Frustration with Accelerate (Business Program/Portal) | Australian Frequent Flyer
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Frustration with Accelerate (Business Program/Portal)

CPMaverick

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Hello All-

Earlier this year I joined Accelerate, the Velocity Business portal/service. It seemed to offer some discounts and a way to track my travel spend. My company spends just over their threshold of 20k a year, afterwards there are discounts and benefits like status, etc.

Anyway, to say I've been underwhelmed would be putting it kindly.

- The sign-up process was very confusing (another thread on that here already).
- Once I got signed in, the portal doesn't appear allow anything except booking one-way and round-trip tickets on VA. It doesn't even allow booking for partners unless VA has a codeshare.
- Even though I booked several flights through the portal, VA sends me a monthly statement showing $0 spent so far, every month. The bookings I've made aren't counting (not even those 6+ months ago).
- They redesigned the portal (to be fair, it is a bit nicer looking), but did so by resetting my password and login, and sending out a link I had 24 hours to click on to register for the new site. I didn't see it until after 24h, so I was locked out of the website. I had to call to get my login back. 24 hours, seriously?
- The new website still doesn't allow any multi-city bookings or partner bookings on non-VA routes.

I don't see how this works for anyone except maybe pure domestic travel. And even then, there seem to be serious IT problems.

Does anyone use this program successfully? Am I doing it wrong? I need to book a AKL-LAX-MEL ticket, and I can't do it with this portal. Pretty much decided to give up on this entire system, but decided to see if there were any folks here that could advise me why to stay.

Cheers
 

Vic

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Jan 31, 2017
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Pretty sure I've seen singapore flights in there, but can't remember for certain. don't they say to call for multi city?
They have been pretty responsive whenever I've emailed them
 

CPMaverick

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They offer partner flights but only codeshares (VA flight numbers). On routes without codeshares, you can't even select the city.

I am trying to book a MEL-Sri Lanka flight now, SQ shows $707, VA shows $1190. On top of that, when I click through on the VA Accelerate site, it gives me an error "Sorry, an error occurred while processing your flight selection. Please try again." So it is even impossible to book even at the inflated price.

Yes, you can call for multi-city, but only during certain hours and it isn't as easy to price shop on the phone either. If I have to price shop online, then I want to book immediately when I've found what I want.
 

clipped_wings

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I just joined our business up last week. We had 3 existing bookings, April, October 2018 and January 2019. Total expenditure is just over 13k, not including any small flights we may jump on domestically. However, when I rang to ask if we could add our ABN to those flights, we were told very politely that it was not possible to add the number on to the booking. Now while I appreciate that those are the T&C's, I find the situation a little absurd. I can easily retro add a Velocity number to an existing booking and capitalize on the points/SC earn. But I can't add an ABN to an existing booking in order to capitalize on an expenditure tracker.

I would understand if the flights had already been flown, however I am disappointed at the loss of potential momentum with our business flights over the coming year and there's no way I can cancel and re-book - the fees and charges would offset any benefit.

Wrong place at the wrong time, I wish I had joined up sooner, but then would not have flown in the 3 month qualifying period anyway.
 

QF WP

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I have been getting feedback requests from Accelerate (probably done 3 this year) and just got the latest email :

As a valued client, we’d love to hear your feedback on your experience with Virgin Australia and the Virgin Australia accelerate program.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated as it helps improve our program and service offering to ensure we continue to deliver innovative and enhanced benefits to our clients and travellers.

We understand your time is valuable and would greatly appreciate if you could take a few minutes to complete our survey.

The survey is open until 17 July 2019.
Where do I start - the (slightly less) clunky portal, the non-intuitive process to book (particularly the start, with the pax flying) - the only thing that works is the offers and the flight schedule.

Finished and let's see if anything I said makes any movement at VA.
 

ftm

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I just joined our business up last week. We had 3 existing bookings, April, October 2018 and January 2019. Total expenditure is just over 13k, not including any small flights we may jump on domestically. However, when I rang to ask if we could add our ABN to those flights, we were told very politely that it was not possible to add the number on to the booking. Now while I appreciate that those are the T&C's, I find the situation a little absurd. I can easily retro add a Velocity number to an existing booking and capitalize on the points/SC earn. But I can't add an ABN to an existing booking in order to capitalize on an expenditure tracker.

I would understand if the flights had already been flown, however I am disappointed at the loss of potential momentum with our business flights over the coming year and there's no way I can cancel and re-book - the fees and charges would offset any benefit.

Wrong place at the wrong time, I wish I had joined up sooner, but then would not have flown in the 3 month qualifying period anyway.

The inability to retrospectively add is a function of how VA initially set up the way bookings were tracked. The way VA did that was through a specific code that was entered on the actual ticket, and not in the PNR. So if the ticket has been issued, without the code, then adding it later is problematic because you have to reissue the ticket. It isn’t at all like adding a Frequent Flyer number, which is just an entry into the PNR.

Thankfully, VA have recently announced a move away from the ticket associated tracking to a different method, which can be added after ticketing, but it still has to be prior to travel.
 

Max Samuels

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I just applied to join Accelerate on behalf of my business - thinking of taking all my business from QF because I am sick of them - and the questions I keep getting asked from the Accelerate team are CRAZY. What are my social media accounts? What other online presence to do you? Etc.... I don't understand the relevance. I thought it would be simple enough that I want to spend $50k/year on flights with you....

Freak show.
 

QF WP

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Because they want to go to your accounts, scrape lots of data and hopefully position advertising to match the cities to which the staff travel. Marketing in the New Age...
 

Max Samuels

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Because they want to go to your accounts, scrape lots of data and hopefully position advertising to match the cities to which the staff travel. Marketing in the New Age...
Losers. I'm a spy and work for the CIA... don't know how that is gonna work
 

Max Samuels

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The inability to retrospectively add is a function of how VA initially set up the way bookings were tracked. The way VA did that was through a specific code that was entered on the actual ticket, and not in the PNR. So if the ticket has been issued, without the code, then adding it later is problematic because you have to reissue the ticket. It isn’t at all like adding a Frequent Flyer number, which is just an entry into the PNR.

Thankfully, VA have recently announced a move away from the ticket associated tracking to a different method, which can be added after ticketing, but it still has to be prior to travel.
Has this happened yet? I am trying to add ABNs to existing bookings and cannot work it out...
I am desperate to love Virgin - I seriously want to consider ditching the red rat - but from what I have experienced the past few months, VA's IT systems are woeful. I can't for example, work out the difference between the Virgin app and the Velocity app. I book using the Virgin app then open the booking in the Velocity app??? And Accelerate.............. OMG..............
 

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