virgin Australia. Many credit cardholders around the world are able to easily accumulate British Airways Avios, and since you’re able to transfer British Airways Avios into Qatar Avios, you’ll now be able to book a Virgin Australia flight.

Even more interesting, you can use both British Airways Avios and Qatar Avios to book Qantas flights, so with the ability to also book Virgin Australia flights, Avios will be an incredibly important reward currency when flying to, from, or within Australia.

Qatar Airways and Virgin Australia have formed a partnership to allow reciprocal benefits on either carrier. Image Credit: Qatar Airways

Reciprocal Elite Benefits

Elite members within either program will be able to enjoy priority boarding, security access, and lounge access in accordance with the benefits of their respective elite tier.

Here’s how both Qatar’s and Virgin Australia’s elite tiers will match up:

  • Velocity Silver is the same as Privilege Club Silver
  • Velocity Gold is the same as Privilege Club Gold
  • Velocity Platinum is the same as Privilege Club Platinum

It’s worth noting that Qatar operates several types of lounges within its Doha hub. Some of the lounges are reserved for elite members while others are reserved for those strictly on paid first and business class fares. Unfortunately, this new partnership will only allow Virgin Australia elites into the lounges meant for frequent flyers rather than the nicer lounges Qatar reserves for its most valuable customers.

Hot Tip: Our guides can help you learn the best ways to earn and redeem Qatar Airways Privilege Club Avios, as well as the best ways to earn and redeem Virgin Australia Velocity Points for maximum value!

Final Thoughts

This new partnership between Qatar Airways and Virgin Australia will provide a unique opportunity to earn and redeem points/Avios, especially for travel to Australia. With Australian flag carrier Qantas holding the dominant position in Australia, it’s certainly interesting to see Qatar branch out to partner with one of Qantas’ rivals.

About James Larounis

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in dozens of travel publications.


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