Have you received a Virgin Australia flight credit? You’re not alone. Tens of thousands of Australians have ended up with Virgin Australia travel bank credits – wanted or unwanted – due to the airline’s consumer-unfriendly policy not to provide refunds for cancelled Virgin or Tigerair flights.
If you have a Virgin Australia travel bank credit, including a conditional credit, you can redeem this for flights across the Virgin Australia network. Although Virgin is not currently operating any international flights, it is now operating a domestic network of around 320 weekly flights – with more flights being added by early August.
Note that conditional credits (those issued after 15 May 2020) are currently only valid while Virgin Australia remains in voluntary administration. This is expected to be until around mid-August 2020. But Bain Capital, the likely new owner of Virgin Australia, has indicated that it intends to honour existing flight credits going forward.
Virgin Australia travel bank credits expire after 12 months. You must redeem your credit before it expires, but may travel beyond the credit’s expiry date. Virgin Australia flights can be booked up to 11 months in advance.
You can use a travel bank credit to pay for Virgin Australia flights, fare and tax differences on new flight bookings, change fees on flight bookings and Virgin Australia Holidays packages. If your travel bank credit was issued after 15 May 2020, you can use also use it to pay for Economy X seat selection fees, excess baggage fees, carbon offsets or lounge passes (although Virgin Australia lounges are currently closed).
Travel credits cannot be used towards Business class upgrades, gift vouchers, reward seat bookings, unaccompanied minor fees, service fees or in-flight services. Full terms & conditions are available on the Virgin Australia website.
How to redeem Virgin Australia flight credits online
To redeem Virgin Australia travel bank credits issued before 21 April, you can book a flight on the Virgin Australia website as you normally would. When you get to the final page, select “Travel Bank” as the payment type.
If you are a Velocity Frequent Flyer member, your travel bank credit should be linked to your account. Log in to access it, or use the username and password given to you in your email from Virgin Australia containing details about your travel bank credit.
You’ll then be asked to enter the amount of the travel bank that you wish to use towards the new booking.
If the funds in your travel bank are lower than the amount required for the new ticket, you’ll need to pay the remaining amount by credit or debit card and a card payment fee will apply (even though Virgin doesn’t provide an alternative payment method)…
If there is still value remaining in your travel bank after you’ve completed your booking, you will be able to use the residual value towards another future booking using the same method.
Redeem for flights or holiday packages by calling
It is also possible to redeem travel banks for Virgin Australia flights by calling the Guest Contact Centre on 13 67 89. If you have a conditional credit and are unable to redeem it online, you’ll also need to call. Alternatively, if you wish to redeem your travel bank for a holiday package (including flights and hotels) you can call Virgin Australia Holidays on 13 15 16.
If you have a large travel bank credit (e.g. from a cancelled international Business class flight) and aren’t sure whether you’ll be able to use the full amount towards new flights before it expires, you may consider a holiday booking. That way, your credit can also be put towards hotel nights at your destination. Some holiday packages also include tickets to events, attractions or tours.
There is a discussion about Virgin Australia travel banks on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: VA no longer issuing credits to travelbank (or anywhere else)