Frequent Flyer points when an airline goes bust

9 replies

justginit

Member since 05 Mar 2020

Total posts 2

With so many airlines going bust recently - Flybe only just this week - does anybody have experience in losing FF points when an airline has gone under? (I imagine there would be some still scarred by the collapse of Ansett)

While it may be far from danger at this point, given the recent financial situations at Virgin Australia and the troubling times ahead for the global aviation industry with the unknown effects of coronavirus, could it be a safe idea to take advantage of the option to transfer Velocity points to Krisflyer? It would mean they would gain an expiry date, but if things got worse it would be a safer bet than losing the lot if the worst happened.

Chris Chamberlin

Member since 24 Apr 2012

Total posts 1,093

Moved to "Other Airlines", being a frequent flyer question.

Ourmanin

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

Member since 08 Jun 2018

Total posts 124

A personal opinion - but there does seem to be a failure to appreciate that these schemes are essentially wholly owned by the airlines they are attached to and as such if they go down so do your points. I do find it surprising that people sometimes appear to value them quite as highly as they do. It's like a currency that can be devalued at any time (higher redemption rates, etc) and is wholly controlled by the issuer, without any regulation or oversight. Ultimately you could take your own view as to whether VA or SQ was stronger (I know what I would choose between those 2!).

Last editedby Ourmanin at Mar 09, 2020, 04:46 PM.

markpk

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 29 Nov 2013

Total posts 433

My wife was caught up in the Ansett collapse back whenever. She lost around 400k points and joined the back of the queue in the Qantas scheme.

It's one of the reasons I don't keep anymore than 100k+ points in any program - we're regular redeemers and spend time understanding where max value is in terms of redemption.

Sibelius

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 06 Aug 2017

Total posts 90

My understanding is that Virgin is in a stronger position now than Ansett was in the couple of years before its collapse. I would like to believe that the Virgin powers-that-be have learned from the mistakes made with Ansett and won't knowingly repeat those mistakes. However, I agree with the above posters. There's no harm whatsoever in hedging: the 1.55:1 transfer rate isn't great, but it's a helluva lot better than losing everything! I've transferred some, but by no means all, of my Velocity points to KrisFlyer in the light of the coronavirus outbreak.

Madhatter49

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 11 Dec 2016

Total posts 65

VA isn't going anywhere. Their primary owners aren't going to throw away their investment, and don't need to. They're now getting into a substantially better financial position than they have been in for a while/ever. The key is that the private shareholders have majority ownership whereas the publicly listed shares are only an irrelevant amount. I'm sure that they've considered buying out the remaining public shares to make life much simpler. While the owners desire for VA to make them more profit undoubtedly, they're also not going to throw in the towel just yet. It's obvious that Scurrah is having a good go to bring VA into shape and appears to be doing a great job.

Sure, VA investor Etihad also has had financial issues, but they're owned by an incredibly wealthy country who can keep supporting the airline indefinitely if they wished but won't allow them to go under either.

So VA are financially quite sound.

The one to be more concerned about in the Oz market is REX. Their share price has dropped by half in the past year down to 9c now although the public share ownership for them is only small too at 21% is still larger than VAs. The downturn for them will hit harder as its more difficult to raise cash when needed without a large company to back them.

If this virus and it's effect drags on for longer as we expect it to do so. Maybe Rex will be up for a takeover by Virgin if they get their own money sorted out in time. Qantas would be blocked by the accc doing so I expect, but maybe not so virgin if they're rescuing them from a bust.


Ozshanel

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 08 Dec 2014

Total posts 9

I have to say, I couldn't disagree with Madhatter more strongly. Virgin's current position is pretty dire and it is only going to get worse. They are haemorrhaging cash and their primary owners have shown that they have absolutely no interest in pouring more money in to them. They all have their own problems to deal with at the moment.

Virgin also has a substantial amount of debt that is coming up for refinancing, which is going to be difficult, and the new CEO seems to have no idea how to handle the situation other than window dressing by changing a few routes here and there.

I agree with Justginit. Anyone sitting on Velocity points would be wise to do something with them sooner rather than later.

justginit

Member since 05 Mar 2020

Total posts 2

Update -

Given the escalation of the situation of the past few days and dire outlook for the immediate few weeks/months, I have just transferred the bulk of my Velocity points to Krisflyer.

I was always intending to do this eventually and I really, really hope for everyone's sake that it turns out to be a case of over-reaction, but given the impact this situation has already had on my own employment and income (I work in the arts) I want to try to keep them as safe as possible.


Clancy

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 31 Jan 2016

Total posts 55

As Ansett was going down the drain I suggested to my partner that we burn all our Ansett FF points with other airlines the next day. Too late, all gone, bye bye...!!!

There is no real moral to the story really, or way forward as a holder of many QFF points and I certainly don't need or want to burn points to get a Dyson Vac... :)

levinn

Etihad - Etihad Guest

Member since 19 Mar 2018

Total posts 9

According to what I learned from SQ rep previously, airlines aren't banks. They cannot somehow move miles inside your account.

We will see an era where only Business Class psx have complimentary access. There would be a public set and corporate set, tier levels corresponding to salary level. If not salary then the entry level allows you to acquire or earn more benefits as u fly. The higher the elite the higher your carbon tax. Algorithms which show signs of mileage running will be fined and then required to pay highest level of carbon tax. Bans for more than 21 international itineraries.

Other lounges will become bank tier branded.

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