Fly Business Class on Virgin Australia for surprisingly few points…

Earning Etihad Guest miles in Australia is not especially difficult. You can transfer points from Flybuys, as well as many Australian credit cards, to Etihad Guest miles. Plus, you can now buy Etihad Guest miles directly from the airline. Of course, you can also earn points for flying with Etihad or its partner Virgin Australia.

And there’s a very good reason to build up a balance of Etihad Guest miles. Etihad charges very competitive rates for Virgin Australia reward flights on domestic and short-haul international routes.

Virgin charges its own frequent flyers 15,500 Velocity points for a Business class reward seat on flights under 600 miles in length.

By comparison, Etihad charges only 13,800 Etihad Guest miles for a Business class seat on any route under 1,250 miles! 13,800 miles is equivalent to 34,500 Flybuys points. Alternatively, you can actually purchase these miles directly from Etihad for around $370.

So, for 13,800 Etihad Guest miles, you can get a Virgin Australia Business class seat on any route of up to 1,250 miles in length. These routes include:

  • Cairns-Sydney
  • Sydney-Queenstown
  • Melbourne-Hamilton Island
  • Brisbane-Port Vila
  • Hobart-Brisbane

Want to try out “the business” on one of Virgin’s A330 flights to Perth? Well, that will cost you just 21,800 miles for a flight between Perth and Melbourne!

Reward seats are available on most short-haul Virgin flights, especially if you book in advance. The taxes are low as well – typically just $20-30 for domestic flights. To book, you’ll just need to call Etihad on 1300 532 215 at least 24 hours before departure.

“The Business” on Virgin Australia’s A330

The facts

  • Currency: Etihad Guest miles (you can transfer Coles Flybuys points & many credit card reward points to Etihad Guest)
  • Airline: Virgin Australia
  • Route/s: Any short-haul route, but Sydney-Cairns and Melbourne-Perth are particularly excellent value
  • Class of travel: Business class
  • Cost: 13,800 Etihad Guest miles + $28 taxes (Sydney-Cairns)
  • Availability: Award seats are available on most flights if you book well in advance
  • How to book: Virgin Australia reward flights can be booked using Etihad Guest miles by calling Etihad on 1300 532 215 at least 24 hours before departure.


Would you like help using your points?

Frequent Flyer Solutions offers a personalised service that’s designed to take the hard work out of redeeming your frequent flyer points!

Award Flight Assist can help you to find the perfect flights using your points. Just let the team know how many points you have and where you would like to go, and they’ll prepare an itinerary for you.

Find out more about the Award Flight Assist service.


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]