Virgin Australia will no longer print Velocity Frequent Flyer membership numbers on boarding passes issued by airport check-in kiosks. The change, which appears to be for privacy and security reasons, took effect from yesterday.
In addition, Velocity Frequent Flyer members are now required to show their digital membership card along with their boarding pass in order to access Virgin Australia lounges.
Virgin Australia boarding passes will continue to show your frequent flyer status and the name of the frequent flyer program. However, membership numbers will no longer be printed.
This follows a very similar change made by Qantas, which stopped printing frequent flyer numbers on boarding passes in October 2019. At the time, Qantas cited customer privacy as the main reason for the change.
There is a lot of information on an airline boarding pass, which could be used fraudulently if it gets into the wrong hands. (This is why you should never post unedited photos of your boarding passes online!) Removing frequent flyer numbers from boarding passes adds a small extra layer of security.
A Virgin Australia spokesperson told Australian Frequent Flyer that a lot of Velocity members already show their boarding pass on their phone, either in their digital wallet or within the Virgin Australia or Velocity smartphone apps.
“We are updating our system to remove full Velocity numbers from boarding passes, as members can access these membership details on these apps or their physical card,” the Virgin Australia spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added that members can download the Virgin Australia or Velocity app at any time to access their membership details, which can be presented at the lounge for entry.
Several AFF members point out that the smartphone apps are prone to errors and can freeze. We assume that physical Velocity membership cards would also be accepted at Virgin Australia lounges.
The Virgin app is really buggy and often hangs at critical moments so that’s the annyoing part.
Had the Virgin app hang on me at the gate last weekend when travelling with my tired tot. That was a fun one.
There are no changes to entry requirements for Velocity members at partner airline lounges, which are outlined on the Virgin Australia website. Entry requirements for partner lounges vary, but many still require you to present your physical Velocity membership card. Therefore, Virgin Australia recommends carrying your physical card with you every time you fly with a Virgin Australia partner airline or access a partner lounge.
Even though your frequent flyer status will still be shown on your boarding pass, lounges operated by third parties would need to record your Velocity Frequent Flyer number so they can charge Virgin Australia for your lounge visit.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: VA removing FF numbers from boarding passes