Virgin Australia has unveiled major changes to its Velocity frequent flyer program. Points will expire earlier, and the points needed on domestic flights will increase.
Virgin Australia's Velocity Frequent Flyer members are about to need more frequent flyer points to travel to many destinations.
When the changes take effect on the first of June 2016, Velocity points will now expire in two years, down from the current three, if there is no activity on a member account.
The cost of redemptions in many cases will rise.
For example, on long haul premium economy and business class seats on Virgin Australia will rise on both of the airlines two remaining long haul routes - from Australia to Los Angeles, and from Sydney to Abu Dhabi.
|Virgin Velocity changes|
|Airline||Table||miles||From||To||Old Economy||New Economy||Old Business||New Business|
The cost will also increase on the airlines' partners Delta, Virgin Atlantic, and Virgin America for flights of more than 4801 miles. These airlines are in Group Table 1 for Virgin redemptions.
However, other airlines such as Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand, Airberlin, SilkAir, Hawaiian Airlines and South African Airways are in what is called Table 2. These airlines always cost more for aredemption, but now the cost will decrease, for business and first class flights.
The difference is stark in Business, for example with Singapore to Melbourne now only costing 65,000 Velocity points, down from 80,000. However Los Angeles to Brisbane on Virgin Australia up the pointy end will now need 95,500 Velocity points, up from 94,000. However the same flight in economy reduces to 44,800 Velocity points, down 3,000.
The big partner change is Etihad, which will move from Table 1 to Table 2. Sydney to Abu Dhabi on Etihad will now cost 104,000 Velocity points. However the same distance, but on the three times a week Virgin aircraft costs 95,000 points.
|Velocity redemptions after 1 June - Table 2|
|Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines, Silk Air, Air New Zealand (New Zealand domestic and long haul services only), airberlin, Hawaiian Airlines, South African Airways|
The Virgin Australia website has been updated with the changes. Alas, the Virgin Velocity website still fails with an error in all but the most recent versions of Chrome with "Error: This webpage has a redirect loop", however it works fine in Internet Explorer.