Earning Velocity Frequent Flyer points in Etihad's A380 Residence

By Chris Chamberlin , January 5 2015
Earning Velocity Frequent Flyer points in Etihad's A380 Residence

Virgin Australia Velocity members can now earn an impressive four frequent flyer points per mile flown in Etihad’s Airbus A380 Residence.

Now on offer between Abu Dhabi and London Heathrow, it’ll also appear on Etihad’s Sydney flights from June 1 for the ultimate in luxury from Australia through to the UK.

All up, that Sydney-Abu Dhabi-London trek serves up 43,660 Velocity points in each direction, or 87,320 Velocity points on the full return journey.

Velocity Gold and Platinum members also earn their usual 50% bonus with Etihad, taking that haul to a whopping 130,980 points on a single round trip.

Earn points in your sleep in The Residence's private bedroom
Earn points in your sleep in The Residence's private bedroom

Silver frequent flyers receive a lesser 25% bonus, yet that’s still enough for a six-figure haul of 109,150 points from Sydney to London and back.

As you’d expect, status credits can also be earned when flying with Etihad – 280 one-way to London or 560 on the return – the same as a regular business or first class ticket.

Following its Australian debut in June, The Residence costs $86,544 from Sydney to London and back for a solo traveller and $87,028 for a couple.

Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer points can't be exchanged for a seat in The Residence – it's open only to paying passengers.

Also read: Etihad's new Airbus A380 Residence, first class suites

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Aug 2012

Total posts 65

Not that it would have any bearing on my decision to fly a return trip to the UK in the Residence(!), but does the second traveller also recieve points & status at the same rates?

If so, surely that must be one of the best deals around - 130,000 points and 560 SC's for $484?!

VA Platinum

26 Mar 2014

Total posts 117

You could also say its the best price for a return flight for one person in a class like that... :P

Hi 444desiro,

Yes, points and status credits are awarded to each passenger booked and travelling in an eligible fare class.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Aug 2012

Total posts 65

That settles it then. I've got the $434 saved up, just need to get started on the $86k :)

10 Sep 2012

Total posts 151

So about 25% of the price of chartering a G550 or Global over the same route.

 

I think they'll have a lot of takers, and I'm not sure that the majority of those passengers will really care about the FF points or the status credits.  

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 715

The extra points wouldn't be worth shelling out $80K+ for the privilege alone. If a lazy $100K was pocket change, it's possible but then if $100K was pocket change I'd have my own PJ (private jet to those not living in that world) or just charter one. For situations where $80K is less than your yearly salary, and flying First is your life (but $80K is not pocket change), I'd prefer the ample points (and much better status credits) earnt with with multiple First Apartments trips. 

I like that the Residence exists, but I'm doubtful about its market potential (other than a lead-in to First Apartments and for marketing kudos).

10 Sep 2012

Total posts 151

The charter price for a large-cabin exec jet from Sydney to London and back is about AU$340K.  That's about 4 times the price of this new cabin.

 

There's a significant market for whom $85K is quite reasonable, but $340K is too much. 

 

Owning an aircraft capable of flying with one-stop from AU to UK will set you back at least $60M, and cost about $3M per annum (on average)  to run and maintain.  That's big money.   Lots more than $85K. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 715

With a charter you can take your whole family and entourage even (which is how this end likes to travel), not just you and one other. That's makes more economic sense, not to mention you can avoid hanging around airports, waiting in customs and immigration queues, etc. The Residence is very niche, more for someone doing a once in a lifetime thing, than a regular uber elite traveller.

For those who think $340K is too much, they'll struggle to justify $85K when they can have something only moderately less as good at $11K/$22K, except as a rare treat.

10 Sep 2012

Total posts 151

I don't think it's the uber-elite they're aiming for, more the banker types who make 15-20 return trips to London every year.   There are a good number of these - a friend of mine based in NYC works a fortnight there, then a week/fortnight in Hong Kong, does this all year long, and commutes in CX F.  She is the ideal type to be a Residence customer.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 715

That'd be work travel wouldn't it, not leisure. Can't see too many CFOs signing off on that, with the exception of perhaps Chairman or CEO travel, and I can't see many dipping their hand in their own pocket to top-up on their Apartment booking that work would pay for. There may be greater pockets of demand out of other countries like the Middle East, UK, US, and China/Hong Kong, but I don't foresee much depth here in Australia. That said, it's still nice it's available.


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