Virgin “Enhancements” – Winners and Losers

win-loseVirgin Australia has announced major changes to its Velocity Frequent Flyer program. Many reward flight prices are increasing, and points will also expire more quickly. But it’s not all doom and gloom, with most redemptions on Singapore Airlines actually becoming cheaper.

The big news is an increase to many of Virgin’s reward flight redemption rates. All Virgin Australia domestic flights will increase in price by 900 to 1,700 points. This leaves intra-Australia flights just a few hundred points cheaper than an equivalent Qantas reward. Some members speculate that Virgin mirroring the Qantas Frequent Flyer program results in the Velocity program losing much of its competitive edge.

Etihad flights will also require a significantly greater number of Velocity points. And there will be a small increase in the price of Premium Economy and Business long-haul redemptions on Virgin Australia. Although these increases have left many disappointed, our members have welcomed modest reductions to Singapore Airlines rewards. There will also be a small points price reduction on long-haul Virgin Economy flights.

In addition to these changes, points will now expire after 24 months of account inactivity. Previously, the period was 36 months. Further, family transfers and family pooling no longer count as account activity. Some members suggest that Virgin is trying to increase “breakage” of Velocity points, however Virgin insists that members will be notified before their points are due to expire.

The changes come into effect on June 1, so be sure to redeem your points before then if you wish to take advantage of existing rates.

What do you make of the changes? Join the discussion HERE.

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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]