Dear Australian Frequent Flyers and loyal Velocity members

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Please don't fall off your chair - you are reading a post from us again!

The past year has seen a raft of massive changes right across our business, of which the AFF community has discussed most at length. Included, was the downtime from Virgin participating in this forum.
Resource constraints had meant that we weren't able to provide the service that we would have liked in this community. For this, we do offer our apologies and hope that we can right any wrongs that are still outstanding with you all as we move forward by answering as much as we can (but note we won't be able to answer everything due to the commercial sensitivities of the business).
Obviously the Sabre transition project was (and still is) a mammoth undertaking and we are well aware of the feedback that has been shared between you all. Below we’ll attempt to address some of the main conversations coming out relating to the Sabre cutover.

IBE and Velocity redemption sites
In terms of the Internet Booking Engine (IBE) and Velocity redemption sites, we acknowledge that there are improvements to be made still, including a single sign-on for both sites (VA and VFF) which will enable you to gain access to functionality across both sites by logging into your Velocity account just once.
We have progressive drops of functionality that will improve useability, these will happen throughout the year. We cannot provide a specific date yet on when the single sign-on issue will be addressed, but we’ll advise as soon as information is at hand.
(FYI - you can now search Reward Seat availability online with Virgin Australia and selected codeshare flights operated by Virgin America before logging into your account. Once you are ready to book, simply login and select your flights).

Online seat selection
One bug bear that caused members problems post-Sabre, have been the issues with online seat selection.
You can choose your seat online at time of booking (prior to Sabre it was only possible within 14 days) or when checking-in. Some members are still having issues selecting a seat online, we have prioritised resolving this and we’ll provide an update asap. If you need assistance or you want to select a seat after you've made your booking, contact us at 136 789 and the team will be able to allocate your seat.
Some members have made comments about having their seat changed on them. Seat changes are made due to operational reasons such as equipment changes and weight and balance requirements. But where possible we tend not to move people who have already pre-allocated their seats. We try to ensure that tiered frequent flyers are seated in preferred seating zones (which of course are dependent on aircraft type and loads on individual flights).

Missing Points or Status Credits in Your Account
Following cutover to Sabre, there was some delays in the crediting of Points and Status Credits following flights. This is now largely resolved.
If Points and Status Credits have not been awarded to your Account at least 14 days after your flight, you can claim flights taken with Virgin Australia, Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand online after logging in to your Account.
For claims with other airline partners, the process is to please send a copy of your itinerary to [email protected] for the team to follow up.

Virgin Australia Velocity Credit Card
Just so you know, the complimentary flights benefit has not changed. Card holders can redeem their complimentary flights on Saver Lite, Saver, Flexi and Business Class Fares, provided the fare they want to book is not a Sale Fare. This is reflected on the t&c’s on both the VA and Virgin Money websites.
With the new booking system, the code has now changed to TWO41. Members just need to quote this when calling the Australia Guest Contact Centre on 13 67 89. Sale Fares flights are no longer visible on the Virgin Australia website, and will only be identified by the Guest Contact Centre when you call.

Ongoing conversation
Sabre was another important stepping stone for us in building a world class airline and loyalty program. As we continue to improve the customer experience, your feedback remains vital so we’ll be in here at least once a day to continue the conversations and help out wherever we can. For any specific questions related to Velocity members, our inbox is available to you all.

Thanks for your time, and continued support.

The Velocity Frequent Flyer team
 

QF WP

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I love it when a plan comes together :D. Welcome (back) to our online community VFF and I know your return is met with a combined sigh from across our member base. Now let's get it working...(Sabre that is :D)

We might need to increase the size of your inbox temporarily :eek:
 

Pushka

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Nice to see a company rep. Along with the issues noted in your first post, could you please add "obtaining refunds promptly" to this list. These are taking significantly longer than the "21 working days" promised. Well, I am still waiting.
 

xtra

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VA are very lucky most AFF members are forgiving. Honestly, I'm less so, and VA has a lot of work to do before it rewins my business.

I've wasted at least six hours on the phone to the VA call centre since the Sabre transition, often dealing with the frustrating and incompetent offshore call centre.

My main bugbear is that its impossible to redeem European rewards, despite widespread availability before the transition. It makes VFF near worthless for me. No one from VA seems to be willing to acknowledge there's an issue, which means you assume it's by design - and a frequent flyer program without rewards availability is pretty useless!

Life's too short and, despite years of supporting Virgin, I've switched my business to other carriers.
 

medhead

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Personally I assumed that the absence on AFF was due to people having to divert attention to core customer contact areas to address the post-sabre issues.
 

Mal

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Pre-Sabre, I could search for some awards ex- other countries (ie not NZ, Australia or certain island nations). Since Sabre rolled into the mix, the only "from" destinations for awards are the usual Asia Pac suspects....

Should we expect other "from" locations to be re-added back into the mix?
 

rtyuiop

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Pre-Sabre, I could search for some awards ex- other countries (ie not NZ, Australia or certain island nations). Since Sabre rolled into the mix, the only "from" destinations for awards are the usual Asia Pac suspects....

Should we expect other "from" locations to be re-added back into the mix?

And other partners? Presumably with a similar level of availability to pre-Sabre?
 

777

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My main bugbear is that its impossible to redeem European rewards, despite widespread availability before the transition. It makes VFF near worthless for me. No one from VA seems to be willing to acknowledge there's an issue, which means you assume it's by design - and a frequent flyer program without rewards availability is pretty useless!

I actually think the issue is with Etihad's transition to sabre and the awards inventory not being loaded properly since (it worked between VA's transitions at Etihad's) however i completely agree about the failure to acknowledge the issue. There has either been a dramatic drop in award availability or their head doesn't know what their <redacted> is doing. I even had the call centre flat out lie to me and tell me there wasn't any issue or dramatic change in availability which really p'ed me off.
 

eastwest101

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Please don't fall off your chair - you are reading a post from us again!

The past year has seen a raft of massive changes...

First of all, good to have you back. I have seen some return to "business as usual" over last weekend with some web site functions returning to service over the last weekend. If it hasn't already been brought to your attention could you also possibly have a look at the following web site issues and get back to us? Hang on to your hat!

Velocity/Virgin websites are RUBBISH - Blogs - The Australian Frequent Flyer Online Community
 

smit0847

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Welcome back! It's great to have an official rep on here again.

We obviously have loads of specific questions that we would love you to answer as your social networking team usually just directs us to the call centres and then the call centre staff, while very polite, are often fairly useless (I cant even understand most of the off-shore staff). I'm a big, long-time VA fan but have been very frustrated with VA this year to the point of feeling sorry for you and looking to see what your competitors are offering.

The members of this forum are largely frequent flyers with your airline who are generally pretty travel-savvy and informed, but have experienced frustrating issues this year. I would hazard a guess that most of the questions we would like answered are specific, logical, genuine queries, unlike the rather crass 'where my refund for my cancelled flight y dont sir rich B pay up?' type comments you receive from once-a-year fliers on your facebook page.

What's the best way to obtain a proper response to our queries (mine are very, very specific) - by PM to you or can we post them here?

Thanks
 

bullerdude

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Very much appreciate that Virgin is showing a renewed interest in keeping in touch with the VFF community.'

However, I found no new information posted in this thread - all you have really provided is the official company line on all the issues.

Whilst I understand that you will have polices and procedures around posting information in AFF, I would hope that Virgin is prepared to release a little more information and communicate more into the ongoing work to improve the Virgin experience. At the end of the day, all of us here want to help improve the Virgin experience and resolve bugs.
 

mella2007

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Falls off chair....

Welcome Back and look forward to continued communcation
 
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