Struggling to find a Business class reward seat to the United States using your Virgin Velocity points? Air Canada has significantly better award availability than Virgin Australia, and you can use your Velocity points to book a seat…
After some inspiration on ways to redeem your frequent flyer points? In our weekly Points Inspiration segment, we highlight an excellent frequent flyer redemption opportunity so you can convert those hard-earned points into a memorable travel experience.
If you’ve ever tried to redeem your Virgin Australia Velocity points to fly to the United States, you’ve probably noticed how challenging it can be to find reward seat availability – especially in Business class. But did you know that there are other airlines that you can redeem your points to fly on that have many more Business class seats available?
Air Canada flies daily to Vancouver from Sydney and Brisbane. The airline will also operate 4x weekly Melbourne-Vancouver flights during December and January.
Air Canada is one of the few airlines operating non-stop trans-Pacific flights to offer a reasonable amount of Business class award availability. And if you’re a Virgin flyer, there’s more good news. You can book a seat to Vancouver – or onwards to other destinations across North America – using your Virgin Velocity points!
The booking process is not exactly simple… but it’s well worth the effort if (like most people) you can’t find any Business class reward seats on Virgin Australia.
As a Star Alliance airline, Air Canada is a partner of Singapore Airlines. This means that you can redeem Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles for Air Canada flights. The handy thing about KrisFlyer miles is that you can transfer your Virgin Australia Velocity points to the KrisFlyer program, at a rate of 1.35 Velocity points: 1 KrisFlyer mile.
A one-way Air Canada flight in Business class from Sydney or Brisbane to Vancouver costs 97,500 KrisFlyer miles (and just $84.67 in taxes). That’s equivalent to 131,625 Velocity points. And it’s the same price to connect onwards to anywhere else in North America – such as New York or Chicago.
By comparison, it costs 95,500 Velocity points for a one-way Virgin Australia Business class seat from Sydney to Los Angeles. But finding one of these elusive seats is very difficult indeed. The main advantage of flying Air Canada across the Pacific is that it’s much easier to find seats that are available for booking with points!
Having said that, seats are not available on every Air Canada flight and may be limited during peak travel times. So, it pays to book well in advance. Before transferring any points to KrisFlyer, you should always call Singapore Airlines to make sure that a seat is indeed available around your preferred travel dates.
You can also use KrisFlyer miles to book award flights from Australia to the USA on United Airlines.
- Currency: Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles (transfer your Virgin Australia Velocity points to KrisFlyer miles before making the booking)
- Airline: Air Canada
- Routes: Sydney-Vancouver, Brisbane-Vancouver & Melbourne-Vancouver
- Class of travel: Business
- Cost: 97,500 KrisFlyer miles + $84.67 taxes (Sydney-Vancouver). That's equivalent to 131,625 Virgin Australia Velocity points + $84.67 taxes.
- Availability: Moderate.
- How to book: After transferring the required points to your Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer account, call Singapore Airlines on 02 8228 1188 to make the booking. (We recommend calling Singapore Airlines before transferring any points to check that reward seats are available.)
Would you like help using your frequent flyer 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.
Not sure yet where you'd like to go with your points? Stay tuned for more Points Inspiration articles!