Virgin Australia extends travel credit expiry to mid-2025

Covid credits can now be used for longer, although Future Flight Credits still face an end of year use-by date.

By David Flynn, September 22 2023
Virgin Australia extends travel credit expiry to mid-2025

Virgin Australia will extend the expiry date for Covid-19 travel credits to June 2025, following a push by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission which has also seen Qantas scrap its own December 2023 use-by date for Covid refunds.

The airline currently holds an estimated $120 million in outstanding travel credits issued for flights were cancelled due to the pandemic, while Qantas’ holding has been estimated at $570 million.

A Virgin Australia spokesperson confirmed the new arrangements to Executive Traveller, saying its Covid-19 credits “are Standard Credits issued on or before 31 July 2022, for bookings made from 21 April 2020 through 31 July 2022.”

“Customers will now be able to use their ‘COVID Credits’ to book and fly by 30 June 2025.”

Those credits can be used to book travel on any Virgin Australia flight, including international codeshare flights with partners such as ANA, Singapore Airlines, United Airlines and Qatar Airways which carry a VA flight number.

There’s no minimum spend, and the credits are not limited to travellers named on the original booking – although there’s no option to have the credits refunded.

The airline issued over $1.2 billion worth of travel credit across the Covid-19 period, and says 90% of those credits have already been reclaimed.

The mid-2025 extension will be automatically applied to all Virgin Covid credits, although the new expiry date may take up to eight weeks to appear in customer’s Travel Bank accounts.

It’s important to note these are different to the Future Flight Credits issued for flights cancelled when the airline was in administration in 2020.

Virgin also has an estimated $290 million in unredeemed Future Flight credits, which are still set to expire at the end of this year.

However, unlike the Covid travel credits, the airline doesn’t hold any money which travellers used to make those bookings – instead, those passengers were considered as among the legion of ‘unsecured creditors’ when the airline collapsed.

The airline maintains the decision by new owner Bain Capital to offer Future Flight Credits provided a better outcome for customers compared to receiving around 5c in the dollar, but says it will hold to the December 31 use-by date for Future Flight Credits.

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 377

Interesting how little attention this has gathered vs the media pileup against Qantas


11 Jul 2014

Total posts 940

I was able to use all my travel credits with VA in the first three months, I've lost count of the amount of time I've wasted trying to use or get a credit for my QF travel credits. The last time I spoke to QF, they were going to issue me with 5 travel credits back to my credit card and only 2 showed up!!!!! QF desires everything they get......

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Nov 2016

Total posts 49

I agree. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 663

Well then Grannular, allow me to balance the 'pile up' with, shall we say, an 'alert' of sorts for VFF flyers with a Travel Bank balance.  Who would have thought that a willing and loyal flyer needing to cancel a fully flexible fare (Business and/or Economy) and accepting a 'refund' to the Travel Bank, would then experience a material currency devaluation of PJ Keating proportion (well, that's how I regard it) when attempting to spend those funds on other VA fare?  Whilst the fare price doesn't change, the availability/frequency  of flights and seats does materially differ when you tick the Travel Bank box and a means of co-payment.  

Untick that box and the frequency of flights suddenly lifts (like the Lions did against the Blues in the 2nd Quarter on Saturday).  Same Dell keyboard, same Dell mouse, same Dell PC - but the range of choice becomes a casualty when using VA's Travel Bank.  Money talks (well . . . certainly complains) when it's had to spend time in the naughty Travel Bank corner.  Glad this doesn't happen at Myer, Bunnings or David Jones.

Interesting. I had flights from USA to Melbourne on VA cancelled due to COVID.

However, I see that they have classified my flight credits as "Future Flight Credits" not COVID credits. There was a lot of back and forth on this, as essentially these credits were useless to me since they were not doing flights to USA any longer, though it seems now they may allow credits to be used on partner flights.

They sent me an email 2 weeks ago reminding me that my credits will expire at the end of the year. Anyone else in this boat? Shady behavior by VA Cust Service, it's been a horrible experience from the start.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 663

Can't recall the rules of FFC's but if you can transfer them to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles that'll get you another 3 years.  Otherwise, make sure you speak with the rewards team (?), they seem to be able to do more than the regular call centre.

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