An extra 17 miles.. deliberate? | Australian Frequent Flyer
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An extra 17 miles.. deliberate?


Junior Member
Jan 17, 2015
This is similar to the QF KUL-BKK saga of 2018 but from a redemption perspective rather than earn.
The VA mileage calculator has Sydney to Melbourne as 456 miles. Great Circle has this at 439 miles - a difference of 17 miles. Now of course this on it's own won't cause any dramas, after all zone 1 is 1-600 miles. However, there are two routes that are affected in a way that it conveniently pushes them over into the next zone for rewards!
  1. Canberra to Sydney to Melbourne. CBR-SYD is 147miles (no difference VA vs GCM). 147 + 456 = 603 miles! Economy becomes 11800pts and Business 23500pts
  2. Darwin to Sydney to Melbourne. DRW-SYD is 1961miles (1957miles on GCM). 1961 + 456 = 2417 miles! Economy becomes 22300pts and Business 49500pts
In both cases, the 17 extra miles would otherwise keep it in the lower zone.

A check over at Qantas confirms the CBR-SYD-MEL itinerary can be booked for 8000pts in economy and DRW-SYD-MEL can be booked for 18000pts.
Whilst I haven't booked these itineraries, I am keen to hear from others if they have in the past and whether this has always been the case. I am convinced this is deliberate and misleading.


Established Member
AFF Supporter
Feb 16, 2009
Seems unlikely.

CBR-SYD-MEL is a longer way when there is the primary, direct route available.

DRW-MEL is not a major route either, so there'll always be some outlying cases, but they're not building models around the outliers. That's why some people find good opportunities in the odd, very uncommon routes; this is just the reverse.


Senior Member
AFF Supporter
Aug 21, 2011
My Map
Yes, this has always been the case AFAIK. SYD-SIN-BKK is another example where GCmap shows 4,783 miles but Virgin's calculator thinks the distance is 4,801 miles - pushing it into the next zone for redemptions.

It is bizarre. The Velocity program T&Cs just states:

16.2.2 The Points (or Points + Pay) required to redeem a Reward Seat are calculated according to the route, number of Flight Sectors and durtion of stopovers between Flight Sectors, cabin class, airline and distance flown in conjunction with the Reward Seat Points tables.
I don't think Velocity is deliberately adding some miles to specific routes to make rewards more expensive, but I don't know how they actually calculated those distances as some are a fair way off.
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