Virgin Australia 2.0: what do Velocity frequent flyers want to see?

What should change, and what must stay the same, in Virgin Australia's Velocity rewards program?

By David Flynn, July 9 2020
Virgin Australia 2.0: what do Velocity frequent flyers want to see?

Across recent weeks we've chartered thE flight path of Virgin Australia: from a mid-air stall which sent the airline into administration, to an unsteady trajectory as a score of suitors expressed their interest in the failed carrier, and then back to what's hopefully 'straight and level' flying with new owners Bain Capital behind the stick.

We've mapped out what the broad shape of Bain's Virgin 2.0 is likely to be, and flagged five key areas to watch in the coming weeks as Bain makes ready to reveal more details.

The Velocity Frequent Flyer program will remain a core part of Bain's rebooted Virgin Australia proposition.

Mike Murphy, Bain Capital's local managing director, has described Velocity as having "more potential" that's yet to be unlocked in regards to "technology, data and digital capabilities that could go to the next level," adding that it's "an area we think needs investment."

He's also spoken of a desire to "bring the Velocity and Virgin brands closer together", which is expected to see them integrated them into the same website and smartphone app.

As is the case with most airline frequent flyer programs, Velocity has proven itself a reliable earner: in the 2019 financial year (the last full reporting year before Covid-19), Velocity's pre-tax earnings of $122 million almost matched the $133 million reported by Virgin's domestic flying arm, and showed an 11% improvement over the previous 12 months.

And with international travel largely off the table for the next 12 months, the twin revenue pillars of Virgin Australia will be domestic flying and Velocity.

So how does Bain need to improve Velocity to keep its 10 million members stepping onto Virgin Australia flights?

As it happens, Executive Traveller boasts Australia's largest audience of frequent flyers: our monthly readership exceeds 800,000 'unique visitors' in Australia alone, and our research shows this leans heavily towards the top tiers of Gold and Platinum, along with many members of The Club (and the Qantas Chairman's Lounge) in the mix.

So we're turning this one over to Velocity Frequent Flyers to share what changes Bain could realistically consider making to Velocity – and what it shouldn't change – if you're either to continue flying with Virgin Australia or to consider the new, more 'value-oriented' Virgin as a real alternative to Qantas.

What parts of the current Velocity model do you most appreciate?  Are there some ideas you've seen in other airline rewards programs which might be rolled out in Velocity, while still being in keeping with Bain's desire to make the new Virgin more of a mid-market airline instead of a full-service full-throated competitor to Qantas?

In short: what do you feel are some effective, sensible ways that Bain's Virgin Australia 2.0 could recognise and reward your loyalty to the airline?

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Aug 2017

Total posts 45

There's a lot that's genuinely great about Velocity and which shouldn't be changed: • Points never expire (given minimal regular activity), • Family transfer and family pooling, • Relatively easy to reach, and retain, Gold and Platinum, • Excellent reward flight availability, • (Still) relatively low taxes/fees for domestic redemptions, • Very good opportunities to accumulate points via credit cards, Flybuys, shopping etc.

The achilles heel is international redemptions. This has been mitigated in the past to some extent by Virgin's alliances with Etihad, Singapore, Delta and other airlines, and the ability to transfer points to KrisFlyer.

When international travel resumes, Velocity members need to be given a path to use their points for international flight redemptions.

In particular, I can foresee NZ being a potential huge problem for Velocity. If, as is rumoured, Virgin will no longer fly to NZ, how will Velocity members use points to fly to Australia's most popular overseas destination? This will be a particular issue if, as is probable, NZ is Australia's only permitted overseas destination for a while. At the very least, Virgin should reinstate KrisFlyer transfers so we can use KrisFlyer points for Air New Zealand flights. But this is clunky and unattractive compared with the ease of using Qantas points to get to NZ.

My left-field suggestion is that Virgin explore a new alliance with Air New Zealand -- at least for Trans-Tasman flights where ANZ doesn't have a partnership with Qantas. Now that VA is under new management, this might just possibly be something that Air NZ would be willing to revisit.

Sorry for the length of this post -- I'm sitting in iso in Melbourne so I have some time on my hands!

04 May 2015

Total posts 259

Personally, I think VA needs to stop trying to be everything to everyone, which seemed to contribute to its demise, and pick a clear direction forward, knowing which passengers it wants to target, and do the job properly.

VA always seemed to have both a 'premium' and a 'penny pinching' attitude at the same time: for instance, charging fares around the same levels as Qantas (in many cases, even more than Qantas), but then not giving you your money's worth in the travel experience: making you pull out the credit card if you dare asked for something as a simple as a soft drink outside a two hour window on five of seven days of the week. (I even read they started making members of The Club pay, yikes!)

If the fare was lower to begin with, paying more for certain things is understandable, but it kind of felt like you were paying twice for many things: or were paying Qantas level prices for 'Jetstar+' levels of service. If you're going to charge more, you need to deliver more: so if you're going to deliver less, you then need to charge less.

14 Nov 2015

Total posts 37

Agree that they probably should stop being everything to everyone. The full service Virgin Australia and Velocity were both fantastic for general domestic business road warrior travel, and leisure travel for those who prefer not to fly budget. That really should be where the new entities is aimed at.

There is always a lot of commentary around international partners, lounges and redemptions. I have no idea how expensive this is for an airline to provide, but my feeling is they will never match Qantas on this, and the people that want this should just go to Qantas. I understand why people feel that way, but I also think it's likely that there are lots and lots of business travelers out there, most of them are just road warriors who want a decent onboard and lounge experience, achievable upgrades, and maybe things like recognition/points earning with hotel and car partners. I could be wrong, but I would say it's likely that the seemingly high proportion of people on here interested in the international stuff (nothing wrong with that) are nonetheless not representative of the big middle chunk of the market Virgin needs to hit.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 466

I was happy with the current model before Covid that's why I flew VA but improvements can always be made, 1800's should be given extra tweaks like the 4 upgrades to the secondary platinum should stay with the 1800's account, private lounge for the 1800's like QF business lounge maybe make the club smaller (no one uses the whole area anyway).The only thing I really hated was short international flights and the lack of toilets on the 737's.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 466

I forgot , Life Time Gold and Platinum

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 466

Lay flat business seats for flights longer then 4 hours

Etihad - Etihad Guest

21 Jul 2019

Total posts 40

Very briefly: the continued ability to (a.) earn points/status and (b.) redeem flights on quality airlines like SQ, and the others would be an excellent start indeed.

10 Dec 2010

Total posts 4

Just a good sensible, efficient and pleasant operation without International operations, which they had. The cost of "The Club" and International operations

20 Oct 2015

Total posts 45

In the past I would have said I would like to see Lifetime tiers but the past few months make me think there is less value in this if an airline goes under!

I think the complimentary hotel and hire car status you get with Velocity Gold and Platinum are excellent ideas, they are unique and they also appeal to the very same SME market which Bain wants to target instead of the higher level corporate travellers who probably have that anyway.

The upgrade certificates are a great idea, those should also be kept. The real trick is how to make Platinum more valuable, because you don't want to take too much away from Golds and they don't have a lot to begin with, but how much more can you give Platinums? Qantas and other Oneworld airlines have a much better structure for making it worthwhile to go from Gold to Platinum. Maybe Platinums could be allowed to roll over some status credits from one year to the next to help retain their level?

bmc
bmc

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

22 Aug 2013

Total posts 161

Useful (alliance linked) international partner redemptions

Free business class upgrade certificates for Platinums

Family pooling

Lounge with barista coffee and hopefully similar booze

Row 3 for Platinums

The rest of Velocity I don't really care much about. I do like international travel and hope it a) returns and b) VA mange to link into a useful partner

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

21 Feb 2017

Total posts 21

Lifetime status of some kind. I use VA the minimum required to maintain platinum, then 2800+ credits a year go the way of Qantas to hit lifetime gold.

05 Apr 2012

Total posts 19

International partnerships with the ability to earn status credits/points on Velocity, please.

UA

30 Jun 2015

Total posts 20

The biggest limitation of the old Velocity program (as a recurring Platinum) was the total scarcity of redemption capacity for trans Pacfic business seats. Without improving that, or the retaining the ability to move points to Krisflyer, then I'll see lttle value from Velocity.

As a sidenote, the price Bain Capital is reportedly paying for all of VA is only 70% of what VA valued just the Velocity program at in November 2019. There is a lot of upside for Bain in this firesale.

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

12 Sep 2011

Total posts 130

NZ? well just transfer points to SQ Krisflyer if this option still exisits and book a Star alliance Award on NZ

bmc
bmc

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

22 Aug 2013

Total posts 161

And lifetime status too please

20 May 2020

Total posts 3

I read all these posts about VA2. The tone seems to be that Bain should enhance or add frequent flyer benefits. Virgin managed to rack up $7 BILLION in debts, how much a year is that. VA2 will be a smaller domestic airline with fewer planes and thus reduced frequency. QATAR have converted a number of VA's top flyers to QANTAS, maybe not entirely but getting them to split their loyalty. I wonder if any posters have suggestions to reduce VA2's costs that will not drive customers to other airlines.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

01 Mar 2012

Total posts 170

Keep it simple is important for me. As a platinum I like speed of entrance into the lounge, fast boarding, economy x and fast baggage. Keep the quality partners for international travel and recognition. I'm not so fussed about earning points as I pay for J when travelling international. Combine that Velocity offering with domestic flights with high quality meals to purchase on board, I'm happy really.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jul 2014

Total posts 142

I'd just like an easier velocity portal on the website.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Oct 2018

Total posts 3

Free economy X for platinums is a dealbreaker. It's the thing that drives my business traffic to Virgin over Qantas. Likewise family pooling is the reason I direct my personal travel their way. If either of those things goes, so do I probably.

As for improvements, better partner network (or better yet join an alliance) would be great.

09 Jul 2020

Total posts 2

As a platinum frequent flyer the keys for me are:

1) A decent lounge - the current ones were a great benefit especially with express entry, so it would be a pity to lose them

2) International partners - especially as it may be a while before VA are international again themselves. Ideally without the plethora of other airlines having a stake they could even now look at joining Star (or Sky team - though I think Star works better in Australia). It was one part of the previous setup that was messy with loads of different partners - but it worked for international redemptions, and especially with the Kris Flyer conversation. Though the benefit of an alliance is recognised status.

3) And this isn't as big a priority, but as it will be a hybrid model, free seating for tiered status members.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Jul 2018

Total posts 1

Main ones I would like to see stay are:

1) Free Economy X for Platinum.

2) Express Entry.

3) Family Pooling.

06 Feb 2014

Total posts 12

Family pooling is the key one for me. My work travel is ad hoc at best (some years lots, some years little), but we travel as a family a bit - so it means I can maintain status off the back of that regular travel if there isn't so much work related travel. If that disappears, then I'll probably give up on loyalty programs altogether and just move solely to finding cheapest fares, irrespective of the carrier.

Really hope the close partnership with SIA continues, and the ability (Even if the conversion rate is so-so) to convert points to krisflyer miles continues. If I was running the new Virgin, I'd look to have 2 alliance partners only. 1 in SIA for travel westward, and 1 for travel into America and that's it. Maybe Air NZ if that could be reset for trans tasman two. But really pair it back to a bit more basic in terms of overall coverage (SIA gives a hell of a lot of coverage of the globe anyway), but better focused in terms of value for those alliance partners in place.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Jul 2017

Total posts 5

Slick domestic operation. Retain free Economy X for Platinum. Retain kerbside lounge entry where possible. Barrista coffee is a must as well as light lounge breakfast.

Retain Krisflyer points swap - this is a great link

Don't downgrade the current domestic business class - I like the product so that's all I fly with Virgin whether it's points, upgrade or full fare. Generally better food and a little cheaper than QF. It would be sad to only have one domestic business class operator - and past experience shows that Qantas reduces business standards and increases prices without competition.

Reinstate international partners for points transfer and sharing - especially Singapore.

Don't downgrade the lounge offering - it's on the cusp of being basic as it is (was).

Retain priority lanes for screening, boarding etc.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Nov 2019

Total posts 33

If Virgin can provide non flirty in your face millennial cabin staff (I know they are trained for that before the millennials attack), order nuts, chips and booze from seat back screen with CC, on board wifi, Id give them a change for all domestic travel. Current QF Plat One. I never thought the muck they throw at you in all classes of Qantas very pedestrian.

09 Jul 2020

Total posts 2

I really like their younger, more fun staff - and I know plenty think likewise. They're not going to beat Qantas by being Qantas - I think this is widely established now; and when they were at their strongest, they pushed this aspect of their staff much more than they did post move from 'LCC' DJ to 'full service' VA.

Agree with the remainder - I'd much rather not be given the poor snacks on both domestic carriers, and have the option to order something decent if I wanted (ordering via screen or phone app - better again). For business travellers, they can usually claim snacks purchased in any case, and for leisure most would prefer the lower cost if that is the offset.

Do a deal with Delta or A.N.other to keep the LAX route open (e.g. honour the existing planned flights next year at least). It's only a small International operation anyway with Pacific Islands, NZ, Bali and LAX. But these are reasonably popular routes for a lot of Aussies. I have been Plat for 7 years, as well as Qantas Gold (work enforced switch). But I prefer VA and would like to hold on to my bi annual trip to the states with them if possible. As for domestic, lounges mostly a nice to have on occasion but often over subscribed when you need them most, priority boarding & luggage has never been more than 'tokenistic'. But free to book Economy X is a winner in my books. Finally I've always used my points to upgrade where I can (or bid for one), especially when I was tired, or I knew I could win an upgrade bid (e.g. BNE-TSV), so again good to keep these options if they can? Everyone's going to want something different, but I'm just glad they are rising from the ashes. Good Luck VA 2.0 I'm looking forward to it.

08 Aug 2019

Total posts 2

Agree with most of the above. Row 3 economy X for Platinum. Priority screening and entrance to lounge. Family pooling and transfer. Very much hope Krisflyer connection is maintained, (or another good option towards UK) - main use outside of domestic flights and would make a significant difference if that goes, especially as it looks like my business domestic travel is likely to be significantly less into the future as clients adjust to this online way of working.

Lifetime would be great. Never seem to use my upgrade credits.

Don't care about snacks on short flights.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

30 Oct 2015

Total posts 54

Firstly - 100% value of credits currently given instead of refunds. As a platinum, I'm pissed I have $9k to use for one person on domestic flights by 15 August.

Secondly - make platinum more unique, like Qantas. Make me feel valued.

I'm already on the way over to Qantas - I'm over a "want to be" airline.

10 Jul 2020

Total posts 1

Definitely need the following or it's a jump to the opposing carrier unfortunately as some of these things set Virgin apart.

1. Family pooling of status and points

2. Attainable gold and platinum status

3. Lounges - inc free access for Gold and Platinum with family access as is

4. Business Class

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Aug 2017

Total posts 3

Lots of sensible suggestions here. One which is rather intangible, but in the past has seen my preference in custom lie with QF, is the lack of being made to "feel special" even as a higher status Velocity member. I think it is important for VA 2.0 to refocus on excellent customer service. Little things like customer service staff looking you in the eye and referring to you by your name, pouring you a wine from the business menu even though you are in economy, are in my experience far and few between on VA whereas these touches are commonplace on QF towards higher status members. This is at least in my experience as a MEL-based flyer.

08 Aug 2018

Total posts 3

As a mutual year Qantas Platinum ties into achieving Life Time Gold status, I would suggest the following:

1/. Provide life time status

2/. Focus on domestic services

3/. Join an alliance to enable international services.

4/. Have at least 2 International VA services to hubs that spoke with a major alliance partner. As an example LAX with Delta worked well.

VA2 can concentrate on domestic and pacific and run a couple of spokes into hubs for international. All other international services can code share off an alliance.

12 Apr 2018

Total posts 10

Keep all of the velocity benefits as they are currently existing. And try to join the star alliance network to save any issues of international connections!

I personally use VA for trans-Tasman mainly, and if that no longer exist or possible, I see little for me to keep paying flying VA. Particularly if international flight redemption dries out!

The current redemption program is great (except to the US, not enough seats) but Singapore air & Etihad all great and same for earning status credit on these partent airlines including delta (first class US seats booked in advance are the best and cheapest way to earn status credit fast) or Etihad business class promotional flights, all must stay! This is how I managed to keep platinum for the past 4 years.

And as another member said the hotels statut credit match for gold and platinum is great, very useful when I did my around the world staying at Hilton. But adding Bonvoy by Marriott on it would be even better or Accor. Because both chain own the most hotels in our part of the world.

But ultimately I do hope that the “debt holder” can manage to get the airline back and keep the business as it was. I personally find hard to believe the way Bain capital ended up the “only buyer”?

Seems extremely odd.

21 Dec 2012

Total posts 31

I don't think there is much that could be taken away from platinum without making it pointless above gold, it's already on the margin.

Family pooling needs to stay, I think that comes up again and again that this drives people to look for ways to accrue into Velocity, I don't have anything more than anecdotal data, but I know if this didn't exist a lot of family member's flights would have gone to another carrier.

I think the lounges need to stay as is - any less and there is no benefit, more would be nice but that seems like something to look at further down the track.

One thing I've seen mentioned is a move to an "Air NZ" style seat-only, seat + bag style pricing model. This is fine in general, but I don't want to see it go down the nonsensical Air NZ route where they deny status tier benefits to people on the "seat only" pricing, then reinstate them in full at the seat+bag level. i.e. Air NZ denies the +1 baggage piece for status when on a seat-only fare, whether their own native status or with Star Alliance, but at seat+bag you'd get 2 bags allowed. If I'm being denied status benefits and generally making the booking process more complex (particularly via OTA which is the standard model now) then my money might go with anyone else rather than being locked in via the golden handcuffs of status.

22 Sep 2013

Total posts 6

Being NZ based I mainly used to fly VA to OOL as Code Share Air NZ flights (the flight times we're better) and so far haven't used the Air NZ/Qantas network as I'm generally a point to point Flyer.

With this in mind, and considering others comments above, I would suggest the new VA/Velocity looks into Star Alliance membership if affordable and available, keeping strategic partnerships as required (e.g. Etihad).

Also Lifetime Silver and Gold to match Qantas.

Best of luck VA/Velocity - it's going to be challenging putting Humpty Dumpty back together again in the current environment!

I really want to see them get all the basics right.

The biggest thing for me whenever I need to fly VA is the schmozzle that is dropping off your bag. During peak times you can spend up to 30 minutes standing in line to drop off that single bag if you don't have gold to access the premium lanes.

Even the lowest tiers over at QF don't have the same issue. Print tags, scan BP, drop bag on belt, and away you go.

On the flip side. I love VAs policy for extra baggage for musicians (we work in the entertainment industry) so we can spread 32kg over three bags, and then purchase an extra 32kg at $15 which can be pooled across multiple bags. Bargain.

Lounge wise. Keep the self service toasties and the barista coffee.

Onboard I'd love them to chuck out the crappy ‘snack' you get and move to online ordering and paying by CC for something that you actually want to eat.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 279

OK, so let me see if I've got this right:

1) Because it's been delayed most likely well into 2021, international travel is not the primary focus of this 'discussion' (but depending upon the success of this 'challenge' by David, hopefully that will come up in the future);

2) Comments are sought from VA patrons on how to improve the Velocity program, which is being drawn closer to VA's airline operations so that the two will operate 'hand in glove' (hence there will be some inter-sect' there): and

3) the majority of readership here is Gold or Platinum (i.e. very, VERY regular flyers), which makes total sense to me.

As such, cracks at QF (and vice versa) are off point and belong on other forums of this site. Its a crappy weather weekend, will pour a glass of whisky after lunch, sit down by the fire and write a few thoughts. Looks like ET's readers are going to end up doing Bain's job for them. Hope they appreciate you for this, David. You must let us know? :-)

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Dec 2012

Total posts 17

Much of what I would want the Velocity Frequent Flyer Program Rev 2 to be like has already been said. In short, my wish list items are:

[] Book international travel using points with international airline partners (when they are reconnected)

[] Book local travel using points for local travel

[] Keep existing lounges (the Clubs can go) and even open one in HOB!

[] Keep points earn rate bonuses for purchased tickets with bonuses based on current status

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

16 Sep 2014

Total posts 1

I've flown a lot with Virgin Australia 1.0 (and before them, Virgin Blue), and enjoyed the experience. I'm a Platinum member of Velocity, and have enjoyed that experience too. I've been a Lounge member for pretty much as long as there's been a Lounge membership, and have enjoyed that experience too. If the world had stayed as it was, I'd have continued enjoying the status quo ... But it has all changed, and yes it is time to take stock...

1. Most of the 'room for improvement' items are more on the Virgin side than the Velocity side - but there's overlap.

2. The lack of cohesion between the Virgin and Velocity websites, ever since Virgin's rushed on-the-cheap "upgrade" half a dozen years ago, has always been an irritant. Bain have made the right noises about addressing that. Good. (But that's only an irritant ... they have bigger fish to fry really.)

3. Virgin's attempt at providing supposed 'refreshment' service on domestic flights has satisfied absolutely nobody. Dear Bain, just stop it. On Virgin 2.0 DON'T provide a free "snack" at all, ever. Either provide something resembling a real meal. Or in this space provide nothing (Virgin Blue had this right), reverting to BYO or buy.

4. Virgin's loose tie-ups with ad-hoc international airline partners has been dismal. Velocity members have never had great international flight reward options or experiences. (Try telling a Delta team member beyond LAX, or an Etihad team member anywhere, that Velocity status means anything.). Note to Bain: join Virgin into a proper airline alliance, with proper international options.

5. Overall the key Velocity consideration for Bain is: DO NOT devalue Velocity points and Velocity memberships. Velocity is a loyalty program. Be loyal to the members! Do not reduce upgrade options. Do not reduce the quality and quantum of Lounge benefits. Do not cease to treat Velocity status levels with respect. Presumably high status customers are high value to you ... don't lose them. Do not devalue lounge access, priority seating, priority boarding etc. Losing the faith of your most loyal customers would only invite them to defect to the opposition. Rather. retain and build on Virgin/Velocity's leadership over the opposition in this space.

05 Apr 2012

Total posts 19

ddoble.....U are spot on!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 279

Agree with Nobleoz, ddoble seems to have pretty much covered most of my suggestions, except 1, concerning Platinum Velocity members. My suggestions assume, perhaps incorrectly, that bain make good with promise/undertaking to poperly alight Virgin Operations with Velocity Frequent Flyer (VFF).

The biggest benefit I enjoyed as Platinum VFF was from international travel (which I'll leave for another time), so something else is needed.

It seems the regular lounge has become somewhat of a barnyard over last 2 years, and changing that right now would not be smart. Instead, VA could hit a 'sweet spot' by converting The Club lounges from exclusively for corporate elites to Platinum AND Business Class travellers only (corporate elites not already in that group would just need to travel more frequently. I'd add that VFF Platinum only (not Business class travellers unless also Platinum) should be allowed to bring one (1) guest per visit but no more than six (6) times/year, with that number being visible on the Velocity App. Have never been in 'The Club', but if it doesn't already have bar staff to prepared mixed drinks, under my suggestion it should (even if those drinks are charged 'at cost' as compared to RRP in bars/nightclubs). Availability of a mixed drink prepared by a person behind a bar is, in my view, essential.

I'd emphasise ddoble item #3, no food service behind Business Class on flights of less than 2 hours, drinks only (bottled water free). After all, most airports now have food courts that rival shopping centres, and a great many travellers (perhaps too many) will have 'eaten-a-plenty' in the Virgin Lounge. But retain its existing food service in business class only (none elsewhere on the plane, regardless of VFF status, on flights of less than 120 minutes). As a reminder, that fact could be printed on flight reservation notices and boarding passes so flyers know to eat beforehand. This should deliver both cost savings and labour efficiency gains across several levels.

Lastly, I notice some bank apps can detect when I'm within the airport terminal, and so should the Velocity App. As such, boarding calls should be supplemented by a text message with a vibrating alert, especially for those VFF who have chosen to activate the alert on their App. Depending upon how sophisticated Bain want to be, the App could give a 10 minute warning before boarding commences (for 'pit stop' purposes) and again when boarding commences.

You're welcome.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 279

With today's news that Virgin Atlantic will be recapitalised (and saved), can I remind that sooner or later VA will need a much better connected international network, with VA-VS connections in both SIN and LAX/MCO/MIA/ATL/EWR/JF, using Delta if necessary.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Aug 2014

Total posts 110

The top 7:

1) Don't devalue Velocity points.

2) Retain use points on Quality international partners, at same rates as now.

3) Retain free Economy X for Plats.

4) Retain family pooling but charge $39 per year for it.

5) Make Platinum upgrade certificates more usable. Reduce to two if needed to effect this change.

6) Cut free "snacks" on flights under 2 hours.

7) Cut The Club lounges. Retain existing and add more "The Lounge" lounges.

05 Apr 2012

Total posts 19

Excellent points, hakkinen5. New Virgin needs to cut costs, so the following need to go:

The Club, free snacks, free family pooling & children in Virgin Lounges

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Nov 2019

Total posts 33

Currently Plat one with Qantas. If Virgin concentrated on small business travelers and leave the multi national Suits corporate travel to Qantas, financial, legal etc etc they would be on a winner. I've just had One world contact me about my work travel, offered some good discounts if I sign up to their program but I'm not interested in the continual rubbing shoulders in business lounges with paco rabanne smelling Peter Jackson suited drones and their entourage of sprogs and spouses, . If virgin can exclude the corporate masses and pitch toward the small business travelers with spend between $100k - 250k with incentives. I'd give the lephrachaun the flick for good. I'm hoping for the days Silkair is granted Melb Syd Bris license.

Silkair does not need any licence to fly BNE/SYD/MEL, it's called Rex & they are looking to fly the golden triangle or at least SYD/MEL from March.

Surely new owners of Virgin/Velocity don't want to be paying other airlines for seats, so imagine initially velocity points will only be able ot be used on Virgin Australia flights or whatever V2 is called.

Not sure exactly how ff programs work, but thinking about it, if Delta wants so many V2 ff tickets for its frequent flyers, then V2 might just do a swap/contra for Delta tixkets, with no cash changing hands.

These profits from ff programs, how are they calculated ? The original idea of ff programs, was to fill unsellable seats.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Jul 2017

Total posts 5

Stick to the Domestic market with closer and improved links to international operators such as Virgin Atlantic and Singapore.

Get rid of the appalling free snack. Frankly, its an insult and it probably causes more grief and cuts into profits. Improve inflight snacks on flights of 2 hours + and charge for them.

Retain the Virgin Lounge staff, they are a real asset. Never get rid of the Barrista

Look at the Platinum FF package. Perhaps there could be a small annual for charge for a few 'special perks' to make it sustainable.

25 Feb 2013

Total posts 60

I'm a Platinum a few times over (enough to earn my partner Platinum as well through family pooling) and all my points come from bum-in-seat flying in economy fares in an organisation with an enormous travel budget but few perks in terms of travel (i.e. o business). I'm actually prohibited from the pointy-end by company policy so probably close to the SME model they are aiming for. My needs are pretty simple.

- A lounge with simple but good options (e.g. the barista coffee a must - and I still remember the few years they had the monopoly on this over Qantas, the toasties are good, a beer or wine that doesn't belong in the $2 bin).

- Priority lines boarding (VA do this well)

- Economy X (TBH this is one of my favourite perks)

- Family friendly (family pooling as per above is great, but the guaranteed points family holiday has been handy more than once). Not just about family pooling - in the lounge and in the air VA are much more accommodating of children and my daughter at least finds VA flights much nicer than QF ones (which in turn makes her much more enjoyable to fly with).

- Increased baggage allowance (I don't actually use often, but very, very handy when I do)

TBH a lounge, priority boarding and baggage are essential. I fly too much (for work, not pleasure) to be spending it at the gate or in line. The micro-frustrations of flying add up and any airline that doesn't reduce these for FFers is essentially asking them to move elsewhere.

My only concerns with the new VA is the talk of economising routes. If too many destinations are cut or times become inconvenient (for both normal travel and points) then by default I have to look elsewhere for a large chunk of my travel. It is then way too easier to take the rest over to someone with the network as well.

International earn and burn is key, as is recognition. VA has some seamless relationships (e.g. the VA-DL relationship is honestly one of the most seamless I've seen between partners) but others have potential that is far from reached (e.g. the SQ one always had issues). NZ will be a big hole if they no longer fly there without a partner. I'm not in the "must have an alliance" camp, but the global holes in the network have been a barrier for many FFers to come over (or stay) for a while now.

I don't particularly think you need a snack on small flights - and the snacks are always underwhelming anyway (FWIW my favourite cheap on-board snack is what Swiss do domestically - a small bottle of spring water and a small square of deliciously milky chocolate). TBH rather than doing on the flight having a grab-and-go in the lounge for those who want one is a much better and cheaper idea IMHO (and would also give the elites the 'free food' perk they seem to love

18 Jul 2020

Total posts 1

Having been a Platinum well over a decade with my bum on the seat. There was much to like.

Key points to retain.

Look at all the members feedback above and:-

Must retain family pooling. This is the only real way my family get the same advantage I do.

Improvements

Make much better the ability to use points and VA FF status with especially ETIHAD a great hub to ROW and SQ.

Get rid of the snacks on short domestic.


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