If you’re having trouble using your Virgin Velocity points to book a reward flight, you’re not alone. It appears that the Virgin Australia website is currently displaying very limited reward seat availability, particularly for flights on Etihad and Singapore Airlines.
In many cases, reward flight searches on the Virgin website are bringing up only the more expensive “Any Seat” options. Meanwhile, the cheaper Reward seats are not being displayed. For example, a search for Business class reward flights from Sydney to London may bring up only Any Seat awards costing in excess of 900,000 Velocity points. But a Reward seat costing just 139,000 points may actually be available – even though it’s not shown on the Velocity website.
To overcome this, our members have suggested a number of solutions to lock in the reward flight you want, at the right price.
One member believes that the lack of availability is simply due to high demand. This member claims that the best chance of securing a Reward seat is therefore to book as soon as the seat is released online. For Virgin Australia reward flights, this generally occurs 330 days in advance, at midnight (Brisbane time).
Another suggestion is to search for flights to alternate destinations. For example, one member was able to find an Etihad reward flight to Munich despite a lack of flights to London or Frankfurt.
Have you tried any other destination cities? I just did a quick check SYD-MUC on May 11th and found a number of fares available for 139,000 points + $643 on the Virgin website, flying Etihad.
But many believe that the main problem is the Virgin Australia website, and not a fundamental lack of award availability. To search for Etihad reward flights that are not shown on the Virgin website, one member suggests checking for “Guest Seat” availability on Etihad’s own website. If a reward seat is available on the Etihad website, it may be possible to book it using Velocity points. You’ll just need to call the Velocity Membership Contact Centre.
Go to the EY Guest, find out what J cheap guest award seats they have on the day/s you want. Screen print it (ctl printscreen), open a word new file, then ‘paste’ – save the file. Call VFF (once you have checked to see not shown by now on VFF) and explain the seats are shown on EY’s system. They then have a look and normally find them. If they cannot see them then offer to email the screenshot to prove it.
Another member has noticed that more availability may be shown if searching for one-way, instead of return flights.
If you wish to redeem your Velocity points to fly Singapore Airlines, one member suggests transferring them to the Singapore KrisFlyer program. Once the points are in your KrisFlyer account, you’ll be able to book any available Singapore Airlines flight directly through the KrisFlyer program.
There are two main advantages of transferring points to KrisFlyer. Firstly, you’ll have access to more flights, including Singapore’s First Class Suites. Secondly, you may actually spend fewer points overall, depending on the route.
FWIW there are simply dozens of SQ A380 1st flights from Europe available for May/June next year. Over a 2 week period through to June 24, 2017 leaving from CDG to SYD there were well over 20 x one pair of redemptions available (so 40 seats).
By putting these strategies to good use, you should have no trouble using your Velocity points for the flight you want!
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