Flights between Sydney and Melbourne are one of the top 10 busiest airline routes in the world and is dominated between three airlines being Qantas, Virgin Australia and Jetstar to a lesser extent (and TigerAir to an even lesser extent still!).
If you fly this route often, you may have thought how often you would need to fly between Sydney and Melbourne before you start to gain some airline perks in the form of high status. Now, I’m going to compare Virgin Australia and Qantas to see which airline is the easiest to gain elite status on based solely on flying between Sydney and Melbourne and the associated perks which come with it.
I’m going to compare Virgin Australia and Qantas based on the parameters that you are flying on the lowest, not sale, economy fare available (usually marketed as ‘discount economy’) and you have no status what so ever with the airline; the aim is to get to Gold Status on either airline as soon as possible as this level allows you the best perks; so lets begin…
Qantas require you to earn 700 status credits in order to earn Gold status within one year; at a ‘discount economy’ branded ticket, you’ll earn 10 status credits per flight between SYD and MEL meaning that you’d have to fly Sydney to Melbourne 70 times or do 35 return trips in order to qualify for the status. Better yet, to keep the status you’d need to earn 600 points every year meaning that you’d need to fly 60 times or do 30 return trips.
Virgin Australia –
Virgin Australia require you to earn 500 status credits in order to earn Gold status within one year; at a ‘discount economy’ branded ticket, you’ll earn 10 status credits per flight between SYD and MEL meaning that you’d have to fly Sydney to Melbourne ‘only’ 50 times or do 25 return trips in order to qualify for the status. As with Qantas, you’ll need to earn a at least a certain amount of points per year in order for you to retain the status. Virgin Australia also require that you earn a certain amount of status credits per year to retain your status.
Winner – Virgin Australia
So, now we know which airline it is easier to gain status with (well done Virgin Australia), but… Qantas has a little trick up it’s sleeve in the form of lifetime status, of which there are two levels and are based on the amount of status credits you have earned ever. Qantas offer Lifetime silver status and Lifetime gold status, silver requires 7,000 status credits and gold requires 14,000 status credits; meaning that if you did nothing else than flew between Sydney and Melbourne on a ‘discounted economy’ fare, you’d need to do 350 return flights for Lifetime silver or 700 return flights for Lifetime gold status. Though this seems extremely unachievable, it really isn’t, if you’re flying between SYD and MEL enough times to earn gold status every year anyway, it’d only take you 20 years to earn Lifetime gold!!