Emirates not a TRUE redemption partner?

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Nobby

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When I called a few weeks ago to enquire about redeeming points for an Emirates flight (CAI-xDXB-ADD), the agent told me there we now seats available on Emirates. I asked her to look at different dates and different routes, but she simply said "there's no need to -- Emirates has never released a single seat to us. There is no availability on any route on any day". :!::shock::!:

She promised to enquire for me about how many points it would take in theory, and said she'd have to call me back. A couple weeks later, I haven't heard back.

Have other people had a similar experience? Or was this agent smoking something? It is extremely deceptive to call Emirates a redemption partner if they have in fact never released a single seat!

I'm really hoping the situation is going to change soon, because the ability to burn on EK flights would add a LOT of really useful route options...
 

oz_mark

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Their mantra is that if any seat is available you can be on it, basically purchasing the seat. I don't see why Emirates would have to release it as the Velocity would be buying the seat?
 

Nobby

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Their mantra is that if any seat is available you can be on it, basically purchasing the seat. I don't see why Emirates would have to release it as the Velocity would be buying the seat?

Exactly! That's why I was so shocked...
 

MelUser

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When I rang United Mileage Plus to get 4 return Y seats from KUL to Chang Mai [in Thailand] they said they would have to phone Thai airlines to get the seats "released". I was on hold for 5 mins and the chap came back and said that Thai had agreed to release the seats and I would be given 4 tickets. Was quite simple. Can you imagine QF agreeing to a request to release 4 redemption seats together?
 

SeaWolf

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Their mantra is that if any seat is available you can be on it, basically purchasing the seat. I don't see why Emirates would have to release it as the Velocity would be buying the seat?

I'm fairly sure that mantra applies to DJ only, not to seats on 'redemption partners' like Emirates, those work the same way as with any other FF system, with a limited inventory.
 

oz_mark

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This is what the Velocity Rewards website says. I think it is clear that they mean that any seat is available.

With each of Velocity's International airline partners you can use your Velocity Points to purchase any available seat on any flight - allowing you to go where you want when you want.

If there is a seat available, you can be on it.

See below for the lowest return Economy redemption fares for selected destinations. Other destinations and fares may also be available and the price in Points will vary.
 

SeaWolf

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You're right, it does. I've had a closer look around, if you look at the "Redeeming" page:
Velocity> Redeeming - International Flights
It lists the rough points you'll need for each airline on some common routes, but it also lists a separate "Lowest Any Seat" column, which would be the one you'd need if they were out of award inventory. The cost is quite a bit higher.
 

StevePER

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With each of Velocity's International airline partners you can use your Velocity Points to purchase any available seat on any flight - allowing you to go where you want when you want.
That's blatantly false given that you can't book one-way awards. Maybe that's the problem here.
 

Nobby

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After numerous calls and weeks of waiting, I've gotten an answer about what's going on with Emirates and Velocity.

For Velocity's partners, they have two classes of awards: "award" and "any seat". The "award" redemption options are priced in a realistic way, and are competitive with other programs. The "any seat" awards are supposedly priced at 1 pt = 1 cent, but the cost they gave me for my flight was almost double what it would actually cost to buy that Emirates flight on the open market. They must be doing something strange like pricing it on Full Y (but likely only giving you a Discount Y ticket). The "award" tickets must be return tickets, "any seat" tickets can be one-way

While Emirates has promised to release "award" seats, they have never released a single seat in the history of the "partnership". So if someone wants to redeem on Emirates, they have to go the "any seat" route, paying a silly number of points.
 

RickyRiccardo

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Hi Nobby, that's not actually correct we do get access to Reward Seats on Emirates and have taken redemption bookings. The issue is that availability is limited and the campaign has been extremely successful.

Regards,

Ricky
 
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Platy

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I can't comment directly on Emirates, but is has been most common in my personal experience for airline management within the rude roo to state categorically that a certain system is working in a certain way and that certain things do or do not happen, when the reality for real customers is far different!

Ricky, I would be listening very carefully to your customers, you don't want to end up with a generation of cynical and angry frequent flyers like the rude roo. You may find what is actually going on at the coal face is very different to the stated system and propaganda you are led to believe by the airline that employs you!!!

I have been considering churning from QF to DJ and the thing that has been stopping me is the lack of inter-operability between domestic and international FF scheme.

These posts put me right off the whole idea.
 

MelUser

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I have been considering churning from QF to DJ and the thing that has been stopping me is the lack of inter-operability between domestic and international FF scheme.

These posts put me right off the whole idea.

If V Blue became a proper full service airline, either with or without a business class and joined Star Alliance properly then Qantas would be in trouble. It would have to join in its Pacific Blue and Blue thingy flying from Sydney to LAX too and covert its Frequent Flyer program to a proper Mileage one [perhaps call it Mileage Blue!]
 
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Platy

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If V Blue became a proper full service airline, either with or without a business class and joined Star Alliance properly then Qantas would be in trouble. It would have to join in its Pacific Blue and Blue thingy flying from Sydney to LAX too and covert its Frequent Flyer program to a proper Mileage one [perhaps call it Mileage Blue!]

Absolutely!!!

I wish oh wish the Virgin stable would hook up with Star Alliance!!!
 

RickyRiccardo

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I can't comment directly on Emirates, but is has been most common in my personal experience for airline management within the rude roo to state categorically that a certain system is working in a certain way and that certain things do or do not happen, when the reality for real customers is far different!

Ricky, I would be listening very carefully to your customers, you don't want to end up with a generation of cynical and angry frequent flyers like the rude roo. You may find what is actually going on at the coal face is very different to the stated system and propaganda you are led to believe by the airline that employs you!!!

I have been considering churning from QF to DJ and the thing that has been stopping me is the lack of inter-operability between domestic and international FF scheme.

These posts put me right off the whole idea.

That's why we monitor these discussions to ensure that we are aligned to what is happening, and that the feedback goes to the relevant parts of the business. Nobby received an inadequate service experience at our call centre and that has been addressed with the call-centre so hopefully that won't happen again. The other hot topic at the moment though is the low availability with international seats in general. The Aussie dollar is strong and many of us are traveling overseas and reducing the availability everywhere.

This makes the 'any seat' proposition attractive allowing a Member to buy seats other than redemption class - but it comes at a higher points price which the Australian market isn't familiar with yet. But as we all know that'll change soon with Qantas Frequent Flyer moving to an Any Seat model also.

Rgds,
 
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Platy

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That's why we monitor these discussions to ensure that we are aligned to what is happening, and that the feedback goes to the relevant parts of the business.
Rgds,

Good to hear!

In terms of paid travel, Emirates has already secured something like $300,00 worth of F class business in 2-3 years from the few friends of mine who regularly travel between UK and Australia. Some things are clearly working.
 

Nobby

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Hi Nobby, that's not actually correct we do get access to Reward Seats on Emirates and have taken redemption bookings. The issue is that availability is limited and the campaign has been extremely successful.

Ricky,

Thank you for monitoring these forums. It's great for all concerned... it makes it easier for you to keep a pulse on things and understand how people are reacting to things, and for us, when we whinge about something it goes straight to the product managers, rather than reaching a dead end in the call centre.

More than one agent told me no award inventory has been ever been released on Emirates... so you may want to make sure they get their stories straight.

Even if some has been released in the past, if it's so small that more than one agent thinks none has ever been released, you should question what this partnership is really delivering for you other than disappointed customers. Velocity has a lot of potential, but be careful about overpromising and underdelivering when the program is still working the kinks out.
 
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Nobby

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This makes the 'any seat' proposition attractive allowing a Member to buy seats other than redemption class - but it comes at a higher points price which the Australian market isn't familiar with yet. But as we all know that'll change soon with Qantas Frequent Flyer moving to an Any Seat model also.

You're right that the Australian market isn't used to paying higher prices for Any Seat, but NO market is used to paying THAT high of a price... I was quoted > 200,000 points for a 3,000 mile long flight (about the same as PER-AKL). Instead I transferred points to Northwest, which gave me the seat for only 25,000 points -- admittedly a fantastic deal, most other airlines would charge something like 50k or 60k. They also had full availability on every flight every day.

Airlines in the US that offer Any Seat availability charge around double the normal amount. But > 200k is just silly for that flight
 
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