That pile of Velocity Frequent Flyer points you've been earning on Virgin Australia flights could also get you to Singapore and beyond with Singapore Airlines.
Singapore Airlines reward flights are easily booked through the Velocity website, over the phone or via a third and more complex method of converting your Velocity Points into KrisFlyer miles and booking your flight through the Singapore Airlines website at differing rates.
Whether your journey ends in Singapore or continues through to London or elsewhere in Europe, here’s how to turn your Velocity Points into a seat, or even a suite, with Singapore Airlines.
Singapore Airlines reward flights: the basics
For starters, the way you book your Singapore Airlines trip determines which award options are available to you.
Via the Virgin Australia website or VA call centre you can book Singapore Airlines business class and economy flight rewards, and via the KrisFlyer transfer method (which we’ll cover in more detail below) you can also book first class and Suites Class in addition to business class and economy.
Reward flights in Singapore Airlines premium economy aren’t available in any form, either when using Velocity Points directly or when converting and redeeming your points through KrisFlyer.
It’s also worth highlighting that SQ prevents most partner airlines from booking business class reward flights on its Airbus A380 and Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, but that this restriction does not apply to Virgin Australia Velocity members redeeming Velocity Points.
Searching for Singapore Airlines reward flights
Make your first stop the Virgin Australia Velocity website: login to your account, click ‘search and book flights’ on the left navigation panel, then enter your preferred route, dates and travel class and ensure the ‘Use Points + Pay’ option is ticked at the top:
You’ll be presented with a list of flights with two columns. Assuming you’re booking business class, the left-hand column displays what we’re looking for: traditional flight rewards at the usual rates, while the hefty figure in the right-hand column shows what you’d pay to use your points to book a commercial fare.
As none of the standard ‘Business Rewards’ were available on the dates we entered, trying again with a different date worked wonders, revealing a business class reward ticket for 80,000 Velocity Points plus a cash payment of $83.51:
From there it’s as simple as entering the passenger name(s) and making payment, but if you’ve searched multiple dates and still can’t find what you’re after, try changing your search to a city nearby.
Also, the Virgin Australia website doesn’t let you search for all cities and routes flown by Singapore Airlines, such as for flights from Hong Kong to Singapore, so if you’re having difficulties, do give the Velocity team a call on 13 18 75 and see what the operator can piece together.
Changes to Velocity rewards with Singapore Airlines
Come June 1 2016, Virgin Australia is altering the number of points needed to book flights with Singapore Airlines – in most cases you’ll actually need fewer points than today, on a few short routes you’ll require more points, and on some flights the figure is unchanged.
For instance a one-way Sydney-Singapore flight can currently be booked for 37,500 Velocity Points in economy or 80,000 Velocity Points in business class. As of July, that’s lowered to 35,000 Velocity Points for economy and a reduced 65,000 Velocity Points in business class.
Taking a longer Sydney-London trek will also cost you fewer points in business class – trimmed from 175,000 to 139,000 Velocity Points, one-way – while in economy there’s no change from today’s 75,000 figure.
Converting Velocity Points into KrisFlyer miles
A final and more advanced option is to take your Virgin Australia Velocity points, turn them into KrisFlyer miles in Singapore Airlines’ own frequent flyer program on a 1.35:1 basis, and then to book your flight using those newly-realised KrisFlyer miles.
As the KrisFlyer program is entirely separate to Velocity, the number of KrisFlyer miles needed to book flights with Singapore Airlines differs, and therefore means you could get an even sweeter deal when locking in your flight.
Take the Sydney-Singapore route: currently you’d need 80,000 Velocity Points to book a one-way jaunt in business class, or 65,000 Velocity Points from June 1.
However, KrisFlyer requires only 46,750 KrisFlyer miles to book the same via the SQ website, which equates to 63,113 Velocity Points: less points than both the current and new Velocity redemption rates.
KrisFlyer also permits online bookings in first class and Suites Class – which cannot be booked directly through Velocity – for 63,750 KrisFlyer miles, which you’d get by converting 86,063 Velocity Points across on a 1.35:1 basis.
On the downside, the cash amount levied by Singapore Airlines when booking reward flights is usually higher than charged by Velocity to book the same flight, so although you can slice almost 2,000 Velocity Points from the reward cost, you’ll essentially cover the difference through higher fees.
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