Velocity tweaks award redemption rates

Virgin Australia today announced two areas of change to the Velocity Frequent Flyer program. The changes affect areas related to the expiration of points within the program and the cost of Reward Bookings. This post will take a look at the changes in the points redemption tables.  A separate post will look at the change to the expiration policy within the program.

Reward Seat Pricing

From 1 June, 2016 Velocity will be changing their Points tables for Reward bookings. Under the Velocity program, there are two Rewards tables. Virgin Australia and some of its partners are in Table 1, while the remaining partners are in Table 2.

As both of these tables are being updated, the changes will affect Reward flights on Virgin Australia and all of its partner airlines. Overall, the changes are a bit of a mixed bag, with some redemptions requiring more points, while others will require less.

Generally, the number off points required for Rewards on airlines that are in table 2 are greater than those required for Table 1. While both tables have been adjusted, an major change affects Etihad redemptions as it will be being moved from Table 1 to Table 2 – resulting in the changes affecting Etihad more than Virgin’s other partners.

Table 1: Virgin Australia and partners

As from June 1, the airlines that have redemptions based on Table 1 will inlude Virgin Australia, Virgin Samoa, Virgin Atlantic, Delta Airlines, Virgin America, Air New Zealand (Trans-Tasman Services). This is the same as the present airline list, apart from the  departure of Etihad, which is moved to tables 2.

Velocity have published the following table, which shows the adjustments for each combination of fare type and distance

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)
59,500
(+1,700)
6 4,801-5,800 34,800
(-200)
53,700
(+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)

The table shows that for Business and Premium Economy, there are across the board increases in points requirements. In the case of Economy, the shorter segments will have an increase in points cost, with the longer flights decreasing slightly in costs. These shorter segments cover all the Australian Domestic flights.

 

Table 2: Other Partner Airlines

Table 2 sets out the points requirements for redeeming on the services of the remaining airline partners, being Etihad Airways, 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
(+0)
18,000
(+500)
26,000
(+1,000)
2 601-1,200 14,000
(+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)

As can be seen, this table is a bit of a mixed bag of changes. Some redemptions are staying the same, some going up and others going down.

Being given a number of months before the changes take effect, you have the opportunity to book before or after the changes, depending on which is most beneficial for the given redemption.

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