How to book Singapore Airlines flights using Virgin Velocity points

Your Velocity points can take you across the world in Singapore Airlines' business class, and even first class, where available.

By Chris Chamberlin , March 2 2020
How to book Singapore Airlines flights using Virgin Velocity points

With so many flights to Australia and a broad network beyond its Singapore hub to destinations around the world, using your Virgin Australia Velocity frequent flyer points to book Singapore Airlines flights can unlock a variety of travel opportunities, including in first class.

Whether it's a more traditional jaunt from Sydney to Singapore, something longer like Australia to London via Singapore, or even something out of left field like the airline's Melbourne-Wellington flights, here's how to put your points to work aboard Singapore Airlines, and its regional arm SilkAir.

Booking Singapore Airlines flights with Velocity points: key routes

Singapore Airlines offers a vast range of non-stop flights from Australia to Singapore, including from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide, plus direct flights from Auckland and Christchurch to The Lion City, and routes from Cairns and Darwin to Singapore served by SilkAir.

Joining that, a 'triangle' route – running as Sydney-Canberra-Singapore-Sydney – which can be booked in various ways using points, such as from Sydney to Singapore via Canberra, from Canberra to Singapore as a non-stop flight, from Singapore to Sydney as a non-stop flight, or from Singapore to Canberra via Sydney.

The Canberra-Singapore and Singapore-Sydney legs of that 'triangle' can also be booked as standalone flights, although you can't use points solely to book a Singapore Airlines flight from Sydney to Canberra, as Singapore Airlines can't carry Australian domestic-only passengers, and doesn't sell standalone fares on that domestic-only leg, either.

But that's not all: Singapore Airlines also flies between Melbourne and Wellington, so while you could use points to fly from Wellington to Singapore via Melbourne, you could also use points to fly from Melbourne to Wellington or Wellington to Melbourne, with no need to visit Singapore on the same trip.

Here's how that complex local route network looks on a map:

Beyond its Singapore hub, Singapore Airlines and SilkAir serve a wide variety of cities across Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Africa and North America, including major destinations for Aussie travellers such as London, Paris, Rome and Frankfurt, along with Cape Town and Johannesburg, Beijing and Shanghai, Dubai and Istanbul, and plenty more.

Of note, Singapore Airlines also flies from Singapore to Moscow – Russia generally being a harder-to-reach destination from Australia – and maintains an eclectic network of lesser-known 'fifth freedom' flights, those being journeys that don't take you through Singapore, but which are still flown by Singapore Airlines and can be booked using points, similar to how the Melbourne-Wellington route works.

These include non-stop flights between New York (JFK) and Frankfurt; Moscow and Stockholm; Hong Kong and San Francisco; Tokyo (Narita) and Los Angeles; and Houston (IAH) and Manchester.

While those won't be the most popular routes for travellers booking their flight using Velocity points, they're handy to keep in mind if you're planning a multi-city trip, or for when you're already visiting one of those cities and want to extend your journey onward to another, as your points may be able to take you there on Singapore Airlines.

Booking Singapore Airlines flights with Velocity points: how many points you'll need

Drawing on Velocity Frequent Flyer's 'Table 2' reward rates – the same as also used for booking flights with partners like Etihad Airways, Hawaiian Airlines and so on, here's how many Velocity points you'll need to book a one-way flight with Singapore Airlines or SilkAir, across the airlines' Australia/NZ routes and those 'fifth freedom' finds.

Note that first class/Suites Class and premium economy are not available on all flights, including where a rate appears on the table below, as this can depend on the aircraft type operating each flight and the local market.

Routes (one-way)

Suites/First class

Business class

Premium economy

Economy

Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra to Singapore

New York to Frankfurt

Houston to Manchester

95,000 Velocity points

65,000 Velocity points

52,500 Velocity points

35,000 Velocity points

Perth, Adelaide and Cairns to Singapore

N/A

53,000 Velocity points

N/A

28,000 Velocity points

Melbourne to Wellington

Darwin to Singapore

N/A

38,000 Velocity points

30,000 Velocity points

20,000 Velocity points

Auckland and Christchurch to Singapore

Wellington to Singapore (via Melbourne)

Tokyo to Los Angeles

114,000 Velocity points

78,000 Velocity points

63,000 Velocity points

42,000 Velocity points

Hong Kong to San Francisco

134,000 Velocity points

92,000 Velocity points

75,000 Velocity points

50,000 Velocity points

Moscow to Stockholm

N/A

26,000 Velocity points

21,000 Velocity points

14,000 Velocity points

From Australia, Darwin flyers are best-off with a one-way business class flight to Singapore clocking in at just 38,000 Velocity points – the same as you could also spend on a one-way hop from Melbourne to Wellington – while from most other Australian cities, you'd be looking at 65,000 Velocity points for a journey to Singapore.

But with Singapore being a major hub, you could also use Singapore Airlines as part of a connecting journey, such as from Sydney to London via Singapore, which could be booked for 203,000 Velocity points in Suites/first class, 139,000 Velocity points in business class, 112,500 Velocity points in premium economy or 75,000 Velocity points in economy.

That relies on the 'Zone 10' reward rate in Velocity, which covers journeys of 9,501+ miles, including where the journey includes a connecting flight.

The same rates would apply for flying Sydney-Singapore-New York on the world's longest flight (Singapore-Newark), although that journey only offers business class and premium economy to The Big Apple, not first class or economy.

For other flights with Singapore Airlines and SilkAir, here's how many Velocity points you'd need, based on the distance flown:

Read: Frequent flyer tip: how to calculate the distance of your flight

Also keep in mind that Singapore Airlines isn't the only global airline you can book using your Velocity points, so for journeys to Europe, you might also consider travelling with Etihad Airways, Virgin Atlantic or even Alitalia, while to North America, there's also Delta Air Lines.

Even if Singapore Airlines is your first preference, those are all good options to keep in your back pocket, should you not be able to find a suitable flight, or where those airlines can get you to your destination faster if schedule is your main concern.

Booking Singapore Airlines flights with Velocity points: making your reservation

This part of the process isn't as simple as saying "book online" or "call Velocity", because the option you take will actually depend on where and how you want to fly.

For starters, all bookings for first class travel, including both 'first class' on Singapore Airlines' Boeing 777s and 'Suites Class' aboard its Airbus A380s, can only be made over the phone by calling Velocity: you'll never see these appear online, which is the same as for first class bookings on Etihad Airways.

The number you need is 13 18 75, open 7:30am-10:30pm Sydney time seven days a week. There's no way to search online to see which first class flights are available for booking using points, as Singapore Airlines generally makes more first class suites available to its own KrisFlyer members than Velocity Frequent Flyers, so your best bet is to have a few options lined up before you call.

Read: Velocity unlocks Singapore Airlines first class reward flights

Most other bookings for travel in business class, premium economy and economy can instead be made via the Velocity website.

We'll also point out that while some of Singapore Airlines' Star Alliance frequent flyer partner programs (e.g. United MileagePlus) generally can't book first class or business class flights on Airbus A380, Boeing 777-300ER or Airbus A350 aircraft, this same restriction does not apply to Velocity members, provided Singapore Airlines releases that availability to Velocity on any given flight.

For example, searching for a flight from Brisbane to Singapore on Virgin Australia's website is just like booking flights on any other roue – you plug in your dates, and just check the "use points + pay" option, to land on a screen that looks like this:

Firstly, ignore the "Any Seat" options asking you to forfeit an exorbitant number of points – these aren't the traditional reward seats we're looking for: here, you'd instead be cashing in your points to buy an actual business class fare on the flight against retail price.

Also, take note of the flight number, and skip past any of the four-digit "VA" flight numbers, which may fill the top of your screen and give the impression that you can't make a traditional reward booking (e.g. "Business Reward Sold Out").

What you want to look for are the "SQ" (or "MI", for SilkAir) flight numbers, even if they're tucked away further down the page. You can also click on the flight number to see the type of aircraft operating the flight, shown as a three-digit code:

To explain the abbreviations here, "359" means Airbus A350-900, while some others you'll commonly see are "77W" for Boeing 777-300ER, "772" for Boeing 777-200, or "388" for Airbus A380.

You might have also noticed that each reward price lists two options, an all-points rate, or a points+money rate:

While you can use points to cover the entire journey without paying a cent (e.g. 80,800 Velocity points for business class, above), it's generally best to pay for any taxes, fees and charges with money, because taking the 'all-points' route converts your Velocity points into real money, and not at a generous rate.

As an example, to avoid paying the $94.69 in fees and charges on that reward booking (alongside 65,000 points), you'd instead need to burn an extra 15,800 Velocity points – being the 80,800 all-inclusive points rate – yet that difference would actually be enough points for a separate return trip from Sydney to Melbourne, which is easily valued at more than the $94 saving, even with small payments made to cover taxes and fees on those flights, too.

Finally, not all Singapore Airlines and SilkAir routes can be booked online with Velocity points. Among the exceptions, flights between Singapore and Hong Kong, flights from Singapore to Newark (the world's longest flight), and flights from Melbourne to Wellington, where Virgin Australia's website tends to list only Virgin flight options.

For those flights and many others, you'll also need to call Velocity – so if your online search yields no rewards, or the Velocity site won't let you perform your search, it's time to pick up the phone.

We'll also highlight for more advanced readers that Velocity points can of course be converted into Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles, and in turn, KrisFlyer miles can be used to book reward flights with Singapore Airlines and across the Star Alliance, although the conversion rate from Velocity to KrisFlyer is now 1.55:1, decreasing the past appeal of this option.

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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Sep 2011

Total posts 7

Can you book Sydney to JFK via Singapore and Frankfurt in Suites for the 209,000 points?

SQ

23 Oct 2015

Total posts 18

Yes ... but ... practically, it can be really hard to find seats to do that as a PPS Krisflyer member, let alone over the phone with the reduced allocation to velocity

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 471

Got a double first class suite booked Sydney to Zurich, about $500.00 and some points

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

16 Jul 2018

Total posts 16

Booked Manchester to Singapore for July in business for me, my wife and son using Velocity. Was near impossible to find any availability out of London (or anywhere else in Europe) given it is peak season but there was plenty of availability out of Manchester.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 471

I find SQ flights First and Business normally at around 8.00am - 8.30am Singapore time for most of Europe on the furthered date out.


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