Currently, it is only possible to redeem Velocity Frequent Flyer points for Virgin Australia reward seats on a limited selection of domestic routes. Even though Virgin Australia has now resumed flights on many routes across Australia, for some reason not all of these are available for booking with Velocity points.
But you can now use frequent flyer points held with a partner airline, such as Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles or Etihad Guest miles, to book Virgin Australia award seats on any available route. If Virgin Australia is operating the flight, and there is availability in the relevant award fare bucket, you can book it via any partner airline – regardless of whether or not the route is available for Velocity redemptions.
What routes are currently available for Velocity reward seat bookings?
After completely shutting down the ability to redeem Velocity points in April 2020, Velocity Frequent Flyer reinstated redemptions on 20 domestic routes in May. Then, in July, Velocity added back another 19 domestic routes. This brings the current total of non-stop Virgin Australia routes where Velocity redemptions are possible to 39. If you include connecting itineraries, there are a total of 152 unique city pairs where you can currently redeem Velocity points for Virgin Australia reward seats.
Sadly, domestic routes where flights are currently operating are missing. For example, there is no possibility to currently redeem Velocity points for routes like Sydney-Coffs Harbour, Brisbane-Hamilton Island, Perth-Karratha or Adelaide-Cairns.
You can see a full list of routes that are currently operating on the Virgin Australia website.
Unfortunately, not all Virgin Australia routes will return though. Virgin announced yesterday that it will not resume flights to some regional destinations including Mildura, Albury, Tamworth, Port Macquarie and Hervey Bay, as well as Tonga.
Book Virgin Australia award flights with Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles can be used to book Virgin Australia award flights. You can transfer points to KrisFlyer from many Australian credit card reward programs including Amex Membership Rewards, ANZ Rewards, NAB Rewards and Westpac Altitude Rewards. (Note that KrisFlyer miles expire after 3 years.)
You can easily redeem KrisFlyer miles for Virgin Australia flights on the Singapore Airlines website. However, when searching for award flights, the Singapore Airlines website will automatically show Singapore Airlines & Silk Air flights by default. On the search results page, simply select “Other partner airlines” to display Virgin Australia award flights.
There are three Australian “zones” in the KrisFlyer award chart for Virgin Australia redemptions:
- Australia 3 (Western Australia),
- Australia 2 (Northern Territory), and
- Australia 1 (all other states & territories).
When redeeming KrisFlyer miles for Virgin Australia domestic flights, the price is based on the zone/s you’re travelling to and from.
For example, both Adelaide and Cairns are in the “Australia 1” zone. A Virgin Australia Business class reward ticket from Adelaide to Cairns (via Brisbane) would cost 21,000 KrisFlyer miles + $60.25 in taxes. (Partner airlines do not pass on Velocity’s carrier charges.) In Economy class, it would be 11,000 KrisFlyer miles one-way.
Virgin Australia is not even offering Adelaide-Cairns as a redemption route at the moment. But if using Velocity points, the normal price would be 17,800 Velocity points in Economy or 35,500 points in Business + $76.23 in taxes & carrier charges. With Velocity’s current offer of 30% off Business class redemptions (which expires on 24 October 2020), a hypothetical Velocity Business reward would cost 24,800 Velocity points – which is still more expensive than with KrisFlyer.
On round-trip KrisFlyer award bookings, you can even add a free stopover in one direction. If you want to do this, you’ll need to call Singapore Airlines to make your booking.
Book Virgin Australia flights using Etihad Guest miles
Among other Virgin Australia partner airlines, you could also redeem Etihad Guest miles to book Virgin domestic flights. This is particularly good value on routes under 1,250 miles in length, which cost only 6,900 Etihad Guest miles in Economy or 13,800 miles for Business class. Routes in this zone include Adelaide-Brisbane and Perth-Broome. See the Etihad Guest website for the full award chart.
You can transfer miles to Etihad Guest from Amex Membership Rewards, Diners Club Rewards and CommBank Awards.
To redeem Etihad Guest miles for Virgin Australia flights, you would need to call Etihad. From Australia, the phone number is 1300 532 215.