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.
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.
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.