Virgin Australia has expanded its codeshare partnership with Hawaiian Airlines. Virgin has added its “VA” code to Hawaiian’s Brisbane-Honolulu route, meaning Velocity Gold and Platinum members finally have lounge access in Brisbane when flying to Hawaii. However, booking the Virgin Australia codeshare comes at a cost… literally.
Hawaiian Airlines flies three times per week from Brisbane to Honolulu as HA444/HA443. Since 17 April 2019, Virgin Australia is now offering codesharing on these flights as VA5120/5121. Virgin Australia has already been offering codeshares on Hawaiian’s Sydney-Honolulu route for several years.
Virgin Australia offers lounge access to its Velocity Gold and Platinum members when flying with Hawaiian Airlines, but only if booked on a “VA” flight number. Thanks to the new codeshares, Velocity Gold or Platinum members flying with Hawaiian Airlines to Honolulu can now access the Plaza Premium Lounge in Brisbane when booked on the Virgin Australia flight number. Once Virgin’s new “My Lounge” finally opens in Brisbane, access will instead be offered to that lounge.
Price discrepancy with Virgin Australia codeshares
However, booking on the Virgin Australia codeshare works out to be significantly more expensive on the dates that we checked. We searched for Brisbane-Honolulu flights on some random dates on June. Virgin Australia is charging $1,223.32 for round-trip Economy tickets in the cheapest “Getaway” fare category:
Yet, the exact same flights booked via Hawaiian Airlines would cost only $836.32:
So, what do you get for the extra $387 it costs to book the Virgin Australia codeshare?
Well, you will receive lounge access in Brisbane and Honolulu if you’re a Velocity Gold or Platinum member. But that is pretty much the only status benefit offered to Velocity members flying with Hawaiian Airlines!
Regardless of whether you book on the VA or HA flight number, you’ll earn 60 Velocity status credits for this return trip. But if you book the Virgin codeshare, you’ll at least pick up a couple of “VA” segments – a minimum number of which are needed to earn or maintain Velocity status.
If you book a Virgin Australia Getaway ticket, you’ll earn at least 4,696 Velocity points flying from Brisbane to Honolulu and back. As it happens, the $836.32 Hawaiian Airlines fare books into “Z” class which doesn’t earn any Velocity points. But you could book an “L” class ticket with Hawaiian Airlines for $996.32 and earn the same number of Velocity points as the “VA” booking – and still save over $200.
Hawaiian Airlines has started codesharing on Virgin Australia flights
In return, Hawaiian Airlines has also begun codesharing on a range of Virgin Australia domestic and trans-Tasman routes. Since 3 April 2019, Hawaiian has added its “HA” code to 10 trans-Tasman and 6 domestic routes operated by Virgin Australia. Routes include Brisbane-Mackay, Brisbane-Dunedin and Melbourne-Sydney.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Hawaiian Airlines and Virgin Australia expand codeshare agreement