Velocity business redemption Etihad and SingaporeAir

17 replies

Brodica

Member since 30 Aug 2019

Total posts 5

Hi

Travelling to Europe this time next year for approx 6 weeks. Looking to use Velocity points for Business reward seats.

As the seats are released approx 329 days in advance, I'd like to book outbound one way when they're released, and the return 6 weeks later when they're released. Is this possible? Don't want to wait for when the return seats are released incase the outbound dates are then unavailable.

In addition to this, if able to book separately one way, can we go out with Etihad and back with Singapore? We're in QLD and would love to go out on A380 from Sydney on Etihad, and back to Brisbane on Singapore.

Thanks in advance

Sibelius

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 06 Aug 2017

Total posts 81

Yes, it's definitely possible (and advisable) to make two bookings so that you don't miss out on available seats. And yes, because you're making two separate bookings you can of course fly on two separate airlines.

Chris Chamberlin

Member since 24 Apr 2012

Total posts 1,064

Hi Brodica, when a comment is held for moderation, please be patient and don't post the same thing again. Comments requiring approval are approved at the earliest opportunity.

Brodica

Member since 30 Aug 2019

Total posts 5

Originally Posted by Chris Chamberlin

Hi Brodica, when a comment is held for moderation, please be patient and don't post the same thing again. Comments requiring approval are approved at the earliest opportunity.

Thanks Chris. It had come up with an error message, hence the repost. Was worried it had in fact gone through a couple of times

sim86on

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 08 May 2014

Total posts 41

2 suggestions:

1) Depending on your intended European arrival port, try to prioritise Singapore Airlines over Etihad, as Etihad have some pretty ugly (steep) reward seat surcharges, $205USD per sector per passenger for Business Class.

2) If the VA website isn't showing you many SQ reward seats, run the same search on the SQ website - you will most likely get better results. If you can find what you're looking for, convert Velocity into KrisFlyer (transfer is instantaneous) and then book using your new KrisFlyer points. I just recently did for for a Business Class trip to Thailand via Singapore. Would have cost 80,000 Velocity points per passenger each way via the VA website, but poor seat availability. Much better availability on SQ site, converted to KrisFlyer and it only cost slightly more points, the equiv. of ~88,000 Velocity.

Chris Chamberlin

Member since 24 Apr 2012

Total posts 1,064

Originally Posted by Brodica

Originally Posted by Chris Chamberlin

Hi Brodica, when a comment is held for moderation, please be patient and don't post the same thing again. Comments requiring approval are approved at the earliest opportunity.

Thanks Chris. It had come up with an error message, hence the repost. Was worried it had in fact gone through a couple of times

Interesting, thank you for sharing. If it happens again, please advise what the error message was so that we can look into it. There's supposed to be a message displayed explaining that the post is held for moderation, but perhaps that needs to be tweaked. :)

Chris Chamberlin

Member since 24 Apr 2012

Total posts 1,064

To the topic at hand, do keep in mind that as a Brisbane-based flyer, if you're wanting to depart from another Australian city (such as Sydney), the connecting Brisbane-Sydney flight would cost you extra points, as Virgin Australia is on a different reward table to Etihad/SQ, and so it would price 'Brisbane to Sydney' from the VA table and 'Sydney to Europe' from that other table. If you'll already be in Sydney, of course, it's no issue.

Also just as an FYI: Velocity points can be used to book first class on both SQ and Etihad, but this can only be done over the phone (and of course, neither offers first class to Brisbane, so is most relevant for Sydney). Unfortunately the same thing will happen if you split cabins, such as flying first class between Singapore/Abu Dhabi and Europe, and business class between those transit cities and Australia, as each flight gets calculated separately. Realise you were looking for business class, but just highlighting that first class is possible as the Velocity website doesn't go out of its way to promote it. :)

Soon

SilkAir - KrisFlyer

Member since 07 Dec 2017

Total posts 15

Hi all

I am not sure of the advice by sim86on posted at 12:33:10pm.

sim86on stated that it would have costed 80,000 Velocity points each way from Australia to Bangkok via Singapore on SQ metal, and advised to change Velocity points to Krisflyer and that '~88,000 Velocity points required for conversion.

On SQ platform, Australia to Bangkok via Singapore costs 62,000 Krisflyer points or 96,100 Velocity points, not 88,000.

I have tried on Velocity platform to see the cost of Velocity to go to Bangkok and can only see availability via Hong Kong on Hong Kong Airlines, costing 85,500 Velocity points plus ~$177, very randomly.

All the way to the future August 28, I cannot see any SQ metal availability from Australia to Bangkok via Singapore, so cannot tell the Velocity points required.

Soon

sim86on

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 08 May 2014

Total posts 41

Hi Soon,

To clarify my post, it was to CBR-SIN-HKT (not BKK).

Double checking my KrisFlyer statement, each business class seat (each way) cost 58,000 KrisFlyer points, equivalent to 89,900 Velocity points.

Brodica

Member since 30 Aug 2019

Total posts 5

Originally Posted by sim86on

2 suggestions:

1) Depending on your intended European arrival port, try to prioritise Singapore Airlines over Etihad, as Etihad have some pretty ugly (steep) reward seat surcharges, $205USD per sector per passenger for Business Class.

2) If the VA website isn't showing you many SQ reward seats, run the same search on the SQ website - you will most likely get better results. If you can find what you're looking for, convert Velocity into KrisFlyer (transfer is instantaneous) and then book using your new KrisFlyer points. I just recently did for for a Business Class trip to Thailand via Singapore. Would have cost 80,000 Velocity points per passenger each way via the VA website, but poor seat availability. Much better availability on SQ site, converted to KrisFlyer and it only cost slightly more points, the equiv. of ~88,000 Velocity.

Thanks Sim86on

These will be our first international Business Class flights and really want to experience the Etihad A380 out of Sydney. You're not wrong about the carrier charges. SYD-AMS cattier charge and additional taxes comes in around AUD$715 each (ouch).

Singapore's A350 is our pick for the journey home, FCO-BNE (A350 SIN-BNE leg).

Hoping I'll find the SQ flights that suit on Virgin website as the 1.55 conversion isn't pretty


Brodica

Member since 30 Aug 2019

Total posts 5

Originally Posted by Chris Chamberlin

To the topic at hand, do keep in mind that as a Brisbane-based flyer, if you're wanting to depart from another Australian city (such as Sydney), the connecting Brisbane-Sydney flight would cost you extra points, as Virgin Australia is on a different reward table to Etihad/SQ, and so it would price 'Brisbane to Sydney' from the VA table and 'Sydney to Europe' from that other table. If you'll already be in Sydney, of course, it's no issue.

Also just as an FYI: Velocity points can be used to book first class on both SQ and Etihad, but this can only be done over the phone (and of course, neither offers first class to Brisbane, so is most relevant for Sydney). Unfortunately the same thing will happen if you split cabins, such as flying first class between Singapore/Abu Dhabi and Europe, and business class between those transit cities and Australia, as each flight gets calculated separately. Realise you were looking for business class, but just highlighting that first class is possible as the Velocity website doesn't go out of its way to promote it. :)

Thanks Chris

We'll fly to Sydney earlier on seperate PNR as we're regional QLD and need 2 flights to get there. Our regional VA flight is Alliance and won't line up all the way through.

As much as I'd love to go First, most of our points will be used by Business bookings.

josephjohn8484

Member since 17 Jan 2013

Total posts 51

Be careful with Velocity. They display phantom SQ seats that aren't bookable . I have learned the hard way recently . Even if they show seats available you won't get it confirmed - your advised to check availability on KtisFlyer before booking.

Dan22

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 07 Aug 2013

Total posts 55

If you see reward seats on say KrisFlyer but not on velocity I would call and get the team to check still - I did this recently for a booking I made with velocity points on South African. It took 3 seperate calls to speak to 3 different team members and persistence to say that there were reward seats available on the SAA flights I wanted to and from Perth. Third time lucky I had the velocity agent do some sort of manual confirmation with the partner airline (took a few mins on hold) and they confirmed the seats were available and had my flights booked. I suspect this could be issue with booking for any partner airline. I never rely on velocity website it needs a lot of work to show accurate availability of partner airlines. Interested to know anyone else's experience?

Chris Chamberlin

Member since 24 Apr 2012

Total posts 1,064

Originally Posted by Dan22

If you see reward seats on say KrisFlyer but not on velocity I would call and get the team to check still - I did this recently for a booking I made with velocity points on South African. It took 3 seperate calls to speak to 3 different team members and persistence to say that there were reward seats available on the SAA flights I wanted to and from Perth. Third time lucky I had the velocity agent do some sort of manual confirmation with the partner airline (took a few mins on hold) and they confirmed the seats were available and had my flights booked. I suspect this could be issue with booking for any partner airline. I never rely on velocity website it needs a lot of work to show accurate availability of partner airlines. Interested to know anyone else's experience?

I've not personally used Velocity points to book SAA but the 'correct' process could indeed be the same as for Virgin Atlantic with Velocity, where the seats have to be booked via a process called "long sell". Rather than merely searching for availability in the way you might normally book a flight, "long selling" basically has the agent key in all of the information for a manual booking (including dates and specific flight numbers, passenger names, booking classes etc), and then sends it electronically to the airline. The airline's computer replies with yes or no. Yes means that reward seats can be booked, no means they cannot.

Would be interest to know if on that third call, you were asked to provide passenger names etc before the agent advised of the availability - if so, that would indicate that the agents need to "long sell" for SAA too.

Dan22

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 07 Aug 2013

Total posts 55

Hi Chris - yes sounds about right - I remember took all details and advise that even that it's showing availability upfront it's still not guaranteed they need to confirm and that's when they do the check with the airline.

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