The Velocity Frequent Flyer program includes a range of benefits for families. In addition to family pooling, Fly Ahead and parental status pauses, Virgin Australia guarantees award availability for an annual family holiday.
Virgin Australia offers guaranteed reward seats in Economy class for Gold and Platinum Velocity members. This benefit can be used once per year for up to four passengers, making it ideal for a family holiday.
Virgin’s “Guaranteed Economy Reward Seats for an Annual Family Trip” benefit can be redeemed by calling the Velocity Membership Contact Centre on 13 18 75. But there are a few catches. You’ll need to book at least six months in advance, and the benefit can only be used once per year.
Gold Velocity members can use the Guaranteed Reward Seats benefit to book a domestic flight to any Virgin Australia destination in Australia. You’ll need to be prepared to fly a day earlier or later than your preferred date.
Platinum Velocity members can also choose to fly to any international destination served by Virgin Australia or a codeshare partner. If booking an international flight, you may need to fly up to 3 days before or after the requested dates. You also won’t get to choose the airline or routing. The return trip will need to commence in Australia unless you’re a New Zealand resident (in which case you can fly from New Zealand).
Virgin Australia award availability in Economy class is usually fairly good, anyway. This benefit would be most useful if you’re travelling during school holidays or to a destination that’s normally hard to reach with frequent flyer points. But the need to book at least six months in advance does limit the usefulness of the Guaranteed Reward Seats perk.
AFF member henrus, who has Platinum Velocity status, recently used this benefit to book a family holiday to the Cook Islands. The booking process was time-consuming, but our member did end up with a confirmed Economy booking.
I was recently able to use my benefit in a period over the school holidays to an international destination operated by VA. The process took almost 2 hours over the phone (I kid you not) about 20 minutes of that was waiting for the phone to be answered followed by a further 30 minutes on hold as the staff read the terms and conditions of the guaranteed reward seat deal.
Our member notes that the flights have been booked in a revenue fare class that doesn’t normally include checked luggage or food. The advertised benefit is for guaranteed Economy Reward seats, which do include meals and bags. Hopefully this doesn’t cause problems down the track!
Rather interestingly flights are booked into normal paid ticket fare categories (my reward ticket booked into E and L class) and whilst they require you pay the taxes by card, the remainder of the ticket is paid by a VA credit they apply to the booking.
Not sure if I should be concerned but the flights on the way over are booked into a “Go Plus” fare which whilst including a bag, doesn’t include a meal (something a normal reward ticket would receive).
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Platinum Reward Seat Guarantee