Virgin Australia has announced it’s discontinuing its budget carrier Tigerair and slashing 3,000 jobs in the process. It’s upsetting news but it’ll also impact the many customers who may have had any flights booked or travel credits in their pocket.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected many aspects of life and putting a pause on any travel plans is among them.
It’s meant that airlines, often operating hundreds of flights a day in usual times, have been ground to halt as demand to see the country and the world plummets.
In Australia, this flow-on effect has seen Virgin Australia enter voluntary administration earlier this year and a recent announcement concluded that it would discontinue its budget subsidiary, Tigerair.
Qantas and its own budget subsidiary, Jetstar, have also drastically cut their offered flights for the foreseeable future.
So, what does this mean for your soon-to-expire travel credits and frequent flyer points?
What happens with travel points now?
Starting with Virgin and Tigerair, the announcement on Wednesday, 5 August, means credits offered for bookings made before Virgin’s administration — 21 April — will now be extended to July 2022. That means you’ll have plenty of time to decide where to travel given coronavirus is not going to go away any time soon.
“All travel credits and Velocity Frequent Flyer points will be carried forward under its [new] ownership,” the announcement read.
“To preserve value for customers with credits for bookings made prior to administration, booking dates will also be extended to 31 July 2022 for travel until 30 June 2023.”
For Tigerair customers specifically, travel credits on any bookings will now be redeemable on Virgin Australia services.
For Qantas and Jetstar, it gets a little more complicated. Back in April, Qantas announced it was extending everyone’s Frequent Flyer status by 12 months until March 2021 given nobody had any idea when flying would be back on the cards.
In July, it also announced it was giving eligible members a Status Boost, equivalent of 50 per cent of the required annual Status Credits, in order for members to keep their status.
Jetstar will continue to let you earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points on Jetstar’s Starter Plus, Starter Max or Business Max fares as well as Jetstar New Zealand flights.
If you’ve got travel credits banked up from pre-COVID travel and you were hoping to treat yourself to a discounted holiday, the initiatives will come as a small relief.
Here’s to hoping that once we start edging toward those cut-off dates, the world will be in a much better position.