Virgin launches Future Flight Credits, with a catch

The airline's new travel credits are valid only on certain types of fares and you won't always get a seat on the flight you want.

By David Flynn, October 22 2020
Virgin launches Future Flight Credits, with a catch

Virgin Australia is now rolling out its new form of travel credits, dubbed Future Flight Credits, which can be used to make a booking on Virgin flights through to June 2023.

Passengers who held bookings on cancelled Virgin or Tigerair flights, which were subsequently converted into travel credit or 'conditional credits, will see that same dollar-value converted into a Future Flight Credit.

That credit can be used to book economy or business class travel on flights operated by Virgin Australia, ruling out codeshare flights with partners such as Alliance Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Etihad Airways.

Future Flight Credits have a use-by date of 31 July 2022 – that's the latest you can 'spend' them to make a booking – for travel until 30 June 2023.

The fine print on Future Flight Credits

That said: when it comes to booking a Virgin flight with your Future Flight Credit, there's a catch.

Only a certain number of seats on any given flight will be set aside for purchasing with Future Flight Credits, meaning there's no guarantee you'll even be able to get on the flight you want.

This is at odds with the usual way that airlines deal with travel credits by allowing them to 'buy' any seat on a flight, at that seat's market price.

Instead, Future Flight Credits can be used only to book some Economy Getaway, Economy Elevate and Economy Freedom fares, as well as some Business Saver fares, all without blackout periods. However, they aren't valid for full-fare business class travel.

"Bookings using your Future Flight credits are subject to seat availability within the fare class available for Future Flight credits on your selected flight," the airline's Future Flight Credits website advises.

That means you may not be able to fly when you want "as it’s possible that the seats reserved for Future Flight credits may be sold out for the flight you’ve chosen."

Executive Traveller understands that Virgin won't be applying a choke-hold on the number of available Future Flight Credit seats, and has the option to adjust the mix for each flight and add more seats to cater for high demand for a particular fare class.

An alternative way to spend those credits is to combine them with cash, although not with Velocity Frequent Flyer points, for a booking; they can also be used for upgrades and cost-extra items such as Economy X seating, pre-paid checked baggage, lounge access and even change fees.

Read more: How to use Virgin Australia Future Flight Credits

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.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 808

It may seem harsh but the other alternative was the new owner choosing not to honour prepaid tickets, which was their right, and all those ticketholders being dumped in with unsecured creditors and getting paid pennies in the dollar.  This works for both, ticketholders still have value in their ticket and Bain don't cripple the goodwill in the business they are buying.

18 Jul 2018

Total posts 20

They should really open the lounges again. Seems crazy that their marketing team is basically ignoring the more loyal or higher margin (business) customers for so long...

22 Oct 2020

Total posts 3

Seems a lot of complaining from people wanting refunds. Where have they been living, under a rock? Should be thankful they’re at least getting a credit because the alternative as an unsecured creditor when a company is bankrupt is NOTHING. 

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 279

Those who are stuck with VA/Bain’s good-will flight credit would not have paid with AMEX credit card for their tickets.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Mar 2020

Total posts 11

I got one conditional credit which is (I think now) a future flight credit in a travel bank. Two other conditional credits I have received no email as yet. I thought the long delay may result in better user interface but still accessing the credit is through Soviet style graphics and god knows how you actually use it...

This has 'stuff up' written all over it...


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