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.
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?