VA vs. NZ across the ditch | Australian Frequent Flyer
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VA vs. NZ across the ditch

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AdMEL

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Looking at MEL-ZQN return with the current VA/NZ sale and have a few questions:

Is it worth paying $40-$50 (~10%) more for a VA ticket instead of an NZ ticket on the same flights, i.e. NZ metal?

You don't seem to get much extra for themoney! As far as I can tell, the only extra benefit you get with a VA ticket is 0.5 Velocity points per mile, instead of 0.25 with an NZ ticket (S class), which equates to approx. 375 points on NZ ticket instead of 750 points on VA ticket. A total of 750 points for $40-50!

I understand status credits are the same - is that correct?

What is the distance used to calculate status credits/points? Velocity website says not available! Assume it is similar to MEL-CHC, which is 1,504 miles, but given it is so close to the start of the tier, could be less!

I also understand a benefit of an NZ ticket is you can select seats, whereas on a VA ticket you can't - is that correct?

I understand NZ charge in AUD, but do they have an Australian merchant facility, or will I cop the foreign fee on my Westpac card?

Finally, what is the likelihood of rocking up to the airport and getting an exit row seat without pre-booking?

If it makes a difference, I am Velcoity Red, with a paid annual lounge membership.

Thanks for any input.
 

Mwenenzi

Established Member
Joined
May 17, 2006
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1,801
In last 9 months I have been flying MEL-CHC-MEL frequently on VA & Air NZ aircraft. To me not worth $50 for a few VA points. I always buy the operators flight, for seat selection reasons. Air NZ flights are paid in AUD, as on the screen

If an exit row seat are unallocated Air NZ/VA may give these out. But you are taking punt. I pay extra $$for aisle exit row, but many times have had no one sitting beside me, yet other rows full.

As for ff miles Air NZ flights have been put to US Airways ffp which will become AA miles. VA flights to Velocity.

Great Circle Mapper MEL-CHC/ZQN
 

Mwenenzi

Established Member
Joined
May 17, 2006
Messages
1,801
Sadly no option to credit NZ to US Air post June 29.
I know. Have been watching the date & USDM web site. Has lasted longer than I thought it would. Will have 1 more trip that will become AA miles.
 

pythonisman

Active Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Messages
589
If you don't need the "eligible sectors" to qualify yourself for Silver then you're not earning a lot.
If you had VA status then booking as a VA ticket would let you choose the "saver lite" fare and still be able to fly with a bag (I assume you're going skiing, so at least one bag would be useful...)

I'm not sure what the seat selection is like as I've only flown NZ J on an NZ ticket (I don't know if they charge for it) but you're right, you can't do it on a VA marketed flight (at least in my experience).

If you're not chasing silver then I'd probably keep the $ and use it to go toward some beers on your trip.
 

TomVexille

AFF Supporter
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Nov 12, 2013
Messages
10,457
Better entertainment on NZ as well if you want to use the IFE.

gcmap.com has MEL-ZQN at 1336 miles. So only 15 SC's

And I've never been charged a conversion fee when booing through the AU Website, only when booking NZ domestics on the .co.nz site (which I expected)
 

AdMEL

AFF Supporter
Joined
Feb 14, 2010
Messages
2,008
In last 9 months I have been flying MEL-CHC-MEL frequently on VA & Air NZ aircraft. To me not worth $50 for a few VA points. I always buy the operators flight, for seat selection reasons. Air NZ flights are paid in AUD, as on the screen

If an exit row seat are unallocated Air NZ/VA may give these out. But you are taking punt. I pay extra $$for aisle exit row, but many times have had no one sitting beside me, yet other rows full.

As for ff miles Air NZ flights have been put to US Airways ffp which will become AA miles. VA flights to Velocity.

Great Circle Mapper MEL-CHC/ZQN
I don't think $40-50 for 660 Velocity points is worth it!

If you don't need the "eligible sectors" to qualify yourself for Silver then you're not earning a lot.
If you had VA status then booking as a VA ticket would let you choose the "saver lite" fare and still be able to fly with a bag (I assume you're going skiing, so at least one bag would be useful...)

I'm not sure what the seat selection is like as I've only flown NZ J on an NZ ticket (I don't know if they charge for it) but you're right, you can't do it on a VA marketed flight (at least in my experience).

If you're not chasing silver then I'd probably keep the $ and use it to go toward some beers on your trip.
Currently have 7 sectors and 70 SC's, so eligible sectors not a problem and I doubt I'll reach silver again any time soon! Not going skiing (not one of my forte's!) and don't need any more than hand luggage.

It appears I definitely cannot select seats if booked through VA and whilst I can through NZ, only rear seats at a cost of $10 each way!

Better entertainment on NZ as well if you want to use the IFE.

gcmap.com has MEL-ZQN at 1336 miles. So only 15 SC's

And I've never been charged a conversion fee when booing through the AU Website, only when booking NZ domestics on the .co.nz site (which I expected)
VA wireless entertainment was sufficient last time I flew across the ditch. Thanks for the clarification re: status credits.

I am pretty sure they charge in AUD to your credit card but check what the website says when you go to pay

Lounge access - Does that matter ?


https://www.virginaustralia.com/au/en/experience/at-the-airport/international-lounge-access/

Seems that if you book on NZ eg NZ836/NZ837 you won't get access but if you book on the VA then you will!
I'm pretty sure NZ charge in AUD (as others have noted), but Westpac now charge a 3% fee if the merchant is not based in Australia, which is what I'm curious about.

I had assumed I would have lounge access if on an NZ marketed ticket, but it appears they've changed it! Very annoying!

EDIT:

From the Virgin Lounge member t&c's:

8. Reciprocal access to Air New Zealand lounges
a) Reciprocal access to selected Air New Zealand Lounges in Australia and New Zealand is available to Members travelling on trans-Tasman flights (to or from New Zealand) on Virgin Australia, Virgin Australia (NZ), Virgin Australia (SE Asia) and Air New Zealand marketed and operated flights and within New Zealand on Air New Zealand flights. Air New Zealand lounge locations available to Members are published on the Virgin Australia Website.
b) Single Entry access is not available to Air New Zealand Lounges or other international partner airline lounges.
c) Access to Air New Zealand Lounges is subject to space availability at all times. Smart, casual dress standards apply, and Members must comply with the Koru Terms and Conditions, available at http://www.airnewzealand.co.nz/koru-terms-conditions.
d) Access to Air New Zealand Lounges will be available to Members for the duration of the reciprocal access agreement between Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand. Locations available to Members, and the terms and conditions of the reciprocal access may be subject to change without notice. Information regarding access is published on the Virgin Australia Website.
Point a does not make any mention that the flight must be a VA codeshare, only that it must be a VA or NZ flight.

Unfortunately, d notes they can change the rules at any time!

It would be nice if they could be clear and consistent and not continually change the rules! Very annoying!
 
Last edited:

TomVexille

AFF Supporter
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Nov 12, 2013
Messages
10,457
I don't think $40-50 for 660 Velocity points is worth it!



Currently have 7 sectors and 70 SC's, so eligible sectors not a problem and I doubt I'll reach silver again any time soon! Not going skiing (not one of my forte's!) and don't need any more than hand luggage.

It appears I definitely cannot select seats if booked through VA and whilst I can through NZ, only rear seats at a cost of $10 each way!



VA wireless entertainment was sufficient last time I flew across the ditch. Thanks for the clarification re: status credits.



I'm pretty sure NZ charge in AUD (as others have noted), but Westpac now charge a 3% fee if the merchant is not based in Australia, which is what I'm curious about.

I had assumed I would have lounge access if on an NZ marketed ticket, but it appears they've changed it! Very annoying!

EDIT:

From the Virgin Lounge member t&c's:



Point a does not make any mention that the flight must be a VA codeshare, only that it must be a VA or NZ flight.

Unfortunately, d notes they can change the rules at any time!

It would be nice if they could be clear and consistent and not continually change the rules! Very annoying!
My last NZ booking showed up on my CC statement as such (note, I'm not a Westpac customer)

AIR NZ AKL CALL CENTRE IT SYDNEY
(bolding mine)

As for lounge access, there seems to be conflicting information on the VA site and previous threads seemed to indicate that you should have access to the NZ lounge. However that may have changed if someone has had any recent experience.
 

AdMEL

AFF Supporter
Joined
Feb 14, 2010
Messages
2,008
My last NZ booking showed up on my CC statement as such (note, I'm not a Westpac customer)

(bolding mine)

As for lounge access, there seems to be conflicting information on the VA site and previous threads seemed to indicate that you should have access to the NZ lounge. However that may have changed if someone has had any recent experience.
Thanks for the clarification. Did you book flights via phone, as the narration suggests, or via website?
 

EuroFlyer

Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2012
Messages
350
Looking at MEL-ZQN return with the current VA/NZ sale and have a few questions:

Is it worth paying $40-$50 (~10%) more for a VA ticket instead of an NZ ticket on the same flights, i.e. NZ metal?

You don't seem to get much extra for themoney! As far as I can tell, the only extra benefit you get with a VA ticket is 0.5 Velocity points per mile, instead of 0.25 with an NZ ticket (S class), which equates to approx. 375 points on NZ ticket instead of 750 points on VA ticket. A total of 750 points for $40-50!

I understand status credits are the same - is that correct?

What is the distance used to calculate status credits/points? Velocity website says not available! Assume it is similar to MEL-CHC, which is 1,504 miles, but given it is so close to the start of the tier, could be less!

I also understand a benefit of an NZ ticket is you can select seats, whereas on a VA ticket you can't - is that correct?

I understand NZ charge in AUD, but do they have an Australian merchant facility, or will I cop the foreign fee on my Westpac card?

Finally, what is the likelihood of rocking up to the airport and getting an exit row seat without pre-booking?

If it makes a difference, I am Velcoity Red, with a paid annual lounge membership.

Thanks for any input.
would agree with everyone else here in that its probably not really worth it to go for the VA flight.
Just on a side note i did this same flight myself last weekend (via Christchurch mind you)
Fantastic service on board, had a crew member come down with noise cancelling phones and also a paper to me, yes it was small but only real recognition iv had of being a VA plat, better than anything from VA anyways. Safe travels !
 

AdMEL

AFF Supporter
Joined
Feb 14, 2010
Messages
2,008
Thanks for everyone's comments.

Ended up booking direct with NZ at a saving of $45 over booking the same flights with VA.

NZ charge in AUD and have an Australian merchant facility, so no being stung by any foreign currency fees, or fees for merchant being foreign.

VA still do not allow seat selection, which is a big negative.

We'll see how lounge access goes!
 

AdMEL

AFF Supporter
Joined
Feb 14, 2010
Messages
2,008
Returned from ZQN on Wednesday and have the following follow-up comments:

Despite the conflicting info on the VA website, lounge access was not a problem. In fact, when they scanned my boarding pass, the green light and welcome message flashed up! Their systems must actually talk to each other (My Velocity number was in the booking). I showed my lounge card at the same time and received blank looks as though they'd never seen one before!

Managed to get an exit row seat both ways, without cost. Did not allocate seats and checked in at the airport - was allocated row 8 on the way over, despite not being able to select anything forward of about row 20, even when trying to change those seats! Allocated row 24 on the way back, which is what I would expected, given no status.

Service was good, but the NZ exit row seats (row 11 on A320) have a lot less leg room than any other airline I've flown, including JQ and TT, both of which use the same planes. My knees were touching the seat in front! Never experienced that before.

One final note on the exit row seats - most were not occupied! It seems if they don't sell them, they don't allocate them. I thought there was a requirement for them to be filled, so that someone can assist in an emergency?
 
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Mwenenzi

Established Member
Joined
May 17, 2006
Messages
1,801
..One final note on the exit row seats - most were not occupied! It seems if they don't sell them, they don't allocate them. I thought there was a requirement for them to be filled, so that someone can assist in an emergency?
Same as my experience
If an exit row seat are unallocated Air NZ/VA may give these out. But you are taking punt. I pay extra $$for aisle exit row, but many times have had no one sitting beside me, yet other rows full.
 
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