Virgin Australia unlocks Velocity reward flights & upgrades nationwide

From today, Velocity Points can be used to fly across every Australian state and territory, and to upgrade to business class.

By Chris Chamberlin, July 21 2020
Virgin Australia unlocks Velocity reward flights & upgrades nationwide

Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer members can once again use their Velocity Points to travel right across Australia, with the airline unlocking reward seats on 97% of its domestic flights, and bringing back points-based business class upgrades.

Bookings are available for immediate travel across 152 domestic routes – reflecting a broad easing of domestic travel restrictions across most of the country – which brings forward the program’s previous ‘start date’ of September 1 for points-based flying.

Within Australia, the expanded flight network for Velocity members reaches every state and territory, adding flights to and from the Northern Territory and Tasmania among the mix, which were unavailable when Velocity initially ‘unfroze’ points.

Read: Virgin Australia unfreezes Velocity Frequent Flyer points

Velocity Points bookings remain unavailable on some domestic routes.

A list of routes now open for points-based bookings can be accessed on the Velocity Frequent Flyer website.

Using Velocity Points for business class upgrades

Upgrades to Virgin Australia business class using Velocity Points have also now been restored, and are available right across Virgin Australia's domestic network.

As before, upgrades are subject to availability, and the number of points needed for an upgrade depends on the fare type purchased and the length of the flight.

These rates remain unchanged, with a one-way Sydney-Brisbane upgrade costing 4,900 Velocity Points from an economy Freedom airfare, or 10,000 Velocity Points from Elevate and Getaway fares.

Separately, Velocity Platinum frequent flyers and members of The Club are again able to upgrade to business class using their complimentary upgrade vouchers, when travelling on a Freedom fare.

Platinum members receive four such upgrade credits per 12-month membership year, while members of The Club are awarded eight upgrades in each 24-month membership period.

Revealed: Perks of 'The Club', Virgin Australia's secret VIP tier

Using Velocity Points on the ground

From today, Velocity members can also make hotel reservations at over 15,000 properties using their points, and from the end of July, will be able to book car hire with Europcar using points as well.

Other reward options such as international flight bookings aboard Virgin Australia and its network of partner airlines, upgrades to business class on eligible Delta flights, and the ability to buy merchandise via the Velocity Rewards Store all remain suspended, having been offline since April.

The ability to convert Velocity Points into Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles is still off the cards, too, after Velocity blocked these transfers without prior notice in early April, weeks before Virgin Australia entered into voluntary administration.

Following Velocity’s initial ‘points freeze’, most Australian credit card issuers suspended points transfers across to Velocity, making it hard for would-be travellers to top-up their accounts.

While some card issuers have now restored those transfers, many continue to block them – including popular credit card reward programs ANZ Rewards, St.George Amplify Rewards and Westpac Altitude Rewards, among others.

Last week, Virgin’s archrival Qantas made it easier to use Qantas Points to fly, increasing reward seat availability across its domestic and trans-Tasman network by up to 50% until the end of 2020, on routes where flights are available for sale.

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

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 May 2017

Total posts 2

For what it's worth, I've used two complimentary platinum upgrades in the last three weeks. Though value is questionable for now (onboard service is only unlimited snacks from economy and cold drinks, alcohol included).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 279

Any word yet on pre-April Travelbank balances being available to purchase airfares?

18 Jan 2017

Total posts 28

Never stopped. Just use TravelBank option at payment page when making a booking on the website.

Otherwise, give them a call to make a making using TravelBank.

18 Jul 2018

Total posts 17

Wake us up when the lounges reopen and there's some resemblance of normal business meal service on board please.

21 Jul 2020

Total posts 4

After many years of reading i finally signed up. As a gold velocity member i just want them to bring back the virgin money card. I have an altitude but they deleted auto transfer back in Jan so i lost my 2:1 rate, now a measly 3:1. I would have wrote this on altitude article but no comments.

08 May 2020

Total posts 44

I Don't even know when we can start booking flights out of Melbourne, it will get harder to maintain my Platinum as I will miss the 1st 4 months of my 12 mts current, if we can potentially start booking for end of September. So using points will not be in my 1st option using my points as I am more interested getting Status credits.

wonder at what point they'll unlock use on other airlines ?


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