Program Update: Virgin Australia’s Fares For You

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Velocity Frequent Flyer Program Update

Dear Australian Frequent Flyers,

As a heads up we are about to send out the following email to members:


We are pleased to let you know that on 7 September 2016 Virgin Australia is launching new fare options to offer you more choice during the booking process and greater control over product inclusions in your fare.

'Fares For You' offers a greater range of fares across all Domestic and International routes, replacing the existing fare structure.

You will now have access to new base fares that have fewer inclusions, but represent great value. Velocity Points will still be earned on all fares.

In line with the new fare options, we have made adjustments to some member benefits.

Status Credits
For all travel from 30 January 2017, new Status Credit earn tables will apply. You will earn more Status Credits in most fare classes when travelling domestically with Virgin Australia.

Upgrade on even more fares
UpgradeMe Points is now available on even more Trans Tasman and International Short Haul flights.

Points bonus
From 30 January 2017, Platinum, Gold and Silver members will continue to earn a Points bonus when flying with Virgin Australia on all fare types except a Domestic Getaway fare, where no bonus will apply.

Fly Ahead
We will continue to be the only provider of a Fly Ahead benefit for Platinum and Gold members within the Australian market and from 1 December 2016, Fly Ahead will still be available on all Domestic fare types except for the least flexible fare, Getaway. This fare represents great value and is designed for guests who know exactly when they want to travel.

Advance Seat Preference
In the coming months Virgin Australia will introduce a small fee for passengers travelling on certain fares who wish to select a seat more than 48 hours prior to their flight departure. Platinum and Gold members will be exempt from this fee.

Membership Contact Centre fees
From 7 October 2016, there will be a small increase to some fees collected via the Membership Contact Centre.

Reward Seat bookings
Reward Seat fare inclusions will remain unchanged. Members who book a Reward Seat will continue to enjoy complimentary seat selection, food, entertainment and checked baggage. Platinum and Gold members will be still able to Fly Ahead when travelling on a Reward Seat.

For more information on these changes please refer to our Program Update on the Velocity website.


We always value your feedback and will be on here today to answer any questions you may have.

Yours sincerely,

The Velocity Team
 

BAM1748

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Velocity Frequent Flyer Program Update


Fly Ahead
We will continue to be the only provider of a Fly Ahead benefit for Platinum and Gold members within the Australian market and from 1 December 2016, Fly Ahead will still be available on all Domestic fare types except for the least flexible fare, Getaway. This fare represents great value and is designed for guests who know exactly when they want to travel.

Membership Contact Centre fees
From 7 October 2016, there will be a small increase to some fees collected via the Membership Contact Centre.


Fly Ahead - QF do it now even when I have a cheap ticket and middle level status ! They just don't say they do it. To say Virgin is the only airline is just wrong.

What does Virgin consider a "small" increase infees, very vague.
 

trippin_the_rift

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Cliffnotes:

- Fares changing names to confuse everyone
- T,S,M domestic fares will earn fewer status credits. It's important to note that while Virgin says most fares will increase in SC earn (and they do), most people don't book into these classes, and such most flyers will earn fewer status credits.
- Status bonus points on cheap fares to be removed for Silver, infeesGold, Plat
- Fly ahead removed on cheap fares (not really a fly ahead benefit as the ticket you'll be required to hold will include flexibility to change)
- Advance Seat Selection, no details yet: implies cheap fares will be ineligible for seat selection and Gold/Plat get for free


What does Virgin consider a "small" incin fees, very vague.
700-800 points + $5 -$10 more.
 

BAM1748

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Cliffnotes:

- Fares changing names to confuse everyone
- T,S,M domestic fares will earn less status credits. It's important to note that while Virgin says most fares will increase in SC earn (and they do), most people don't book into these classes, and such most flyers will earn less status credits.
- Status bonus points on cheap fares to be removed for Silver,Gold, Plat
- Fly ahead removed on cheap fares (not really a fly ahead benefit as the ticket you'll be required to hold will include flexibility to change)



700-800 points + $5 -$10 more.

So on a $100 ticket thats 5 to 10%. :shock:
 

dfcatch

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In fairness - the SC changes are quite reasonable, and at first glance, I'm pretty supportive of the SC changes.

In fact - the SC changes (including the modest reduction on the cheapest fares) is best practice.

HOWEVER - the Status Bonus, Fly Ahead (and botched Seat Selection Fees) are nothing short of moronic and represent an intelligence deficit at VA. They also show that VA needs to listen to the experts at Velocity more, and the RM analysts less.

The whole point of Fly Ahead is to allow your Elite members (who have already previously flown the required amount to earn status) to have some space-available flexibility. Restricting Fly Ahead to only "more-flexible" fares defeats the purpose of the benefit in the first place. (See correct solution below). If they don't like Fly Ahead - then remove the benefit... It's pretty simple really.

And Status Bonus - again - it's a benefit for those who have ALREADY completed the required pre-requisites. In any event VA awards points based on spend, so even with the Status Bonus, pax are receiving less miles on cheaper fares (which we know AREN'T always "cheap"). Again the height of stupidity and written by someone who doesn't follow basic logic. (See correct solution below).

CORRECT SOLUTION - is simply to restrict SC earn on the cheapest fares. That way, those who fly "too often" on the cheapest fares don't get access to the benefits which you are looking to restrict. Pretty simple really.

That's why I support the SC reduction in earning.

But Fly Ahead and Status Bonus shouldn't be cut for Getaway fares and it's a strategic mistake to do so.

Time for Borghetti to move on.
 

Pleb Status

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The big unknown is will the Gateway fares be cheaper than the lowest saver fares are now (somewhat offsetting the cuts) or will we be paying the same and just getting less? I assume all sale fares will be Gateway fares.

Overall, the status credit cuts are going to hurt the most. Why not curtail family pooling if they are looking to thin the herd a bit.
 

Warks

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This is going to make it a lot harder for self-funded people like me to requalify. I always try for the cheapest fare as it's my money and a seat is a seat once it's not in J so why pay any more for it than you have to?

Look at this:

Members will continue to earn Status Credits in accordance with the current earn table if they:
  • Fly prior to 30 January 2017; or,
  • Travel with an airline partner.

So fly with an airline partner instead? Difficult in Australia of course.
 

BAM1748

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This is going to make it a lot harder for self-funded people like me to requalify. I always try for the cheapest fare as it's my money and a seat is a seat once it's not in J so why pay any more for it than you have to?

Look at this:



So fly with an airline partner instead? Difficult in Australia of course.


Too many focus groups :mrgreen: followed by the spin doctors.
 

Milefest

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As someone who travels mainly in the golden triangle on savers (soon to be elevate?), this change will significantly boost the SCs earned on my normal SYD-BNE/MEL rt. flights. No longer need 80 flights a year to retain plat, just 54. Though I'm curious about the cost regime.
 
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jackthomas

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I travel primarily on the short MEL/SYD/CBR routes, which are seeing a hit with status credits.
I don't particularly have any opposition to these changes, provided that the Getaway fares are actually cheaper than current Savers... If VA think that they can get away with charging the current standard $260 MEL-SYD with only 5 status credits and no seat selection etc... Well then Bye-Bye.
 
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Dannyism

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I can see virgin is moving towards a Hybrid business model, offering the best of both worlds. I support this and see it as the correct place between Qantas the full service and Jetstar the low cost carrier models. I think Virgin strategists have made a smart decision.

I personally will benefit by being able to fly with flexi benefits for work and if I need to, book a dirt cheap flight for personal travel. This will enable me to give my full and low cost business to Virgin, whilst being rewarded with lounge access, VIP, etc. I think the status credit table works well in the Hybrid strategy too.

The big IF though, is whether the low cost restricted economy fares really hit the 'low cost' spot. The flexi fares and business certainly fit the 'full service' price point.
 
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Hmmm, so if Lady Lenny and I want to book a few days in Coffs Harbour in January we have 3 choices:

1.) I book a saver fare today which I have found for $475 SYD-CFS-SYD (before I check the % off thread for any promo codes)
2.) Try my luck with an 'Elevate' fare tomorrow for ??
3.) I burn a bunch of points and do it as a reward booking anyway (I have no chance of maintaining Platinum...unless someone wants to generously contribute to a gofundme :))

Is there any sort of consensus or 'best guess' as to what we are expecting the difference between 'Getaway' and 'Elevate' to be?? All of our self-funded travel is usually on Saver fares, but if the difference is negligible between current Saver pricing and Elevate pricing then I guess it doesn't matter so much. Paying current saver prices for 5SC per leg doesn't sound too tempting
 

Jurahn

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VFF - I have flights to the US in next March/April in J, and the itinerary includes domestic sectors between PER-SYD return - probably a silly question, but does the increased SC earn apply to fares which are already booked? I assume it does, but just wanted to check! Thanks :)
 

Marty_

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Seems to me that frequent flyers will be slightly better off under the changes provided we avoid booking Getaway fares.

Also nice to see Fly Ahead retained.

People on here often whinge that Virgin is not a full service carrier, despite trying to be one. I would expect the same people to see this as a reasonable move - positioning VA firmly between Tiger and QANTAS as a flexible carrier with low cost and full service options.
 

Milefest

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Is there any sort of consensus or 'best guess' as to what we are expecting the difference between 'Getaway' and 'Elevate' to be?? All of our self-funded travel is usually on Saver fares, but if the difference is negligible between current Saver pricing and Elevate pricing then I guess it doesn't matter so much. Paying current saver prices for 5SC per leg doesn't sound too tempting
I can't imagine the Elevate fare being much more than the current Saver fare. Elevate fares provide nothing more but a slight adjustment in SC earn. The Getaway fare, I'm guessing, will be a similar price point to the old Saver Lite.
 

Rigs

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This might be controversial but I think the new earn tables for SC are pretty generous.
 

MH_fan

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Overall, this is probably a good move as it encourages people to pay more if you are chasing status. It seems reasonably fair to me.
 
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I can't imagine the Elevate fare being much more than the current Saver fare. Elevate fares provide nothing more but a slight adjustment in SC earn. The Getaway fare, I'm guessing, will be a similar price point to the old Saver Lite.

See that's the impression I've been getting from what I've read.

Let's keep fingers crossed for Getaway being the return of Saver Lite and Elevate corresponding to Saver. I may hang back until tomorrow anyway and see what the price differences are like - I figure if I'm not stressing about Status Credits for the next 12mths I can afford to see what the Getaway fares look like
 

Warks

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