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Future Flight Credits

AIRwin

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I'm very confused, still awaiting my email for the conditional credit but I've had $129 dropped into my TravelBank randomly too (out of $3.5k credit).
Is the $129 credit part of the benefit of a Virgin Money credit card?
 

henrus

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I'm very confused, still awaiting my email for the conditional credit but I've had $129 dropped into my TravelBank randomly too (out of $3.5k credit).

In the travel bank you can click on the "Account Statement" and then click on the red ticket number section to see more details about the transaction.

If they're restricting what you can spend this on that's another kick in the teeth.

You can only spend it on Virgin Australia operated flights (does not included the Alliance airlines flights in QLD)... as of right now that's only domestic flights.

They are then further restricting it by only releasing a limited number of seats for those booking with future flight credits:

"Bookings using your Future Flight credits are subject to seat availability within the fare class available for Future Flight credits on your selected flight. "
 

Cubiscus

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So looking through the Travel Bank history it looks as though they dropped the full credit in there then removed it 5 days later.
 

henrus

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So looking through the Travel Bank history it looks as though they dropped the full credit in there then removed it 5 days later.

Yes this is correct. I was able to use my credit as there was a small window that it was in the travel bank and still open.

Bagpuss posted about this on the 11th of October in a post above.
 

henrus

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So some more details about the future flight credits:

  • Bookable in U class (Economy Cabin) and I class (Business Cabin) only (excluding groups which is bookable in the designated group class per cabin
  • Booking class is subject to availability
  • New bookings subject to the fare rules of the fare purchased (as modified by this policy, see ‘Future Refunds’ below)
  • Can be used to book Virgin Australia Flight Ancillaries i.e. Economy X; pre-paid baggage, lounge experience, Book and hold; Unaccompanied Minor (UNMR); Animal in Hold (AVIH)
  • Cannot be used for UpgradeMe purchases
  • Cannot be used in conjunction with Velocity Frequent Flyer Points
  • Cannot be used in conjunction with travel credits of another person
  • A Future Flight credit cannot be used to make a booking in conjunction with other forms of travel credits
source

I think the most interesting thing is that it can only be used to book into U or I fare classes. If wanting to quickly check the availability of these fare classes I recommend the BCD travel portal.
 

Mattg

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So basically, you can only use a Future Flight credit if there is availability in the lowest fare bucket? That will surely lead to disappointment as these are the first to sell out. I assume the price is at least the same as you would pay if buying a new ticket with money.

Looks like you also can't use these credits for codeshare flights, including flights operated by Alliance Airlines. I used my travel bank credit for a BNE-GLT on VA operated by Alliance a couple of months ago - glad I did as it looks like you can't do that any more with these new-fangled credits.
 

henrus

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So basically, you can only use a Future Flight credit if there is availability in the lowest fare bucket? That will surely lead to disappointment as these are the first to sell out. I assume the price is at least the same as you would pay if buying a new ticket with money.

Not quite, U fares used to be a domestic economy Discount fare type but were removed in January 2017. It seems they've re-introduced the U fare type and currently U the fare bucket isn't actually tied to a particular fare type and is instead just being used to control the number of future fare credit tickets per flight.

However, for Business class that is correct, you can only use and book future fare credit flights into I class which is the lowest and has very limited availability.

Essentially you're booking a normal fare with Getaway, Elevate, Freedom, and Business Saver fares all available and any fare bucket within these fares can be booked as per normal with the main difference is the fare basis ends with /FCC .

An example from Brisbane to Cairns
TLGW0 - Normal paid fare basis
TLGW0/FFC - Future flight credit fare basis

It seems to be the case that when someone purchases a freedom ticket (for example an L fare) using future flight credits it decreases the number of available fares in the L category but also decreases the number of available fares in U.

Looks like you also can't use these credits for codeshare flights, including flights operated by Alliance Airlines. I used my travel bank credit for a BNE-GLT on VA operated by Alliance a couple of months ago - glad I did as it looks like you can't do that any more with these new-fangled credits.

Yep, not possible to book any of the codeshare flights. Regarding the alliance ones it seems they've never added any U fares to alliance flights which means they don't show in the future flights credit search. I've just tried Brisbane to Gladstone and it simply shows a calendar with all dates unavailable.
 

Mattg

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I'm having a look now at VA fare availability on Expert Flyer. "U" class seems to be available on most of the flights I'm looking at, which is a promising sign. I did see some flights showing U3 and U0, but they were also showing Y3 and Y0 (respectively). So Economy availability doesn't seem as bad as I first feared.

Business class and "I" availability is another matter, though.
 
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henrus

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Business class and "I" availability is another matter, though.

I'm counting myself lucky to have been able to use my credits up whilst still in the old travel bank (have still got less than $20 of future flight credits to spend) but I can't imagine those who've received credits from long haul business class flights to/from LAX. I imagine there are going to be some with $10k+ balances and limited ways to use them, in fact travel bank is only capable of up to $5000 balances so those with large ones will apparently be contacted separately.
 

twiningb

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FWIW, it seems like you can't use Future Flight Credit (the new Travelbank for old cancellations) on fares searched with a promo code.

There's currently plenty of availability for Future Flight Credits across all fare groups on the dates I'm searching though, including the current 20 Year Anniversary sale. So (for one just outside the sale window) it means paying $129 in Travelbank credit rather than $118+surch on card for the same Getaway fare SYD-MEL if promo code applied.
 

pferos

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Once they come out of administration though doesn't everything change and they then need to refund due to consumer law. If not I'll be using Credit Card chargeback option.
 

henrus

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Once they come out of administration though doesn't everything change and they then need to refund due to consumer law. If not I'll be using Credit Card chargeback option.

Nope, think of it like three separate companies. (I've given them all a name in brackets to make it easier to explain)

Virgin Australia before 21 April (VA1) - Before Admin
Virgin Australia between 22 April and 31 October (VA2) - During Admin
Virgin Australia after 1 November (VA3) - Owned by Bain

If you had a booking before 21 April then your contract was with VA1. VA1 has since collapsed and technically no longer exists therefore technically your money/bookings are gone. Normally you'd line up as an unsecured creditor and probably get cents back in every dollar from your booking however an agreement was reached that because everyone is getting a Future Flight Credit then you won't be eligible to claim as an unsecured creditor.

When VA1 collapsed, VA2 (the administrator) stepped in and took over the business to continue running the company whilst looking to sell what remained of VA1. VA2 sold the company to VA3 (owned by Bain) with the condition of honoring existing booked flights during the time when VA2 was operating.

Bain (VA3) also agreed to provide a credit to those who held bookings with VA1 but this is basically a goodwill credit, technically bain could provide you nothing if they wanted to.

VA3 is a new company owned by Bain, any tickets purchased whilst VA2 or VA3 was in operation are subject to normal fare conditions because you're technically dealing with a new company who legally can provide refunds.

People with VA1 booking could ask Bain for a refund but that will achieve nothing given you're essentially asking a new company who you've never done business with for them to give you money.

Regarding Chargebacks, if you're still within the timeframe then that's up to your bank. Many banks aren't allowing chargebacks relating to COVID-19 and you might be outside of the timeframe depending on when you purchased your ticket.
 

ADLhighflyer

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So does VA expect everyone who had booked to LAX in PE/J to use their credits domestically? There will be a lot of wasted credits here as people can't use them where they had intended. Would prefer a refund - if the option was available....
 

Bagpuss

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So does VA expect everyone who had booked to LAX in PE/J to use their credits domestically? There will be a lot of wasted credits here as people can't use them where they had intended. Would prefer a refund - if the option was available....
Well if tickets bought the ticket prior to administration, if you received a refund would have been an unsecured creditor and received around 10 cents in the dollar, so what customers have been offered is much better.
The credit is for Virgin Australia services and there’s likelyhood there maybe new destinations opening up in which the credits would still be valid. This is also partly why the have a long expiry.
Depending on the company direction, there’s the possibility of different international destinations.

What gets forgotten often with these international trips, you should get appropriate travel insurance in which would trigger a claim / refund excluding an excess from insurance. It’s that simple.
 

serfty

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Well if tickets bought the ticket prior to administration, if you received a refund would have been an unsecured creditor and received around 10 cents in the dollar, so what customers have been offered is much better.
Well, if VA had simply gone under, AMEX would have credited the funds to affected customers account (those that used AMEX).
 

ADLhighflyer

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Well if tickets bought the ticket prior to administration, if you received a refund would have been an unsecured creditor and received around 10 cents in the dollar, so what customers have been offered is much better.
The credit is for Virgin Australia services and there’s likelyhood there maybe new destinations opening up in which the credits would still be valid. This is also partly why the have a long expiry.
Depending on the company direction, there’s the possibility of different international destinations.

What gets forgotten often with these international trips, you should get appropriate travel insurance in which would trigger a claim / refund excluding an excess from insurance. It’s that simple.
I guess its a bit of a case of you're damned if you do, damned if you don't. What I was referring to above was a family member who had booked a trip in PE to the USA via a TA. Insurance has since been refunded leaving the VA flights outstanding. Even if this was claimed via insurance (which was booked), whether it would have been approved due to Covid will be an unknown question that we'll never know the answer too.
 

equus

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What gets forgotten often with these international trips, you should get appropriate travel insurance in which would trigger a claim / refund excluding an excess from insurance. It’s that simple.
Most insurance policies exclude coverage for insolvency of the operator, so probably wouldn't help. That is where a credit card charge back becomes your friend. The real problem here was the Terms and Conditions of the ticket which provided for a credit to be issued, which when interacting with COVID resulted in many institutions not allowing charge backs.
 

BNEFlyer

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I had a VA1 booking that was cancelled during VA2 period, was asked if I wanted a refund or credit so took the refund. However last week I received notification that it had gone to a travel bank. Quick call to VA, confirmed I should have been refunded, that was processed immediately and I should receive the funds back on my CC this week.
 
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Had advice last week my conditional credit was now future flight credit and able to be used. Had no probs booking biz saver return to Syd, in fact didnt seem to be any restrictions after ticking the 'pay by travel bank' box - avail fares ranged from cheapo eco to full biz but maybe thats just for the apple isle, and maybe just until Bain see some pulse returning to this route..

Hv little doubt we will see micro mgmt of fares, tweaks to online booking process, changes in T&Cs and reduced points/future flight opportunities as soon as Bain think they can start squeezing. Saw it with JQ when they started taking over QF routes and will see it again.. Imagine being pushed back to QF having given up on them 15 yrs ago because they JQ'd so much of their network..
 

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