Qantas FF vs Virgin Velocity

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Mwenenzi

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I'm certainly not a QFF aficionado, but isn't the points burn rate with QFF considerably worse than with VFF, levelling out the playing field somewhat?
The points for an awards are not a lot different, but no surcharges with VA
 
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The points for an awards are not a lot different, but no surcharges with VA
So who has done the ultimate QFF/VFF point comparison?

Must be someone here on AFF who has gone to the trouble?
 

Mwenenzi

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So who has done the ultimate QFF/VFF point comparison?
Must be someone here on AFF who has gone to the trouble?
IIRC when QF announced the changes some months ago someone here on AFF did some calc's on the number of revenue trips vs award on the same route. I have some comparisons but they are now many years old and for OW.
 

zainman

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So who has done the ultimate QFF/VFF point comparison?

Must be someone here on AFF who has gone to the trouble?

I've saved at least a couple of thousand in fuel fines that I would have had to pay if I had QF points and redeemed with them. Have booked award seats on EY to EU and VA to USA and no fuel fines is just too good. Should have swapped to VFF sooner, EY has much better award availability too.
 
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I've saved at least a couple of thousand in fuel fines ........EY has much better award availability too.
Which all adds into the comparison. I'm not a big points redemption flyer so I'm not that keen to do it but the cash top up (taxes, surcharge, whatever you like to call it) is something that I noticed ages ago. Seems OK with some carriers and ridiculous with others. I must admit, I've tried a few times to get my head around how to compare award flights (both earn and burn) and it's bloody difficult!
 

JohnK

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I'm certainly not a QFF aficionado, but isn't the points burn rate with QFF considerably worse than with VFF, levelling out the playing field somewhat?

You are probably right but I think the taxes kill it for Qantas not the earn/burn. The situation is different for all. I would love to know the breakdown of those points I earned in the past 12 months and compare how many Velocity points I would have earned.

For me it could be closer to 50% Velocity point earn to QFF points earn. Those with flexible airfares and higher status could be closer to 1:1.

The key points for me are

- 140,000 Oneworld award which obviously is not available on Velocity
-- Is a no brainer but the taxes are now very high
- 60,000 QFF business award to BKK/HKG + ~$300 in surcharges. What is the equivalent points requirement on Velocity using SQ?
-- Slight leaning towards Qantas? Do you pay the SQ surcharges on SQ award via Velocity?
- 96,000 QFF business award to LAX + ~$500-$600 in surcharges. Equivalent Velocity award is ~92,000 Velocity points + ~$100 in surcharges?
-- Clear winner for Velocity but I guess the earn rate would be important here. If you had to spend ~$18,000 to earn the Velocity points then the award is not really worth it
 

smeacs

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I don't have much to add to this discussion but Thanks for all the pointers.

I too am 20 something and just hit sliver QFF and due to the difficulty I am having in actually using QF points I am seriously considering Velocity. Not to mention the QFi abandonment of Adelaide.
 

codash1099

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I don't have much to add to this discussion but Thanks for all the pointers.

I too am 20 something and just hit sliver QFF and due to the difficulty I am having in actually using QF points I am seriously considering Velocity. Not to mention the QFi abandonment of Adelaide.

I know it's a typo but "sliver QFF" hits the nail on the head.
 

Jack_OC

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With that type of travel I would stick with Qantas. At least they are part of a global alliance and I believe the benefits at Gold level and above are better.

Apparently I have earned ~170,000 QFF points in the past 12 months on cheap airfares. To earn that on Virgin as a Platinum I would need to spend ~$17,000. I am only Gold. I don't think I spent half that amount with Qantas.

I guess it is all relative.

I don't think overall earn rates are necessarily much better with QF than VA.

In fact, the earn rate with VA domestically is often better than with QF. For example, as a VA Platinum (which the OP would easily get to), a one way flight from MEL-SYD would earn more points with VA than with QF, as long as the fare was at least $81. On rare occasions the VA earn rate might be 10-15% lower than the QF earn rate, but on the other hand, it could easily be 200% higher. For example, the last time I flew MEL-SYD in Y with QF, my rtn fare was over $600. That earned me the standard 2,000 QFF points, whereas a ticket at the same price with VA would earn a Velocity Platinum over 6,000 Velocity points.

Velocity has a completely different earn system for intl flights (mileage based, not points per $ spent), and IME the Velocity earn rate is only slightly lower than with QF (eg for a Platinum flying MEL-LAX in discount Y, the earn rate is about 10% lower than with QF). And notably, VA still award the same number of points and SCs whether you fly with partner airlines or with VA itself.
 
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lovestotravel

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I will mainly be flying domestically around Australia approx 30-40 times a year as well as internationally to US/UK approx 10 times.

Some will be leisure but a lot will be business, however the business is my own.

My main concern is with a lot of people complaining about QFF at the moment that in the long-term it seems Velocity may be the better program for me.

Qantas is the short answer
 

JohnK

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I don't think overall earn rates are necessarily much better with QF than VA.

In fact, the earn rate with VA domestically is often better than with QF. For example, as a VA Platinum (which the OP would easily get to), a one way flight from MEL-SYD would earn more points with VA than with QF, as long as the fare was at least $81. On rare occasions the VA earn rate might be 10-15% lower than the QF earn rate, but on the other hand, it could easily be 200% higher. For example, the last time I flew MEL-SYD in Y with QF, my rtn fare was over $600. That earned me the standard 2,000 QFF points, whereas a ticket at the same price with VA would earn a Velocity Platinum over 6,000 Velocity points.
You are probably right. The new 800 QFF point minimum is not very generous and brings VA closer for most. Let's not forget majority of travellers would not hold status especially Platinum.

P.S. Interested what the average airfare is with each airline. Majority fly on the Golden triangle so I would expect a lower number.
 

Jack_OC

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You are probably right. The new 800 QFF point minimum is not very generous and brings VA closer for most. Let's not forget majority of travellers would not hold status especially Platinum.

I would argue that if you're not flying enough to get to at least Velocity Gold, then the number of points you would earn from flying is not really worth worrying about. Bear in mind that it's much easier to attain status with VA than with QF. In any case, the OP in this thread would easily reach Velocity Platinum in the space of a few month based on the travel he/she describes.

On a more general note, AFAIK, standard fares these days from MEL-SYD start at $89 with VA or $99 with QF. Working off those fares:
- With VA, someone with no status earns 445 points, Silver earns 667 points, Gold earns 778 points and Platinum earns 890 points
- With QF, everyone earns 800 points (under the new rules), and pays an extra $10

So even with the cheapest fare, there is basically no difference between the Velocity and QFF points earn for someone with Velocity Gold. For a Velocity Silver it would be highly questionable whether the extra points earn with QF is worth the extra $10. And the fact is, you really have to book well in advance to get the cheapest fares early in the morning on a weekday on that route, so I would be surprised if many business travellers had an average MEL-SYD fare lower than $150-200. Re-run the calculation above with a fare of $150 and even the non status passenger earns almost as much with VA as with QF, while people with any type of Velocity status are well ahead with VA.

Of course, the equation might change completely if travel was primarily on other route(s), I'm not sure. TBH, I'm curious to know how you earned 170,000 QFF points by spending less than $8,500! Care to give us a quick summary of what flying you did to earn so many points so cheaply?
 

JohnK

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On a more general note, AFAIK, standard fares these days from MEL-SYD start at $89 with VA or $99 with QF. Working off those fares:
- With VA, someone with no status earns 445 points, Silver earns 667 points, Gold earns 778 points and Platinum earns 890 points
- With QF, everyone earns 800 points (under the new rules), and pays an extra $10

....

Of course, the equation might change completely if travel was primarily on other route(s), I'm not sure. TBH, I'm curious to know how you earned 170,000 QFF points by spending less than $8,500! Care to give us a quick summary of what flying you did to earn so many points so cheaply?
The current VA sale airfare SYD-BNE is $75 and Qantas is $89.

So a VA Platinum would earn 750 Velocity points and a Qantas Platinum would earn 800 QFF points.

The difference in the cheap airfares starts to appear for longer sectors.

The current VA sale airfare SYD-PER is $189 and Qantas $199.

A VA Platinum would earn 1890 Velocity points and Qantas Platinum would earn 2900 QFF points.

It starts to look even better on Qantas on multiple sectors such as OOL-SYD-MEL for really no extra cost.

I am only Virgin Gold so you can see my earn would be considerably less.

Unfortunately I cannot tell you how I earned those ~170,00 QFF points as I have not kept detailed ststistics but it would be a combination of cheap domestic airfares with 1000 QFF point minimum guarantee plus 3-4 international itineraries via Woop-Woop.
 
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medhead

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The current VA sale airfare SYD-BNE is $75 and Qantas is $89.

So a VA Platinum would earn 750 Velocity points and a Qantas Platinum would earn 800 QFF points.

And the current sale ADL-SYD is $119/$99 or $109/$89 for later in the year. VA has higher points earn, same status earn and easier to attain/retain status.


A VA Platinum would earn 1890 Velocity points and Qantas Platinum would earn ~4100 QFF points.

Try 2900 under the new earning system, not 4100.

I am only Virgin Gold so you can see my earn would be considerably less.

However, it wouldn't be long before you were VA platinum and could then enjoy earning more points than Qantas provide, including multi-sector flights.
 

JohnK

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And the current sale ADL-SYD is $119/$99 or $109/$89 for later in the year. VA has higher points earn, same status earn and easier to attain/retain status.
I see. ADL was enhanced with the new changes.

Try 2900 under the new earning system, not 4100.

However, it wouldn't be long before you were VA platinum and could then enjoy earning more points than Qantas provide, including multi-sector flights.
You are quite right. Still better earn on Qantas for cheap airfares on longer sectors.

I cannot earn VA Platinum with domestic flying only. I would have to start flying SQ economy for international flights and I lose way too many benefits I have as a Qantas Platinum.

Plus I am struggling to retain VA Gold. I have cheated past 2 years and I can't keep doing it that way.
 

Jack_OC

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The current VA sale airfare SYD-BNE is $75 and Qantas is $89.

So a VA Platinum would earn 750 Velocity points and a Qantas Platinum would earn 800 QFF points.

The difference in the cheap airfares starts to appear for longer sectors.

The current VA sale airfare SYD-PER is $189 and Qantas $199.

A VA Platinum would earn 1890 Velocity points and Qantas Platinum would earn ~4100 QFF points.

I deliberately didn't use sale fares as a point of reference, as I'd be amazed if many regular business travellers end up on sale fares very often. I certainly don't think the average fare over a year would be as low as these examples, but even if they were, I note the points difference for a Platinum on the BNE-SYD route is still negligible. Having said that, SYD-PER looks like it could be better on QF, but as Medhead said, perhaps less so under the new rules, and again it would all come down to the average fare with VA. Probably like most of these questions though, a lot depends on individual circumstances.

Unfortunately I cannot tell you how I earned those ~170,00 QFF points as I have not kept detailed ststistics but it would be a combination of cheap domestic airfares with 1000 QFF point minimum guarantee plus 3-4 international itineraries via Woop-Woop.

Hmmm .... if you don't have a record of what flights you took to earn that number of points, are you sure you spent less than $8,500 in total? If you earned 170,000 QFF points on a spend of less than $8,500, that would make your average earn rate more than 20 points per dollar. However, if you pay $100 for a QF domestic flight with the 1,000 point guarantee, your earn rate is just half that - 10 points per dollar (and exactly the same as a Platinum on VA, funnily enough). I don't believe you can average much better than 10 points per dollar on the 1,000 pt guarantee flights (but as illustrated above, you can do a lot worse - I'd say my average is about 5 points per dollar spent with QF on MEL-SYD flights).

So to have an average earn rate of 20 points per dollar across all your QF flying, your international flights would have had to earn significantly more than 20 points per dollar - possibly even 30 points per dollar or more. How is that possible? SYD-SIN-SYD (for example) earns a QF WP about 7,800 QFF points under the current (old) rules, so the fare would have to be just $390 return for the earn rate to be 20 points per dollar, or $260 return for the earn rate to be 30 points per dollar. In reality, a sale fare is currently about $750, which funnily enough also corresponds to an earn rate of about 10 points per dollar.

So if you managed to average 20 points per dollar spent with QF, I think there must have been something very unusual about your flying pattern, and/or you made heavy use of MASAs?
 

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Hmmm .... if you don't have a record of what flights you took to earn that number of points, are you sure you spent less than $8,500 in total? If you earned 170,000 QFF points on a spend of less than $8,500, that would make your average earn rate more than 20 points per dollar. However, if you pay $100 for a QF domestic flight with the 1,000 point guarantee, your earn rate is just half that - 10 points per dollar (and exactly the same as a Platinum on VA, funnily enough). I don't believe you can average much better than 10 points per dollar on the 1,000 pt guarantee flights (but as illustrated above, you can do a lot worse - I'd say my average is about 5 points per dollar spent with QF on MEL-SYD flights).

So to have an average earn rate of 20 points per dollar across all your QF flying, your international flights would have had to earn significantly more than 20 points per dollar - possibly even 30 points per dollar or more. How is that possible? SYD-SIN-SYD (for example) earns a QF WP about 7,800 QFF points under the current (old) rules, so the fare would have to be just $390 return for the earn rate to be 20 points per dollar, or $260 return for the earn rate to be 30 points per dollar. In reality, a sale fare is currently about $750, which funnily enough also corresponds to an earn rate of about 10 points per dollar.

So if you managed to average 20 points per dollar spent with QF, I think there must have been something very unusual about your flying pattern, and/or you made heavy use of MASAs?

I have spent the bare minimum on domestic flights. Not one SYD-BNE was over $100. Most $85, $89 and even less if I purchased airfares in advance. My average on QF domestic would be more than 10 points per dollar.

The SIN-BNE-SYD and return flights earn ~18,000 QFF points and sometimes more as I can tack on a few extra flights for next to no cost and the cost of airfare is <AUD1,000. I think I have had 5 or 6 overseas trips past calendar year.

The ASP trip recently earned ~5,000 QFF points part of an ex-SIN return. The LST trip last August earned 6,000 QFF points. The TSV trip recently earned close to 5,000 QFF points.

I need to check my statement again but too difficult to work out cost as that would be on individual itineraries and it would take too long. Perhaps the cost is closer to $10,000.

Do take note I purchase ~$5,000 in QF vouchers at Christmas and that is close to the total I spend domestically.
 
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