Business Travel

Virgin's Frequent Flyer Points Are Changing: What You Need To Know

Your Virgin frequent flyer points will soon have different values when it comes to seating upgrades and free flights. Some travel destinations will require more points while others will require less, depending on the route and airline partner used. Here’s everything you need to know.

Photo: Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia is making some significant adjustments to its Velocity Frequent Flyer points scheme. While some of the changes are good, others are considerably less so.

From 1 June 2016, newly acquired Velocity Points will no longer expire provided you earn or redeem points at least once every 24 months. Previously, the expiry period was 36 months. This is good news for frequent flyers, but occasional travelers have effectively lost a year to sit on their points.

Transferring Velocity Points between family members will no longer be considered eligible activity to prevent your points expiring. Unlike the expiry date tweak, this change will be applied retrospectively, which means you’ll need to earn new points before June 2016 if your only activity in the past 36 months was family pooling or points transfers between family members.

Members will be notified via email at least 30 days prior to their Points expiring. So if you’re not sure when your points expire, you’ll still be able to claim them.

The airline has also tweaked the number of Velocity points you need to score flight upgrades with Virgin and its partners. Under the new scheme, some destinations will require more frequent flyer points, while others will require fewer. For some destinations, the number of points needed remains unchanged.

Here are the points you currently need for Reward Seat Bookings with Virgin Australia, Etihad Airways, Virgin Samoa, Virgin Atlantic, Delta Airlines, Virgin America, Air New Zealand (Trans-Tasman Services):

Zone One-Way Miles Economy Premium Economy Business
1 1-600 6,900 10,400 13,800
2 601-1,200 10,900 16,400 21,800
3 1,201-2,400 16,900 25,400 33,800
4 2,401-3,600 23,900 35,900 47,800
5 3,601-4,800 28,900 43,400 57,800
6 4,801-5,800 35,000 52,500 70,000
7 5,801-7,000 41,000 61,500 82,000
8 7,001-8,500 47,000 70,500 94,000
9 8,501-9,500 55,000 82,500 110,000
10 9,501-15,000 62,000 93,800 125,000

And here are the number of points you’ll need from June 1:

Zone One-Way Miles Economy Premium Economy Business
1 1-600 7,800
(+900)
11,700
(+1,300)
15,500
(+1,700)
2 601-1,200 11,800
(+900)
17,700
(+1,300)
23,500
(+1,700)
3 1,201-2,400 17,800
(+900)
26,700
(+1,300)
35,500
(+1,700)
4 2,401-3,600 22,300
(-1,600)
36,700
(+800)
49,500
(+1,700)
5 3,601-4,800 27,800
(-1,100)
44,700
(+1,300)
759,500
(+1,700)
6 4,801-5,800 34,800
(-200)
753,700
(+1,200)
71,500
(+1,500)
7 5,801-7,000 39,800
(-1,200)
62,700
(+1,200)
83,500
(+1,500)
8 7,001-8,500 44,800
(-2,200)
71,700
(+1,200)
95,500
(+1,500)
9 8,501-9,500 54,800
(-200)
83,700
(+1,200)
111,500
(+1,500)
10 9,501-15,000 59,800
(-2,700)
95,700
(+1,900)
127,500
(+2,500)

Here are the points you currently need for Reward Seat Bookings with Singapore Airlines, Silk Air, Air New Zealand (New Zealand domestic and long haul services only), airberlin, Hawaiian Airlines, South African Airways:

Zone One-Way Miles Economy Business First
1 1-600 10,000 17,500 25,000
2 601-1,200 12,500 25,000 40,000
3 1,201-2,400 20,000 40,000 55,000
4 2,401-3,600 35,000 70,000 85,000
5 3,601-4,800 37,500 80,000 100,000
6 4,801-5,800 45,000 95,000 135,000
7 5,801-7,000 50,000 110,000 165,000
8 7,001-8,500 65,000 140,000 9197,500
9 8,501-9,500 70,000 157,500 225,000
10 9,501-15,000 75,000 175,000 127,500
250,000

And here are the number of points you’ll need from June 1:

Zone One-Way Miles Economy Business First
1 1-600 10,000
(+0)
18,000
(+500)
26,000
(+1,000)
2 601-1,200 114,000
(+1,500)
26,000
(+1,000)
38,000
(-2,000)
3 1,201-2,400 20,000
(+0)
38,000
(-2,000)
56,000
(+1,000)
4 2,401-3,600 28,000
(-7,000)
53,000
(-17,000)
78,000
(-7,000)
5 3,601-4,800 35,000
(-2,500)
65,000
(-15,000)
95,000
(-5,000)
6 4,801-5,800 42,000
(-3,000)
78,000
(-17,000)
114,000
(-21,000)
7 5,801-7,000 50,000
(+0)
92,000
(-18,000)
134,000
(-31,000)
8 7,001-8,500 56,000
(-9,000)
104,000
(-36,000)
152,000
(-45,500)
9 8,501-9,500 65,000
(-5,000)
121,000
(-36,500)
177,000
(-48,000)
10 9,501-15,000 75,000
(+0)
139,000
(-36,000)
203,000
(-47,000)

In addition to the seating upgrade changes, some destinations are increasing in price and others are decreasing. For example, a Sydney-Melbourne Economy flight with Virgin Australia will now costs 7,800 Velocity points — up from 6,900, while a Perth-Singapore Business flight with Singapore Airlines will now cost 53,000 — down from 70,000.

“This is the first time in over five years that we have made adjustments to Reward Seat pricing,” Virgin explained on its website. “During this time Virgin Australia has undergone significant change to become a full service airline, providing all guests with complimentary checked baggage allowance, in-flight entertainment, food and beverages.”

All in all, customers appear to be slightly worse off under the new adjustments; especially if you rarely book long haul flights from Virgin’s partner airlines. Let us know what you think about the changes in the comments section below.


Have you subscribed to Lifehacker Australia's email newsletter? You can also follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Trending Stories Right Now