Some members have had their frequent flyer accounts suspended after the airline accused them of breaking the program rules. These members have lost access to their frequent flyer points, plus status benefits such as lounge access, until an audit of their accounts is completed.
It has been reported that Velocity Frequent Flyer is sending letters to members suspected of transferring points between non-family members’ accounts. If guilty, these members stand to lose their entire points balances.
The Velocity program’s terms & conditions state that the airline can terminate a member’s account or cancel their points if they believe points have been bought, sold or transferred to somebody other than a family member. Accounts may also be suspended for the illegitimate use of “family pooling”.
In each case Virgin Australia has given 14 days to prove that the suspect transactions were legitimate. In some instances, statutory declarations are also being requested.
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Our members have no issue with the airline taking action against those that do not follow the rules. One member opines that it’s a good thing as it leaves more reward seats and upgrades available to other frequent flyers. Most also understand that a freeze on suspected members’ accounts may be necessary to prevent the points from being immediately spent or transferred to another program in the interim.
However, a number of members have expressed outrage at the “guilty until proven innocent” approach adopted by Virgin. Those affected by the audit are unhappy with the poor treatment and lack of explanation they have received.
Our members agree that Velocity members whom have done nothing wrong should not be concerned. But some question whether this approach may alienate previously loyal flyers that have in fact done nothing wrong.
Virgin Australia is not the only airline to audit accounts over suspicious activity. Qantas has also done this in the past.
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