Virgin Australia frequent flyers will no longer earn Velocity points or status credits when flying Air New Zealand across the Pacific from 1 November, 2017. From this date, points will only be earned when flying Air New Zealand across the Tasman or within New Zealand. Velocity Silver, Gold and Platinum members will also lose access to benefits such as lounge access when flying Air New Zealand outside of Australia and New Zealand.
The ability to redeem Velocity points for Air New Zealand flights to destinations such as the United States, South America, Asia and the Pacific Islands is also being removed. This is a moot point for redemptions in Business class, as Air New Zealand almost never releases award availability in premium cabins. But the ability to redeem for Economy class flights will be missed.
While the Air New Zealand changes are disappointing, they don’t come as a great surprise to our members…
Disappointing changes with NZ but not unexpected, given their recent souring relationship and VA increasing their transpac flights. Luckily, I had booked a transpac flight with NZ recently for travel early next year which should still earn me Velocity points and SCs. Need to screenshot that thing about purchasing tickets pre July 10.
The move is reciprocal. Air New Zealand’s frequent flyers will also lose the ability to earn or redeem Airpoints on Virgin Australia flights outside of Australia and New Zealand. (Read more about this here.)
If you’ve already booked an Air New Zealand flight to the Americas, don’t worry. You will still earn Velocity points and status credits if you booked before 10 July. For flights booked after this date, your best option would appear to be to credit Air New Zealand flights to the Americas to a Star Alliance program, such as Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.
This is not the only recent change to airline partners in the Velocity Frequent Flyer program. Velocity recently added four new airline partners based in China and Hong Kong. Points and status credits can now be earned when flying Hong Kong Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Tianjin Airlines or Beijing Capital Airlines from Australia or New Zealand to Hong Kong and China.
In more good news, Velocity Silver, Gold and Platinum members will soon earn a “points bonus” when flying US-based Delta Airlines.
Yes, bit of a pity regarding the Air NZ changes but the DL update is welcome. Timing is good for us though as we already have Air NZ flights in PE from Brisbane to Vancouver booked for next month along with a couple of DL transcontinental flights in first.
From the end of next month, it will also become possible to redeem Velocity points for Premium Economy and First class seats on Singapore Airlines.
The addition of being able to redeem award flights on Singapore Airlines Prem Economy could potentially be great news depending the difference in points needed to redeem though VA vs SIA
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