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Velocity Program Main Features

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Kiwi Flyer

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Sep 24, 2004
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Earning on

Virgin Blue, Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue:
6 points per $ including fuel surcharge

Emirates:
0.5/1.0/1.25/1.5 points per mile respectively for econ/full econ/business/first, with 500 mile minimum (before factor)

Virgin Atlantic:
0.5/1.0/1.5/2.0 points per mile respectively for econ/full econ/econ plus/business, with 500 mile minimum (before factor)


Burning on

Virgin Blue, Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue:
looks like 1 point = 1 cent, any seat is available

Emirates:
full table not available, but examples (return in econ)
SYD/MEL-Europe 120,000
Australia-Dubai 85,000
restricted award availability

Virgin Atlantic:
full table not available, but examples (return in econ)
SYD-HKG 55,000
SYD-LHR 120,000
 
P

Platy

There doesn't seem to be any loyalty status (silver, gold, platinum) equivalence, which is extremely disappointing.

The redemption for short distances on restricted fares is quite generous suggesting that the competition will remain focused at the short route end (SYD-MEL etc)...that raises the concern that any response from QF will NOT need to look after the higher end FF (eg Gold, Platinum) or business class travellers so there is the RISK of them robbing their most loyal fliers (ONCE AGAIN) to make the lower end more rewarding.

Significantly DJ will make any available domestic seat available for redemption like Air NZ.
 

browski

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Sep 8, 2004
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Is it too early to determine whether it is better to keep and earn on the Emirates Skywards program OR if will be better to earn on the Velocity Program?
I sense it will be better to keep/Join Skywards - especially as they have now expanded to include Korean Air and South African airways as partners. Now with DJ, (Virgin Atalantic ?) and Sri Lankan, their stable is really starting to look good:

http://www.skywards.com/miles_partners.asp
 

JohnK

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Mar 22, 2005
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Earn rates for both domestic and international seem pretty poor (apart from business).

The burn rates for international seem to be in line with qff but I think will take longer to earn points. No mention on burn rates for domestic to judge comparison with qff.
 

danielh

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
352
Kiwi Flyer said:
Emirates:
full table not available, but examples (return in econ)
SYD/MEL-Europe 120,000
Australia-Dubai 85,000
restricted award availability

Virgin Atlantic:
full table not available, but examples (return in econ)
SYD-HKG 55,000
SYD-LHR 120,000
Seems very similar to the Qantas model so far (with about 10% less points required). The key to Velocity gaining momentum is the way people can earn points and what sort of bonus partners it teams up with.

All my credit cards are geared towards the Qantas program (Diners card with 2x, Gold AmEx with 1.5x and Gold ANZ Visa with 1x). That covers the breadth of cards I will be needing.

Velocity has got the standard Virgin card as well as a new Gold AmEx but I do not think there are any multipliers on it so existing Gold 1.5x AmEx users will not have enough incentive to join.

I hope that the free membership to Velocity will cause Qantas to make their programme free as well though. I still have to join my wife up but the 3000 points of travel she has racked up in the last few months is not really worth the AU$82.50 (inc GST) to join.

If they make it free it will bind more groupings of people to the Qantas programme and make then less inclined to use it.

I like the 'any seat' award option though. Very impressive but how long will it last? I'm worried that it might be a bit of marketing hype as they will not have to worry about heaps of people flying on award seats to London this Xmas (unless there are a lot of VERY big spenders amongst us).

In about 6 months, they will start to see the impact of their statement as enough people would have save up the requisite points and booked the seats in advance.

Good on Virgin anyway, I hope Qantas notices this and takes a few tips but I think they will probably use Jetstar to counter Virgin.

Oh well. Back to work.

Regards
Daniel
 

serfty

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JohnK said:
... No mention on burn rates for domestic to judge comparison with qff.
They have a calculator (no published tables as yet):

Melbourne to Sydney:
One Way: 7000 - 23900 points
Return: 14000 - 47800 points

Melbourne to Brisbane:
One Way: 11600 - 38000 points
Return: 18600 - 76000 points

Melbourne to Auckland:
One Way: 17100 - 43600 points
Return: 34300 - 88100 points
 

bobho

Newbie
Joined
Nov 15, 2005
Messages
1
velocity

Can't find any info if Virgin intend to link the new rewards program to the standard virgin credit card (replacing Mates rates)...looks like you will have to apply for a new co-branded NAB card if you want to earn on points on CC purchases.....

Bob
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Looking at the example numbers I guess that awards on VP/PB/PB are at a rate of 1 point per cent fare even though I cant find this explicitly mentioned.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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My gut feel is it isnt good enough for me based on what I've read so far.

On basic VB/PB/PB flights earn:burn rate is 1:16 which is poor. On the cheapest flights the minimum 1000 QFF points is better than 6 points per $.

On VS I can earn similar rate on SQ Kris Flyer, or better rate on NZ Airpoints.

On EK looks similar earning as EK Skywards, except for the online bonuses which are significant. Awards slightly cheaper but dont think enough to offset the earning bonuses for Skywards.

No status! Need I say more.

Might come in handy to earn something (better than nothing) for times when QF is way more expensive than DJ. Otherwise looks like need some kind of promos to entice me.
 

JohnK

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Kiwi Flyer said:
My gut feel is it isnt good enough for me based on what I've read so far......

No status! Need I say more....
I tend to agree with you.

With all the marketing hype I thought it may have been something exciting and able to challenge qff. From what I have seen it is a total let down.
 

icarus

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Im not hugely impressed with this. I've joined because it's free, but of course Virgin withdrew from CBR in a fit of pique last year so it's doubtful if I'd ever use it.

Pro's - free membership; any available seat.

Cons: No status, which means no lounge membership, priority baggage, increased baggage allowances, priority check-in, upgrades, etc. This is a big drawback. Also, for me it remains a drawback that DJ has no business class. It's not clear whether business class awards are available on partner airlines. And the opportunities to earn points other than through flights are very limited (OK, that means it is true FFs who are rewarded, but a status programme would see to that anyway.)

The earning rate is OK, though in reality it's not much different from Qantas. It's novel to base it on the cost of the fare, though. However, the 1000 point guarantee on QF means that you can get as many as 10 or 11 points per dollar spend so 6 per dollar isn't outstanding. I think it will draw more attention to the cost of the fares, and despite its market positioning DJ is often more expensive than the cheapest QF fares.

I would not bother with this if it wasn't free. As it is, it can't hurt, but I don't think it will dent Qantas.
 

dajop

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Haven't got really stuck into the program yet. But it will certainly, from my perspective put DJ in front on routes that only JQ & DJ serve with any frequency.

Looking at the basics, earning on MEL-SYD route only with the aim of securing a return award flight to Europe - on QF if using exclusively K class or above fares it takes 105 flights. On DJ it would take $20,000 of spend.

For the award to Europe using Flexi Saver fares, on QF you need 105 flights, on DJ you need 98 flights. Using Fully Flexible Fares you need 81 flights on DJ, but still on 105 flights on Qf.

If using cheaper fares, QF is better.
 

clifford

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Jul 6, 2004
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With all the marketing hype I thought it may have been something exciting and able to challenge qff. From what I have seen it is a total let down.[/quote said:
I agree. Marketing hype = Branson. Nothing more to say.

:)
 

aus_flyer

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There's certainly nothing out of the ordinary. I was hoping that Virgin would put their creative hat on and really come up with something interesting.

As already stated, lack of status is a big drawback. Considering the people they are trying to attract are people who would have status with QF, I know that personally I would rather fly QF and keep higher status that fly DJ.
 

moa999

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ON DJ...
Sydney-Melbourne.
7000-23900 points.

Taking the lowest 7,000 points (as assuming this would be a similar class as QF availability)
7,000 pts = $1,167 spend = 14.7 Syd-Mel flights (using $79 mid-week mini pricing)

ON QF.
Syd-Mel = 8,000 pts
8,000 pts = 8 x Syd-Mel flights (under 1,000 pts min guarantee) = $656

----
Round 1 to Qantas on the most common earning route (and I dare say the most common redemption route for infrequent travellers - ignoring those on this Board who amass loads of points)

Admittedly the analysis becomes more favourable to DJ if you are buying more expensive flights -- Suggesting this program is focussed at the full-flexible higher fare business customer for whom Qantas doesn't provide any additional rewards (apart from SCs)
 

NM

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Note that similar to QF, any award redemptions through the Velocity program do not include the cost of taxes, levies or surcharges. These extras must be paid by the Velocity member.
Velocity T&C said:
You can only use Points to cover the base fare. Points cannot be used to pay taxes, fees and charges. All such taxes, fees and charges must be paid by credit card.
But points earned are based upon the amount paid to Virgin Blue, including taxes, levies and surcharges.
Velovity T&C said:
Points for air travel will be calculated on the basis of the amount paid to Virgin Blue, Pacific Blue Aust, Pacific Blue NZ or Polynesian Blue as required, for the booking, including base fare, taxes, surcharges and fees. For bookings, payment by all major credit cards commonly recognised in Australia at the time of booking will be accepted. Cheques or cash payments will not be accepted.
 

Groundfeeder

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Nov 3, 2005
Messages
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icarus said:
Im not hugely impressed with this. I've joined because it's free, but of course Virgin withdrew from CBR in a fit of pique last year so it's doubtful if I'd ever use it.
Icarus has inadvertantly highlighted why many consider Virgin has been struggling to attract the higher loads that Qantas relies on ie: public service travel. I fly at the whim of Premier Pete extensively throughout the State and do not accrue FF points, but am grateful for the SC's. Give me the CIP on the BP I regularly get from Qantas/Sunstate rather than the "get on - sit down - squeeze in - shut up and let us sell you something" that Govt officers have consistently avoided, until and unless comparable service is provided. Velocity seems not to have been a "staggering" scheme so far and has not dangled any good bait in front of Govt yet.

State travel with Virgin, given its high support by the Premier in QLD, will likely follow the same non-FF point process and is why this Breadline will be largely shunned by both State and Fed G-men (G-persons?). If they couldn't break into Canberra and attract the captive crowd there, they've still a long way to travel (without FF points of course!)

Oh ... and I do pay for my QC dues to ease the pain of bobbing around on Crash-8's and some dodgy regional charters. Bleu Room anybody???
 

oz_mark

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After having read through the detail of the programme, I find myself somewhat underwhelmed. Given the "next generation" hype, I find myself trying to figure out what exactly is particulalry different about this scheme.

One part in the T's and C's particulalry intrigued me

1.3 Points for air travel will be calculated on the basis of the amount paid to Virgin Blue, Pacific Blue Aust, Pacific Blue NZ or Polynesian Blue as required, for the booking, including base fare, taxes, surcharges and fees. For bookings, payment by all major credit cards commonly recognised in Australia at the time of booking will be accepted. Cheques or cash payments will not be accepted.
Does this mean the fare has to be paid using a CC?
 

Mal

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And what happens when you book through a travel agency? Or through a conference provider as part of the conference?

Interesting way to divvy up points allocation. Personally, think the miles scheme + fare class bonuses make things a lil fairer.
 

JohnK

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Mar 22, 2005
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aubs said:
ON QF.
Syd-Mel = 8,000 pts
8,000 pts = 8 x Syd-Mel flights (under 1,000 pts min guarantee) = $656
You have SYD-MEL quoted at $82 one way. This is only special airfare for 85th bitrthday celebration but must book before 23rd Nov for travel 2-4 months later.

I thought normal red e-deal SYD-MEL, MEL-SYD was ~$102/$105. Your calculation changes slightly but still way in favour of QF.
 
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