Virgin's Hong Kong Airlines partnership hits turbulence
Virgin’s Hong Kong Airlines Partnership Hits Turbulence

Virgin Australia last year entered into several new airline partnerships. One of these new alliances was with Hong Kong Airlines. Velocity Frequent Flyer members were promised that the agreement would bring reciprocal status recognition, and that Virgin flyers could earn and redeem points when flying with Hong Kong Airlines. But six months on, it seems the new Hong Kong Airlines partnership is still a work in progress.

Unfortunately, the experience for some of Virgin’s loyal frequent flyers when travelling on Hong Kong Airlines has not been seamless.

Anyone had any trouble travelling on hong kong airways as a velocity member? Still cant get into the lounge 6 months after they said access is coming in ‘weeks’. Also had issues with them trying to say flights aren’t eligible for point/SC despite their website and announcement clearly saying they are.

It has now been more than six months since the Hong Kong Airlines partnership began. But Velocity Gold & Platinum members are still not permitted to use the lounge when flying with Hong Kong Airlines. Lounge access is also not yet available when flying with Velocity’s other new partners –  Hainan Airlines, Capital Airlines and Tianjin Airlines.

The problems go further. In Virgin Australia’s press release, it was announced that Velocity Frequent Flyer members could earn points and status credits on all Hong Kong Airlines flights, except to and from North America. The same information is still shown on the Virgin Australia website.

Despite this, one member was refused Velocity points on a booking from Thailand to Japan. Virgin claims that this route is ineligible to earn points – in direct contradiction to the information on its website.

BKK to HK – HK to Japan. Ticket codes are the type that earn points (although if they where not i would be pissed at Virgin as this is only hidden in the fineprint on webpages, no indication some ticket classes dont earn points/status in the big media announcement).

Got this from them the other days “We have been in touch with Hong Kong Airlines and they have advised us that your flights below are ineligible to earn Points. Please be advised that the eligible flights are those between or within Mainland China, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand only.” Virgin announcement and website clearly says all flights apart from ones to North America are eligible.

You can now redeem Velocity points for Hong Kong Airlines flights. And it does appear that points are being credited correctly on flights to/from Australia, as well as within Hong Kong & China. But it seems Virgin still has some work to do on the Hong Kong Airlines partnership.

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Hong Kong Airways Velocity Issues

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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]