Virgin Australia Happy Hour Sales are Back

Virgin Australia sale fares available on 2 July 2020After a hiatus of several months, Virgin Australia Happy Hour sales are back with Economy fares from $69 and Business class tickets starting from just $250 one-way!

In normal times, Virgin Australia would offer a selection of Happy Hour sale fares from 4pm until 11pm each Thursday afternoon. But these were quietly withdrawn earlier this year as the coronavirus crisis began to cancel flights left, right and centre.

With airlines now gradually reinstating flights, the sales are starting to return. In addition to last month’s announcement, Virgin Australia today announced that it is adding additional flights to its schedule by early August. This includes the resumption of flights to Newcastle, Hobart, Launceston, Darwin, Alice Springs, Hamilton Island, Maroochydore, Ballina, Coffs Harbour, Proserpine and Mount Isa.

Virgin Australia's planned domestic network as of early August 2020
Virgin Australia’s planned domestic network as of early August 2020

Today’s Virgin Australia Happy Hour sale is running from 11am until 11pm (AEST) on 2 July 2020. Eligible travel dates vary by route, but generally range from mid-July until 31 August 2020.

There are some exceptional fares available such as Sydney-Ballina for $69, Launceston-Melbourne for $75, Gold Coast-Sydney for $95 and Sydney-Melbourne for $99 in Economy class. Flights from Perth to Darwin, Melbourne, Sydney, Karratha, Port Hedland and Newman are available for $199 one-way.

Some of the Business class fares are particularly interesting. Business class tickets are available from just $250 one-way on the Coffs Harbour-Sydney and Melbourne-Launceston routes. And even Sydney-Melbourne fares are as low as $299 in Business class.

Virgin Australia sale fares available on 2 July 2020
Virgin Australia sale fares available on 2 July 2020

Such fares would have been unimaginable just a few months ago. Qantas Business class tickets on the Sydney-Melbourne route currently start at $715 one-way.

The lower Virgin fares do also partially reflect the fact that Virgin’s on-board catering is currently limited and lounges remain closed, despite Qantas starting to reopen its lounges yesterday.

Is it safe to book Virgin Australia flights right now?

Virgin Australia is still in voluntary administration but continues to operate flights and will be sold to U.S. investment firm Bain Capital, subject to a creditors’ meeting scheduled for mid-August. At this stage the sale looks likely to proceed, although there are no guarantees yet.

Virgin Australia’s current policy for new domestic bookings made between 21 April and 30 September 2020, for travel until 30 September, is to waive change fees for date and destination changes an unlimited number of times. However, new flights are subject to availability and you will need to pay a fare difference if the new ticket is more expensive.

For bookings made after Virgin Australia entered administration, you may be entitled to a refund if you cancel your flight subject to the original fare rules. Happy Hour fares in Economy class book into the Getaway category and are non-refundable. Business class Happy Hour fares book into the Business Saver category and can only be converted to a travel bank credit for a $50 fee.

Speaking of Virgin Australia travel bank credits, you can redeem existing credits (including conditional credits) to book one of these Happy Hour sale fares.

If you do wish to take advantage of these Virgin Australia sale fares, you may prefer to pay using a credit card. That way, you may be entitled to claim a credit card chargeback in the event that Virgin Australia collapses and/or does not honour your ticket. Do also keep in mind that some interstate borders remain closed.

Virgin Australia website problems

Some Australian Frequent Flyer members have attempted to book some of the Happy Hour fares, but have encountered various problems with the Virgin Australia website. For example, a member received a notice that flights from Sydney to Adelaide could only be booked using points despite currently being on sale for $119.

Apparently, Bain Capital plans to invest in an overhaul of Virgin and Velocity IT systems. This will be long overdue and most welcome!

Virgin Australia promo codes are slowly disappearing

As well as regular Happy Hour sales, Virgin Australia used to regularly release promo codes offering discounts on tickets. Given the current situation, it’s been a while since we’ve seen any new discount codes.

Some of the older codes, including BHJ23 continue to work as they’ve haven’t expired yet. This particular promo code expires on 30 September 2020 and comes with 10% off Getaway, Elevate & Business Saver fares, and 15% off Business fares, to all Virgin Australia destinations.

Virgin Australia discount codes cannot be combined with Happy Hour sale fares, but may work on other eligible flights that are not already on sale.

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Virgin Happy Hour [Thursdays]

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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]