Air Canada looks to add more Velocity perks

The Virgin Australia partner is keen to put more on the table for Velocity Gold and Platinum members.

By David Flynn, July 21 2023
Air Canada looks to add more Velocity perks

Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer members already enjoy plenty of benefit when flying with Air Canada – such as access to airport lounges plus the ability to both earn and spend points – but the Canadian flag-carrier wants to sweeten the pot.

“Priority check-in and boarding and extra baggage are being looked into,” Mark Nasr, Air Canada’s Executive Vice President Marketing and Digital, tells Executive Traveller, adding “we're engaged in conversations (with Virgin Australia) on adding those benefits.”

The Virgin Australia / Air Canada partnership has evolved in several stages, with the most recent move expanding ‘codeshare’ flights and seeing Velocity members able to pocket more points on an Air Canada flight carrying a VA flight number.

Velocity Gold and Platinum members can also relax in Air Canada's network of domestic and international Maple Leaf Lounges plus the unique Air Canada Cafe concept – which provide travellers on the go with a pit-stop alternative to visiting a conventional lounge – at Toronto, with Montreal and Vancouver cafes soon to follow.

The Air Canada Cafe at Montreal.
The Air Canada Cafe at Montreal.

(However, this excludes the more upmarket Signature Suite lounges which are reserved for business class passengers.)

For its part, Air Canada has boosted its Sydney-Vancouver and Brisbane-Vancouver flights across December 2023-January 2024 in time for the northern winter ski season, and Nasr suggests the Melbourne-Vancouver route could also be relaunched as a seasonal service spanning the Australian winter months, which is how it began in late 2017 before moving to a daily schedule.

“We would love to see Air Canada back in Melbourne, and it’s certainly a service that is on our list.”

As previously reported, Air Canada is also positioning itself as a hassle-free way to the US due to what it describes as a “seamless transit process.”

“We’re longer in the air but less time at the airport,” explains Vic Naughton, Air Canada’s General Manager for Australia and New Zealand, who believes Vancouver “is now firmly established among Australian travellers as the friendliest and most efficient gateway to North America.”

“That is hardly surprising given Air Canada passengers proceed to their connecting flights without needing to re-check their bags or change terminals,” with US-bound travellers passing through US customs and immigration at Vancouver so they arrive in the USA as domestic passengers.

“That’s how Air Canada is able to once again offer the fastest service between Brisbane and New York, as well as other US cities like Seattle,” Naughton says, adding that “we were the fastest way to get from Melbourne to New York” when the airline flew to the Victorian capital.

“At the moment we’re the fastest from Brisbane to New York,” with Sydney-New York being “very, very close.”

Air Canada is the fourth Star Alliance partner with Virgin Australia, alongside stalwart partner Singapore Airlines, United Airlines – which replaced Delta Air Lines in June 2022 – and most recently Japan’s ANA, where Velocity members can now earn points on all ANA flights, although points-based reward seat bookings and access to ANA lounges remains on the to-do list.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 966

These perks are good and worth while bookings Air Canada flight over a United flight when travelling in that part of the world.

Travelling Air Canada in mid-December to Vancouver to Toronto so looking forward to access to the Air Canada lounges en-route.  Good move Air Canada.


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